In October 1840, missionaries Henry Royle and Frederick Cook first preached in Wales. They found people receptive to their message. Over the next decade, the preaching of Latter-day Saint missionaries—from the pulpit and in the press—brought thousands of Welsh into the Church. Many converts heeded the call to gather to Zion in the Rocky Mountains (see D&C 101:63–64).
Early missionaries published several tracts, periodicals, and volumes of scripture in Welsh. Welsh translations of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price were published serially. The compiled and bound volume was the first non-English-language edition of the triple combination of latter-day scripture.
For nearly a century, many Welsh converts braved the journey to the western United States, and Welsh settlement profoundly impacted the Church in the Intermountain West. The Church in Wales, however, suffered after converts left. In 1904, with fewer than 200 members in all of Wales, the British Mission closed the Welsh Conference.
In the early 20th century, stalwart Latter-day Saints sustained the few small branches that remained concentrated around Merthyr Tydfil. Their diligence allowed the Church to remain in Wales. After 1958, when a temple was dedicated near London, the Church once again established itself in Wales. The Merthyr Tydfil Wales Stake became the first stake in Wales when it was organized in 1975.
Official Name: Wales (part of the United Kingdom)/Cymru
Largest City: Cardiff
Official Languages: Welsh and English
Land Area: 20,761 km2 (8,016 mi2)
Church Area: Europe
Missions: 2 (portions of the England Manchester and England Birmingham Missions)