1960年代，教友生活清簡，無法支付龐大的教堂建築基金（當時使用教堂之單位需負擔建築費用的百分之二），只得以奉獻工（在工地工作一小時等於奉獻一元美金）的方式繳付。但到教堂竣工之際，仍因金額不足，無法奉獻。有鑑於此，當時的南遠東傳道部會長奎理（President Jay A. Quealy）慨然奉獻金錢，支付巨大差額，這座教堂始能順利進行奉獻。根據陳林淑良姊妹表示，奎理會長曾說：「下次我來教堂時要檢查！我會摸摸牆壁，看看是否有灰塵，也會摸摸長椅下面，看看是不是黏了口香糖。」
The crowning experience of my mission occurred during the last three months I was in Taiwan.
following is the official account of what happened.
This story was written by me and submitted to the First Presidency by my Mission President — President Taylor.
It was the late summer or early fall of
1961 in Taipei when this event occurred. These are the facts as near as I can remember them.
The elders assigned to the Taipei Mission Home were eating lunch one day when the cook came into the dining room and asked Elder Cliff Edmunds
to look at a newspaper ad that he had in his hand. [The ad was taken from a Chinese newspaper that had been wrapped around the fish he bought that morning at the market.]
The government was selling parcels of land in Taipei at a closed-bid
auction. The ad gave the location of the land and the name and address of the government agency to contact.
After lunch Elder Edmunds and I rode our bikes to the address given in the newspaper ad.
The land, as
it turned out to be, had been a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during the Second World War.
The ugly barbed wire fences and guard towers still stood as sobering reminders of what happened there so many years before.
we viewed the property we then rode out to see the agent named in the ad.
The agent, Mr. Chang, was a government-appointed attorney who was authorized to handle the sale of the land.
We identified ourselves and
told him of our interest in obtaining land for the Church. He gave us all the information we needed.
We went home and sent a letter to President Taylor in Hong Kong and then waited for his reply.
Within a week
we received his letter — YES, the Church was definitely interested, President Taylor said.
He told us that the information had been sent on to the First Presidency along with a request for permission to bid on the land.
The excitement among the missionaries and members began to build for, by now, the word was out that the Church had found property and was definitely interested.
Several weeks went by and then it came — a letter, signed
by President David O. McKay, authorizing me to bid on the land. [By now Elder Edmunds had been released and had gone home.] I took the sealed envelope, containing the authorization, our bid, and a check to Mr. Chang.
The next day I
too was released and returned home.
As I recall, it was about a month after I got home that a letter came from President Taylor informing me that our bid had been accepted by the Taiwan Government and that the Church was now a land
Needless to say, I was thrilled! Little did I know then of the eternal impact that this event would have on the people of Taiwan, for it was on this property that the Taiwan Temple was built many years later.
the past 32 years I have dreamed of the day when I could return to the island of Taiwan and see, first hand, the result of that transaction that the Lord accomplished through two young missionaries. Note: Prior to this land purchase, all attempts to buy
land in Taiwan had failed.
The government would not permit us to buy land because the Church was not registered as a “corporation.” We could not register as a “corporation” because we didn’t own land —
a catch 22.
This event allowed us to register as a corporation and begin looking for other property on the island. The Lord’s hand was manifest in this transaction in many ways but certainly the most significant has to be the
Chinese newspaper ad.
This advertisement did not appear in the English newspaper and we (the missionaries) probably would never have known about the land auction had it not been for the newspaper wrapped around the fish that morning.
Furthermore, of all the pages in the newspaper why did that particular page happen to be chosen for “our fish?”
To me it has been a testimony of how the Lord operates, yes — sometimes in strange and mysterious
ways, to accomplish his work.”
The link below is also interesting if you can access the original file through JSTOR at your local library:
OF THE GREAT MOMENTS OF THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH”: THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE FIRST CHAPEL IN THE CHINESE REALM
My grandpa Robert Suman (Papa) served
his mission in Taiwan in 1958-61. One day he saw an ad on the newspaper that his fresh fish was wrapped in, it was for a piece of land for sale. As a young elder, on behalf of the church, he made an offer to buy that land.
With lots of fasting and prayers
the offer went through and it was officially owned by the church. Later the Taiwan Temple was built to bless the lives of millions of people on both sides of the veil!
The link below is also interesting if you can access the original file through JSTOR
at your local library: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/jmormhist.42.3.0211?seq=1
ACQUISITION OF THE CHURCH ADMINISTRATION
BUILDING – TAIWAN
Paul Hyer 海爾保羅會長
Building the Kingdom of God on the earth and the establishment of Zion is never easy. It was not easy in the meridian of time when the Savior walked the earth and when the Apostle
Paul was working through the Jewish diaspora of Greece and Rome. It was not easy in the days of the prophet Joseph Smith or the days of the latter-day Moses, Brigham Young and my great grandfather, Christian Hyer – immigrant, convert, pioneer.
particularly I have in mind my experience as mission president in Taiwan, China and one of our many problems, namely, finding a new mission headquarters. The story is detailed below. The result, one of my more important accomplishments in the mission, was
finding and helping to acquire what is now our fine administration building for Church offices in Taiwan, China. I have already explained elsewhere my involvement in building the Temple.
When I arrived in July 1982 the Taipei mission headquarters including
the residence of the mission president were located
where the temple is presently located. When I first saw the neighborhood almost twenty years earlier in 1963; it was open fields, a large gardening area of a Chinese prison. The old
of the prison is still there if a person knows where to look. The land was purchased for a chapel; what eventually |became the first stake center. Later, Malan Jackson, first president of an independent Taiwan Mission, contracted in 1972 to build a mission
office and a mission president's residence just south of the stake center. At first his office was downstairs in the basement of the building, and the residence was out in Tienmu.
By 1982 the decision had been made to demolish the mission complex and
build the temple on the site. It was then imperative that I find a new location for the mission offices and a
residence for the mission president's family – – a daunting task as it turned out . Daunting because the area was now saturated
with two in-town university branches -- Tanjang University and
Chengchi University, also with government offices and many businesses.
We debated putting the mission complex out in the outskirts of Taipei in such a place as Shihlin or Tienmu.
However, I wanted to keep the headquarters more in town, close to the fine Taipei Stake Center. This was the focal point of the Church in Taiwan, a facility role mission used on occasion and would be close to the temple j would soon be built.
carefully around the area for a new location for the mission headquarters but the search was rather discouraging. The mission office elders were assisting and found a suite of
offices near the stake center, just off Hsinyi Road that seemed to be a possibility.
But the space was on the 6th floor of the building and Salt Lake said we could not put a mission headquarters on the 6th floor of a building. I think they had in mind the problems of heavy personnel traffic on an upper floor. We did look at a piece of Church
owned ground in Shihlin that was vacant and where we could build an appropriate building. But the place was ideal for a chapel, one was needed in the area and again I wanted to keep the mission close to the church Center.
I was beginning to despair
of finding a suitable place when one day I leaned back from my desk and looked sideways to my left out the back window of the office. There on "Alley" #183 coming off of Chin-hua street T noticed a seven story building going up. The location was ideal and
I wondered what it was planned for and who owned it. Would it be a possibility to meet our needs 2 I remember the general development of the events that followed though now, without my notes and after seventeen years, my recollection is not clear on every
I remember asking one of our Presiding Bishopric Office (PBO) personnel, Stephen Wong, to enquire about the building and see if there was any possibility for us to obtain space there. He followed through and found that there was
. This was a ray of hope. The pressure was on to move the mission headquarters and clear the way for the demolition of our mission buildings so the construction of the temple could proceed. It was urgent for us to make some critical decisions.
that the building that had attracted my attention was being constructed by a family company as a combination of offices and family residence. The quality of the work on the structure was superior -- it was not being built for speculation sale or investment.
They were willing to lease us four floors of the building, furthermore, they were willing to consider giving us an option to buy the entire building. We informed the Brethren in Salt Lake of what to us was an inspired situation, a heaven sent opportunity.
Fortunately, the Lord brought to us just at the time two men who were important in the process concerned here, Marvin Jensen and Elder David Melson. Though it was necessary for me to be involved in the process as Chairman of the Church Corporation in the
country, I was busy with many responsibilities more especially concerned with supervising the missionary zones and districts, the proselyting work and two districts of Chinese branches and members.
I digress here to introduce Elder David Melson. He
was the person to design the layout for the mission headquarters, to supervise the move, and be of help in other aspects of the
mission. He was twenty-nine years of age, a convert of just over a year. He was a confident, mature, capable person who had
managed a hotel and had other useful experiences. Interestingly, as a new missionary he had been one of my counselors while I was serving as a branch president at the Mission Training Center (MTC) . This was before any thought or call for me to serve as mission
Elder Melson was called to the Taichung Mission but while serving there he did not make progress in learning Chinese. It appeared that his mission would not be a good experience in China so he was transferred to the Philippines where English
was adequate for the work. There he had been very active in some changes and in setting up a new mission headquarters. So active it appears in taking the initiative that the mission president
When Elder Melson learned that Paul Hyer
was called to Taiwan he decided that he also had really been called to Taiwan and he wanted to return. He lobbied with the visiting general
authority – – Elder Robert L. Simpson, Executive Administrator,
(this was the office over
missions and stakes before the Area Presidency system was instituted) . Elder Simpson left the
Philippines for Taiwan and I picked him up at the airport. As we drove into town he brought up Elder Melson's situation and asked me how I would feel about
having him transferred to my mission. I said it was agreeable with me and the transfer was made. Elder Melson was a great help in many ways. His maturity was helpful in counseling young elders in their stressful mission experiences.
More important was
the arrival of Marvin Jenson, a construction specialist who came to supervise the building of several chapels we planned. He was especially important in drawing up a detailed, special proposal for the purchase of the building in question here, giving attention
to such matters as the finances and space utilization of the new building. This was necessary to persuade the Church to purchase it which proved to be the most difficult part of the process.
One advantage in Our favor in persuading Salt Lake to purchase
the building, in addition to the urgency of moving the mission complex, was the fact that our various church offices were dispersed in several places in Taipei. The Distribution Center (Fashing-jungshing) for church literature, missionary tracts and many other
supplies was located on Ho-ping East Road. The Translation Office and Finance Office were located up on Hsin-yi Street. Both were some distance from the mission headquarters and the stake offices. It would be much more ideal to have them brought together and
consolidated in one place.
A very complicating factor was that the owners of the
building were hard bargainers. They frankly pointed out that the value of their building was considerably enhanced because of the fine LDS Church stake center just
across the street and the new temple being constructed next door. Their asking price as I recall was near the cost of the temple. We had a series of dinner meetings with them to negotiate the matter but were not making much progress in lowering the price.
Salt Lake said their price was excessively high. Öne problem was that estimates of the worth of the building were made by Taiwan bank appraisers who are very conservative and came up with excessively low appraisals. Thus when Church staff in Salt Lake
saw the large gap between the high value the owners were asking and the value the appraisers assigned the property, our problem was complicated.
Then Marvin Jenson got the idea to get appraisals by engineers as to what the cost of replacement of the
building would be. These were more acceptable but still too high for Salt Lake, meaning the international Presiding Bishoprics Office (PBO) staff who carefully went over proposals before they were sent up to the Church appropriations committee – –
essentially the Quorum of the Twelve. The PBO people were not supportive. Naturally their stewardship was to carefully husband the tithing funds of the Church.
With a lease arrangement we had already moved the mission headquarters into the fourth floor,
the office staff living quarters occupied part of the fifth floor, and our family quarters were on the sixth floor and the kitchen, reception area, bedrooms for transient missionaries and the like were on the seventh floor. But the negotiations were pretty
much at a stalemate, they had dragged on for several months and the out come was not encouraging.
Finally, the owners were getting impatient, were questioning the seriousness of the Church, its "sincerity" in purchasing the building. They informed us
that if the purchase Was Idot resolved very soon they were going to move in and occupy the building which would probably be the end of our chances for a purchase
I was informed of their decision and decided to telephone the Brethren in Salt Lake. Following
the line of authority, I contacted my Executive Administrator, Elder Simpson. I reported that we were going to loose the building if we did not act quickly and get an approval to purchase it. I was told that the proposal could be sent up again but that there
was not much hope for a favorable decision – - the PBO people were not supportive of the proposition.
President Hinckley was conducting the meeting of the appropriations committee that would make the final decision, the crucial hurtle. This
committee, I understand, includes the First Presidency, the Twelve, the Presiding Bishopric and probably others. The results were usually confidential but I was informed of how the meeting went by some source now forgotten.
President Hinckley asked
how many of the committee favored "the purchase of that administration building in Taipei?" -- not many hands went up. Reframing the question he asked how many present were opposed to the purchase of the building in Taipei. Again, not many hands went up.
At this point "Mr. Asia" miraculously saved the day. Gordon B. Hinckley for years has been the widest traveled and the best informed of the Brethren on Asia. He said, if there is not so much opposition to the purchase, then why don't we buy it? The committee
then fell into line and we gained an important and wonderful administrative building.
Belatedly, several Church leaders came to Taiwan, mainly in connection with the construction of the temple, and as they surveyed the situation, including the new building
we had purchased, the were very pleased. They noted that we would never have to apologize for the purchase. It would have savęus much concern if they would have come earlier to see what we were proposing.
The building now houses, among other operations,
the Translation Department, Distribution Center, Church Records office (that for a long time was in Hong Kong), Physical Facilities offices, Finance Office, a computer specialist, the Temple President's residence and the mission headquarters noted above.
We now have a complex of buildings in Taipei of which we can be proud. The administrative headquarters for the entire Republic of China, Taiwan plus the temple and a fine stake Ceriter . They are also quite well framed by surrounding properties to form
an LDS oasis - – Taipei Temple square. This is important in a Chinese environment because we are judged by the physical appearance of our headquarters. OT OUT SaS to S TI flank as a background is the fine multi-storied building of Tanjang University
. On our southern flank is another multistoried building of the branch campus of Chengchi University. On the northern perimeter is the fine Catholic complex of the Vatican Embassy and an impressive chapel. On the western side completing the circle is the administrative
building discussed above.
It is an attractive group of buildings of which we can justly be proud. They give the Church visibility so people know that the LDS Church has an impressive presence in the capitol city of Taiwan, Republic of China. Evidence
of this is that after the temple was dedicated in 1984 it was nominated as the
building of the year or one of the most beautiful buildings in
Taipei . It had attracted considerable attention, especially among architects. However, the temple was
dropped from consideration because it is closed to the public – – interested
persons cannot freely enter in and wander around.
Moreover, these buildings, the temple, the stake center and the administrative building greatly enhance
the work. W i t h changing conditions and the astronomical rise in the cost of real estate, the value of the building is now much greater than the price for which we purchased it. The saints in Taiwan, China and I owe President Hinckley a great debt of gratitude.
He has always been a champion of the Church in Asia.