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What's new: 'Voice of the Saints in Taiwan' a history of the LDS Church in the small island nation

"VOICE OF THE SAINTS IN TAIWAN," by Po Nien "Felipe" Chou and Petra Mei Wah Sin Chou, Brigham Young University Religious Studies and Deseret Book, $31.99, 527 pages (nf)

In their book, "Voice of the Saints in Taiwan," Po Nien "Felipe" Chou and Petra Chou tell the stories of the first LDS members in Taiwan, and the ways in which these pioneers helped establish The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a well-looked-upon part of the Taiwanese community.

When the first missionaries arrived in Taiwan in 1956, they were welcomed by LDS American servicemen and their families, who were stationed on the island. There were no Taiwanese members, and only a small American branch in Taipei.

While missionaries and American servicemen acted as leaders initially (including one of the first missionaries, Elder Melvin C. Fish, who was called as the first Relief Society president in Taiwan), baptism of faithful members soon made possible the calling of Taiwanese leaders who would continue the work of strengthening the members within their own country.

Despite roadblocks that would threaten to hold up the work, the Chous share miracles that made possible important events like the construction of the first chapel in Taiwan, the baptism of Hu Wei-I, who helped translate the Book of Mormon into Mandarin Chinese, and the eventual completion and dedication of the temple in Taipei. As of 2016, 60 years after the beginning of missionary work in Taiwan, there are 58,756 members, two missions and 17 stakes.

"Voice of the Saints in Taiwan" is full of inspiring stories about the people who helped to bring about such a significant change and spirit to the island. Though it is, at times, heavy on dates, names and logistical information, these elements are all an important part of the history of the church in Taiwan.

Felipe Chou graduated with master's and doctorate degrees from Brigham Young University. Petra Chou also graduated from BYU with a bachelor's degree, and earned a master's degree from Western Governors University. They live in Utah, where he works in the Seminary and Institutes department of the LDS Church, and she teaches in the Chinese immersion program of the Alpine School District.

Megan Jensen is a BYU graduate, mom, writer and avid traveler. Her website is at www.megankjensen.com.