Membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has reached 15 million people, the church announced Saturday during its Semiannual General Conference held in Salt Lake City.
The new figure, which was hit two weeks ago, marks a threefold increase in church membership in the past three decades. There were 5 million members of the church in 1982.
“The church continues to grow steadily and to change the lives of more and more people every year,” LDS President Thomas S. Monson said. “It is spreading across the Earth as our missionary force seeks out those who are searching for the truth.
The church also announced it now has 80,000 missionaries serving worldwide, up from 58,500 a year ago. The increase comes as a result of the church lowering missionary age requirements. Men are now able to go at 18, instead of 19, and women are able to go at 19, instead of 21.