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Trivial Mormon Trivia

This is a list of facts that have absolutely no bearing on anyone's eternal salvation. However, they are still fun to spout off at parties, and it makes you appear smarter than you really are. If you have any screwy facts you would like to add to my list, please email me. I last updated this site on 01/11/2015.

LDS Church Stats, Figures, and "Go Figures"

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the first post New Testament church that actually had the name Jesus Christ in it's title. Up to then every Christian church was named after a man or religious movement.

  • There have been 16 Prophets and 96 Apostles since the Restoration.

  • The original printing of the Book of Mormon consisted of 5,000 copies. Since 1830, when the book was first published, 150 million copies have been printed in 107 different languages (as of August 2008). In 2005, 4,621,515 were distributed.

  • Egbert B. Grandin was 23-years-old when he published the Book of Mormon. Grandin rejected Joseph Smith's first request to publish the translation, thinking it a fraud but more so because he was worried he wouldn't make money on the deal because he didn't think anyone would buy the book. After he found out Joseph was getting it published anyway he relented but charged Joseph an exorbitant $3000 upfront for 5000 copies. To give you an idea of how steep this amount was, if Grandin were publishing it today the upfront cost would be $64,600.

  • The original translated Book of Mormon manuscript done by Oliver Cowdery didn't have any punctuation or capitalization. John H. Gilbert, Grandin's chief compositor, spent his evenings adding them all in by hand for the printing.

  • It took eight men and boys working 12 hours a day, six days a week, for almost eight months to print the original 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon.

  • In 1830, the Book of Mormon was sold for 6 cents a copy, to cover the cost of the printing. An original printing of the Book of Mormon just sold at Swann Auction galleries New York, NY on March 22nd 2007 for $150,000.00 plus 20% buyers premium bringing the selling price to $180,000.00! But then again, you can get a free copy from the missionaries...go figure.

  • In 1851, the Book of Mormon was translated and published in Danish. This was the first modern non-English translation of the Book of Mormon.

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was officially organized on April 6th 1830 in Fayette, New York. There were 6 members of the church, and around 50 other people in the Whitmer home at that first meeting. Today, the Church has approximately 14,441,346 members, 28,784 congregations, and is in 155 countries.

  • In May 2007, the Church sent out the 1 millionth missionary.

  • The Church announced that women could be called to serve missions during the April 1898 general conference. The first two sister missionaries were Sister Inez Knight and Sister Jennie Brimhall. They were called to the England Mission.

  • In 1845, Nauvoo was the second largest city in Illinois by population, just behind Chicago.

  • 14,000 Mormons were in the first wave of pioneers being forced out of Nauvoo, Illinois in the winter of 1846. The vanguard group of pioneers finally made it to the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847. The Mormon Pioneers traveled 1,300 miles from Nauvoo to the Salt Lake Valley. From 1847 to 1868, over 70,000 pioneers immigrated to Utah, many coming from Europe. Between 4000 and 5000 Mormons died on the trek to Utah during this 20 year period.

  • The October 2014 General Conference was the first broadcast to include General Authorities born in countries outside the United States giving talks in their native languages. Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong of the Seventy delivered his address in Cantonese.

  • The Mormons settled more of the Western United States and North America than any other group of people. Brigham Young directed the colonization of approximately 400 towns and settlements by Mormons in Utah, Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Canada and Mexico. Including Salt Lake City, Utah; Las Vegas, Nevada; San Bernadino, California; and Mesa Arizona.

  • The Relief Society is the oldest active and one of the larger women's organizations in the world. It was established in 1842.

  • Currently, women outnumber men in membership. Appx. 53%-47%.

  • The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is the worlds largest full time choir. It has 360 members. The reason it has 360 members is because that's how many seats were in the choir rostrum of the Tabernacle.

  • The Choir has been broadcasting "Music and the Spoken Word" since July 15, 1929. It holds the record for the longest continual broadcast of any network show.

  • The Salt Lake Tabernacle, on temple square, is one of the only free standing buildings in the world. There are no support beams holding up the roof. It's oval ceiling is an acoustical marvel because you can hear a pin drop from any distance in the main auditorium.

  • The first general conference in the Tabernacle was held in April 1867, the last one was held October 1999. In April 2007, the afternoon session of General Conference was held in the tabernacle to rededicate it. It had been closed for remodeling for 2 years while it was retrofitted to make it earthquake proof.

  • Over the last 30 years, The Church Welfare System has donated $1.2 trillion (US Dollars) in cash assistance, medical equipment, food, clothing, disaster relief and other material goods to 178 countries.

Joseph Smith

  • Joseph and Emma Smith had 12 children, but only 6 lived past infancy. 2 were adopted, and the last son was born 5 months after Joseph's death.

  • Joseph and Emma were so poor when moving from Kirtland to Far West he took a job cutting wood in Indiana for a few days to "relieve his necessities".

  • Joseph prophesied Kirtland Safety Society notes would eventually be as good as gold. The most recent Safety Society note to sell on eBay (170105056442) sold at approximately 18 times the price of gold! (The note sold for the equivalent of 9.09 ounces of gold. In 1837, $10 was approximately 1/2 oz of gold.)

  • The word "smith" means to "To beat into shape; to forge". The name "joseph" means, "God will increase". So if you were God and wanted to rebuild your Church you would want someone who would forge it into shape and increase it. In other words, you would want a joseph smith.

Pop Culture

  • The Movie, The Ten Commandments had its premier in Salt Lake City. Film Director Cecil B. DeMille consulted with President David O. McKay during the filming.

    Cecil DeMille, Mrs. DeMille, Charlton Heston and President David O. McKay
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first introduced Sherlock Holmes in a book about a "Mormon Danite". The name of the book was A Study in Scarlet.

  • Presidents Heber J. Grant and George Albert Smith have both been featured on the cover of Time magazine.
    Presidents Heber Grant and George Albert Smith on the cover of TIME
  • Time magazine quipped that Joseph Smith resembled the late actor/comedian Danny Kaye.

  • Three men have played Joseph Smith in Hollywood productions about the church. Richard Moll, (yes...Bull from Night Court) in the film Savage Journey, Vincent Price, in the movie Brigham, and Dean Cain (yes, Superman from "Lois and Clark), in the film September Dawn. In my opinion, Vincent Price was the better of the three, but Dean Cain could leap a tall stack of gold plates in a single bound.

  • Philo T. Farnsworth, a Mormon from Idaho, invented the Television, and won a lawsuit against RCA for copyright infringement.

  • Mormons have played prominent roles in Reality TV Shows and entertainment competition shows, including Survivor, Dancing With The Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, The Biggest Loser and American Idol. TV Producers ought to just embrace it and make a show called "Mormons Got Talent".

Can you believe that?

  • The name, Jesus appears appx. 165 times in the Book of Mormon and 100 times in the D&C.

  • When Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph's mother, moved to the Palmyra area, she only had nine cents remaining. About enough in today's money to buy two Happy Meals.

  • In 2014, President Eyring became the first apostle to speak at The Vatican, after being invited by Pope Francis to attend a "Summit on The Family".
    Pope Francis greets President Henry Eyring at the Vatican
  • Jim Bridger met Brigham Young, while the saints were travelling towards the Salt Lake valley. Jim Bridger told Brigham that he would pay $1000 to anyone who could actually grow corn in the Salt Lake valley. We don't know if Jim ever followed through on his offer.

  • The #1 question asked at the Salt Lake Temple Visitors Center is "Where's the bathroom?"

  • Utah is the largest consumer of Jello.

  • The first "Bleep" of a swear word over the radio was J. Golden Kimball in his talk on the first radio broadcast session of General Conference.

  • Z.C.M.I. was America's first department store.

  • Utah was the largest consumer of Ice Cream.

  • Some people are taught (and actually believe) that Mormons have horns on their heads.

  • It was rumored that Mormon women were locked in the top floor of the Salt Lake Temple, and they only way they could escape was to jump out the window into the Great Salt Lake and swim away. The subsequent rumor must have been that Mormon women are excellent jumpers since the Temple is at least approximately 16 miles from the lake. Go Figure.

Church Presidents

  • There have been one set of father and son Prophets: Joseph F. Smith and Joseph Fielding Smith.

  • There have been three church presidents with the name Joseph Smith. Joseph F. and Joseph Fielding were the nephews of Joseph Smith jr.

  • David O. McKay was the only church president to have 4 counselors in the First Presidency at one time.

  • Heber J. Grant was the first Church President born in Utah. Born November 22, 1856, in Salt Lake City

  • Heber J. Grant was the first Church President to have his voice broadcast over radio, in 1922.

  • Joseph Fielding Smith was flying in fighter jets in his late 80's.

  • Joseph F. Smith, the 6th Prophet, was the first Prophet who was not a convert. He was the first Prophet born in the covenant.

  • John Taylor, the 3rd President of the Church, is the only Church President born outside the United States. He was born in Milnthorpe, England, in 1808.

  • Brigham Young was Prophet for 30 years. His was the longest term as Prophet.

  • Howard W. Hunter had the shortest term for a Prophet. He was President for 9 months.

  • Joseph Smith was the youngest when ordained president, at age 24. Joseph Fielding Smith was the oldest when ordained, at age 93. Gordon B. Hinckley had lived the longest, to age 97.

  • The mean age of a prophet when ordained in 73-years-old.

  • Howard W. Hunter was the first Church President born in the 20th Century - 1907.

  • In 2004, President Gordon B. Hinckley was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nations highest civilian honor.

  • George Albert Smith was the first Church President that didn't practice plural marriage.

  • President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated 85 temples during his time as an Apostle, First Presidency Counselor and Church President. He's dedicated more temples than any other Church President.

Temples

  • The Salt Lake Temple was the first temple started in Utah, but was the fourth one finished.

  • The first Moroni statue on a temple showed up on the Nauvoo temple, but it does not resemble to Moroni statue on subsequent temples. It wasn't used on the St. George, Manti, or Logan temples. Moroni popped up again on the Salt Lake Temple. It was designed by Cyrus Dallin, a non-mormon sculptor living in Salt Lake. His inspiration for the design came from Revelation 14:6-7

  • Out of the current 144 operating temples there are only 8 that do not have Moroni statues on them. St George, Logan, Manti, Laie, Cardston, Mesa, Hamilton (New Zealand), and Oakland.

  • The St. George Temple is the oldest operating temple in the Church. It was completed in 1878.

  • The Salt Lake temple is the largest temple. It has 170 rooms and is 253,000 square feet.

  • The Washington DC temple is the tallest temple. It's east spire reaches 280 feet.

  • The three spires on each of the Salt Lake and Washington DC temple represents the three members of the Godhead. The set of 3 on the West side represents the Aaronic Priesthood. The taller spires on the East side represents the Melchezidek Priesthood.

  • There are four temples that were retrofitted inside existing structures. The Hong Kong Temple, The Vernal Temple, The Manhattan Temple and the Provo City Center Temple.

Politics

  • Reed Smoot, of the Smoot/Hawley Tariff act, was the only man to serve simultaneously as a U.S. Senator and an Apostle. Congressional hearings to approve his election took 4 years. He almost wasn't admitted into the Senate because of false rumors about pacts against the US Government in the temple.

  • Ezra Taft Benson, the 13th President of the Church, was U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Secretary of Agriculture. His 8-year tenure in President Eisenhower's cabinet. He was only the second apostle to serve in national political office while a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.

  • Elder Dallin H. Oaks was a judge on the Utah Supreme Court when he was called to be an apostle. He was called in April 1984, but waited to be ordained until May so he could conclude his judicial duties.

  • Former U.S. President George Bush (the older one) called the Mormon Tabernacle Choir "one of America's greatest treasures."

  • The Mormon Battalion, organized by request of the Federal Government in response to the Mexican/American war, holds the record for the longest infantry march in American history.

  • Former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson used to call LDS President David O. McKay to wish him a happy birthday. He also gave President McKay one of the American Flags flying over the U.S. Capitol Building during his inauguration.

  • Former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln once checked out a copy of The Book of Mormon from the Library of Congress.

  • Former U.S. President Richard Nixon, then Senator Nixon, spoke at the Wilshire California Ward LDS Youth Conference in 1962.

  • The U.S. Republican Party was formed in 1854 with the platform of aboloshing the "Twin Relics of Barbarism: Slavery and Polygamy". 150+ years later, a majority of LDS Church members now support the party that was orignally formed to destroy the church. Gotta love irony.

  • Former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first president to attend a LDS Family Home Evening.
    President John F. Kennedy speaking in the LDS Salt Lake Tabernacle on September 26, 1963
  • President John F. Kennedy has been the only sitting US President to speak in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

  • Several Latter-day Saints have run for president of a country. Joseph Smith (1844); George Romney (1968); Ezra Taft Benson (1968); Morris K. "Mo" Udall (1976); Orrin Hatch (2000); and Mitt Romney (2008, 2012) all ran for President of the United States. Yeah Samake ran for President of Mali in 2013.

  • U.S. founding father & former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, a deist, predicted in 1820 that "The genuine and simple religion of Jesus will one day be restored: such as it was preached and practised by himself," (LetterTo Van der Kemp, 1820). Ten years later it would be.

  • The Tabernacle Choir performed at the Presidential galas for the inaugurations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and George W. Bush. The choir has also performed at the 2002 Olympics, and in Las Vegas.

  • Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, after touring Mormon welfare facilities in Utah, commented to his aids, "You know, there is a program that comes very close to being the most ideal way dealing with those who are poor and unfortunate; and that is the Mormon Welfare Program."
    President Ronald Reagan touring the LDS welfare cannery in 1982, with Presidents Hinckley and Monson
  • U.S. President James Buchanan, needing to appear tough to his constituents, sent 2,400 troops to Utah to replace Brigham Young as governor. This became known as "Buchanan's Blunder" because it caused the "Utah War" and sparked the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Buchanan further Blundered by trying to scheme with the Russians to force-colonize the Mormons to Alaska. Brrrrrrrr.