“‘Teach All Nations,’” Global Histories: Germany (2021)
“‘Teach All Nations,’” Global Histories: Germany
Latter-day Saints often associate Christ’s call to take the gospel to all nations (see Matthew 28:19–20) with full-time missionaries. In the Church’s history, however, the gospel has often spread as ordinary members moved to new countries. Saints moving to and from Germany have taken the gospel around Europe and in South America, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific.
Most significantly, letters from Wilhelm Friedrichs, whose family had moved from Cologne to Argentina, and from Auguste Lippelt, whose family had moved from Bremen to Brazil, led to the first Church organizations in South America in the 1920s. Small groups were pioneers elsewhere. In 1886 German immigrants to the Holy Land converted and maintained the first branch in what is now Israel. In the early 1900s, German immigrants to Ireland formed the core of the Dublin branch. German expatriates and their descendants were pioneers in Samoa and Tonga. And in Europe, East Prussian Saints who remained in their hometowns after changes in Germany’s borders after World Wars I and II became the first Church members in Lithuania and Poland.
In Africa, Latter-day Saints from Germany helped expand the Church’s reach beyond the early English-speaking centers of strength. Annelies Assard of Remsheid and her Ivorian husband, Phillipe Assard, moved to Cote d’Ivoire in 1986 and were pioneers in French-speaking Africa. By letting their light shine wherever life leads them, Latter-day Saints from Germany have blessed the global Church.