Spain is located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe and has a rich heritage of different peoples, languages, and religions, including Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Four different languages still exist in the country: Spanish, Catalan, Basque, and Galician. Since Catholicism is the official religion in Spain, other churches were not recognized until 1967, when the “Religious Liberty Law” was enacted (Ventura, 6-11).
The LDS Church in Spain began with servicemen located on U.S. Air Force bases, and by 1966 two branches functioned under the direction of the French Mission. Through the instrumentality of Elders Howard W. Hunter and Gordon B. Hinckley, the Church was officially recognized on 22 October 1968, and the Spain Madrid Mission was formed in 1970. Four other Spanish missions followed. The first stake was created in Madrid in 1982, and several new stakes have been formed since, with a total of 7 stakes and 30,439 members by the year 2000.
In June 1998 the Mormon Tabernacle Choir gave three concerts in Spain, including an invited concert at the basilica in El Escorial. President Gordon B. Hinckley presided at the dedication of the Madrid Spain Temple and its adjacent buildings in March 1999.
[Year-end 2005: 40,341,000: Members, 39,784; Stakes, 9; Wards, 56; Branches, 86; Missions, 5; Districts, 11; Temples, 1; Percent LDS, .09, or one in 1,059; Source: 2007 Church Almanac.]
1999-2000 Church Almanac. Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1998. 388-89.
Ventura, Betty. “The Saints in Spain.” Ensign 5 (April 1975): 6-11.
From Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard O. Cowan, eds., Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), 1169-70. Used with the permission of the Deseret Book Company. Copies prohibited by law.