“Church Grows Rapidly,” Ensign, Oct. 2006, 74–76
Worldwide Church membership continues to grow, reaching 12,560,869 in 2005. According to the 2005 Church statistical report, the Church has 2,701 stakes, and 52,060 missionaries. There are now 123 temples in operation. In 2005 more than 240,000 converts joined the Church. Currently 341 missions are established throughout the world.
Although 5.5 million members reside within the United States—where the Church is ranked as the second-fastest-growing religion, according to the 2006 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches—more than half the Church’s members (6.6 million) live outside the United States in more than 160 countries worldwide. During the last five years, Church membership has grown 17.2 percent outside the U.S. and Canada, at almost double the growth rate within the U.S. and Canada (9.2 percent).
But it’s not percentages that are important. “The numbers don’t tell the real story,” stated Bruce Olsen, managing director of the Church Public Affairs Department, in an April 2005 news release. “The real measure of Latter-day Saints is the depth of their faith and how it changes people’s lives.” And lives are changing for the better all over the world.