Brigham Young University

In the 1970s and 1980s, many Cambodian political refugees fled to Thailand and other countries of final resort. Latter-day Saint missionaries were called to teach the restored gospel among this population in the United States and elsewhere. In 1993, when political conditions allowed, President Larry R. White of the Thailand Bangkok Mission, in concert with area president John K. Carmack, made arrangements for Welfare Services missionaries to work in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. Vichit Ith, a Cambodian member living in Bangkok, helped make the arrangements that led to official recognition of the Church, which came early in 1994. On 23 March 1994, missionaries Sharlene and Donald C. Dobson, who were transferred from the India Bangalore Mission, arrived in Phnom Penh with President White to begin humanitarian projects. Four days later they officially opened missionary work.
On 8 August 1994, four Cambodian-speaking eldersRichard W. Henderson, Jamie T. Hipwell, John T. Smith, and Brian W. Strong (all from different U.S. missions)were transferred to Phnom Penh and immediately began teaching the gospel. Since that time, with the exception of a period of political turmoil in 1997, the Church has grown relatively rapidly. Cambodia became a mission in 1997, with Leland D. White as president. At the dawn of the year 2000 there were 1,018 members residing in five branches.
The most important event in Cambodian Church history was the visit of President Gordon B. Hinckley to Phnom Penh on 28-29 May 1996 and his dedication of the country for the preaching of the gospel.
[Year-end 2005: Est. population, 13,607,000; Members, 7,456; Branches, 20; Districts, 4; Missions, 1; Percent LDS, .05, or one in 1,982; Asia Area; Source 2007 Church Almanac.]
SOURCES
Britsch, R. Lanier. From the East: The History of the Latter-day Saints in Asia, 1851-1996. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1998. 407-13.
1999-2000 Church Almanac. Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1998. 287.
R. LANIER BRITSCH
From Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard O. Cowan, eds., Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), 173. Used with the permission of the Deseret Book Company. Copies prohibited by law.

In the 1970s and 1980s, many Cambodian political refugees fled to Thailand and other countries of final resort. Latter-day Saint missionaries were called to teach the restored gospel among this population in the United States and elsewhere. In 1993, when political conditions allowed, President Larry R. White of the Thailand Bangkok Mission, in concert with area president John K. Carmack, made arrangements for Welfare Services missionaries to work in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. Vichit Ith, a Cambodian member living in Bangkok, helped make the arrangements that led to official recognition of the Church, which came early in 1994. On 23 March 1994, missionaries Sharlene and Donald C. Dobson, who were transferred from the India Bangalore Mission, arrived in Phnom Penh with President White to begin humanitarian projects. Four days later they officially opened missionary work.
On 8 August 1994, four Cambodian-speaking eldersRichard W. Henderson, Jamie T. Hipwell, John T. Smith, and Brian W. Strong (all from different U.S. missions)were transferred to Phnom Penh and immediately began teaching the gospel. Since that time, with the exception of a period of political turmoil in 1997, the Church has grown relatively rapidly. Cambodia became a mission in 1997, with Leland D. White as president. At the dawn of the year 2000 there were 1,018 members residing in five branches.
The most important event in Cambodian Church history was the visit of President Gordon B. Hinckley to Phnom Penh on 28-29 May 1996 and his dedication of the country for the preaching of the gospel.
[Year-end 2005: Est. population, 13,607,000; Members, 7,456; Branches, 20; Districts, 4; Missions, 1; Percent LDS, .05, or one in 1,982; Asia Area; Source 2007 Church Almanac.]
SOURCES
Britsch, R. Lanier. From the East: The History of the Latter-day Saints in Asia, 1851-1996. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1998. 407-13.
1999-2000 Church Almanac. Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1998. 287.
R. LANIER BRITSCH
From Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard O. Cowan, eds., Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), 173. Used with the permission of the Deseret Book Company. Copies prohibited by law.