Sunday, October 9, 2011

How worldwide is General Conference?

I'm not sure why this didn't post when I wrote it a month ago. I'm even more confused why it didn't post last week when I reposted it. Let's try it one more time, shall we?

More than half of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) live outside the US. More than 1 in 4 members speaks Spanish as their primary language and more than 1 in 10 speak either Portuguese or a Philippine dialect. In the last thirty years, Africa's share of LDS membership has grown from close to 0 to 3%. Every year, the membership looks less and less like the stereotype most people have of the Church. That's one of the reasons I keep up the "LDS in ..." series, to showcase the lives of actual members in this diverse world.

The newest LDS temple is in San Salvador, El Salvador. This is the 4th Central American temple (Mexico has it looks like 12). There is another new stake [a large grouping of congregations] in Peru, the 96th, bringing the country closer to becoming the 5th in the world with over 100 stakes.

I was interested to learn this morning that - just as Christ, Messiah, and Annointed One express the same concept translated in different languages (Greek, Hebrew, and English) - Allah is likewise the Arabic word for God:

In these instances the Greek word θεὸς is translated into the English “God”, the German “Gott”, and the French “Dieu”. These are not differing unique English, German, and French deities but rather just the generic word in the respective language to express the Greek word. So it is with the Arabic word الله‎ (Allāh).  ...
Who would have ever guessed that Arabic speaking Muslims, Jews and Christians use the same Arabic word (Allah) to name the God they are worshiping? To illustrate by way of personal experience, when my family and I traveled to Israel in 2006 we sat in on a Roman Catholic mass attended by Palestinian Christians. Does anyone want to guess what word in Arabic we repeatedly and distinctly heard throughout this beautiful Christian liturgy?

-- Derrill