Statistically, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are few in number. There are scarce high-density areas like in Utah where of over two million, 68%, are members; Utah County, Utah is 72%, and Madison County, Idaho, home to BYU Idaho, is 68%. The Kingdom of Tonga is 63.5%, Samoa 42.5% 3, and American Samoa 29.8%. At “Worship with Us” on the Church website, you can find directions to attend sacrament meeting with fellow Saints at any one of the red dots on the wards-of-the-world map below. Wards and branches do dot the earth, as do temples.

Each temple is figuratively, if not actually a light on a hill, radiating, inviting, instructing, elevating. Temples are birthplaces of eternal families. (Temple summary as of April 2022: 162 are in operation, 8 are being renovated, 44 are under construction, 68 have been announced.)

Yet, the big picture shows that members are a minority most everywhere. If you live in Rhode Island, you are one of 4,250, which is 0.39% of the population of 1,097,379. If you live in The United Arab Emirates, you are one of about 1,500 members of the Church out of 9.9 million. That’s 0.015%. The latest statistics of members in the United States is 2%. The world percentage is 0.21%. I hope these percentages are correct. If not, I’m sure someone will correct me. The point is we are not a predominant factor population wise.

These facts should not come as a surprise. Nephi foresaw: “And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of… wickedness and abominations…; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small” (1 Nephi 14:12, italics added).

This can be discouraging to a people who are commissioned to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. “And he said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Matthew 28:15). “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14).

I had these percentages on my mind as I was listening to a fireside by Patrick Q. Mason, a professor at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. Towards the end of the meeting, Dr. Mason addressed the smallness of members of the Kingdom of God on earth, saying it was no surprise to the Lord. His evidence? Three parables! (Sister Susan H. Porter used these same images in her recent conference talk.)

  1. “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted” (Matthew 5:13; 3 Nephi 12:13).

    How much salt does it take to bring out flavor? Just a pinch!
  2. “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened” (Matthew 13:33).

    How much yeast does it take to leaven bread? Just a spoonful!
  3. Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the light of this people. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Behold, do men light a candle and put it under a bushel? Nay, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house” (3 Nephi 12:14-15 and Matthew 5:14-15).

    How much light does it take to brighten a room? Just a match to light a candle!

The Prophet Joseph Smith added an inspired thought about leaven, which can apply to light and salt. “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened. It may be understood that the church of the Latter Day Saints, has taken its rise from a little leaven that was put into three witnesses” (HC 2:270, italics added).

Joseph references the three witnesses, yet each member of the Church can be a witness. Richard and I experienced such a witness last Easter.

Our neighbor, Tauna, texted and asked if she could come to our house at 9:10 a.m. She said she could only stay for five minutes. When she came in the door, she handed Richard and me a hard-boiled egg she had dyed a deep red. She told us of an ancient tradition that on Easter Sunday each family member would receive a red egg. The person giving the egg would say: “He is risen,” and the person receiving the egg would respond, “He is risen, indeed.” Tauna said to Richard, “He is risen, and he answered, “He is risen, indeed.” Then she said those words to me, and I felt the Spirit as I answered, “He is risen, indeed.” She said another part of the tradition is that during the day on Easter, often at a meal, a wise woman would share her feelings about the Savior. Tauna said, “I have come as that wise woman.” Then humbly and tearfully she testified of the life, ministry, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, creating an indelible memory and example for us. Powerful, inspiring, sweet, and I we were not the only people who received an egg and her testimony that day.

Faith is kindled by hearing the testimony of those who have faith (Romans 10:14-17). The Kingdom of God is built by those who share testimony of faith in Jesus Christ. Together we are His salt, His yeast, and His light.

Allow me to come as a woman of faith to humbly testify this Easter season. Jesus Christ is risen, indeed. He lives. He will come again.

If you too have a witness of this truth, I invite you to share that witness with someone else this Easter.