Chinese and the Church

Anything related to Asia and the LDS Church

On December 20th, 1965 the Chinese Book of Mormon was published for the first time.

Illustration of Early Chinese Book of Mormon

Illustration of Early Chinese Book of Mormon

Work on a Chinese translation of the Book of Mormon started shortly after missionaries arrived in 1955 to Hong Kong. President Grant Heaton, hired a few people to translate portions of the Book of Mormon and then had formed a committee to review the translations. Translation of the Book of Mormon proved difficult and the work was slow. The translation was mostly finished by 1959, but President Heaton felt it still needed work. He was released as mission President and the work on the translation stopped. It wasn’t until Hu Wei-I was called in 1962 to translate 3rd Nephi. Hu Wei-I joined the church in 1959 and quickly started translating church material into Chinese. Hu Wei-I and Larry K. Browning were set apart to translate the Book of Mormon on the 5th of November 1963 by Elder Gordon B. Hinckley and began translation in January of 1964. The translation was finished that July and Hu Wei-I was quoted saying, “It took me seven months; Joseph Smith only needed two.” Publication was on December 20th, 1965 with 3,000 copies and was published in hard and softbound.

Copyright Page from 1965 1st Edition

Copyright Page from 1965 1st Edition

On January 9, 1966 Elder Gordon B. Hinkley presented a copy of the first edition to President David o. McKay. Inside the cover was a typed the following text:

This copy of the first edition of the Book of Mormon in Chinese presented to President David O. McKay, who 45 years ago on January 9, 1921, accompanied by Elder Hugh J. Cannon, in the “Forbidden City” of Peking dedicated and consecrated and set apart “the Chinese realm for the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as restored in this dispensation through the Prophet Smith.”

The Book of Mormon is now available in the language which is the mother tongue of more people than any other on earth. May it go forth among them as a witness of the Son of God, the Savior of the world.

With sincere respect and deep affection, Gordon B. Hinckley

Further reading:
On Either Side – May 1966
That They May Know“, Church News Article January 1966
“Wherever He Leads Us” – Pioneers in Every Land
Herald G. Heaton personal history 1993-2001

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

Melissa Inouye gave presentation at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square last month with a interesting and fun look at her family in comparison of how the Chinese and Mormon’s have been portrayed in history. You can watch the whole presentation here: has been updated to include a web version of the LDS Scriptures in Simplified Chinese. This includes the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. No Bible at this time.


Cantonese is the first non-English language spoken at General Conference. Elder Wong spoke today about Jesus healing the man with palsy and related this to the faith of members helping others.

You can view the entire talk. with English voiceover, here and in Cantonese here. View the article on also on Deseret News.


Simplified Chinese

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You can now find many resources in Simplified Chinese on

Simplified Chinese Triple

Simplified Chinese Triple

The Scriptures are only viewable in PDF form, but hopefully soon will be displayed like all the other languages. You can download the Triple here and the Book of Mormon here.

Other resources are now available including the most recent Liahona.

The Asian Mormon Studies Conference held back in March has now posted full videos of each of the presenters.

All Videos: or

Melissa Inouye from Paris Fox on Vimeo.

Pierre Vendassi from Paris Fox on Vimeo.

A series of video’s have been added to with the title “Unto All the World: Travels of the Apostles“. There are a few videos on Asia. Watch below.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014 will be the Fourteenth Annual Mormon Studies Conference @ Utah Valley University.

The conference theme is: Mormonism and the Asian Traditions

Speakers will include: Jessie Embry, Reid Neilson, Lanier Britsch and many others.

There will also be an interfaith dialog between a Buddhist priest and a member of the LDS Church. I had the opportunity to listen to their dialog at a previous conference and the dialog was very interesting.

The Conference info is listed below.
Schedule of Events

8:30 – 9:45 a.m.

“Practicing Zazen, Sitting through Church: Boredom as a Fruit of the Spirit” 
Adam Miller
Professor of Philosophy at Collin College

“Mormonism and Buddhism: Where Do Questions Begin and End” 
Wayne Hanewicz
Director of Integrated Studies Program at Utah Valley University

10:00 – 11:15 a.m.

“The Trappings of Religious Culture and Ritual: Buddhism and Mormonism”
Ken White
Instructor, Department of Philosophy & Humanities, Utah Valley University

“Bridging Cultures: Asian American Mormons” 
Jessie Embry
Assistant Director of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at
Brigham Young University

11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Lunch Break
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

“Interfaith Dialogue, Buddhism and Mormonism” 
Jerry K. Hirano
Minister, Salt Lake Buddhist Temple

Elizabeth Ann Takasaki
former member of the Young Women General Board of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

“A Mormon and a Buddhist Debate Plural Marriage:
The Letters of Elder Alma O. Taylor and the Reverend
Nishijima Kakuryo, 1901” 

Reid Neilson
Managing Director, Church History Department, The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints

“Historical and Cultural Challenges to LDS Missionary Work in Japan” 
Lanier Britsch
Emeritus Professor of history at Brigham Young University

for more information, contact Boyd Petersen at

Here is an article about Elder Holland’s recent visit to Taiwan, Hong Kong and other parts of Asia.

Also a Deseret News Article.

Watch the Video.


Yesterday, Thursday the 6th of March was the first day of a two day conference on “The Worldwide Church: The Global Reach of Mormonism“.

We were privileged to hear from John Hilton III and Felipe Chou on the first few years of the Church in Taiwan.

You can see the full schedule here.

Adam Mears reported on the presentations in the Daily Universe.

John Hilton III presented on the first four missionaries to Taiwan. He spoke on the difficulties they experienced including the death of Elder Madsen and the small growth in the beginning. It wasn’t long before growth surpassed Hong Kong as the church established itself on the island.

John Hilton III

John Hilton III presenting on early missionary work in Taiwan.

Felipe Chou then spoke about the rapid growth during the 1970’s as the missionaries increased and as Chinese language material became more available. The Doctrine & Covenants in 1974 and the Pearl of a Great Price in 1976. The first stake was established in 1976 as well.

Felipe Chou

Felipe Chou presenting on the growth of the church in Taiwan during the 1970’s.