From the East: The History of the Latter-day Saints in Asia, 1851-1996

For those interested in the international growth of the LDS Church, the publication of this long-awaited book was welcome news R. Lanier Britsch, professor of history at Brigham Young University and former director of that university’s David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies is well qualified to chart the course of the Church’s history in Asia. This volume, originally part of the Church sesquicentennial project, adds a great deal to our understanding of LDS history in that region.

Properly eschewing the notion that Asia can be treated as a unit, Britsch adopts a combination chronological-regional approach to his subject. Following a brief introduction that situates the LDS Church in Asia in a broad historical context, the book is divided into a series of regional chapters. Where more than one chapter covers a particular country or region, each chapter in that section deals with a different time period. Within chapters, the subject treatment is largely topical, covering such concerns as missionary work, the acquisition of property, the growth of missions and stakes, visits and direction from general authorities, translation and publications, and so on. The concluding chapter is a short reflection on the author’s own involvement in Asia, and especially on President Gordon B. Hinckley’s special concern for the Church and its members throughout Asia and his importance in the history of the Church there.

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