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in Every Land

From Tahiti to Taiwan, Latter-day Saint pioneers build the Church all over the world.

The Church in Asia, 1964

Missionaries were first sent to Asia in the 1850s, but the Church didn’t develop a lasting presence there for another hundred years. It wasn’t until the first two decades after WWII that the Church grew deep roots in Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

Housewife in a Foreign War Zone

Presented by Kate Holbrook

Learn about Carol Gray, a British housewife, and her impact on war-torn Yugoslavia in the next Church History Library lecture.

“The Power Is in Them”: How Church History Helps Latter-day Saints in Developing Countries

Presented by Brett Macdonald

“In developing areas of the world where The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is emerging, the stories of early Mormon pioneers can help create a sense of belonging and offer encouragement to people confronting these pioneer-like challenges.”  

Fire on Ice: The Story of Icelandic Latter-day Saints at Home and Abroad

Presented by Fred Woods

Between 1855 and 1914, hundreds of people joined the Church in Iceland. In fact, the first Icelanders to leave their beloved homeland and immigrate to the United States of America were these converts, who were eager to join with the Saints in Utah.

Rare Footage of First Baptisms in West Africa

Ghana and Nigeria in 1978

Rendell and Rachel Mabey brought a handheld video camera with them on their landmark 1978 mission to West Africa. With that camera, they captured some very significant events in modern Church history.

China, Japan, and Utah: The Transnational Passages of a Mormon Family

Presented by Melissa Inouye

Looking at the Chinese and Japanese roots of one large Mormon Asian-American family illuminates how Mormonism has provided a framework to which global Mormon pioneers have anchored their lives since World War II.

Prophecies Precede History

Presented by Néstor Curbelo

Book of Mormon prophets spoke about the spiritual destiny of the people who would come to the American continent. Néstor Curbelo will review the history of convert pioneers in Latin American countries, showing that the experiences of these people help to fulfill the inspired revelations and prophecies of the ancient prophets.

“The Least I Could Do”

What One Tasmanian Family Sacrificed to Go to the Temple

When the Hamilton New Zealand Temple was dedicated in 1958, the Bender family sacrificed everything they could to be there.

“That They Might Not Suffer”

Presented by Sharon Eubank

Over the past 30 years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has formed partnerships with the International Red Cross, Catholic Relief Services, CARE, and other experienced agencies, helping to establish the foundation for LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church. Sharon Eubank describes the evolution of the Church’s efforts to care for the poor and needy on a global scale and discusses what members can do to help wherever they live.

Sealed Together

The Manaus Temple Caravan

Saints from Manaus, Brazil, tell the story of the first caravan from their city to the temple in São Paulo—a six-day journey—in 1992.

Unto the Least of These

Olivas Aoy's School

Olives Aoy’s Christlike service for the underprivileged children of El Paso exemplifies the Lord’s admonition to Latter-day Saints, that they “should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness.”

Learning Lessons of Faith from the History of the Church in Africa

Presented by Matthew K. Heiss

The majority of Latter-day Saints in Africa are first-generation pioneers who joined the Church following the 1978 revelation that extended the priesthood to every worthy male member. Matthew K. Heiss will present the stories of these incredible Saints and discuss what their journeys teach us about faith, enduring to the end, and understanding the blessings that the gospel brings into our lives.

“That They May Know the Covenants of the Lord”

Olivas Aoy and the Book of Mormon

Olivas Aoy’s brief stay among the Maya left a lasting impression on his life. Already attuned to the needs of the downtrodden, perhaps by temperament or by his training to become a Franciscan, he left the Yucatán with a renewed zeal to defend the oppressed and underprivileged, wherever he found them.

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

Presented by Taunalyn Rutherford

The roughly 11,000 Latter-day Saints in India, a country of 1.2 billion people, are truly pioneers. Drawing from oral history narratives of Church members in India, this discussion will uncover lessons learned through a 50-year struggle to establish Zion on the Indian subcontinent.

“To Every Nation, Kindred, Tongue, and People”: Pioneers in Every Land

Presented by Elder James J. Hamula

No longer an organization made up mostly of U.S. members, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has spread from Tahiti to Taiwan. Latter-day Saint men and women are building the kingdom of God all over the world.  All are invited to come hear their stories, feel their challenges, and be inspired by their faith.

2015 Lecture Series

Pioneers in Every Land

“Pioneers in Every Land” is the theme of the 2015 Lecture Series at the Church History Library in Salt Lake. Videos of each presentation will be available online after the events. 

Taking the Gospel to Mexico

Meliton Gonzalez Trejo: Translator, Missionary, Colonizer

Meliton Trejo, a Spanish officer in the Philippines, heard tell of “a group of ‘Saints’ in the Rocky Mountains who were led there by a prophet of God.” He immediately became “filled with an urgent desire to see these people.”

A Love for Words

The Legacy of Mabel Jones Gabbott

At a baptismal service, eight-year-olds dressed in white often join with family and ward members to sing of how “Jesus came to John the Baptist, / In Judea long ago, / And was baptized by immersion / In the river Jordan’s flow” (“Baptism,” 

That We Might Be One

The Story of the Dutch Potato Project

Dutch Church members after World War II planted potatoes together to help heal spiritual wounds and restore unity. The project took on new meaning when they were asked to send their harvest to Germany.

“A Commitment to God”: Virgilio Simarrón’s Decision

The Roots of the Church in Guayacana, Ecuador

Virgilio Simarrón was a leader in the Chachi native community of northern Ecuador—a position held by members of his family for many generations. But Virgilio’s life changed in 1996, when his son Wilson returned from studies with copies of the Book of Mormon.

Lillian Ashby and the Dharmarajus

How One Woman Helped Plant the Church in India

When 37-year-old Lillian Ashby received a mission call to serve with her husband in Samoa, she knew she only had months to live. Despite her struggle with cancer, her mission had a lasting impact on an individual, a family, and a nation.

This Grand Opportunity

Elizabeth McCune and the First Sister Missionaries

Elizabeth McCune traveled to Europe in 1897 with her family. Her willingness to share her testimony prompted the mission presidency to ask for sister missionaries.

Bringing the Gospel Home to Cambodia

How Vichit Ith Brought His New Faith Back to His Native Land

Twenty years after being driven from his homeland by war, Vichit Ith came back to introduce the Church that had helped him find peace. 

‘In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions’

Green Flake's Legacy of Faith

Born into slavery in North Carolina, Green Flake was baptized into the LDS Church in 1844 and was a member of the first pioneer company to arrive in Salt Lake.

‘This Piece of Stone Come to Us Now’

Saints in Togo See Daniel's Stone Rolling Through Own Land

'When I’ve been baptized, my first intention is to spread this gospel in Togo.'

The Armenian Exodus

Aintab to Aleppo, 1921

In 1921, as violence engulfed the collapsing Ottoman Empire, Moses Hindoian worked with Mission President Joseph W. Booth to lead saints from danger in Aintab, Turkey into Aleppo, Syria.

“You Have Come at Last”

Nigerian Builds LDS Congregation, Waits for Missionaries

After dreaming of the Salt Lake Temple, Anthony Obinna built a congregation years before missionaries came to Nigeria.

Sacrificing Soccer for Service

Samuel Boren: Pioneer of the Church in Argentina

Like most pioneers, Samuel Boren—baptized just outside Buenos Aires in 1936—sacrificed much when he traded his old life for a new one in the gospel.

“Suddenly the Thought Came to Me”

Child’s Vision Prepares Her Family for the Gospel

"Suddenly the thought came to me that I must look at them that I might remember them in the future." - Marie Cardon Guild

“The Lord Provided a Way”

Eight Liberian Missionaries Flee War-Torn Nation

When civil war erupted in Liberia in 1989, eight native missionaries found themselves in deadly circumstances. 

‘It Was the Truth!’

First Convert Became Foundation of Church in Jamaica

Victor Nugent's family was baptized more than four years before the Church was organized in Jamaica and, through their faithfulness, became the backbone of the restored gospel in that country.

“A People Prepared”

West African Pioneer Preached the Gospel Before Missionaries

Fourteen years before LDS missionaries arrived in West Africa, Joseph William Billy Johnson was converted to the Church after reading the Book of Mormon and other tracts. He spent the next fourteen years laying a solid foundation for the Church in Ghana.

“Everyone Trusted in the Lord”

Storm Threatened Members, Missionaries in Dominican Republic

Less than a year after the first Latter-day Saint missionaries arrived in the Dominican Republic, the island suffered one of the worst natural disasters in its history.

“Wherever He Leads Us”

Humble Convert Proved Boon to Church in Taiwan

Southern Far East missionary recalls a fruitful day of tracting that, in time, led to the publication of the Book of Mormon in Chinese.

“A Happier and More Abundant Life”

Saints in Brazil Travel Twelve Days to Attend Temple

Thousands of miles from the nearest temple, members of the Church in Manaus, Brazil, embarked on a long journey over both land and sea in 1992 to receive ordinances there. 

“Out of Captivity”

German Prisoner of War Finds Home in British Branch

When a German Latter-day Saint became a prisoner of war in England near the end of World War II, friendships blossomed between political enemies.