During the 1850s and ’60s, a small number of Finns living abroad joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But it was not until 1875 that Church leaders granted a request from Finnish members to have missionaries sent to their relatives back home. The first of these missionaries were Swedish brothers Carl and Johan Sundström, who were sent from Sweden to preach in Vaasa, Finland, where the country’s first branch was soon established. Because Finland was part of the Russian Empire until 1917, legal and social conditions made preaching difficult, and only a few branches were organized before the end of World War II.
After the war, missionaries were trained in Finnish and assigned to cities around the country. Strong congregations with active youth programs quickly developed. In the 1950s, the Book of Mormon was published in Finnish, and Finnish Saints organized their first temple trip for the dedication of the Bern Switzerland Temple. About 20 years later, in 1977, the first stake in Finland was organized in Helsinki.
Finnish Saints had a unique opportunity to act as a light to the world (see Matthew 5:14) when the Soviet Union eased travel restrictions in the late 1980s, bringing Finnish members into contact with Estonians and Russians who found hope in their example of faith. Some were later called to support emerging congregations in the former Soviet Union. In 2006 Finnish Saints joined with fellow Saints from Estonia and Russia to celebrate the dedication of a temple in Helsinki.
Official Name: Republic of Finland/Suomen tasavalta/Republiken Finland
Largest City: Helsinki
Official Languages: Finnish and Swedish
Land Area: 338,424 km2 (130,666 mi2)
Church Area: Europe
Missions: 1 (Helsinki)
Temples: 1 (Helsinki)