Summarized by Kent Larsen
Times of India Profiles LDS Church Efforts There
Times of India 2Jul00 N1
By Roxanne Kavarana
MUMBAI, INDIA -- The LDS Church is still relatively small in India,
with 2,700 members spread among 20 branches. The Times of India
looked at the Church on Saturday, interviewing mission president
Ebenezer Solomon about the "little-known Christian denomination" and
the 51 missionaries in the country.
The Times first observes that the Church has long tried to start
missionary work in India, with efforts beginning in June 1851, But
the Church was never really able to get a foothold in the country
until after World War II. The missionaries currently in India include
Marv and Gabriele Hammond, who was also interviewed by the Times.
They told the Times that the participation of Church members in
running the Church has influenced members, "This leads to a high
level of commitment and sense of community."
President Solomon said that the missionaries there are simply sharing
a message, "They share our beliefs with people. There is no
compulsion, enticement, inducement or coercion,'' he stresses. "In
fact, when a person becomes a member, he commits to pay a tenth of
his earnings as `tithes' to the church, besides giving his time and
talents. This is a church that requires sacrifice to help others.''
The article also talks about other LDS teachings such as honouring
hard work, the word of wisdom and eternal marriage. Both President
Solomon and the Hammonds tell the Times about the Church's beliefs on
Temple work and genealogy and prophets. But the article concludes by
disavowing the common misunderstanding about the LDS Church's belief
in Polygamy, observing "the next time you hear the word Mormon, don't
get your hopes up. They're only allowed a wife apiece."