100 Years Ago: General Conference Statistical Report

An excerpt from President Joseph F. Smith’s April 1911 General Conference opening address:

I have had prepared just a few little statements which will indicate to you, I think, better perhaps than I could tell you from memory, although they are familiar to me, the condition of the Church and of the labors and accomplishments thereof during the year that has only recently closed. I have an item here that there have been two new stakes organized in 1910, namely the Duchesne and the Carbon stakes of Zion. There have been organized fifteen new wards during the same period. There are now 62 organized stakes of Zion, and 696 wards, and 21 missions.

Joseph F. Smith

President Joseph F. Smith

All of these require the constant supervision and attention not only of the bishops and the presidents of stakes, and the high councils of these various organizations, but of the presidency of the Church, by whom communications are constantly received from all these presidents, or the most of them, and frequently many of them, and frequently from almost all these wards.

Baptisms

The number of persons that have been baptized in the stakes of Zion and in the missions, during the year 1910, was 15,902.

Birth and Death Rates

The birth-rate of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the year 1910, was 38 per thousand, the highest birthrate in the world, as far as available statistics show.

The death-rate of the Church, for the year 1910, was 9 per thousand, the lowest death-rate in the world, as far as we have been able to ascertain from published statistics.

Marriage and Divorce

There were 1,360 couples married in the temples in 1910, and there were 1,100 couples married, of Church members, by civil ceremony during the same year.

There was one divorce to each 5,000 Church members. The average divorce rate in the United States is one to each 1,100 souls. This shows that our divorce rate is only about one-fifth of the average rate in our nation.

Missionaries

There were 2,028 missionaries laboring in the various missions on December 31st, 1910.

There was expended by the Church, in maintaining missions and for fares of returning missionaries, during the year 1910, the sum of $215,000. This amount does not include the very large sum, in the aggregate, furnished by the people to assist their sons and daughters, or husbands and fathers, while in the mission field.

Upwards of $300,000 was paid by the Church during 1910 for maintaining our Church schools; and over $200,000 was paid out in the Church to assist the poor, during the year 1910.

All expenses incurred on account of the general authorities of the Church, of operating expenses of the president’s office, the historian’s office, and the presiding bishop’s office, were paid out of revenues derived from investments made by the trustee-in-trust, within past few years. This leaves the tithes of the Church to be used for the building of ward meeting houses and stake tabernacles, for maintenance of Church schools and temples, for missions abroad, and for the support of the poor.

Comparisons With 2011

As reported by President Smith, two stakes and 15 wards were organized in 1910 for a total of 62 stakes and 696 wards. Reported in Conference today, in 2010 there were 31 stakes and 236 wards formed, for a total of 2,896 stakes and 28,660 wards.

At the end of 1910, there were 2,028 missionaries in 21 missions. At the end of 2010, there were 52,225 missionaries in 340 missions. In addition there were 20,813 Church Service Missionaries.

In 1910 there were 15,902 baptisms and in 2010 there were 272,814 convert baptisms and 120,528 new children of record.

In 1910 there were 398,478 members and in 2010 there were 14,131,467 members.

In April 1911 there were 4 temples in operation. In April 2011 there were 134 temples in operation, 4 temples announced at Conference and a further 22 temples previously announced or under construction.

The $715,000 for maintaining Church schools and missions, and support of the poor, in constant 1913 dollars, would amount to $15,983,428 in 2011.

Sources

  • The Eighty-First Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints convened in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 6, 1911, President Joseph F. Smith presiding.
  • Live KSL TV LDS General Conference broadcast, April 2, 2011.
  • 2011 Deseret News Church Almanac.

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Easter in Kaysville

Easter Dress
Easter in Kaysville this year meant catching a few sessions of General Conference, having visits from family, and a picnic. On Sunday Aurora came by to show us her new Easter dress which she seemed very pleased with. Yesterday she stopped by to bring her Dad so that he could watch the priesthood session of conference with his dad and brothers.

The interesting thing about the priesthood session is that while the men are listening to a message about thrift and frugality, such as, “Eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without,” the women are dining out at some fancy restaurant. Then right after the priesthood session disperses, the men head to the nearest All You Can Eat establishment.

At Grandma’s house there are many toys and Aurora heads to her favorite.

Easter Toy

Between conference sessions on Sunday we went to the park for a picnic. According to my cell phone the temperature was 40 degrees and felt like 36 degrees. That really felt accurate. However the food was great, with turkey, deviled eggs, fruit, and green (this is Utah) Jell-o eggs.

Easter Food

Aurora’s favorites were the strawberries and the deviled eggs. She also like to point. Not at anything in particular it seems, and though there is some logic to the pointing, it is just that we adults do not understand it yet. What’s the point anyway?

Easter Strawberries

Easter Point

There is a playground for the children in the park. Where there used to be a slide, there are now two rocks. When Steven was standing on one of the rocks I asked him why they took out the slide. He said that the slide was dangerous and had to be replaced with nice safe really hard rocks.

Easter Rocks

There were children in the park. They said that their names were Rachel and Jake. I asked them if they came here often and they said, “Sorry, we don’t speak to strangers.”

Easter Playground
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General Conference Quiz

Temple Square in Salt Lake City
For those who watched General Conference last week it is time to see how well you were really listening. Allowance can be made for a rickety memory but you might be surprised how much you can recall. There are quotes from conference talks below, sometimes just a few words, for you to see if you can identify the speaker. Give it your best guess and then point your mouse over the word Speaker and see if you got the correct answer. Twenty questions, all from Saturday sessions of conference.

  1. Arms of safety. Speaker Talk
  2. Brethren, may we cease to aspire and cease to retire! Speaker Talk
  3. The ordinance of the sacrament makes the sacrament meeting the most sacred and important meeting in the Church. Speaker Talk
  4. As I prayed, the feeling came: “You don’t know everything, but you know enough!” Speaker Talk
  5. There is only one way to happiness and fulfillment. Jesus Christ is the Way. Every other way, any other way, whatever other way is madness. Speaker Talk
  6. They covet a crown or a cave. Speaker Talk
  7. First, learn what we should learn. Second, do what we should do. And third, be what we should be. Speaker Talk
  8. One evening, when my wife and I were away, our children’s babysitter, intrigued by the prayer she heard them saying, asked them this question: “But what is the difference between your religion and mine?” The reply from our eight-year-old daughter was immediate: “It’s almost the same, except that we study a lot more than you do!” Speaker Talk
  9. Missionary work is the lifeblood of the Church. There is no greater work, no more important work. It blesses the lives of all those who participate in it. It will continue blessing future generations. Speaker Talk
  10. Lift Where You Stand. Speaker Talk
  11. Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result. Speaker Talk
  12. The answer is simple: it was because my father read the Book of Mormon. Speaker Talk
  13. Our present day is filled with global distress over financial crises, energy problems, terrorist attacks, and natural calamities. These translate into individual and family concerns not only about homes in which to live and food available to eat but also about the ultimate safety and well-being of our children and the latter-day prophecies about our planet. Speaker Talk
  14. In our families and in our stakes and districts, let us seek to build up Zion through unity, godliness, and charity, preparing for that great day when Zion, the New Jerusalem, will arise. Speaker Talk
  15. In our search to obtain relief from the stresses of life, may we earnestly seek ways to simplify our lives. Speaker Talk
  16. The Savior is the perfect example of praying for others with real intent. In His great Intercessory Prayer uttered on the night before His Crucifixion, Jesus prayed for His Apostles and all of the Saints. Speaker Talk
  17. He is pleased with the noble servant, not with the self-serving noble. Speaker Talk
  18. You may have thought then, “Once I finish my mission, being a faithful priesthood holder will get easier.” But in a few years you found yourself getting even less sleep at night, while trying to support a wife and a new baby, being kind and loving, scrambling to get some education, reaching out to the members of your elders quorum, perhaps even helping them to move their furniture, and trying to find time to serve your ancestors in the temple. You may have kept a smile on your face with the thought: “When I get a little older, being a faithful priesthood holder will not require so much. It will get easier.” Speaker Talk
  19. Along the way the train stopped occasionally to get supplies. One night during one of these stops, my mother hurried out of the train to search for some food for her four children. When she returned, to her great horror, the train and her children were gone! Speaker Talk
  20. Therefore, as a husband or son, express gratitude for what your wife and mother do for you. Express your love and gratitude often. That will make life far richer, more pleasant and purposeful for many of the daughters of Father in Heaven who seldom hear a complimentary comment and are not thanked for the multitude of things they do. Speaker Talk

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Using the Scriptural Index to the Latter-day Prophets

BYU's Scriptural Index.
Today is General Conference and I am typing this on my rickety laptop while I watch the talks on television. Thinking of General Conference, a useful tool I have been using is the Scriptural Index to the Latter-day Prophets. From the website we learn what it is about:

This index links from scriptures to the general conference talks and Journal of Discourses speeches that cite those scriptures. So, for example, suppose you want to know who has cited 1 Ne. 3:7 in general conference; click on the Book of Mormon link at the left and scroll down to 1 Ne. 3; there you’ll find the answer. Who has quoted Matt. 5:48? Use the New Testament index to find out.

We have indexed the scriptures cited by speakers in LDS General Conference between 1942 and the present, and those cited by speakers recorded in the Journal of Discourses between 1839 and 1886. You can sort the citation index by scripture (the default), by speaker, or by date of citation.

This resource is useful when you have a talk to give and have been assigned a topic that revolves around a scripture. You can now very quickly find talks from General Conference that reference your scripture and gain additional quotes to give variety to your talk. It works well for Family Home Evening lessons also. I looked up 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 (see image above) and found ten references. There were also additional links for verses 19 and 20 listed separately. I clicked on the second link, “00−O,73,BKP” that gave me the text of the October (O) conference address in the year 2000 (00) by Elder Boyd K. Packer (BKP) found on page 73 (73) of the Ensign.

In the left panel are a number of useful options. There are lists of topics and speakers. You can filter your searches and a nice touch is the ability to give feedback. You don’t need an instruction manual, just play with it and enjoy the words of the prophets.

Update

There are now iPhone and Android Apps, see here for details.
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