PROVO, Utah – Worldwide membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has reached 13 million, the church announced today.
The LDS church, based in Salt Lake City, continues to have more members outside of the United States than within it, the church said.
The LDS church also announced it has had more than one million members serve as missionaries.
M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was one of numerous church officials who attended the news conference at the Missionary Training Center held adjacent to a statue of the church’s first missionary, Samuel Smith, one of 16 missionaries appointed in 1830.
“They face rejection and sometimes verbal abuse. But they soldier on,” Ballard said. “They serve, they help others and they go the extra mile to lift and bless people in all walks of life and in all human conditions.”
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There are about 53,000 LDS missionaries presently serving, the church said.