“Sydney, Australia,” Liahona, February 2019
Along the shores of Sydney’s beautiful natural harbor stands a chapel where 4 of Australia’s 309 Latter-day Saint congregations meet for church: one each in English, Tongan, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. Such diversity is typical of Sydney, an area vibrant with cultural influences from around the world.
The Church was introduced to Australia in 1840 by a 17-year-old from Great Britain, William James Barratt. He baptized the first Australian convert, Robert Beauchamp, who later became a mission president.
Early members in Australia faced harsh attacks from newspapers, and many members emigrated to Utah, USA. However, Australian Latter-day Saints persisted, and over the years the Church began to thrive. Today, Australia is home to more than 151,000 members, and Latter-day Saints have received praise from news services for providing emergency humanitarian relief following natural disasters such as brush fires and cyclones.
The first mission in Australia opened in 1851, and there are now six missions.
The first LDS meetinghouse in Australia was constructed in Brisbane in 1904.
The Sydney Australia Temple was dedicated in 1984, followed by temples in Adelaide (2000), Melbourne (2000), Perth (2001), and Brisbane (2003).