We both know we have to be careful and not name the country, but the changes
you're referring to happened *because* of, shall we say, a sudden increase in the
number of US ex-pats who were there. There have been US ex-pats in the a certain
industry there (especially from Texas), but even they were usually outnumbered
by  British and Canadians*, who met in this "group" arrangement, with the
blessing of this country's government before (the International Mission having
obtained the government's permission. I know this because I first contacted the
IM when I was contemplating the first job offer I got, which was way back in
1981, and this system was in place then.) The need for further arrangements was
due to a) the increased numbers, especially the sudden increase, which led the
Church to organize this rather unusual stake; and b) to the nature of the work
the ex-pats were doing there. So at no time did the Church break any laws, at
least since 1981, which is when I have first hand knowledge of the situation.
Others here on this list such as yourself (and I think there's at least one other
person here, too, who knows what we're talking about) have much more recent
first-hand information.

*The US IRS made changes in the income tax laws for ex-pats in the mid- to
late-80s which made it easier for ex-pat spouses with US citizenship; before then
anyone like myself, a Canadian citizen (we don't have extraterritorial income tax
laws except indirectly through treaties) with a U.S. spouse would have found
ourselves paying *US* income tax on my wife's half of my income, even though I'm
not a U.S. citizen. This was okay for those US citizens who lived in company
compounds because they negotiated special arrangements, but for those who wanted
to work directly for a company on their own, US citizenship complicated things at
the time. That's why Canadian, British, Australian, etc., Saints outnumbered US
Saints there until a certain geopolitical event.


> Marc Schindler:
> I think I know what country you're referring to, but if I'm right
> about it, I believe you *were* allowed to hold services in
> small groups in members homes, ...
> _______________
> I made a typo.  The part in parenthesis should have said
> it is *now* legal, under certain restrictions, for the Church
> to hold services there.  The restrictions are as you stated.
> However, at the time I was first there, it was not legal at all,
> yet even then the Church was well organized and functioning.
> Only those who were not citizens of the country participated.
> What was being done and the way in which it was done had
> the blessing of the International Mission Presidency (for
> those who may remember those days before Areas were
> established).
> And yes, the other information you mentioned is correct,
> including who created the stake.  The terms of meeting
> were worked out in SL between the Ambassador and the
> First Presidency.  I do not know if Elder Packer assisted in
> those meetings or not.  The limit is 25.
> Larry Jackson
> ________________________________________________________________
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Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and
falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."
--Michelangelo Buonarroti

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the authorís employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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