The Annual Report of the Church


As of December 31, 1971, membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was 3,090,953, it was announced at the first session of the 142nd Annual General Conference of the Church.

This figure represents an increase of 160,143 over the 1970 membership total and a numerical growth rate of 5.46 percent. The number of convert baptisms for 1971 totaled 83,514, compared with 79,126 for 1970.

There were only six male members (the legal number required by state law) the day the Church was organized at Fayette, Seneca County, New York, on April 6, 1830. All six men had been previously baptized. Before the day was over, additional converts had entered the waters of baptism.

From that humble beginning, the membership of the Church has grown rapidly and continuously.

The number of stakes of the Church has likewise increased over the decades. However, with the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the exodus of the Saints from the Midwest, existing stakes were disorganized, and stake organization began anew with the Salt Lake Stake in 1847.

The story of missionaries and missions is a story all its own. Samuel Smith, a brother of the Prophet, was the first to devote himself to full-time missionary activity. And he slept the first night under an apple tree!

The following statistics of missionaries set apart (accumulative by decade) do not include local missionaries who often serve in the same mission field where they were baptized and who begin their labors in their own native tongues:

1830

16

1830–40

661

1840–50

1,425

1850–60

751

1860–70

709

1870–80

1,544

1880–90

2,389

1890–1900

6,126

1900–10

8,254

1910–20

7,424

1920–30

10,140

1930–40

8,811

1940–50

14,942

1950–60

24,280

1960–70

65,215

More full-time missionaries (not including local missionaries) were set apart to begin their labors during the single year of 1970 (7,526) than the total number of such missionaries serving between 1830 and 1890 (7,495).

The following statistical report was issued by the First Presidency at April conference, concerning the membership of the Church at the end of the year 1971:

Church Units

Stakes

562

Wards

4,342

Independent Branches in Stakes

793

Wards and Independent Branches in stakes

5,135

Mission Branches

1,942

Full-time Missions

98

Church Membership, December 31, 1971

Stakes

2,622,439

Missions

468,514

Total

3,090,953

Church Growth During 1971

Children blessed in stakes and missions

68,659

Children of record baptized in stakes and missions

53,524

Converts baptized in stakes and missions

83,514

The graphs on page 132 indicate the growth of the Church by membership and by stakes, wards, branches, and missions.

 

Church Membership

Wards

Stakes

Missions

April 6, 1830

6

 

0

 

1840

30,000

 

9

 

1850

60,000

 

1

 

1860

80,000

 

3

 

1870

110,000

 

7

 

1880

160,000

 

23

 

1890

205,000

 

32

 

1900

268,331

488

43

16

1910

393,437

694

62

21

1920

526,032

959

83

24

1930

672,488

1,000

104

30

1940

862,664

1,191

134

35

1950

1,111,314

1,541

180

43

1960

1,693,180

2,882

319

58

1970

2,930,810

4,922

537

94

1971

3,090,953

5,135

562

 

Social Statistics

Birthrate per thousand

28.50

Number of persons married per thousand

15.12

Death rate per thousand

4.92

Priesthood

Members Holding the Aaronic Priesthood

Deacons

136,969

Teachers

98,814

Priests

152,886

Total

388,669

Members Holding the Melchizedek Priesthood

Elders

252,051

Seventies

23,914

High Priests

88,416

Total

364,381

Grand total of members priesthood (*an increase of 23,824)

853,050

Auxiliary Organizations

Relief Society (membership)

377,840

Sunday School (enrollment)

2,387,509

Young Men's MIA (enrollment)

355,107

Young Women's MIA (enrollment)

386,735

Primary (enrollment)

487,951

Welfare Plan

Number of persons assisted

100,722

Number placed in remunerative employment

12,048

Man-days of work donated to the welfare plan

195,932

Unit-days of equipmentuUse donated

5,589

Genealogical Society

Names cleared for temple ordinances

1,750,416

(Genealogical records microfilmed in 17 countries during the year brought the total to 712,945 100-foot rolls of microfilm, the equivalent of over 3,401,301 printed volumes of 300 pages each.)

Temples

Number of ordinances performed in 13 operating temples

For the living

62,672

For the dead

6,898,428

Totals

6,961,100

Church School System

Total cumulative enrollment in church schools, including institutes and seminaries

235,861