President Lee and Sister Holly Van Dam recently returned from serving three years in the China Hong Kong Mission. President Van Dam served there as a young man and returned as the mission president with his wife in 2006. They discuss the amazing growth of the Church there, as well as the changes in Hong Kong. They share interesting facts about the Hong Kong Temple and how it has had an impact on the people who live in that area. They also speak of special experiences they had and miracles they have seen while in China.
President Lee H. Van Dam and Sister Holly Ann H. Van Dam. Before their mission, President Van Dam has served as a bishop, stake president, high councilor, and Young Men's president and Sister Van Dam has served as a Young Women president, Primary president and a counselor in both ward and stake Relief Society Presidencies. President and Sister Van Dam are from Sandy, Utah.
Facts about the LDS Church in China
In Hong Kong, there are 4 stakes, 1 District, 1 Mission, 1 Temple and over 23,000 LDS Members.
In late 1852, Hosea Stout, James Lewis, and Chapman Duncan had accepted calls from Brigham Young to serve in China. They arrived in Hong Kong on April 28, 1853. They only stayed for 2 months with little success because of difficulties learning the language and a civil war, the Tai-ping Rebellion.
In 1949, President David O. McKay of the First Presidency called Hilton A. Robertson to open the Chinese Mission. Hong Kong was chosen as mission headquarters.
On December 31, 1950, three sisters, Nora, Beatrice, and Rose Koot, were baptized. They were the first Chinese to join the Church in Hong Kong.
On February 6, 1951, the Church withdrew its missionaries from Hong Kong because of the Korean War. At that point nine missionaries had served and 14 converts had been baptized in the Chinese Mission. Mission headquarters were temporarily moved to Honolulu and then to San Francisco before the mission officially closed in February 1953.
In May 1955, at the age of 26 H. Grant Heaton was called to reopen the mission in Hong Kong. The mission was renamed the Southern Far East Mission and opened with eight young missionaries. Initially, the mission was also responsible for Taiwan, the Philippines, and Guam.
By the end of 1957, there were 400 members in Hong Kong and the work was accelerated. There were more people who wanted to hear the gospel than there were missionaries to teach. Interested people were actually placed on waiting lists.
The Chinese Book of Mormon was published in Taiwan in 1965. The Chinese Doctrine and Covenants was published in 1974.
Visit this Church News article for more information about the LDS Church in China.
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