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Pioneers

in Every Land

Subcontinent to Salt Lake City: Voices of Latter-day Pioneers in India

Presented by Taunalyn Rutherford

The recording of this lecture will not be posted.

In a country of 1.2 billion people, the roughly 11,000 Latter-day Saints in India are truly pioneers. In 1852 nine newly called missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints departed from Salt Lake City to take the restored gospel to the subcontinent of India. In this lecture, the inspiring stories of faith and perseverance of members of the Church in India will be brought back to the historic Assembly Hall in Salt Lake City. After the East India Mission was closed in 1856, the Church in India struggled to take root. The India Bangalore Mission was finally opened in 1993, and a second mission, the Indian New Delhi Mission, opened in 2007. With great anticipation, the first stake of the Church was organized in 2012. This lecture will include a brief historical overview of the last 50 years of the Church in India. It will also draw from a rich collection of oral histories that will allow the voices of Latter-day pioneers to describe their struggle to establish Zion on the Indian subcontinent.

Taunalyn Rutherford was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She attended Brigham Young University as an undergraduate student, where she was a member of the BYU Young Ambassadors. Her interest in and love of India began in 1986, when she traveled on tour there with the Young Ambassadors. The professor who accompanied the group on the trip was R. Lanier Britsch, who has done extensive work on the history of the Church in India and has instilled in his students an appreciation for the diverse religious traditions in India. Taunalyn served a full-time mission for the Church in Stockholm, Sweden. After returning, she married James Rutherford; they are the parents of 5 children. 

Rutherford received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brigham Young University. She is now a PhD candidate in religious studies at Claremont Graduate University and is writing her dissertation on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in India. Currently, she is an adjunct instructor of religion at Brigham Young University in the Department of Church History and Doctrine, teaching courses on the Doctrine and Covenants, world religions, and missionary preparation.  

This free lecture is part of the 2015 Pioneers in Every Land lecture series sponsored by the Church History Library. Lectures are held on the second Thursday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square. Limited free parking is provided at the Conference Center for those attending this event. Parking may fill quickly and is not guaranteed. As an alternative to parking downtown, please use the UTA transit system.

For more information or to download a brochure listing all of this year’s lectures, please visit the 2015 Lecture Series web page, or call 1-801-240-2272.

Download the March Poster