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Monday, June 6, 2011

Official Organization of the Moscow Russia Stake Announced

From the 6 June 2011 issue of the Deseret News, it has been announced that Elder Russell M. Nelson organized the Moscow Russia Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday 5 June 2011.  I feel not to discuss this announcement any further than informing The Mormon Eagle's readers who the Stake Presidency is over there: Yakov Mikhaylovich Boyko, President; Vladimir Nkolaivich Astashov, First Councilor; and Viktor Mikhaylovich Kremenchuk, Second Councilor, with Vyacheslav Viktorovich Protopopov the new Stake Patriarch.  I will now talk about the history of the Church in Russia.

As early as 1 October 1843, Joseph Smith called Elder Orson Hyde of the Twelve Apostles and George J. Adams on a mission to St. Petersburg, Russia.  The Prophet Joseph Smith said for Elders Hyde and Adams "to introduce the fullness of the gospel to the people of that vast empire . . . to which is attached some of the most important things concerning the advancement and building up of the Kingdom of God in the last days, which cannot be explained at this time. (James R. Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, Volume 1, p. 190)"  This mission never materialized, however, because of the Prophet's martyrdom in June of the next year.

Not until 1895 was another missionary sent to Russia, an Elder August Joel Hoglund.  He arrived 9 June 1895, and two days later (11 June) baptized two converts in the river Neva.  In 1903, President Francis M. Lyman, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, came to St. Petersburg to dedicate Russia for the preaching of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He repeated the prayer again in Moscow.  In between 1903 and the end of World War 1 in 1918, the missionary work continued.  Andre Anastasion joined the Church in 1917 and became instrumental in translating the Book of Mormon into the Russian language. In 1915, the first baptism was performed in Siberia in a lake near Vladivostok. (Russia Novosibirsk Mission website).  Unfortunately, not until the early 1990s, with the collapse of the former Soviet Union, were Mormon Missionaries again allowed in Russia.  On 26 April 1990 Elder Russell M. Nelson rededicated Russia in the Summer Gardens, the same place President Lyman had knelt in 97 years earlier.

As of 2005, Russia has 19,946 members, eight Missions, fifteen Districts, and 129 Branches,

I cannot find which Apostle rededicated Russia after the collapse of the USSR, so if anyone knows, let me know.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Elders Nelson offered the rededication prayer on April 26 1990 in the Summer Garden, the same place Elder Lyman offered his prayer nearly 87 years earlier.