The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mormon studies, Taiwan, Taiwanese history


Located approximately one hundred miles east of continental Asia, the island of Taiwan has a rich and complicated history. The history of Taiwan intersected with the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) when LDS military personnel were stationed there in 1955. This led to the celebrated date of June 4, 1956, when the ship SS Szechuen carried among its passengers four LDS missionaries. While this would be the first time LDS missionaries would begin proselyting efforts in Taiwan, Christian missionaries had sailed into Taiwan’s harbor centuries previously. The purpose of the present study is to provide glimpses into the efforts of early LDS missionaries in establishing the LDS church in Taiwan between the time of their arrival on June 4, 1956, and the dedication of the island by Elder Mark E. Peterson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on June 1, 1959. I will first provide a brief background of initial Christian proselyting efforts, as well as an overview of contemporary issues in Taiwan during the decade prior to the arrival of the LDS missionaries.

Original Publication Citation

John Hilton III. “The LDS Church in Taiwan: The First Three Years.” Mormon Historical Studies, 17(1) pp. 37-83 (2016).

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Mormon Historical Studies




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor