As part of an historic ceremony in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31, 2016, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said, “We express gratitude and appreciation for the official full recognition of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its representative committee in Vietnam.”
Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Presidency of the Seventy also represented the Church at the event. Government leaders in Vietnam included Bui Thanh Ha, vice chairman of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, and Le Ba Trinh, vice president of the Fatherland Front.
The official recognition follows other recent milestones for the Church in the country. Earlier this year, the Church created the Vietnam Hanoi Mission from the Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission. A high-ranking Vietnam delegation from Hanoi visited Church headquarters in October 2015. In 2014, Vietnam government leaders officially recognized an interim committee of Vietnamese Latter-day Saint leaders, giving them legal status to represent the Church in the country.
The Church has also conducted a number of humanitarian activities in Vietnam over the years through LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church.
“There is much to be grateful for today,” said Elder Stevenson at the recognition event. “According to the law and working closely with local Vietnam authorities, we look forward, gradually, over time, to establishing groups or branches for … additional Church members.”
Mormon congregations currently meet in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
“Thank you for today’s full official recognition,” added Elder Gong, who said that Latter-day Saints are taught to honor, obey and sustain the law where Church congregations are organized.
Elder Cook concluded his remarks by saying, “Our great desire is that the divine attributes of faith, hope and charity will strengthen each family and individual. May there be peace, prosperity and happiness for families and individuals across this great country of Vietnam.”