Elder David A. Bednar

“The fundamental purposes for the gift of agency were to love one another and to choose God.”

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Tender Mercies of the Lord,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2005, 101.

By the Numbers

52,494

Number of full-time missionaries who were serving worldwide in 2008.

My Favorite Scripture

Matthew 5:14–16

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

This is my favorite scripture because it helps me remember, especially when I’m not at home or at church, that I have a responsibility to be an example. Through me, many can know about the Church.

Laura Z., 15, Lima, Peru

The Church in the United Kingdom

The first missionaries to go overseas were sent to England in 1837, only seven years after the Church was founded. A group of seven missionaries arrived in England on July 19, 1837, preached in Preston, and baptized 9 new converts on July 30. By the next week, 41 more converts were baptized.

Between 1837 and 1900, as many as 100,000 converts emigrated to join the main body of the Church in the United States. In fact, by 1870 nearly half of the population of Utah were British immigrants. In the 1950s, membership in the United Kingdom (which includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) increased as Church leaders encouraged members to stay and build the Church in their native lands.

In 1958 a temple was dedicated in London. In 1998 another temple was dedicated, in Preston, the site of the first preaching more than 170 years ago. Preston is the home of the oldest continuous branch of the Church anywhere in the world, dating back to 1837.

Here are a few facts about the Church today in the United Kingdom:

Membership

181,756

Missions

7

Temples

2

Wards and Branches

347

Family History Centers

120

From top: Photograph of London England Temple by Mark Henderson; photograph of missionaries by Matthew Reier; illustration by Thomas S. Child; photograph by Adam C. Olson