The purpose of this work is to chronicle the growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from its earliest beginnings in the late 1930s to the events surrounding the revelation on the priesthood in 1978. This thesis will show that as the Church in Rio became less American and more Brazilian, Church growth accelerated. When missionaries first began working in the city, its membership, leadership, culture, and even language was based on North American society and practices, and the Church struggled to establish itself. Only as these aspects of the Church became more Brazilian did it begin to have greater success in the area. This survey history of the Church in Rio de Janeiro will begin in 1935 with the influential work of Daniel Shupe—a North American Church member who lived and worked in Rio and translated the Book of Mormon into Portuguese. We will then examine the work of the missionaries both before and after World Warr II, the growth of Brazilian Church leadership in the city, and how the Church established itself as a center of strength for the Church. Finally, our study will conclude with the 1978 revelation extending the priesthood to all worthy male members regardless of race and the immediate influence of that shift on the Church in the city. The focus of this work will be on the major factors and most influential individuals that affect Church growth and stability in Rio, thereby providing an in-depth study of the effects of language, culture, leadership, and race on the Church in this intriguing and influential city.
College and Department
Religious Education; Religious Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Shields, Garret S., ""A Fine Field": Rio de Janeiro's Journey to Become a Center of Strength for the LDS Church" (2016). All Theses and Dissertations. 6213.
Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, missionary work, growth of the international Church, Book of Mormon translation, native Church leadership, blacks and the priesthood