Lyman E. Johnson and James Heriot began missionary work in the Maritime Provinces. They arrived in Nova Scotia in 1833. Benjamin Brown and Jesse W. Crosby left Nauvoo on 30 July 1843 for Nova Scotia. On 18 September 1843, a conference was held under the direction of district President Robert Dixon. By 14 November 1843, the Halifax Branch was created. On 5 April 1844, another conference was held at Preston, with members attending from Halifax branch as well as Preston and Onslow, Popes Harbour and Sheet Harbor.

Persecution followed the members and most left for the West. One group of 50, most of the Halifax Branch, traveled with their branch president, John A. Jost, aboard the ship Barque Halifax. The ship left Nova Scotia on 12 May 1855 and took the members on the first leg of their journey around Cape Horn to San Francisco. This exodus ended organized branches in the Maritimes until work resumed under President Nephi Jensen with the organization of the Canadian Mission on 1 July 1919.

When missionary work resumed, elders presided over groups in Halifax, Windsor, Glace Bay, Sydney, Kentville and New Glasgow. The Halifax Branch was organized on 6 July 1947 by then Mission President S. Dilworth Young. On 25 June 1958, Elder Mark E. Petersen of the Quorum of the Twelve and former missionary to Nova Scotia in 1920, participated in the ground breaking ceremony for a new meetinghouse in Halifax. The building was completed in January 1959. The New Glasgow Branch was organized on 9 June 1961 and the following day, the Sydney Branch was organized.

In 1959, converts were baptized in Bridgewater, and by 14 June 1961, it was organized as a branch. By 1967, the Bridgewater Branch had 135 members. A meetinghouse was begun July 1965 and dedicated in 1967. Membership in Nova Scotia was the most rapidly growing in Canada. With 250 members in 1972, it increased more than 800 percent in 10 years, reaching 2,331. The Dartmouth Nova Scotia Stake was created on 12 May 1985. The Dartmouth/Halifax area in Nova Scotia continues to serve as the center of Church activity in the Maritimes.

President Gordon B. Hinckley visited Halifax on 12 February 1998 and spoke to some 2,000 members who had come from throughout the Maritime provinces.

The Halifax Nova Scotia Temple, located in the city of Dartmouth across the harbor from Halifax, was dedicated by President Hinckley on 14 November 1999.


Andrew Jenson, Encyclopedic History of the Church, 1941; Melvin S. Tagg, A History of the Mormon Church in Canada, 1968; Eleanor Knowles, “The Saints in Canada’s Martime Provinces,” Ensign, June 1974; New England Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Canadian Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Journal History, Church Library.

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