Two major milestones in the history of the Church in the Far East were reached April 22 and April 25 when the first stakes were organized in Taiwan and Hong Kong, representing the first stakes among the Chinese peoples.
The new stakes were a natural outgrowth of the developing Church in these two countries. At one time, both were part of the Southern Far East Mission. Now there is the Hong Kong Mission and the Taiwan Taipei Mission. This latter mission is scheduled to be divided in July to form the new Taiwan Kaohsiung Mission.
The new stakes were organized under the direction of Elder Gordon B. Hinckley of the Council of the Twelve, assisted by Elder Adney Y. Komatsu, Assistant to the Council of the Twelve and the area supervisor for the Far East.
The Taipei Taiwan Stake was established twenty years after the first Latter-day Saint missionaries landed on the island in 1956. Three years later, the land was dedicated for the preaching of the gospel by Elder Mark E. Petersen of the Council of the Twelve. In 1971, the Taiwan Taipei Mission was established.
Early in the history of the Church, in 1853, three missionaries landed in Hong Kong. Two months later they returned home—the doors to success in that area had been closed to them. In 1949 the land was dedicated to missionary work, but within two years the missionaries were withdrawn because of the Korean Conflict and the Chinese revolution. When the missionaries returned in 1955, conditions permitted the preaching of the gospel.