In the southwest South Pacific, the island-continent of Australia is a democratic federal state in the British commonwealth. Australia’s population speaks English, and is 26 percent Anglican, 25 percent Protestant, and 25 percent Roman Catholic.

Church History

In 1840, William Barratt, 17, was called from England to serve a mission in Australia. He found circumstances difficult, but baptized Robert Beauchamp who later became an influential mission president in Australia. Then next missionary was Andrew Anderson who had been baptized by Orson Pratt in Scotland. Before he emigrated to Australia, he was given license to preach there. He and his family arrived in 1842. By the end of 1844, he organized a branch of 11 members in the private township of Montefiores, some 220 miles northwest of Sydney.

Meetinghouses were dedicated in Melbourne in 1922, Adelaide in 1923, Sydney in 1924, and Perth and Hobart in 1925. World War II brought the evacuation of missionaries and slowed the work. Furthermore, shipping difficulties began immediately after the war and hindered the return of missionaries.

The South Australian Mission was created in 1955, with headquarters in Melbourne, and David O. McKay authorized the construction of new meetinghouses that same year.

Australia’s first stake was organized in Sydney 27 March 1960. Additional missions were created in 1958 (Adelaide), 1973 (Brisbane), and 1975 (Perth), 1993 (Sydney North) and 1998 (Melbourne West). The Sydney Australia Temple, dedicated 1984, was Australia’s first temple. Additional temples have been dedicated in Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane.

Adelaide Australia Temple


The Adelaide Australia Temple is the 89th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (completed in 2000). Located just a few miles northeast of Adelaide's city center in the suburb of Marden, the Adelaide Australia Temple stands next to a college campus on Lower Portrush Road, a major route through suburban Adelaide. The granite edifice, capped with a gold-leafed statue of the angel Moroni, is surrounded by trees and gardens with gathering plazas on each of the four sides of the building.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915-1985) of the Quorum of the Twelves Apostles—a former mission president of Australia—presided over the groundbreaking services for the Sydney Australia Temple. At a fireside that evening, he said, "There is no reason why we can't have temples in Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, or wherever the number of saints justifies it." His statement proved prophetic with the construction of the Adelaide Australia Temple, Melbourne Australia Temple, Brisbane Australia Temple, and Perth Australia Temple.


Sources: United States Department of State, The World Factbook,; Andrew Jenson, Encyclopedic History of the Church, 1941; Australasian Mission, Manuscript history, Church Archives; Church Public Affairs, press release, 28 Mar. 2003; Marjorie Newton, Southern Cross Saints, 1991; John Douglas Hawkes, A History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Australia to 1900, thesis, 1965. “Saints Shine in Perth, Western Australia’s ‘City of Lights,'” Ensign, October 1988; Australian Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; and Christopher K. Bigelow, “Australia: Coming Out of Obscurity,” Ensign, December 1998.

See Also