2018 - Celebrating 50 Years of Missionary Work in Thailand
Missionary work in Thailand formally began on February 2, 1968 with the arrival of the first six missionaries.
Back Row Left to Right: Elder Craig G. Christensen, Elder Larry R. White, Elder Peter W. Basker.
Front Row Left to Right: Elder Alan H. Hess, Elder Robert W. Winegar and Elder L. Carl Hanson.
Elder Hess was the most senior of the group and the only one that came from Hong Kong, the rest came from Taiwan. President and Sister Keith E. Garner accompanied the missionaries from Hong Kong to Bangkok. Their first residence on Soi Glang became the first center of the Church in Thailand and it continued to be so until 1972 when the Asoke Chapel was dedicated.

These six were not the first six chosen from the Southern Far East Mission to serve in Thailand, visas to serve in Thailand did not come in time for them.

Four of the first six on Sunday January 28, 2018. Left to Right: Robert W. Winegar, L. Carl Hanson, Larry R. White, Alan H. Hess.
The Salt Lake Thai Lao Ward invited them to the chapel where they meet on Sunday in Murray, Utah, to mark the 50 year event.
Latest News
April 20, 2018 - President Russell M. Nelson and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland visit Bangkok

About 4,000 Thai Saints gathered at the Queen Sirikit Conference Center in Bangkok on Friday evening April 20, for a devotional with President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Church and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. Bangkok was the sixth stop on President Nelson's around the world trip to visit with Latter-day Saints. This was the second visit of the Church President to Bangkok, the first was the visit of Gordon B. Hinckley in June of 2000.

Remarking how he had visited Thailand in his role as a medical doctor in 1966, President Nelson said how he was impressed by the growth of the Church in Asia in the past fifty years. As a member of the quorum of twelve Apostles Elder Nelson accompanied Elder Neal A. Maxwell to visit with the Saints in Bangkok in June, 1992.

President Nelson spoke of the blessings of the temple and his visit to the site of the Bangkok Thailand Temple on New Petchaburi Road, adding, " We had a very special feeling." President Nelson said “These people are energized. They are inspired. They want to do something about their faith. They are going to get ready for their temple.” President Nelson challenged the people to prepare now to attend the new temple when it is complete saying, “I bless you with love at home, success in your work, and joy in your hearts as you prepare for the temple of the Lord here in this sacred country.” 

In his remarks Elder Holland offered the following “I wish that every missionary who has ever served in Thailand could be here tonight, especially those in the early years when there were virtually no members and little tiny branches, very few who really knew the language,” expressed Elder Holland. “And now this, with a broadcast in Laos and Myanmar—the miracle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You are a stunning sight.” That statement was touching to many of us who had served as missionaries in Thailand.

Elder Wisit Khanakham, an Area Seventy, said members feel “absolutely excited, delighted and so happy,” about the new temple. "The temple is the symbol of righteousness that shines the light of Christ to the nation,” he said.

Friday's date of the Bangkok member meeting had a special significance for Larry R. White, reached by phone in Salt Lake City. Called to labor in the Southern Far East Mission, White was one of six young missionaries sent to Thailand in 1968. Their mission president told them “to learn the language and get the church started.”

On April 20, 1968, 50 years ago to the day of President Nelson’s visit — the missionaries knocked on the door of Srilaksana Suntarahut. She was baptized on July 4, 1968, only a few months after the first missionaries arrived in the country. “Her testimony came powerfully, after reading just a few verses, from the English Book of Mormon,” recalled White, who presided over the Thailand Bangkok Mission from 1991 to 1994. Ultimately, Suntarahut, who died in 2013, became the primary translator of the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price into Thai.

April 4, 2018 - The April 2018 Missionary group arrives just in time for Songkran (Thai New Year)
The April 2018 group includes four Sister missionaries and six Elders. Pictured here with President and Sister Johnson in front of the Church Office building in Bangkok.
March 19, 2018 - LDS Church releases artistic rendering of the Bangkok Thailand Temple
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released an artistic rendering of the Bangkok Thailand Temple. The rendering confirms the long-held view that the temple will be built on property the Church purchased in 2008. The location is on New Petchaburi Road just west of the intersection with Soi Asoke 21 (Sukhumvit Road). Just over the back wall of the property is the Bangkok City Airline Terminal (the central station) on the Suvarnabhumi Airport rail line, constructed after 2008. The rail station will facilitate ease of access for those from outside Bangkok coming to the temple.

The artistic rendering features a majestic 44,405-square-foot, six-story temple with nine spires, four across the front and back and the large center spire, with Moroni appropriately facing east. Behind the temple will be an auxiliary building of 91,370 square feet that will include two religious meetinghouses, a service center, seminary and institute facilities and mission offices along with patron housing. Substantial underground parking will also be incorporated. The engineering for such parking in a city with a very high water-table will be a bit of a challenge and add additional months to the construction project.

During his visit in June 2000, President Gordon B. Hinckley promised a temple in Thailand at a future date. President Nelson will speak in Bangkok on April 20, 2018. He will likely talk to the Thai saints about the temple and encourage them to prepare now to attend this temple once it is complete.

The official announcement at Mormon Newsroom does not indicate a date for ground-breaking.

February 28, 2018 - President Russell M. Nelson to visit Bangkok
The Church announced that President Russell M. Nelson will visit Thailand on Friday April 20, 2018. He will be accompanied by Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. They will meet with the Thai Saints at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center from 7:00 - 8:30 pm that evening. President Nelson may share the architectural drawing of the forthcoming Bangkok Thailand Temple and its location during the meeting. This is the second time that the President of the LDS Church has visited Thailand. The first was in June 2000, when President Gordon B. Hinckley visited.

President Nelson visited Thailand in June of 1992 (as an Apostle) when in the company of Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. At that time chaos reigned in Bangkok as a political dispute was disrupting the populace. President Larry R. White asked Elder Maxwell to pronounce a blessing on Thailand which he did. Two days later the political dispute was resolved.

February 1, 2018 - New Mission President announced for Thailand

The Church today formally announced the call of Todd Melvin Hammond as the next president of the Thailand Bangkok Mission. Todd and his wife Noelle will assume leadership of the mission on July 1, 2018. . Todd is a professor of religion at Brigham Young University, Idaho Campus, in Rexburg Idaho. He is the son of Floyd Melvin Hammond who served in the First Quorum of the Seventy from April 1, 1989 until October 1, 2005, when he received emeritus status. Todd served as a missionary in Thailand 1984-86.

During the current semester at BYU-I, Professor Hammond is teaching “Missionary Preparation” and “The External Family.” It would be interesting of any of his students from his Missionary Preparation classes ended up being called to the Thailand Bangkok Mission. He’d then be able to see real world results from his teaching.

President Hammond sent an email which read in part:

I truly felt that there have been mighty people, mighty miracles and blessings poured out on that promised land [Thailand]. I have been so touched by the outpouring of love and support from Thai members, former missionaries, and those preparing to serve there. We know the Lord has a special place in his heart for the people and the land of Thailand!

The following appeared in the "Church News" on Saturday April 28, 2018

Todd Melvin Hammond, 52, and Noelle Green Hammond, six children, Crest Haven Ward, Rexburg Idaho East Stake: Thailand Bangkok Mission, succeeding President Kelly R. Johnson and Sister Teressa L. Johnson. Brother Hammond is a former stake president, bishop, ward Young Men president, stake executive secretary and missionary in the Thailand Bangkok Mission. Born in Boulder, Colorado, to F. Melvin Hammond and Evona (Bonnie) Sellers Hammond.

Sister Hammond serves as a Sunday School teacher and is a former ward Relief Society president, ward Primary presidency counselor, ward Young Women adviser, Primary music leader and missionary in the Ecuador Quito Mission. Born in Redlands, California, to C. Ronald Green and Evelyn (Bebe) Haven Green.

February 1, 2018 - New Mission Presidents in the Asia Area
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced a total of 111 new mission presidents. The following new mission presidents will begin serving in the Asia Area on July 1, 2018:
Mission President Companion
Cambodia Phnom Penh John W. Lewis LaCinda Lewis
China Hong Kong Dennis L. Phillips May Phillips
India New Delhi Bradley R. Hansen Danna L. Hansen
Singapore Greg P. Mackay Sheila Mackay
Taiwan Taichung Bradley W. Card Cynthia J. Card
Taiwan Taipei Michael L. Peterson Shelley P. Peterson
Thailand Bangkok Todd Melvin Hammond Noelle Green Hammond
Vietnam Hanoi Ross A. Chiles Carrie A. Chiles
February 1, 2018 - Mission Changes Announced
The following nineteen missions will be terminated and merged with other nearby missions on July 1, 2018:

Australia Sydney North, Bulgaria Sofia, California Modesto, California San Fernando, England London South, Greece Athens, Illinois Chicago West, México Ciudad Obregón, México Reynosa, Mississippi Jackson, New York New York South, Ohio Cleveland, Portugal Porto, România/Moldova, Russia Samara, Spain Málaga, Ukraine L’viv, Utah Logan, Washington Federal Way

In part these closures are due to the drop in missionaries serving from 88,000 to 68,000. Missions in Russia are being consolidated because of the proselyting restrictions imposed during the past 18 months.

Five new missions were created in areas where church growth is strong. The new missions are: Brazil Rio de Janeiro South, Cote d’Ivoire Yamoussoukro, Nigeria Ibadan, Philippines Cabanatuan, and Zimbabwe Bulawayo.

January 11, 2018 - January Missionary Group Arrives
The January 2018 group includes one senior couple, two Elders and six Sisters.
Pictured here with President and Sister Johnson on the front steps of the Church Office building on New Petchaburi Road in Bangkok
December 1, 2017 - December Missionary Group Arrives
Eight Elders and four Sisters arrived in Bangkok to begin the in-country portion of their missionary service. They are pictured below with President and Sister Johnson in front of the Church's Bangkok office building.
The group includes: Elder Christian Siu-Ting Cheung, Elder Aaron Charles Torgesen, Elder Arcadia Jeffrey, Elder Benjamin Spangler Jensen, • Elder Jacob Lamont Eskersley, Elder Kaden Danie McBride, Elder Luke Jonathan Rands, Elder Pierce Douglas Walker, • Sister Emma Mae Lahti, • Sister Erica Serene Christensen, Sister Ingram Lara Beck, Sister Sage Amira Smith. Three Thai Sisters (not pictured) also started their missions at about the same time. (Sister Kanchalee Phubualee, Sister Long Mittavong, Sister Phiengsamai Sorphapmixay).
October 25 - 29, 2017 - Royal Cremation Ceremony for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great passed away October 13, 2016. He was the King of Thailand for more than sixty-seven years. This week many events are scheduled surrounding his cremation. These include:
  • October 25 - A day for presenting flowers in memory of the King.
  • October 26 - Merit making at at Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall in the Grand Palace.
  • October 27 - Procession from Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall in the Grand Palace to the Royal Crematorium at Sanam Luang.
  • October 27 - Royal Cremation Ceremony begins at 5:30 PM (Bangkok Time)
  • October 28 - Collection of the Royal relics and ashes
  • October 29 - A ceremony will be held to enshrine the royal urn containing the royal relics at Chakri Maha Prasat Throne Hall. The hall houses the relics of all late kings in the Chakri Dynasty
The Bangkok Post has written special articles regarding the late King. These articles can be accessed at Bangkok Post King Rama 9 site.

The Royal Crematorium (Phra Meru Mas) at Sanam Luang. This view is looking to the southwest. Photo taken as the procession was arriving at the Royal Crematorium on October 26. Source: Thai TV Pool. Construction began in the spring of 2017. The procession from the Grand Palace to Sanam Luang (a distance of just over 1 mile) took several hours to complete. The procession is done with very deliberate and small steps. There was also a merit making event around the half way point near Wat Phra Chetuphon.

The largest building on the west side is the official viewing and merit making pavilion for the Royal Family and their guests. There are now two new princesses, both are daughters of His Majesty Maha Vajiralongkorn. Princess Bajrakitiyabha and Princess Sirivannavari Narirarana. Her Majesty Queen Sirikit has not been seen in public for some time due to poor health. During the week members of the Royal Family greeted guests from around the world. There are no "official photos or video" of the actual cremation that took place at 10 pm on October 26. Ashes and relics of the King were distributed to various locations on October 27 - 29.

A view of Sanam Luang with the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in the lower left corner. Source: Thai TV Pool.
October 18, 2017 - October Missionary group arrives
A group of nine Elders arrived in Bangkok.

Back row left to right: Elder Cade Andrew Jorgensen - Arizona, Elder Jaren Leung Abbott - Illinois, Elder Samuel Curtis Smith - Utah, Elder Nopera Tamaiti Watene - New Zealand, Elder Nathan Kevan Morgan - Washington, Front Row left to right: Elder Pavin Bryen David Steele - Utah, Elder Samuel Henry Hafen - Utah, Elder Samuel Curtis Smith - Utah, Elder Hawkeye Nathaniel Siebert - Minnesota. with President and Sister Johnson. Photo from the front steps of the Chuch office building.

Thanks to Brother Wisan Wisanbannawit for providing the photo and names.

October 1, 2017 - A Short History of the LDS Church in Thailand
Brother Wisan Wisanbannawit of the Thailand Presiding Bishopric's Office (PBO) requested an updated "short history" of the LDS Church in Thailand. He hopes to have this new short history translated into Thai. See A Short History of the LDS Church in Thailand. Last update 10/06/2017.
September 9, 2017 - September Missionary group arrives
Twenty-three new missionaries to assimilate all at once is a real challenge. I hope all their senior companions are ready to do a good job. Photo taken at the entry to the Church office building in Bangkok.
July 28, 2017 - July Missionary group arrives
Eight sisters and six elders. The increase in the number of Sister Missionaries serving since the age change to nineteen is truly amazing. So different from 1973 when I arrived and we had no Sister Missionaries, but we did have one terrific Mission Mother in Sister Betty Morris. This photo was taken at the roof top of the hotel adjacent to the Church office building (location identified by President David Senior).
May 27-28, 2017 - Bangnaa Chapel Open House and Re-dedication
After extensive remodeling the Bangnaa Chapel was rededicated on Sunday May 28, by Elder Wisit Khnakham, Area Authority Seventy. The chapel is home to the Bangnaa and Samut Prakhan wards of the Thailand Bangkok Stake. The inside looks much like that of more recent chapels in Indochina.
May 25, 2017 - Elder Cook visits Thailand as part of a trip to review the Asia Area
Announcement of Elder Cook's visit (left); Primary Choir performs during the meeting (right)(SourceDeseret News)
Elder Cook of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles met with members at the Amari Watergate Hotel. He along with Elder Ulisses Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy and Bishop W. Christopher Wadell traveled to Hong Kong for the annual review of the Asia Area. Following the review they each made visits to different places. Elder Soares visited Singapore and Indonesia. Bishop Wadell visited Mongolia and Hyderabad India, home to the first stake created in that country.

The Deseret News reported the following regarding his visit to Thailand. Elder Cook along with Elder Funk, area president, visited with Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but the purpose of that visit was not disclosed. Elder Cook remarked, "Members in Thailand are excited about the future temple in their nation." He encouraged them to prepare their four generation family history in advance of the temple's completion.

In 1949 Elder Matthew Cowley of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles opened the Hong Kong Mission with a prayer from Victoria Peak — the highest point overlooking the city. The Cooks, Soares and Waddells, together with the Asian leaders, had the opportunity to stand on that peak and appreciate the spiritual significance of that historic location. Editor's note: The view from the top of Victoria Peak at night is one of the most breath taking of any in the world."

May 12, 2017 - LDS Church helps provide books to 40 schools in Southern Thailand devastated by flooding
There are very few members of the LDS church (and no missionaries) in Southern Thailand. A small group meets each Sunday in Phuket.
May 4-6, 2017 - Youth Conference - Chiang Mai
May 4, 2017 - New missionaries arrive
The mission received three new elders and six new sister missionaries. Elders McCown, Smart and Ignacio, Sisters: Ballif, Chappell, Powell, Henry, Curtis, Caesar. I wonder how many new missionary groups arriving in Thailand have been composed of more Sisters than Elders?
March 23, 2017 New Missionaries Arrive
Six new Elders and seven new Sisters arrive in the mission. Elders: Duncan, Fillmore, Krey, Parkinson, Theobald, Chin. Sisters: Feldman, Jackson, McWain, Newton,Tukuafu, Rukkhan, Warangrat.
February 8, 2017 First group of missionaries of 2017 arrive in Bangkok