Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 10,708,000; Members, 38,188; Stakes, 6; Wards, 33; Branches, 40; Missions, 2; Districts, 4; percent LDS, .36, or one in 280; Europe Area. At the southwest corner of Europe, the Republic of Portugal is a parliamentary democracy. Its population is 97 percent Roman Catholic. By 2003, membership reached 37,170, making it the largest congregation of members in a European country. In 2005, membership reached 37,812.

Church History[]

The earliest known members of the Church to live in Portugal were Latter-day Saints serving in the U.S. military beginning about 1954. A few Latter-day Saints serving in the military lived there through the 1960s and 1970s.

In April 1974, a bloodless coup resulted in a change in the Portuguese government. Shortly thereafter, David M. Kennedy, ambassador at large for the Church went to Portugal to determine if missionaries could be sent there. Portuguese government officials gave their permission within an hour.

In November 1974, the Portugal Lisbon Mission was formed with W. Grant Bangerter as president. He was joined by four missionaries who had been transferred from other missions in Brazil. They were Elders Werner de Carmargo from the Rio de Janeiro Mission, Dale Earl Thompson, and Paulo Marcello Perisse, from the Sao Paulo North Mission, and W. Shane Topham, of the Sao Paulo South Mission. Four more joined them in December and many others soon followed. The first converts in the mission were Maria De Lourdes Dias Prista and Maria Jose Dias Prita on 4 March 1975.

The Church experienced rapid growth in Portugal. The first thousand converts were made by July 1978. The Lisbon Portugal Stake, the first in the country, was created on 10 July 1981. The Portugal Porto Mission was formed from the Portugal Lisbon Mission in July 1987. The Lisbon mission was further divided in 1989 to create the Lisbon North and Lisbon South missions.

In 1999, there were 35,248 members in Portugal.

Much of the Portugal Lisbon North Mission was combined with the Portugal Lisbon South Mission on 1 July 2002 to create the Portugal Lisbon Mission, the original name of the first mission in Portugal. A smaller portion of the former Lisbon North mission, which was one of five missions in Europe that was consolidated in 2002, was placed in the Portugal Porto Mission.

Lisbon Portugal Temple[]


The Lisbon Portugal Temple is the 166th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (LDS Church) and the 1st temple completed in Portugal. This temple sits in the northeastern section of the city near the modern parish of Parque das Nações, a thriving hub of leisure, commercial, and residential activity on the Tagus River, boasting famed venues that include the Lisbon Oceanarium, the Vasco de Gama Tower, the twin São Gabriel and São Rafael towers, the Parque Das Nações Marina, the MEO Arena, the Vasco de Gama Center (shopping mall), and the Vasco de Gama Bridge. Transportation to and from the temple will be greatly facilitated by the Lisbon Metro, as the site is located adjacent to the Moscavide station. The station opened in July 2012 in conjunction with the Encarnação and Aeroporto stations, expanding the line that serves the Lisbon Airport, situated just two miles west of the temple site.

See Also[]


Sources: Missionary Training Center, Culture for Missionaries: Portugal, 1984; “Discovering Gospel Riches in Portugal,” by Don L. Searle, Ensign, October 1987; Donald Q. Cannon and Richard O. Cowan, Unto Every Nation: Gospel Light Reaches Every Land, 2003; Lisbon Portugal Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Record of members, Portugal, Church Archives.