Lambda Delta Sigma had its beginnings in a meeting of 15 young men at the University of Utah's Institute of Religion in 1936.
Lowell L. Bennion, who was to become a champion of service to the less-fortunate, helped organize the group, which "pledged to promote intellectuality, culture, fellowship and leadership." "This meeting was an inspiration and is the beginning of a plan to place the institute students on a high dignified social level during their college days," he later recorded in his diary.On Jan. 22, 1937, several young women organized a chapter which paralleled the boys' fraternity. The name Lambda Delta Sigma - Greek letters for LDS - was introduced by Ardyth Moore, a member of the first girls' chapter.
For nearly 30 years, the organization grew and spread to 15 other college campuses.
When the Latter-day Saint Student Association (LDSSA) was formed in 1966 to correlate the activities of LDS students on college and university campuses, Lambda Delta Sigma, as it had been known, was dissolved.
A committee composed of Frank Bradshaw, Alfred C. Nielsen, Elaine A. Cannon and Winnifred Jardine was called by General Authorities to prepare materials and recommendations for a new sorority and fraternity. The name Lambda Delta Sigma was retained for the women's organization, while the men's group was named Sigma Gamma Chi, signifying Service to God and Country.
In 1967, the organization was officially recognized once again as an LDS sorority. Orlene J. Poulsen became the first national president. Her successors include Diane Dunford, Nedra M. Warner, Barbara W. Winder, Arlyne C. Briggs and Patricia P. Romney.
In 1993, the First Presidency announced an enhanced Institute of Religion program. All single young adults were invited to enroll in institute classes and participate in social and service activities. LDSSA, Lambda Delta Sigma and Sigma Gamma Chi were placed under the direction of the Church Educational System.
Led by the current president, Maurine J. Turley, Lambda Delta Sigma's program and principles were correlated and refined to better fit within the context of the entire Church Educational System.
Stanley Peterson, administrator of religious education for the Church Educational System, said the LDS Institutes, LDSSA, Sigma Gamma Chi, Lambda Delta Sigma, along with priesthood and Relief Society, are "all part of the whole program of the Church to meet the needs of young people."