The Latter-day Saint Mission to India: 1851-1856

A number of years ago, Brigham H. Roberts, noted Latter-day Saint Church official and historian, said concerning the LDS missionaries to India that “there is nothing more heroic in our Church annals than the labors and sufferings of these brethren of the mission to India.” Considering the times in which Roberts lived and the knowledge he had of the trials and sufferings of the early members of the Church, this statement takes on great proportions. And yet, a few years ago Kenneth Scott Latourette devoted only one sentence of his multivolume work, A History of the Expansion of Christianity, to the same LDS mission. He wrote in passing, “We hear of the Mormon missionaries, but they seem not to have attracted an extensive following.” The difference in emphasis between what Roberts and Latourette wrote is not one of sympathy alone, but of knowledge of the subject. Roberts was familiar with some of the missionaries through personal acquaintance. Latourette probably did not have materials available to him that could give him more information than he revealed. Nearly all of the records that tell the full story of the LDS Indian endeavor are printed in early Mormon periodicals or are contained in old journals that only recently have been made available to the public.

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 12:3
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