The Annual Report of the Church

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    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