News Release

Worldwide 200th Anniversary Celebration Goes Online

This April, while respecting social-distancing measures, Canadian members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with 16 million members worldwide, will celebrate online the 200th anniversary of a pivotal moment in their history: the First Vision of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

President Russell M. Nelson, the current prophet of the Church, extends a special invitation to the world to celebrate and commemorate together as Church leaders deliver messages of inspiration and guidance via a satellite broadcast. Four general sessions will be held from 12–2 p.m. and 4–6 p.m. (MDT) on Saturday, April 4, and Sunday, April 5. The proceedings of this historic online conference can be viewed at

The restored Church of Jesus Christ, born from the First Vision, began in upstate New York, not far from the Canadian border. The first Church missionaries to Canada arrived in 1830, and the first Canadian branch (congregation) was organized in 1832. Today there are nearly 200,000 members in Canada, nearly 500 congregations and eight operating temples, with a ninth under construction.

In 1820, 14-year-old Joseph Smith, living in Palmyra, New York, questioned which religious denomination he should join. After reading James 1:5 in the Bible, he decided to ask God. He went to a grove of trees near his home and prayed out loud for the first time. As a result, a unique event happened: God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph. He was instructed to join none of the denominations but to restore Jesus Christ’s ancient Church in modern times: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Over the last 200 years, Latter-day Saints have followed 17 successive modern prophets as the Church has grown to include 160 countries and 178 languages. The first four prophets personally preached or ministered to the early Saints in Canada; three others were direct descendants of early Canadian converts.

Latter-day Saints in Canada include those born in the faith and new converts, lifelong Canadians and recent immigrants. Speaking more than 200 languages natively, they are a microcosm of the global faith.

As an international faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides humanitarian aid in 128 countries and has spent over US$2.2 billion helping those in need. One hundred percent of the donations to Latter-day Saint Charities are used for humanitarian efforts. Latter-day Saint Charities is currently providing pandemic aid to Cambodia, China, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Italy, Iran, Japan, Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

The Church also operates over 5,000 family history centres — including 159 in Canada — open to anyone wishing to research their genealogy. Free online access to genealogical information is also available through

We invite all to view the historic general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and commemoration of the First Vision on April 4 and 5 at

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.