Tuesday, January 30, 2018

When he First Heard the Gospel Preached

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Charles William Huhl was born in Germany in 1861. It is stated that he was a seeker after truth. Where did he first hear the gospel preached?
a.                  In the Tabernacle at Salt Lake City
b.                  In the Kirtland Temple
c.                   In Germany
d.                  In China
Yesterday’s answer:
C.   The controversy created by their arrival
Missionary work among the Japanese, however, would prove difficult and frustrating to Taylor and his companions. The four Latter-day Saints were stunned by the controversy their arrival in Japan stirred up in the Japanese press. Nishijima had predicted this exact kind of response. A number of magazine and newspaper articles had already been written in opposition to the Church in the decade before missionaries arrived in Japan. As Japanese studies scholar Sarah Cox Smith documents, the LDS faith “was portrayed as ridiculous and indeed laughable in its doctrine but with an uncanny, almost eerie, power to attract believers. Many perceived it to be a threat to Japanese culture. In a sense, the Latter-day Saint doctrines had been translated—or rather, mistranslated—by Japanese and resident Christina writers long before the missionaries ever set foot on Japanese soil.” Some Japanese were afraid that the Church, specifically its teachings and practice of plural marriage, would set back the recent social advancements of Japanese women and threaten Meiji enlightenment.
Printed pieces on the Latter-day Saint missionaries formed a trickle in the summer of 1901. Following the missionaries’ arrival in Yokohama, the trickle became a flash flood of editorials and essays opposing and supporting them and their religion. “More than a dozen newspapers in the capital city of Tokyo, two nationally influential newspapers in the dominant commercial city of Osaka, and no less than twenty major regional newspapers throughout the country devoted considerable space—often on front pages—to articles and editorials reporting or otherwise commenting on the arrival of this new Christian sect with unusual doctrines,” scholar Shinji Takagi chronicles. Between August 13 and September 10, 1901, at least 160 newspaper pieces were written about the Latter-day Saint elders boarding in Yokohama and evangelizing in the surrounding neighborhoods. Taylor and his companions were surprised by the level of attention although most newspapers cast the Mormons in a very negative light and focused on the oddities of the Church, especially plural marriage, the missionaries “felt to thank God for the prospect of persecution for we felt that it would be the means of bringing us to the front and attracting many who otherwise would not take enough interest in us to investigate the cause which we represented.”

A Moron and a Buddhist Debate Plural Marriage, The letters of Elder Alma O. Taylor and the Reverend Nishijima Kakuryo, 1901, Reid L. Neilson (BYU Studies, Vol. 53, Number 2, 2014), 103-104.

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