The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a world religion, not only because its members are found throughout the world, but also because it seeks to share God’s message of truth with the entire world.
The diversity of the Church’s worldwide membership is a notable characteristic of Latter-day Saints because the gospel of Jesus Christ transcends every culture, race, nationality, and language. Cultures and peoples throughout the world gather together by geographical location to form local congregations that worship together. Because of the Savior’s invitation that all God’s children come unto Him (see Matthew 11:28; D&C 10:67), no two congregations in the Church are the same.
Regardless of ethnicity or outward appearance, all Church members are united in the knowledge that they are children of a Heavenly Father. They know He loves each of His children equally. This knowledge builds a feeling of unity in every building and worship service around the world and ties all members of the Church together.
Unity is also built in each congregation as individuals teach and worship from similar hymns, scriptures, lessons, and sacramental prayers each Sunday. Organizations for the children, youth, and adults unite individuals around the world each year in a common area of focus. Similarly, the Church’s semiannual conference, which is broadcast around the world, allows members the opportunity to learn simultaneously from the prophet, apostles, and other Church leaders.
The composition of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has changed over time and continues to change every day. Since the 1900s the Church has grown from congregations comprised mainly of northern European immigrants to the United States to a global Church whose members live in 190 countries and speak over 120 languages.
In 1996, the number of members living outside the United States surpassed those residing within it, and by the year 2000 the majority of the membership was non-English speaking. In December of 2014 the Church exceeded 15 million members, bringing the total wards and branches (congregations) to just over 29,000 around the globe.
Just as Paul in the New Testament taught that the Church is a body with each part adding beauty and purpose to the whole, so too does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints experience strength from its diversity.
Scripture Study Resources
- “God, Access to,” Topical Guide
- “Man, a Spirit Child of Heavenly Father,” Topical Guide
- “Sons and Daughters of God,” Guide to the Scriptures
Prophets and Church Leaders
Prophets and Apostles
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Global Church Blessed by the Voice of the Prophets,” October 2002 general conference
Russell M. Nelson, “Teach Us Tolerance and Love,” April 1994 general conference
Dallin H. Oaks, “All Men Everywhere,” April 2006 general conference
M. Russell Ballard, “Doctrine of Inclusion,” October 2001 general conference
Richard G. Scott, “Removing Barriers to Happiness,” April 1998 general conference
Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Need for Greater Kindness,” April 2006 general conference
Howard W. Hunter, “The Gospel—A Global Faith,” October 1991 general conference
Other Church Leaders
Chi Hong (Sam) Wong, “Rescue in Unity,” October 2014 general conference
Gérald Caussé, “Ye Are No More Strangers,” October 2013 general conference
Teachings of Presidents of the Church
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, “Proclaim Glad Tidings to All the World,” chapter 12
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, “The Gospel Defined,” chapter 2
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, “The Kingdom of God and the Gathering of Israel,” chapter 44
- Marion G. Romney, “Unity,” Ensign, Aug. 2010
- John K. Carmack, “Unity in Diversity,” Ensign, Mar. 1991
- Unity in Diversity
- Mormonism Is a Christ-Centered, Global Faith
- CNN: Diversity Reflected in Church’s Congregations
- More than 100 Church Logos Represent Membership Diversity
- World Report, April 2015
- Diversity Is Good
- We Come Together and Unite as One
- Unto All the World: Travels of the Apostles—The Stone Cut Out of the Mountain
- Unto All the World: Travels of the Apostles—How Beautiful upon the Mountains
- Unto All the World: Travels of the Apostles—The Gospel in the South Pacific
- Unto All the World: Travels of the Apostles—The Gospel in the Asia North Area
- Unto All the World: Travels of the Apostles—The Gospel in Central America
- Unto All the World: Travels of the Apostles—The Gospel in Asia
- Unto All the World: Travels of the Apostles—Eastern Europe Area Documentary