Area (LDS Church)
An area is an administrative unit of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), which typically is composed of multiple stakes and missions. These areas are the primary church administrative unit between individual stakes and the church as a whole.
The areas as they now exist were formed in January 1984. Prior to that time, general authorities served as "area supervisors" and at times resided outside of Salt Lake City. In 1984, 13 initial areas were created; by 1992 there were 22, and by early 2007 there were 31. As of August 2012 there are 25 areas.
Until 2003, each area had a president and two counselors, all of whom were typically general authorities (area seventies were sometimes asked to be counselors). This three-man body was known as the area presidency. In that year, the church eliminated area presidencies for all areas located in the United States and Canada, which were all then placed under the direct supervision of one of the seven members of the Presidency of the Seventy, thus freeing more general authorities from specific area assignments. Since these areas were previously administered by area presidencies located at church headquarters in Salt Lake City, the administrative change was not as drastic as it might seem.
In April 2018, the church announced that, effective August 1, areas in the United States and Canada would once again be supervised by a three-man presidency. This will enable members of the Presidency of the Seventy to more fully assist the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in their duties, and to fill other assignments as needed. Two of those ten area presidencies now supervise two areas each, while the 3 previously-separate Utah Areas (Utah North, Utah Salt Lake City, and Utah South) have been merged into a single Utah Area. Each of these six area presidencies will administer their areas from church headquarters in Salt Lake City.
The areas outside the United States and Canada continue to be governed by area presidencies that are typically composed of general authorities and area seventies. Rather than living in Salt Lake City, the area presidency members in these areas usually reside in a headquarters city that is located within the geographic boundaries of the area. Area seventies who serve in the area presidencies reside in their own homes, which may or may not be in the area headquarters city. One exception to the area presidency living in the geographic boundaries is the Middle East/Africa North Area which is administered from Salt Lake City. Each area presidency typically uses an executive secretary to assist in the administration of the area.
The church now has 15 areas outside North America and 8 areas inside North America for a total of 23.
Area assignments are typically announced in the spring each year, with changes effective that year on August 1.
The following is an alphabetical list of the areas of the church and related leadership assignments as of 1 August 2018.
The following statistics are current as of January 1, 2015 (unless otherwise specified), and are taken from the country and area websites on LDS.org and statistical profiles on cumorah.com.
- Allen, James B. and Glen M. Leonard. The Story of the Latter-day Saints 2nd Edition, p. 654.
- Mehr, Kahlile (Spring 2001). "Area Supervision: Administration of the Worldwide Church, 1960-2002". Journal of Mormon History. 27 (1): 192–214.
- First Presidency Announces 2018 Area Leadership Assignments, Mormon Newsroom, 5 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- The merge is verified by the information found at this link.
- See also this article for further evidence of this change, where those serving in Utah are all listed under one heading, while those serving in the other four areas (Idaho, North America Central, North America Northwest, and North America West) are listed separately under those same four areas.
- In late 2015, the church began referring to these leaders as General Authority Seventies, rather than distinguishing between the First or Second Quorum of the Seventy.
- Although area seventies may serve in an area presidency, including filling the whole presidency in some cases in the past, in recent years, only a few area seventies have served in an area presidency. The church currently has one area seventy serving in the presidency of the Asia Area. Use of an area seventy in the area presidency has primarily included filling a vacancy due to such things as illness or other "mid-year" assignment changes.
- For several years, the assignments were effective on August 15, but August 1 has been the effective date since 2007.
- Church Adds Area Presidencies for U. S. and Canada, Announces Other Assignments, LDS.org, 5 April 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
- Although the source cited above (from the Church website) refers to Perkins as the Area President and Andersen as the First Counselor, that terminology was not subsequently confirmed in the August 2018 Ensign. Also, although Andersen has been the senior general authority assigned to this area for the last year, his additional assignment with the Idaho & North America Central areas necessitated a reduced role in this area.
- Current as of mid or late 2013. Information taken from lds.org and cumorah.com.