Before S. Paul Thiruthuvadoss was born in the state of Tamil Nadu, his father converted from Hinduism to Christianity, gradually overcoming family opposition until most of his relatives joined him in his new faith. But as Paul grew, he felt something was missing in the Christian churches he knew. “I tried to find the truth of the gospel, but they were not able to give me any satisfying answers to quench my thirst for truth,” he recalled.
As an adult, Thiruthuvadoss became increasingly frustrated. He remembered, “In April 1954, I was on the verge of leaving Christianity once and for all to become a Hindu.” While considering his religious future, however, he found a pamphlet about Joseph Smith tucked inside a book in a used book store. “I read it two or three times,” he recalled, “and found it to be a revelation to me.”
For the next decade, Thiruthuvadoss corresponded with Church leaders in Salt Lake and Hong Kong. While they deliberated over how to establish the Church in India, he began to preach in villages near Coimbatore and set up a Sunday school based on Latter-day Saint materials. In 1965 missionaries were finally sent on a temporary assignment to baptize Thiruthuvadoss and a small group of early converts. He was overjoyed that they arrived in time to baptize his 96-year-old father, bringing them once again into the same Church.
The missionaries soon left Thiruthuvadoss and the members near Coimbatore to build up the Church on their own. Though there was no mission in India, young converts prepared to serve missions abroad. In 1981 Daniel Jabakumar became the first of many called from Coimbatore.