Transcript for Andrew Jenson, "California Mission," Encyclopedic History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Printing Co., 1941), 109-10
The state of California as a missionary field embraced the state of California and parts of Arizona and Nevada in 1930. Besides the Latter-day Saints enumerated in the three California stakes (San Francisco, Los Angeles and Hollywood) there were in the California Mission on Dec. 31, 1930, 8,689 members of the Church, including 98 High Priests, 1,105 Seventies, 799 Elders, 355 Priests, 68 Teachers, 617 Deacons, 4,349 lay members, and 2,098 children.
Los Angeles is the headquarters of the California Mission which functions within the limits of the stakes and in the surrounding country extending into Arizona and Nevada. Within the limits of the state of California there are nine districts, or conferences, belonging to the mission, namely, Fresno, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Gridley, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, in which there were 32 organized branches of the Church and an estimated Church population of 5,662, including 1,246 children, on Dec. 31, 1930. Joseph W. McMurrin, one of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies, presided over the mission. Thus it may be estimated that within the limits of California, including the three organized stakes of Zion, there was a membership of 21,254, including 4,560 children, at the close of 1930.
The mission in 1930 consisted of 11 conferences, or districts, namely, Arizona, Fresno, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Nevada, Sacramento, Gridley, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose. Grouped into these 11 districts were 49 branches of the Church, of which 11 were in Arizona, namely: Binghampton, Bisbee, Douglas, Hayden, Jerome, Pomerene, Prescott, Ray, Saint David, Tucson and Whitewater; 33 in California, namely: Anaheim, Bakers field, East San Diego, Fresno, Grenada, Gridley, Hayward, Homestead, Huntington Beach, Liberty, Macdoel, Merced, Modesto, National City, Ontario, Oroville, Palo Alto, Roseville, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Fernando, Santa Ana, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Stockton, Susanville, Sutter, Torrance, Vallejo, Ventura, Whittier and Yuba City, and five in Nevada, namely: Carlin, Elko, Fallon, Reno and Wabuska.
One hundred and four long-term missionaries, including 32 sisters, were laboring in the mission at the close of 1930, and also 14 short-term missionaries, including one sister.
There was no organized mission in California from 1858 to 1892, though there were always some members of the Church in the state.
Only a little missionary work was carried on in California from 1857 to 1892, but since that time California has been one of the most fruitful missionary fields in the Church. Actual missionary work was commenced by Elder John L. Dalton in San Francisco and Oakland in 1892, where branches of the Church were organized. In January, 1894, Dr. Karl G. Maeser arrived in San Francisco to take charge of the Utah exhibit in the Mid-Winter Fair. He and his companions distributed a large number of tracts and other literature, and considerable interest in Utah and her history was created. With the assistance of the few saints residing in San Francisco and Oakland, well attended meetings were held in a hired hall.
Dr. Maeser, who during his residence in San Francisco, presided over the California Mission (which he may be said to have re-opened), was succeeded in August, 1894, by Henry S. Tanner, who with a band of earnest missionaries extended their labors southward, and the Los Angeles Branch was organized August 20, 1895. From that time forward the California Mission prospered and in 1896 it was divided into two conferences, namely, the North California Conference and the South California Conference. Another conference, the Sacramento Conference, was added in July, 1898. On account of the large number of Latter-day Saints residing in Los Angeles and vicinity, a stake of Zion, called the Los Angeles Stake, was organized on January 21, 1923, and on May 22, 1927, the Los Angeles Stake was divided and the Hollywood Stake organized. On July 10, 1927, a third stake of Zion was organized in California named the San Francisco Stake. These stakes had a total membership of 15,592, including 3,314 children, December 31, 1930.
During the year 1930 there were 410 converts baptized in the California Mission. During the year a chapel had been purchased at Taft, and handsome chapels had been erected at Baldwin, Riverside and Ontario, and a modest chapel at Merced. Chapels were in course of construction at San Bernardino, Homestead, Palo Alto and San Luis Obispo, California, and at Jerome, Arizona.
Following is a list of the Elders who have presided over the California Mission from the beginning: Samuel Brannan, 1846-1849; Charles C. Rich, 1849-1851; Parley P. Pratt, 1851-1852; Amasa M. Lyman and Charles C. Rich, 1853-1854; Parley P. Pratt, serving a second term, 1854-1855, and George Q. Cannon, 1856-1858.
Since the mission was re-opened in 1892 the following Elders have presided over it: John L. Dalton, 1892-1894; Karl G. Maeser, 1894; Henry S. Tanner, 1894-1896; Ephraim H. Nye, 1896-1901; Joseph E. Robinson, 1901-1919, and Joseph W. McMurrin, 1919-1930.