Ho Nam Rhee
November 1973

“Ho Nam Rhee,” Ensign, Nov. 1973, 61–62

Ho Nam Rhee

Ho Nam Rhee, first president of the Seoul (Korea) Stake, tells how he joined the Church.

I was first introduced to Mormonism when an American Army man I worked with, Calvin R. Beck, took me to MIA. Everyone at the meeting was American, and I was surprised that they all extended warm hands and called me “Brother Rhee.” I felt that brotherhood, and the word “brother” echoed in my mind for days.

I wanted to know more about this religion, so Brother Beck taught me about Joseph Smith and the restoration of the gospel. I still remember one lesson based on the following questions:

Where did we come from?

Why are we here?

Where are we going after this mortal life?

The subject shocked me, because those questions have puzzled great philosophers throughout the ages. But as Brother Beck explained the plan of salvation, I was thrilled. I had no doubts. I think the Lord blessed me at that very moment.

My spiritual birthday came September 5, 1954, in Seoul. Elder Harold B. Lee, then an apostle of the Lord, personally confirmed me a member of the Church—an unforgettable blessing. I can still picture his kind, serious face and feel his warm, tender hands on my head.

I could hardly wait from Sunday to Sunday to share the testimony of the Saints. I was greatly blessed a second time when I was ordained to the office of priest by Joseph Fielding Smith, who dedicated Korea for the preaching of the gospel in 1955.

I feel I have an even more important position than the Korean ambassador to the United States, because I represent not one nation, but the kingdom of God. I am an ambassador of God to this world.