Nearly one thousand people crowded into the Wan Chai LDS church building today – a Saturday. The building has chapels on 4 floors, and each floor was filled to capacity. A social on each floor was followed by a special service that was spoken in Cantonese, translated into English and Mandarin and broadcast to the appropriate floor hosting that language.
The anniversary of 65 years of missionary work and church growth in Hong Kong.
On July 14th, 1949, Elder Matthew Cowley, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, along with a handful of church members living in Hong Kong, offered a prayer on Victoria Peak, Hong Kong Island. Elder Cowley wrote, “We went up on what is known as the “Peak”, the highest eminence overlooking the beautiful city of Hong Kong, and onto the mainland of China, and there we officially opened the mission by a brief service, each of us praying in turn.” (The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints; History in Hong Kong, Ng, Shee-Nan and Chin, Ching-Man, Printforce Printing Co., 1997, p.63)
The date was scratched into the stone on the Peak, and it remains there today. To find the spot, after taking the tram to the Peak, walk to the Peak Circle Walk. You will eventually pass a waterfall (it may be dry, but it is easy to identify), then walk about 70 steps and look on the rock wall, about eye level, for the inscription. There are other markings and carvings made by visitors over the years, so look closely for the right inscription.
Elder Holland visited the Asia Area in February of this year. He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is moving over this vast area. It would be undeniable, it would be impossible not to grasp, not to feel that there is a great work unfolding here.”
He concluded by saying, “We will live to see miracles there—as we see them now. Our children and our children’s children will be as comfortable talking about the Church in Asia as they have historically been talking about it in Utah and Idaho and Arizona.”
When Elder Holland heard that Hong Kong was having this special service today, he arranged to have a video made for the service, in which he sent a message of love to the Hong Kong saints, reminding us of the history of the work in this area and throughout all of Asia. Like a stone cut out of a mountain, from that commemorative prayer on the Peak in 1949 till now, the work rolls on with ever increasing speed.
Grateful to be on a mission!
Next blog - our trip to Beijing and Shanghai to view humanitarian projects.
- Elder and Sister Coffey