The book is composed of the following six sections:

Introduction to Southeast Asia:

  1. The Lay of the Land - Here we look at items such as geography and climate.

  2. Land of the Buddha - Introduces the fundamentals of the Buddhist religion, which dominates religious life in all of the countries.

  3. The East India Mission - A little known part of Church History from the 1850s is the “East India Mission.” That bold endeavor placed the first missionaries in Burma and Thailand (known as Siam at that time). Those missionaries had some success with a few people of European ancestry, but had no success with the native population. Fortunately, Levi Savage Jr. left a detailed journal of his experiences. He faced numerous challenges, including cyclones, difficult companions, loneliness due to excommunication and exile and dealing with foreign languages. As though that was, his final challenge was the last leg of the trip home to Utah, where he found himself a member of the Willie Handcart Company. The next missionaries to Indochina would not arrive for over 100 years.

  4. War in Viet Nam - This event not only had a great impact on the region, but was the event that actually brought missionary work back to Indochina in modern times. While the war led to the death of hundreds of thousands and disrupted the lives of millions, other impacts on the region were perhaps more significant and long lasting.

  5. Awful Aftermath of War - The end of the war in April 1975 was only the beginning of the incredibly awful aftermath which followed. In particular, the reign of Pol Pot in Cambodia, brought the unnecessary killing of nearly two million people in Cambodia’s “killing fields.” “Tevy’s Story” is representative of what happened to millions of Cambodians. Her story does have a happy ending, but such was not the case for millions of her countrymen.

  6. Where it All Began - Missionary work in Asia outside Japan and Korea had its beginnings in Hong Kong in the 1950s. Hong Kong became the starting point for all other missions in Asia including Taiwan and the Philippines. Early missionaries in Hong Kong were later called to lead these other missions, many at rather young ages.

  7. The Apostle for Asia - Finally we will look at the impact made by “The Apostle for Asia,” Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, whose impact on all of Asia was remarkable and will continue to be felt for generations to come.

Viet Nam:

  1. Missionaries in Viet Nam - Fifteen LDS missionaries served in Viet Nam between April 1973 and April 1975. They had excellent success and the Saigon branch was growing.

  2. The Evacuation - As the North Vietnamese military advanced on Saigon, the missionaries had to evacuate back to Hong Kong. What about the members of the Church in Viet Nam? What would be their fate? Church efforts to help Vietnamese refugees in Guam and the United States.

  3. The Home Teacher who went the Extra 50,000 Miles - One U.S. veteran of the war in Vietnam received a letter from the Vietnamese family that he had visited as their home teacher. The letter simply asked, “Can you help?” He became determined to help Latter-day Saints leave Viet Nam and organized other veterans to assist. They organized Veterans’ Association for Service Activities Abroad (VASAA), which fought through endless red tape and brought many Latter-day Saints out of Viet Nam and other countries.

  4. Reestablishing the Church in Viet Nam - Starting in 1993, senior missionaries return to Viet Nam to teach English. Over the years many others have served in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). The Cambodia Phnom Penh mission has Vietnamese speaking missionaries assigned to it. Great progress has been made to establish “registered” meeting places for a branch in each city. Perhaps in the not too distant future, formal “recognition” of the Church may be obtained in a unified Viet Nam.


  1. Bringing the Gospel to Thailand - Starting in the 1960s, LDS members come to Bangkok in significant numbers. Elder Hinckley dedicates Thailand in 1966. Sixteen months later the first missionaries arrive. Thailand’s first chapel is completed in 1972.

  2. Progress Amid Trouble and Tragedy - The continual struggle for visas. Two missionaries are killed in an auto accident while returning from Laos. After a visit to Sukhothai with their mission president, two missionaries are sent to a Thai prison. The story hits newspapers around the world. The Church’s response and plan for improvement. What was the real tragedy of it all? The Thailand Bangkok mission is created and one focus becomes the production of materials in the Thai language.

  3. The Thai Book of Mormon - This story details the translation of the Book of Mormon into Thai. The work of an early convert in Thailand and her dedication to the translation of LDS scriptures. The Lord guides her through revelation and blesses her health to accomplish the work.

  4. A Firm Foundation - Chapels are built in many locations and Thailand’s first stake is created in 1995. Membership is approaching 20,000. The strength of priesthood is less solid.

  5. We are the White Shirts - Political turmoil in Thailand has on many occasions been a minor distraction, but serious riots erupted in 1992 and 2010. Currently a schism in Thai society still sits just below the surface, often denoted by red or yellow shirts. One day Thailand’s King, Phumipol Adunyadet, who has sat on the throne for over sixty years will pass away, where the country goes following that day is not clear.


  1. Burmese Who Sought for Truth - Two unrelated individuals requested more information from the Church and then found a way to receive baptism. Their families later joined the Church as well.

  2. Burmese Waters of Mormon - A small branch was formed in a remote region of Burma in the 1980s. Gordon B. Hinckley visited Burma in September 1987, dedicated the country and baptized the first branch president Brother Win Naing. About four months later brother Win Naing brought others from his home area to Mandalay. Sixty-seven individuals were baptized at the Burmese Waters of Mormon.

  3. Establishing the Church in Myanmar - The Church finally returns to Myanmar in 1998. Humanitarian services missionaries have labored in the country from 1998 to the present time. Brother Joseph and his wife Emma join the church. Later, thirty-eight Burmese are baptized on Valentines Day 2004, including some family and friends of Brother Joseph. A branch is establishment in Yangon in 2003. The first missionaries from Myanmar are called to serve in foreign lands.


  1. Seizing the Opportunity - At just the right moment the Church moved to enter Cambodia. The window of opportunity was small, but the Church did not miss it. The work of the early missionaries is presented along and the dedication of the country for the work of the Church.

  2. A Mission for Cambodia - While the Church perfectly timed its entrance into Cambodia, the start for the new Phnom Penh Cambodia mission was as tough as it gets. The mission spent seven weeks in Thailand, waiting for a civil war to subside, before returning. The experiences of the first three years of the mission under President Leland White are told.

  3. The Challenges of Rapid Growth - Starting in the year 2000, Cambodia’s “Golden Period” begins. More than 1,0000 baptisms would be achieved in each of the first three years of the new century,. Missionary work move out beyond the capital city. Rapid growth brings many challenges. The number of native Cambodians serving missionaries grows just as fast. The native missionaries outnumber the foreign missionaries.

  4. How to Build a New Branch - The way in which the Church started in Siem Reap, Cambodia, presents a model that is worthy of emulation throughout the world.

  5. If You Build it They Will Come - Moving well outside Phnom Penh, Church growth continues, but the rate slows somewhat, yet it still far outpaces that of Thailand. Chapels are built in Battambang and Siem Reap. The new Church buildings stand out amongst all the others and by themselves encourage the people to want to learn about the Church behind them.


  1. Across the Mekong–Missionary work in neighboring Thailand had been going on for more than twenty-five years before a path was opened for Humanitarian Services Missionaries to take up residence in Vientiane. They taught English classes, oversaw humanitarian service projects and had success in drawing some converts into the Church. They also found a good man to be their personal driver.

  2. One Strong Branch-The branch in Vientiane has native leaders and sends Laotian missionaries to other countries. The branch is part of the Udorn Thani Thailand District in the Thailand Bangkok mission.

The Appendix of the Book Includes: