Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 7,793,000; Members, 131,098; Stakes, 20; Wards, 134; Branches, 92; Missions, 3; Districts, 11; Percent LDS, 1.7 or one in 59; Central America Area.
Located in Central America between Nicaragua and Guatemala, Honduras has a population that speaks Spanish and Indian dialects.
Elder Spencer W. Kimball of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Central American Mission president Gordon M. Romney, were instrumental in promoting missionary work in Central America. They visited Tegulcigalpa, Honduras, and left a tract and a copy of the Book of Mormon with a hotel waiter, Jose Santos Ortega Flores, on 17 November 1952. Missionary work in Honduras began on 10 December 1952, a month after the Central America Mission was created. On 21 March 1953, the first two missionaries in Honduras, James T. Thorup and George W. Allen, baptized Alicia Castanado, Corina de Bustamonte, Mario A. de Chotria, and Carmen B. Corina, as well as Jose Ortega, who first met Elder Kimball and President Romney. The Church organized a branch in Tegucigalpa the day after that first baptismal service. Missionaries began working in San Pedro Sula on 4 October 1954 and a branch was organized there in 1955. The San Pedro Sula District was organized on 4 June1961.
The first stake in Honduras was created in San Pedro Sula on 10 April 1977. The Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission was created on 1 January 1980, with 6,300 members and only seven years later membership totaled 23,000. The mission was divided 1 July 1990 and the country’s ninth stake was created in September 1990. From September 1992 to April 1993, North American missionaries were withdrawn because of threats from extremists groups. Nevertheless, the missionary work continued to grow with non-North American missionaries. By 1995, membership was 65,000, 10 times what it was just 15 years earlier.
The Church responded with extensive food and clothing following the devastation of Hurricane Mitch in November and December of 1998. President Gordon B. Hinckley visited that November, offering words of comfort and encouragement.
Honduras was one of three Central American countries where the Church, in partnership with California philanthropist and Wheelchair Foundation founder Kenneth Behring, donated 500 wheelchairs in 2001 via the country’s First Lady charitable organization. The other two countries that also received 500 wheelchairs each were Nicaragua and El Salvador. The ceremony in Honduras, where wheelchairs were presented to the first group of recipients, was attended by Honduran president Carlos Roberto Flores and his wife, Mary Flake de Flores.
In 2002, membership reached 108,217.
The First Presidency announced in a 9 June 2006, letter that a temple will be built in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, the first in Honduras and the fourth in Central America.
Sources: Honduras District, Central American Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports; Church Archives, Central American Mission, manuscript history and historical reports Church Archives; Donald Q. Cannon and Richard O. Cowan, Unto Every Nation: Gospel Light Reaches Every Land, 2003; “Twenty-three New Stakes: Honduras, Norway, and Venezuela Get First Stake,” Church News, July 1977, “Nine Missions Announced, Four Lands Dedicated in the Americas,” Church News, May 1990; “Wheelchairs Given to Central American Nations,” Church News, 27 October 2001; “Temple to be built in Honduras capital,” Church News, 24 June 2006.