What if The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were a congregation of just 100 people? This is what Blaine Maxfield, chief information officer of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and managing director of the church’s IT department, invited attendees of the LDSTech Conference to imagine Thursday morning at the University of Utah.
His purpose was to help them understand the demographics of the church's 15 million members on a smaller scale.
“It is a worldwide church, but we will all now for the purposes of this discussion be in the same ward,” Maxfield said. “Our ward is made up of 100 people all around the world . This is not, brothers and sisters, only a Wasatch Front church.”
He shared slides to show that if the world were a ward of 100 people:
- 48 of those people would live in the United States or Canada
- 36 of those people would live in Latin America
- three would live in Europe
- three would live in Africa
- three would live in Oceania
- seven would live in Asia
Maxfield then shared a few other statistics that illustrate important information about the church’s membership:
- 48 members of the ward joined after "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" was written (the proclamation was first read by President Gordon B. Hinckley on Sept. 23, 1995).
- 79 out of 100 in the ward joined after the revelation on the priesthood in 1978.
“What does that tell you about the age of our ward?” Maxfield asked. “And how much experience is in our ward and the growth of it? We have a lot of new members.”
Maxfield cited the scripture, “For unto whomsoever much is given, much is required” (Luke 12:48) to emphasize that members of the church who have access to resources must find ways to contribute to the hastening of the work of salvation.
He then showed a video illustrating the growth of technology.
“The Lord is hastening his work,” Elder David A. Bednar said in the video. “And it is no coincidence that these powerful communication innovations and inventions are occurring in the dispensation of the fullness of times.”
Maxfield emphasized the importance of members doing their part to support the leaders of the church in taking the gospel to the world through technology.
“This is just the beginning,” Maxfield said. “The challenge is yours. You see what our ward is like now. My invitation to you is to think about your ward members in a different way and think about the ways we can help the world to know about the divinity of the Savior Jesus Christ and for us to protect this doctrine.”
Editor’s Note: Some of the statistics originally reported in this article have been removed because they have not been verified by the LDS Church. The information was removed at the request of the speaker.