Mormon church leaders say worldwide membership has reached 15.88 million

Associated Press
Flowers bloom in front of the Salt Lake Temple,  - Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Mormon church leaders say worldwide membership has reached 15.88 million.

Church officials announced the new figure Saturday during a church conference in Salt Lake City while presenting updated membership figures through the end of 2016.

The number of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is significantly less than other religious denominations such as Catholics, 1.2 billion worldwide, and Muslims, 1.6 billion. But the Mormon religion is also much younger than those religions, having been founded in 1830.

Church membership has tripled since 1982, when there were 5 million members. Membership has grown by about 2 percent each of the past nine years.

The figures also show that the average number of people converted per missionary remained at about 3.4 for the fourth consecutive year. That's down from an average of five per missionary the previous decade.

at the morning session of the two-day Mormon church conference in Salt Lake City. Mormons will hear guidance and inspiration from the religion's top leaders during a church conference this weekend in Salt Lake City as well as getting an update about church membership statistics.