Reid L. Neilson, PhD, the managing director of the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is well known among LDS Asian and Pacific scholars as a gifted and productive editor and bibliographer. His research and writing on the history of the Church in Japan is informative, enlightening, and enriching. Although the topic of missionary work in Japan has been written about by other authors, Neilson’s book adds much to what has already been written.
In Early Mormon Missionary Activities in Japan, 1901–1924, Neilson has created one of the few LDS books dealing with Mormon missiology. Protestants and Catholics use the word missiology to mean a discipline that combines theology, sociology, history, linguistics, and a smattering of other social science approaches. LDS missiology, on the other hand, has been limited primarily to history and Church history taken to a high, analytical level.