Facts and Statistics

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    French Polynesia

    27,521

    Total Church Membership

    9.72% 1-in-11

    Population vs. Church Members

    9

    Stakes

    96

    Congregations

    68 Wards
    28 Branches

    20

    Family History Centers

    20

    1

    Temples

    1

    Missions | 3 Districts

    History

    In May 1843, thirteen years after the Church was organized in the United States, four men were sent by Joseph Smith to be missionaries in the islands of the Pacific. Addison Pratt, Noah Rogers, and Benjamin F. Grouard endured great hardship for six months on the whaling ship Timoleon, bound for the Society Islands, now part of French Polynesia. Knowlton F. Hanks died at sea. Pratt started alone in the small island of Tubuai, where he baptized 60 people in the first year. He is considered to be the first missionary to a foreign language area in modern Church history. He baptized many people and established a branch (a small congregation).

    Rogers and Grouard went on to Tahiti, arriving at a time when religious freedom had been declared for all. Though they met with many hardships and much opposition from other religions, they were able to proselyte on more than nine islands. With Addison Pratt, who joined them later, they baptized over 1,000 before Elder Pratt's return to Salt Lake in 1848. Elder Pratt came back with his family in 1850. This promising start for the Church was halted when French government restrictions led to the mission being closed in May 1852. This expulsion of the missionaries left the Church in the Pacific islands struggling on its own for many decades.

    Missionaries returning in 1892 started branches again among those who had remained stalwart, and constructed Church buildings that helped speed the work. Completion of the New Zealand Temple in 1958 was a blessing for the Tahitian Saints, who proved to be faithful attendees.

    On 23 May 1963, in the worst recorded sea disaster for Latter-day Saints in the South Pacific, 15 members of the Maupiti Branch, about 160 miles northwest of Tahiti, lost their lives when the boat in which they were returning from a Church building dedication crashed on the Maupiti reef. Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, visited the bereaved members to offer solace and comfort.

    In 1964, the Church constructed an elementary school in Tahiti, and in 1972 the Tahiti stake (diocese) was organized. The Papeete Tahiti Temple was dedicated 27 October 1983. Tahiti's second stake was created in 1982, and its third stake in 1990.

    For Journalist Use Only

    Richard Hunter
    New Zealand
    Phone:  64(9)488-5572
    Mobile: 64-21-240-7804

    E-mail: Hunterra@ldschurch.org

    Africa

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    578,944

    Members

    2,010

    Congregations

    Missions

    32Missions

    Family History Centers

    281

    Temples

    3Temples

    Asia

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    1,181,411

    Members

    2,124

    Congregations

    Missions

    44Missions

    Family History Centers

    336

    Temples

    8Temples

    Europe

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    512,269

    Members

    1,408

    Congregations

    Missions

    42Missions

    Family History Centers

    704

    Temples

    12Temples

    North America

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    9,254,663

    Members

    18,167

    Congregations

    Missions

    192Missions

    Family History Centers

    2,530

    Temples

    109Temples

    Oceania (Pacific)

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    552,825

    Members

    1,251

    Congregations

    Missions

    18Missions

    Family History Centers

    299

    Temples

    10Temples

    South America

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    4,038,057

    Members

    5,546

    Congregations

    Missions

    94Missions

    Family History Centers

    941

    Temples

    17Temples