March 6 was a night to remember. Hugs, stories and testimonies were shared at Buendia Chapel as pioneers spoke of the early days of the Church in the Philippines.
Elder Haynie highlighted the seeds of remarkable growth (currently 720,000 members) in the Philippines planted by Latter-day Saints servicemen and women. In 1945, a young Red Cross worker from Utah named Maxine Tate arrived in the Philippines. Following the war she married E. M. “Pete” Grimm, a U.S. Army colonel and long-time resident of Manila. The Grimm home was the center of Church activity with most of the first 2,000 baptims in Manila performed in the Grimm swimming pool. Many of the Pioneers had fond memories of Sister Grimm and her swimming pool.
President Joseph Fielding Smith dedicated the Philippines for the preaching of the gospel on 21 August 1955.
A Prophetic Prayer
At the American War Memorial Cemetery on 28 April 1961 at 6:30 AM, “while quiet peace shrouded that hallowed place, some 100 members of the Church-mostly servicemen and their families, but including David Lagman, a lone Filipino member-met near the small memorial chapel. At the conclusion of a brief meeting, Elder Hinckley offered a prayer in which he expressed gratitude to the Republic of the Philippines “for the great price which has been paid by many to bring freedom of conscience, freedom of worship and freedom of assembly here in this land.” Furthermore, he invoked blessings ‘upon the people of this land, that they shall be friendly and hospitable and kind and gracious to those who shall come here, and that many…shall receive this message and be blessed thereby.”
The highlight of the event was the testimonies of local Mormon pioneers, and the message shared by Elder Steven E. Snow, Church Historian, who concluded the evening by emphasizing on importance of keeping records.
Read the list of filipino pioneers in Mormon Newsroom Philippines