Where are LDS Church meetings held most frequently in the world?
Melissa Inouye, of the University of Hong Kong, believes the answer is in Hong Kong where church meetings are held every day of the week in order to accommodate the domestic helpers, many of whom are from the Philippines and who only get one day a week off, and these days vary.
Inouye explained there is a Mormon missionary couple specifically called to conduct church meetings for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints every day for whoever comes: “In fact, this couple’s P-day is Sunday,” Inouye said.
Staci Ford, of the University of Hong Kong, went into greater detail about Hong Kong in her presentation at the Global Crossroads: Mormonism and Asia in the Twenty-First Century Conference on Saturday, March 22, in Berkeley, Calif. She quoted members of the church in Hong Kong — women and men, leaders and members — in an effort to give a glimpse of the “Gathering and Grafting in the Hong Kong International District.”
In introducing one such domestic helper’s voice — Marissa Carino Estipona — Ford explained, “With over 1,000 domestic helpers, our district is the most gender imbalanced of its type in the church. We are a predominately matriarchal society at church.”
Estipona described her experience in church when one woman asked her if it was worth working long hours as a domestic helper away from her family to help them survive: “I responded, 'everything is worth it for my family.'”
Benjamin Tai, the International Hong Kong District Leader, works hard to bridge the differences between the many schedules and cultures of the members in the district.
Ford quoted Tai as saying, “In my view, the purpose of church boundaries is not to cause grief, heartache and headache for members of those in leadership callings. I am just very glad that anyone is willing to come and spend three-plus hours of his or her day off with us. My only desire is to make sure that for those that come, we are organized appropriately so that they can get the most out of their time and that spiritual growth is fostered."
Emily W. Jensen enjoys writing, editing, reading and eating dark chocolate, sometimes simultaneously. She happily covered the Mormon blogs for the Deseret News for five years. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org