News Release

China Hong Kong Mission Has New President

President and Sister Lam Begin Their Service

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On 1 July, 2015, President Maurice M. Lam and Sister Elizabeth Lam started their three year assignment for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presiding over the China Hong Mission. They replaced President Val D. Hawks and Sister Julie A. Hawks who served well in that role since 2012. Returning from the United States to serve the Lord in their native land, the Lams want the people of Hong Kong to know some key things about the Church’s beliefs.

Sister Lam listed the most important things the people of Hong Kong should know: “We want the people to know that God lives. A lot of people don’t know this. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Christ. We have a living prophet on the earth today. I also want them to know that families are eternal and we can have families forever.”

Referring to the Church’s doctrine, President Lam offered his own desires for the people of Hong Kong when he said, “People need to know who they are. They are sons and daughters of God, and can be like Him, receiving all His blessings like princes and princesses in His kingdom.”

As children growing up in Kowloon, the Lams attended Diocesan Boys’ and Girls’ Schools. At the time, neither was familiar with the teachings of the LDS faith. In 1968, they both left Hong Kong to attend college in the United States where she attended the University of California at Berkeley while he studied at Stanford University. Eventually they got married and started a family that grew to six children and eight grandchildren.

With a young family in the early 1980’s, President Lam was deeply involved in his studies at UCLA Medical School and his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Meanwhile at home, Sister Lam was struggling with a son who had health problems and twin baby boys. One day she heard a knock on the door and opened it to some members of the Church who were fulfilling an inspired assignment to contact people on her street about an upcoming event. She was intrigued by the Church’s teachings, especially its focus on families and “Famly Home Evening.” She saw the Family Home Evening Program as something that could help her growing family, and was baptized into the Church in 1982. With the demands of a budding medical career, it took President Lam more time. But in 1995, he was baptized by his eldest son just before the start of the son’s full-time mission for the Church. 

The Lam’s children have been very involved in missionary work. Five of their six children have served full-time missions for the Church, the eldest son serving in the Philippines, their twin sons in Hong Kong, and their youngest son in New Jersey, USA. Their youngest daughter recently completed her missionary service in Bangkok, Thailand. In an ironic turnaround, the parents now enjoy the support of those children who, as a group, bid them farewell at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) to begin their own full-time missionary service. When they were “dropped off” by their children at the MTC, they couldn’t help but recall doing the same for each child at the beginning of his or her missionary service.

President and Sister Lam recognize one of the greatest challenges facing people in Hong Kong—they are very busy. No strangers to busyness themselves, they understand the demands of living and working in this fast-paced part of the world. About the challenges they will face, they respond, “We can only rely on the Lord and put our trust in Him because we are not doing our work but His work.”

Each of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' 400-plus mission presidents supervises and trains hundreds of the more than 80,000 missionaries assigned to a specific geographic area. Most mission presidents and their wives serve for three consecutive years.

Well over one million missionaries have served missions since the Church was organized in 1830. The mission presidents who lead them have a heavy responsibility in directing the work of individual missionaries.

Newly called mission presidents come from all walks of life, from many geographic locations, from varied experiences in Church leadership and from diverse family compositions. Mission presidents share a variety of responsibilities in their service. They are directed to first maintain their own well-being and that of their families. They instruct missionaries to effectively teach gospel principles as well as to maintain their individual health. In addition, the president assumes responsibility for the baptism of new converts and their initial development as new members of the Church.

On a day-to-day basis the supervising couples oversee not only the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of their own families, but also assume responsibility for each of the missionaries assigned to their area. For example, individual missionaries arrive and depart at approximately six-week intervals, as they begin or conclude their two-year period of service. Each missionary is personally attended to, orientated to the mission environment, and then assigned to a companion.

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