Mormonism’s globalization was summarized in many presentations at BYU’s Church History Symposium on BYU campus March 6.
Mark Grover, expert on Mormonism in Brazil and an author on religion in Latin America, focused on Latin American growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“The globalization of the Church in many ways is changing the Church from an American’s church to an Americas church in which the growth as mostly coming from Latin America,” Grover said.
Grover said after people began reading the Book of Mormon, many concluded that the Lamanites were probably from Latin America.
David O. McKay, former president of the Church, did many things to help the Church in Latin America prosper. He helped expand and organize stakes and missions. The translating of Church material helped with the expansion of the gospel.
In 1978, Latin America held 12 percent of Church’s members. In 2014, Latin America has 40 percent of the Church’s members. Grover showed, through many statistics, the increase of members in the Church in Latin America. The annual growth rate continues to increase.
Grover said problems plaguing the Church in Latin America include retention of keeping all converted members active in the Church lack of availability of education.
When referring to members who have fallen away, Grover said this loss must stop, but he was generally optimistic.
“I found solace in what is happening in Latin America in general,” Grover said. “I look forward to what the future will bring Latin America.”