As the entire country participates in the rebroadcast of the 186th Semiannual General Conference, let us look back to the very first conference held by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines.
It was a special conference held on May 13, 1945 at a Protestant Church building in Sampaloc, Manila attended by a crowd of about 272. Most of those present were LDS servicemen stationed in Luzon. Sister Maxine Tate-Grimm recalled that they were already holding regular sacrament meetings in the Sta. Mesa home of Col. Pete Grimm beginning March 11, 1945 but this was the largest meeting they had so far. The dual theme for the conference was the celebration of Mother’s Day and the commemoration of the Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood.
Sis. Maxine Tate arrived as a Red Cross worker on a hospital ship during MacArthur’s historic Leyte landing on October 20, 1944 and helped organize regular sacrament meetings in Tacloban. She made her way to Manila and again helped organize sacrament meetings with the help of Camp Commander Col. Pete Grimm whom she married in 1947.
After the success of the first large meeting of Latter-day Saints on May 13, regular Quarterly Conferences followed beginning with one on August 12, 1945 where nearly 500 servicemen and women gathered in the shall-scarred auditorium of Manila Normal School.