President Nelson announced in the 188th Annual Session of General Conference that a temple will be built in Bengaluru, India. While most members were certainly excited at the announcement, most don’t understand how incredible this actually is.
The current world population is estimated to be 7.6 billion people, with 1.3 billion living in India. That’s right, 1,300,000,000 people live in India alone. That’s a lot of zeroes – and it’s also 17% of the world’s population.
“Unofficially, church work began in 1850 by British sailors who visited Calcutta, India. They were followed in 1851 by Elder Joseph Richards, who had baptized several people in Calcutta and then set them apart as missionaries. A small branch (a small congregation) was established, but was depleted by emigration. However, additional missionaries arrived and baptized a few more people, and a small meetinghouse was built.
In 1853, additional missionaries took the gospel message to Madras, Bombay, Rangoon, Karachi, Poona, and other areas, and several small branches were established. However, when these missionaries returned to Utah in 1858, some of the new members also emigrated. Although other missionaries and baptisms followed, the missionaries were not successful in learning the native languages and the India Mission was not considered a successful one. At least one branch existed through 1903.
Other missionary efforts were initiated in subsequent years with some success. In 1981, government regulations allowed a missionary couple to establish a branch. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ was translated into Telugu in 1981.
In 1993, a mission was created in Bangalore with Gucharan Singh Gill, a native of India, presiding over it. At that time there were 1,150 members in 13 branches, which increased to 2,000 members in 18 branches five years later.” ¹
The amazing part of the announcement of a new temple is the number of members of The Church of Jesus Christ there currently are in India.
Get this – there are 13,500 members on record living in India. That is .001% of the population. This chart below shows the population and LDS Membership for the 5 temples announced internationally.
Consider the magnitude of what just happened during General Conference – a temple was announced in a country that has 1.3 billion people, and 99.999% have never heard of the church! I think there would have been quite a few more gasps from the congregation if they had known that. Russia is also a pretty remarkable announcement as 99.984% of their population is not LDS and there are 144 million people living in that country.
And now, after the announcement from President Nelson, the wonderful people of India will receive a temple of the Lord in their midst. As the Lord hastens His work, it is incredible to think the role this temple will play in the acceleration of missionary work across India. Russia will also be equally blessed, as well as each location where temples of the Lord are being built.
As George Q. Cannon stated, “Every foundation stone that is laid for a temple, and every temple completed …lessens the power of Satan on the earth, and increases the power of God and Godliness.”
We are elated for the members of the church in India and look forward to exponential growth as the blessings of the temple will be poured out upon that land and people.
**Just prior to the announcing of the 7 new temples, President Nelson said something incredible that some missed. Make sure you check that out here > Did You Miss The Most Incredible Thing President Nelson Said During General Conference?
1 – Mormon Newsroom