2010
Highlights of Church and World Events
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“Highlights of Church and World Events,” Ensign, Mar. 2010, 59–65

Highlights of Church and World Events

The following time line provides a reassuring perspective. Even when the world has been in great turmoil and even when the Saints have suffered intense persecution, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has held to its steady course. Membership grows, stakes and temples spread across the earth, and the Lord continues to guide us through His chosen servants.

In any of the difficulties that lie ahead of us, as individuals and as a people, the Lord’s voice should echo in our hearts: “Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me” (D&C 50:41).

1830–39

Church Events

Book of Mormon (left) published.

Church organized.

Kirtland Temple (below) dedicated.

First mission, the British Mission, organized.

First revelations published in A Book of Commandments (below left), later in Doctrine and Covenants.

Church Membership

Number of Stakes (end of decade)

16,460

3

1830–39

World Events

Revolution in France.

First Opium War between Britain and China begins.

1840–49

1850–59

1860–69

Church Events

Articles of faith first published.

Relief Society organized (left).

Joseph Smith martyred.

Saints move west.

Brigham Young sustained as President of the Church.

First Sunday School organized.

Ground broken for Salt Lake Temple.

U.S. Army marches toward Utah to put down supposed rebellion.

First non-English Book of Mormon published, in Denmark (below).

First conference held in newly completed Salt Lake Tabernacle (below).

Transcontinental railroad completed in Utah.

The first Church organization for young women begins.

Church Membership

Number of Stakes (end of decade)

48,160

1

57,038

4

88,432

9

1840–49

1850–59

1860–69

World Events

U.S. declares war on Mexico.

Revolutions in Vienna, Venice, Berlin, Milan, Rome, Warsaw.

Communist Manifesto published.

Irish potato famine.

Crimean War.

First transatlantic telegraph cable laid.

U.S. Civil War.

Revolution in Spain.

Serfs emancipated in Russia.

Austria defeated in Seven Weeks’ War.

1870–79

1880–89

1890–99

Church Events

Young Men MIA and Primary organizations begin.

St. George Temple (below)—the first in Utah—dedicated.

Mormon colonies established in Arizona and Colorado.

President Young dies.

John Taylor becomes President of Church.

Intense persecution of Church members for plural marriage.

President Taylor dies; Wilford Woodruff becomes President of Church.

President Woodruff issues manifesto ending plural marriage (see Official Declaration 1).

Salt Lake Temple (below and below left) dedicated.

President Woodruff dies; Lorenzo Snow becomes President of Church.

Renewed emphasis on tithing.

Church Membership

Number of Stakes (end of decade)

128,386

22

183,144

32

271,681

40

1870–79

1880–89

1890–99

World Events

Franco-Prussian War.

Revolt in Paris.

Terrorism in Ireland.

Sino-Japanese War.

Spanish-

American War.

Boer War in South Africa.

1900–09

1910–19

1920–29

Church Events

President Snow dies; Joseph F. Smith becomes President of Church.

Reed Smoot (left) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles becomes a member of U.S. Senate after long debate.

First Presidency asks members in Europe to remain there to build up the Church.

Missionaries removed from France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium prior to outbreak of World War I.

Jesus the Christ (below) published.

President Smith receives vision of the redemption of the dead (see D&C 138).

President Smith dies; he is succeeded by Heber J. Grant.

Elder Melvin J. Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicates South America for preaching of gospel.

First LDS institute of religion established.

Tabernacle Choir (below) begins series of weekly radio broadcasts, which continue to this day.

Church Membership

Number of Stakes (end of decade)

377,279

60

507,961

79

663,652

104

1900–09

1910–19

1920–29

World Events

Russo-Japanese War.

Russian Revolution of 1905.

Earthquake kills 150,000 in southern Italy and Sicily.

Turkish-Italian War.

Revolution in China.

Balkan Wars.

World War I.

Russian Revolution of 1917.

Worldwide influenza epidemic kills millions.

Stalin takes over Soviet Union.

Hitler and Mussolini begin rise to power in Germany and Italy.

U.S. stock market collapses, beginning worldwide economic crisis.

1930–39

1940–49

1950–59

Church Events

The Church introduces a formal welfare program to assist needy and unemployed members (below).

In 1939 all missionaries in Germany are directed to move to neutral countries; then all missionaries are withdrawn from Europe.

Members encouraged to plant gardens, bottle produce, and store coal.

President Grant dies; George Albert Smith succeeds him.

After WWII, the Church sends relief supplies to Europe (below).

Welfare becomes a permanent program of the Church.

President Smith dies; David O. McKay becomes President of Church.

Ezra Taft Benson (below) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles chosen by U.S. president as Secretary of Agriculture.

President McKay declares, “Every member a missionary.”

Church Membership

Number of Stakes (end of decade)

803,528

129

1,078,671

175

1,616,088

290

1930–39

1940–49

1950–59

World Events

Spanish monarchy overthrown.

Mussolini invades Ethiopia.

Hitler invades Austria and Poland.

Japan invades China.

Russo-Finnish War.

World War II.

Millions killed in the Holocaust.

First use of atomic weapons.

Cold War begins.

Korean War.

Hydrogen bomb developed.

Cold War deepens.

Vietnam War escalates.

Fidel Castro takes power in Cuba.

1960–69

1970–79

1980–89

Church Events

Formal language training for missionaries begins at Brigham Young University.

The home teaching program replaces the ward teaching program.

Family home evening program emphasized.

President McKay dies; he is succeeded by Joseph Fielding Smith.

President Smith dies two years later; he is succeeded by Harold B. Lee, who dies after 18 months in office. Spencer W. Kimball becomes President of the Church.

First Quorum of the Seventy is organized.

Priesthood is extended to all worthy male members.

Subtitle “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” added to Book of Mormon.

Second Quorum of the Seventy established.

President Kimball dies; Ezra Taft Benson sustained as President of the Church.

Church Membership

Number of Stakes (end of decade)

2,807,456

496

4,404,121

1,092

7,308,444

1,739

1960–69

1970–79

1980–89

World Events

Berlin Wall erected.

Cuban missile crisis.

Arab-Israeli Six-Day War.

Arab-Israeli Yom Kippur War.

Terrorists strike Munich Olympics.

Genocide in Cambodia.

Falklands War.

Israel invades Lebanon.

Marcos regime toppled in Philippines.

Airliner blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland.

Berlin Wall opened.

U.S. invades Panama.

1990–99

2000–2009

Church Events

500,000th missionary of this dispensation called.

President Benson dies and is succeeded by Howard W. Hunter, who serves just under nine months before his death.

Gordon B. Hinckley is set apart as Church President.

Intense temple-building program begins.

Church has more non-English-speaking members than English-speaking.

President Hinckley dies; Thomas S. Monson becomes 16th President of the Church.

1,000,000th missionary called.

The Conference Center (below) dedicated.

130 temples in operation.

Church Membership

Number of Stakes (end of decade)

10,752,984

2,542

13,750,651

2,858

1990–99

2000–2009

World Events

Persian Gulf War.

Soviet Union breaks up.

Yugoslav federation dissolved, resulting in years of warfare.

Earthquake in Japan kills thousands.

Massacres in Rwanda.

Terrorist attacks.

U.S. and allies invade Iraq.

Indian Ocean tsunami kills more than 225,000.

Global financial crisis.