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    Samoa

    In May 1843, thirteen years after the Church was organized in the United States, four men were sent to be missionaries in the islands of the Pacific.

    In 1863, two missionaries from Hawaii were sent to Samoa to establish the Church there. The two, Kimo Pelia and Samuela Manoa, labored faithfully for nearly twenty years, isolated from the strength and support of the Church back in the United States.

    Pelia and Samuela baptized a few people on Tutuila, which is now American Samoa. Later, after Elder Joseph H. Dean and his wife, Florence Ridges Dean arrived, the mission was formally organized on 17 June 1888. By 1891 the mission in Samoa, with headquarters near Apia, was developing steadily.

    From 1896, members began to join in greater numbers. Missionaries helped educate youths in small chapel schools. As local members filled leadership positions, they were assigned to distant branches (small congregations), a pattern unique to Samoa. Local members were soon serving missions themselves and were greatly contributing to the growth of the Church.

    Before the turn of the century, 11 branches had been organized on the island. By June 1903, the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ had been translated. At the end of 1920, membership numbered 3,500, about 5 percent of the total population.

    Missionaries were recalled in 1940 prior to World War II because of troubled conditions, and this became a good opportunity for the local members to assume more leadership. After the war, the work quickened considerably. By 1950, membership had grown to more than 7,000 and by 1961, to more than 16,000. By 1974, the country had six stakes (dioceses) and became the first country of the world to be entirely covered by stakes.

    On 15 October 1977, it was announced that a temple would be built in Apia, Western Samoa. It was dedicated 5 August 1983. At that time, membership reached an estimated 40,000. Six new stakes were created in Samoa from 1994-96. Today, membership stands at more than 55,000 and more than one in four Samoans enjoy membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    The temple in Apia burned down in July 2003. The First Presidency announced a few days later that the temple would be rebuilt using current temple designs.

    For Journalist Use Only

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

    E-mail: Hunterra@ldschurch.org

    80,437

    Total Church Membership

    1

    Missions

    20

    Family History Centers

    157

    Congregations

    1

    Temples

    North America

    9,253,590

    Total Church Membership

    192

    Missions

    2,866

    Family History Centers

    18,159

    Congregations

    109

    Temples

    South America

    4,038,045

    Total Church Membership

    94

    Missions

    979

    Family History Centers

    5,545

    Congregations

    18

    Temples

    Europe

    516,003

    Total Church Membership

    43

    Missions

    710

    Family History Centers

    1,422

    Congregations

    12

    Temples

    Asia

    1,155,764

    Total Church Membership

    42

    Missions

    333

    Family History Centers

    1,973

    Congregations

    8

    Temples

    Oceania (Pacific)

    552,825

    Total Church Membership

    18

    Missions

    338

    Family History Centers

    1,251

    Congregations

    10

    Temples

    Africa

    578,310

    Total Church Membership

    31

    Missions

    285

    Family History Centers

    2,004

    Congregations

    3

    Temples

    Worldwide Statistics

    16,118,169

    Total Church Membership

    407

    Missions

    160

    Temples

    30,506

    Congregations

    65,915

    Missionaries

    14

    Missionary Training Centers

    4

    Universities & Colleges

    404,270

    Seminary Students Enrollment

    357,760

    Institute Student Enrollment

    5,100

    Family History Centers

    10,238

    Welfare Services Missionaries (Incl. Humanitarian Service Missionaries)

    188

    Published Languages

    140

    Countries with Family History Centers

    189

    Countries Receiving Humanitarian Aid (Since 1985)