Kim Ho Jik

Kim Ho Jik

Infobox Korean name
rr= Kim Ho Jik


Kim Ho Jik (April 16, 1905August 31, 1959) was the first Korean convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and was a key figure in opening South Korea to missionary work of the LDS Church. Kim was also vice-minister of education in the administration of South Korean president Syngman Rhee.

Kim was born at Pyoktong in what is today North Korea. For a time while a youth, Kim studied at a Buddhist monastery.Denny Roy, [ “Kim Ho Jik: Korean Pioneer,”] "Ensign", July 1988, 19.] As a teenager Kim moved to Suwan. He graduated from Suwan Advanced Agricultural and Forestry School in 1924. In 1925, Kim became a member of a Protestant church and began studies at Tohoku University in Japan from which he graduated in 1930. Kim then served as president of Sukmyeong Women’s University for a time. In 1946, Kim took charge of the Suwon Agricultural Experimentation Station.

Kim began work on a doctoral degree at Cornell University in 1949.Palmer, Spencer J. "Kim Ho Jik" in Garr, Arnold K., Donald Q. Cannon and Richard O. Cowan, ed., "Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History". (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 2000) p. 613–614.] During this time, Kim was isolated from his family, as they stayed behind in Korea, and were affected by the Korean War. [John K. Carmack, [ "Unity in Diversity"] , "Liahona", Aug. 1992, p. 27.] Kim was introduced to the LDS Church by Oliver Wayman, a fellow Cornell graduate student who was also a member of the church. Kim was baptized on September 29, 1951."2008 Deseret Morning News Church Almanac" (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Morning News, 2007) p. 450] The baptism was performed in the Susquehanna River, the same body of water in which Joseph Smith, Jr. and Oliver Cowdery were baptized in in 1829.

Kim returned to Korea in 1952. He was apointed vice minister of education by South Korean president Syngman Rhee. Other positions Kim held after his return to Korea were a professorship at Hongik College, dean of animal husbandry at Konguk University, and the vice chairmanship of the Seoul City Board of Education. Kim also served as president of the National Fisheries College at Pusan. Kim was also a member of the Korean National Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Kim's children, Kim Tai Whan and Kim Young Sook, were among the first four people baptized into the LDS Church in Korea on August 3, 1952. Kim baptized his other two children, Kim Chun Sook and Kim Shin Hwan on January 3, 1953.Greg Hill, "Faith of Their Father: Daughters of Korean Pioneer Carry on in His Noble Footsteps", "Church News", October 22, 2005, p. Z11.]

On August 2, 1955, Kim was set apart as the president of the Korean District of the LDS Church by apostle Joseph Fielding Smith. Among those influenced by Kim's leadership of the church was Han In Sang, who became a general authority of the church. [Han In Sang, [ “Take Up His Cross,”] "Ensign", May 1992, 81.] Kim held the position of District President when he died.

In about 1970, Kim's widow, Pil Kun Park, joined the LDS Church.



* [ "South Korea Temple Opens A New Era For Korean Latter-day Saints"] , "Ensign", Nov. 1985, p. 107–108.]

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