By Rebecca

An exciting event occurred far away from where I live that shows the Mormons’ global mission outreach. Although Mormon congregations have been organized worldwide since 1830, it was only 10 years ago when the first meetinghouse was built in India and dedicated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (nicknamed Mormons by the media). On May 27, 2012, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an apostle of Jesus Christ, formed the first stake (group of local congregations) in India called the Hyderabad India Stake. (“Apostle Creates First Stake in India,” Mormon Newsroom, June 1, 2012). I may never get the chance to visit India, but I know that God loves all of His children and will send the truth throughout all nations in the world. I myself was called by a prophet of God to serve as a missionary in Spain and taught people of all faiths and from many nations including Africa, South America, and Asia. Although The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) was established by the Lord in 1830, in the United States, there are now “more members outside the United States than inside.” [1]

Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth? (See 2 Nephi 29:7 as recorded by ancient prophets in the Americas in The Book of Mormon.)

Christ’s Church Restored

Missionaries worldwide share the wonderful message that the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored. The apostle Luke taught that God “spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began” (Luke 1: 70). We know that God still speaks to prophets today and began the true restoration of Christ’s Primitive Church in 1820 when he called Joseph Smith to be a prophet. This prophet translated the scriptures (known as The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ) which contain the writings of ancient prophets in the Americas:

The prophet Nephi taught, “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:26).

History of Christ’s Church in India

Since the restored gospel of Jesus Christ was first introduced in India (1850), missionaries struggled learning the native language and taught their important message in English. Then, in 1981, The Book of Mormon had been translated into the Telugu language and more missionaries began teaching in the native language Telugu. However, many converts emigrated and India lacked strong local leadership. Fortunately, in the 1990’s missionary work was successful and there are presently about 10,000 members living in India. [1] For more information, read the below timeline of missionary work in India: [2]

1850 First messages of restored gospel shared by British sailors visiting Calcutta, India.

1851 First baptisms and converts called as missionaries by Elder Joseph Richards & small branch established and small meetinghouse built but most members emigrated.

1853 First messages of restored gospel shared by missionaries in Madras, Bombay, Rongoon, Karachi, Poona, and other areas.

1858 Missionaries returned to Utah and several converts emigrated.

1903 India Mission has not been successful and at least one branch existed.

1981 The Book of Mormon translated into Telugu & the government allowed a missionary couple to establish a branch.

1993 Bangalore Mission created & native of India (Gucharan Singh Gill) served as President. India had 1,150 members in 13 branches.

1998 India had 2,000 members in 18 branches.

2002 First meetinghouse dedicated in India for the Rajahmundry Branch (small local congregation).

2012 First LDS stake in India organized & named the Hyderabad India Stake (a stake is a group of “wards,” or congregations with over 200 members and good leadership).

Watch a short video about the LDS Mormon church global growth by stake:

Why Visit Christ’s Church?

Everyone is invited to attend services in local wards or branches (areas where there are fewer Church members [3]). These congregations are organized into stakes and there are currently 2,946 stakes worldwide. “A stake is an administrative unit composed of numerous congregations (called wards and branches) within a geographic area (similar to what other faiths might call a diocese).” [1] In the Mormon book, the missionary Ammon taught, “God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth…”(Alma 26:37). The modern prophet Gordon B. Hinckley said:

This Church is true. It will weather every storm that beats against it. It will outlast every critic who rises to mock it. It was established by God our Eternal Father for the blessing of His sons and daughters of all generations. It carries the name of Him who stands as its head, even the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. It is governed and moves by the power of the priesthood. It sends forth to the world another witness of the divinity of the Lord. Be faithful, my friends. Be true. Be loyal to the great things of God which have been revealed in this dispensation (“Keep the Faith,” Ensign, September 1985, 6).

I invite you to prayerfully consider this message and ask God of the veracity for yourself. I know that the current prophet (Thomas S. Monson) is led by God to guide the Church of Jesus Christ today. (See Prophets and Apostles Speak Today: Special Witnesses of Christ.) Everyone is invited to listen to him when he addresses the world during General Conference (broadcast biannually via satellite, LDS.org, and Ensign magazine publications).

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