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For week ended December 12, 1999 Posted 18 Dec 1999

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New book tells story of first LDS missionaries in India

Summarized by Kent Larsen

New book tells story of first LDS missionaries in India
BYU Newsnet 9Dec99 A2
By Latricia Nell: NewsNet Staff Writer

PROVO, UTAH -- BYU Professor R. Lanier Britsch has writted a new history of the first LDS missionaries in India. In the book, "Nothing More Heroic: the Compelling Story of the First Latter-day Saint Missionaries in India," Britsch tells the story of the 17 missionaries that labored in India between 1851 and 1856, baptizing about 100 people.

"The book tells an accurate story of the early missionaries in India, but it scratches the surface of all that could've been written -- there is so much history in India," says Britsch. "Sometimes we count our missionary successes in terms of numbers. We don't know the end of our work -- the seeds we've planted -- or the ultimate difference our labors make. . . . I wish to emphasize that what appears to be a failure is sometimes the greatest success -- only time and eternity reveal the greater truth."

Most of the LDS converts in India were British military on assignment there. The missionaries focused on the British because they were more accessible and spoke English. But the missionaries also learned native languages and converted about 180 Indian people also, but most of those converts fell away.

While the Elders suffered during the mission, all 17 returned home safely, "Our elders suffered miserably with malaria, dysentery and fevers of diverse kinds, but they were blessed to survive and return home to their loved ones," Britsch said.

While the missionaries left India in 1856, one branch of the Church in India survived until the early 1900s.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information