1990
Elder Oaks Speaks, Visits Officials in China
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“Elder Oaks Speaks, Visits Officials in China,” Ensign, Apr. 1990, 75

Elder Oaks Speaks, Visits Officials in China

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve visited with government leaders and addressed the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences during a visit to the People’s Republic of China from January 19 to 23.

He also set apart David Hsiao Hsin Chen, a native of China who is now a professor at Brigham Young University—Hawaii, as the Church’s traveling elder in China. Brother Chen was sustained to that calling at a meeting of the Beijing Branch on June 21.

Brother Chen will visit China periodically to oversee Church members and train leaders there. While the Church does not proselyte in China, there are several branches in the country. Most Church members are diplomatic personnel or businessmen and their families, or natives of China who joined the Church while living abroad.

Members of the Asia Area Presidency will also continue to visit periodically. Elder Douglas H. Smith of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, President of the Asia Area, accompanied Elder Oaks on his visit.

In Beijing, Elder Oaks and other Church leaders met with officials of the Bureau of Religious Affairs of the State Council, members of the Religion Commission of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and other government leaders. They also presented a set of LDS books to the National Library.

Currently, the Chinese government allows religious activities to proceed, but all churches in China must be self-governing, self-supporting, and self-propagating. They may not send in missionaries from outside the country, and outsiders may not distribute religious literature or start religious discussions.