History of the Church in the Philippines
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The first contact of the Filipino people with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was through the Latter-day servicemen who served during the Spanish-American War and World War II. Church meetings were held in various locations and numerous LDS servicemen stayed in the country even after the war.
 
The Korean War resulted in an increased presence of LDS servicemen in the Philippines. Clark Air Force Base in Pampanga (about 1 ½ hours from Manila) became home to these servicemen. Then on 21 August 1955 President Joseph Fielding Smith dedicated the Philippines for missionary work. Immigration problems, particularly on visa issuance, became a hindrance in sending full time missionaries.
 
Six (6) years after the dedication intensive effort was exerted to legally register the church. With the assistance of Ping Bachelor, recognition was finally extended to the church and the appropriate clearances have been secured to allow full-time missionaries to enter the country.
 
President Gordon B. Hinckley (then Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) rededicated the Philippines on 28 April 1961 for the preaching of the gospel. The service was held at the American War Memorial Cemetery located in the outskirts of Manila.
 
President Hinckley described the place as the most beautiful and also one of the most tragic places he had seen in the country, and expressed sympathy for the men who sacrificed their lives during World War II. He acknowledged the members of the Church who were then present, numbering about 100, especially those who had traveled from Clark Field, Pampanga. He was grateful for the presence Sister Maxine Grimm, who played the music during the dedicatory service, and David Lagman, the first Filipino ordained elder in the country.
 
Amidst the rising sun and rows of grave markers, President Hinckley invoked the blessings upon “the people this land, that they shall be friendly and hospitable, and kind, and gracious to those who shall come here, and that many yea Lord, we pray that there shall be many thousands who shall receive this message and be blessed thereby….We pray that there shall be many men, faithful, good, virtuous, true men who shall join the church.”[1]
 
Pres. Hinckley’s prayer was slowly fulfilled in the years that followed.
 
Source: “Faithful, Good, Virtuous, True: Pioneers in the Philippines”
By R. Lanier Britsch, Ensign, August 1997, 56-63
 


[1] Gordon B. Hinckley, “Commencement of Missionary Work in the Philippines”, Tambuli, April 1991, 17-18; emphasis added. See also Dew, Go Forward with Faith, 226-227, and 608 note 43.