Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles visited Bangkok, He led a priesthood leadership meeting, with priesthood leader from Thailand 3 stakes and districts. On Sunday August 16, he spoke to an audience of over 2140 members at the Ramkhamhang University Conference Center. He also met with missionaries serving in the Thailand Bangkok Mission. According to the Church News (September 5, 2015) Elder Holland made the following comments to those in attendance.
He challenged church members to:
During his trip to Southeast Asia he also visited branches in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam, Spoke to a gathering of about 2000 in Phnom Penh in Cambodia, and dedicated the country of Timor-Leste (eastern end of the Indonesian Islands) for the preaching of the gospel.Below are photos from Elder Holland's visit to Bangkok Thailand:
I wanted to congratulate you and your wife on accomplishing a great deal in Thailand over the past three years. Two new stakes, a temple announcement, and more converts in three years than ever before!
President Senior responded:
I wish we were deserving of your most generous comments. The truth is we have been laborers in the vineyard, having a special front row seat watching the Lord do His own work. Furtherance to that truth is we currently drink from the wells dug by those who have gone before. The temple announcement is in a way a validation of all of that work, faith, energy of missionaries and members over the past 50 years. Thank you for being a significant part of that.
President Suchat Chaichana of the Bangkok Thailand Stake has confirmed the dates for the 50th Anniversary of Missionary Work in Thailand ** November 11-13, 2016 **
Thailand was dedicated for the preaching of the gospel on November 2, 1966, by Elder Gordon B. Hinckley. The first missionaries did not arrive until February 2, 1968.
Here is what President Chaichana had to say regarding this event:
We plan to have all members from all units gather together in Bangkok on November 12, 2016 to celebrate 50th Anniversary for the whole day. We will rent the national stadium or national convention hall for 4000 people. There will be exhibition booths for all church departments and each ward and branch from all over the country will display their unit's history. We will also have the local Thai food festival that everyone can test the local Thai food from every region. At night we will have culture and art showcase from the representatives of each part in Thailand.
The next day, November 13 we will hold the national conference which will preside by the general authority.
November 14-15 is the annual Loy Kratong Festival A couple days before that we plan to have fundraising activities for charity between members and RMs such as golf tournament, bowling tournament and a marathon.
Suchat Chaichana - President Bangkok Thailand Stake
It is time to get excited and start planning; but, as of now, no one can purchase an airplane ticket for November 2016. Alan Hess, Thailand missionary #1 is working with others in the travel industry to come up with some packages to offer to former missionaries. Details on those will be available perhaps as early as late this year. The Bangkok Thailand Temple cannot be complete by the end of 2016, but perhaps it will have started to rise from the ground if we are lucky and there are no troubles in completing the exterior design and getting required permits.
Brother Hodges is a former stake presidency counselor, bishop, high councilor, stake Young Men president, Scoutmaster and missionary in the Thailand Bangkok Mission. Accountant, federal government. Born in Preston, Idaho, to Thayne K Hodges and Karen Ruth LaMont Hodges.
Sister Hodges is a former stake Young Women president, stake Primary presidency counselor, ward Relief Society and Primary president, stake Young Women camp director, Sunday School teacher and ward Primary chorister. Born in Preston, Idaho, to Lynn Spatig Porter and Arlene L Neuenswander Porter Larsen.
When President Gordon B. Hinckley visited Thailand in June 2000, he promised the Saints that one day a temple would be built in Thailand, the announcement that will fulfill that promise was made by President Monson, just a few months short of 15 years later.
The site for the temple was purchased in 2008. At that time the church purchased property on New Petchaburi Road (not far from the Asoke Chapel - Thailand's first - completed in 1972 and dedicated in 1974 by Elder David B. Haight (at that time an assistant to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles).
Church growth in Thailand over the past 18 months has been nothing less than spectacular, with almost 2000 baptisms in 2014, making Thailand one of the top baptizing missions in the church. The offer of a way to have sins forgiven resonated with the Thai people who had suffered from a divided government and many uncertainties since September of 2006. Retention results so far have also exceed the long term average for the country.
It will be interesting to see what countries make up the temple district for the new temple. Clearly Cambodia with 2 stakes in Phnom Penh will be included; but what countries will be left in the Hong Kong district, so that it still has some of its own? Perhaps Viet Nam, Indonesia and Singapore will be left with Hong Kong? While India, Malaysia, Laos and Myanmar are assigned to Thailand.
Since it takes 2-3 years from the time of the groundbreaking to construct a typical new temple, the completion date for the Bangkok Thailand Temple will be 2018 or later, even if ground is broken in the fall of 2015. Groundbreaking cannot be done until the local permits have been obtained, and such permits will require a rendering of the outside of the building, and the specifications for the outside dimensions as well. It is not known if any architectural design work has already been completed.
Brother Christensen serves as a ward mission leader and is a former bishop, stake presidency counselor, ward Young Men president, Scoutmaster and missionary in the Hong Kong/Vietnam Mission. President/general counsel, Pacific Western Equipment Finance. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Lowell H. Christensen and Catherine Renee Young Christensen.
Sister Christensen serves as a stake Relief Society president and is a former ward Primary, Young Women and Relief Society president, Relief Society teacher, Primary pianist and ward organist. Born in Salt Lake City to Rey Lorenzo Baird and Joanne Pay Baird.
March 7, 2015 - Introducing Kelly R. Johnson - 15th President of the Thailand Bangkok Mission
Brother Johnson is a former stake president, stake presidency counselor, high councilor, bishop, ward mission leader and missionary in the Thailand Bangkok Mission. Forensic accountant and partner, Norman, Townsend & Johnson. Born in Ogden, Utah, to Harold Raymond Johnson and Helen Cragun Johnson.
Sister Johnson is a former ward Young Women president, ward Young Women and Relief Society presidencies counselor and ward nursery leader. Born in Sumter, South Carolina. Daughter of Thomas Halstead and Darlena Halstead.
The next President for the Cambodia Phnom Penh mission was listed as "To Be Announced".