How to Find Mormons Anywhere in the World!

LDS Members Are Assigned to Attend Meetinghouses Based on Geography

Farmington, Utah, USA chapel meetinghouse
The Church's first solar-paneled meetinghouse, located in Farmington, Utah. Photo courtesy of © 2013 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Mormons range across the entire world. You can find them in the most unlikely places. Some of these spots are Mormon strongholds which have a long history of LDS activity, like Las Vegas and Hawaii.

Generally speaking, if there is a LDS temple in the area, you will find LDS members close by. Las Vegas got a temple in 1989. The Laie, Hawaii temple was dedicated in 1919 and the Kona, Hawaii temple in 2000.

Why Would I Want to Find Mormons?

So who cares about finding Mormons/LDS? If you are not a Mormon yourself, you may want to find them for the following reasons.

  • You want to see what they look like
  • You want to see where they worship
  • You want to visit some of their meetings
  • You are just curious

If you are already an LDS member, there are some good reasons to go looking for them as well:

  • You are moving and you need to find the meetinghouse in your new area.
  • You are moving and you want to know what congregation and meetinghouse you are assigned to attend.
  • You need to know what time church starts and where.
  • You need to know where the stake center is and how to get there.

LDS Membership is in a Worldwide Church

Finding Mormons is not hard; especially if you understand some basic things about them, which include the following:

  • Membership records are managed by Church headquarters
  • All congregations are units of the whole
  • Chapels are generally in residential areas, not business areas.
  • Temples, thou discreetly placed, can often be seen from freeways, major highways and Interstates.

The LDS faith has no denominations or affiliated congregations. Only a handful of splinter groups exist. LDS members are all part of a worldwide and cohesive faith with a set hierarchy.

Church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, direct all members everywhere.

Membership records and local leadership are managed from Salt Lake City, as are the boundaries for local congregations.

Meetinghouses are also owned by the worldwide church. Unlike many other faiths, chapels tend to be in residential areas. They are rarely in business districts. This makes it unlikely for people to spot them unless they are specifically looking for them.

Temples are usually accessed from major roads, but they tend to be tucked away a bit. This is intended to make the building and grounds feel peaceful and sacred.

Mormons Are Assigned a Congregation and Meetinghouse Based on Geography.

Mormons do not choose what congregation they want to attend. They attend where they are assigned.

What is more, there are no mega churches and mega congregations in Mormondom. Congregation size and meetinghouses are standard sized. There are about 400 members to a congregations. About 10-12 congregations make up a stake.

A meetinghouse that is also a stake center is a little larger than other meetinghouses. If the congregation is especially small, it may be called a branch. The meetinghouse will often be correspondingly small.

Any meetinghouse around the world is owned by the worldwide church. They all share some basic features and fundamentally look the same.

The Church sets the boundaries for all congregations and meetinghouses. When a congregation gets too big, around 600 people, it is split and generally made into two wards. Small congregations may be discontinued and merged.

Membership records are circulated internally by church leaders. You cannot take your own membership to another location.

Use the Meetinghouse Locator on the Church's Website

Since these meetinghouses are owned and managed by the worldwide church, there is a site on the Church's official website where you can locate them all.

The meetinghouse locator tool can find meetinghouses, local leaders, times for meetings, directions and more.

If you put in a particular address, it will tell you what congregation you are assigned to attend and where it is.

If you just want to see how many meetinghouses there are in Moscow, Russia, for example, you can do that too. Just click on the map and zoom in or out

Other Implications of This Peculiar LDS Practice

This unique way of assigning members where to worship has other implications.The biggest one is political.

Mormons can galvanize and organize themselves for any cause, without any leadership or church involvement whatsoever.

This is probably most evident from Proposition 8 in California in 2008 or emergency preparedness and disaster mitigation efforts.

For example, individual Mormons simply canvassed their ward boundaries for Proposition 8. In doing so, they were able to influence the entire state in no time. In 2008, there were over 700,000 Mormons in the state.

It is not possible to buy this sort of grassroots organization from professional political consultants or anything else. Even if you can divide up a state into geographic units, you will need motivated volunteers in each unit and the costs are prohibitive.

LDS enemies may not like the political implications; but they are always grateful when a squad of Mormons show up to fill sandbags or clean up after a natural disaster.

Note: LDS members and the Church have created resources that anyone can use. Two premier efforts include JustServe.org and Crisis Cleanup.