Participants work at a booth at the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City Friday, February 10, 2017. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.The free streamed sessions will include the popular general sessions and a sampling of technology and family history presentations appealing to varied interests.
RootsTech Streaming Schedule
Speaker or Speakers
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Family History in 5 Minutes a Day
Explore 20 ways to effectively do your family history in as little as 5 minutes a day.
DNA: One Family, One World
(Sponsored by Living DNA)
A new project by Living DNA is mapping the world's DNA, building one world family tree through genetics. Gain insight into how this will impact your family history.
Organizing and Preserving Photograph Collections
Step-by-step direction in organizing, preserving, and cataloging photo collections for future generations and identifying, digitizing, and sharing collections using family trees and social media.
Finding the Answers: The Basics of WWII Research
Fire destroyed many U.S. military and civilian service records. Alternative record sources exist to reconstruct service history. Learn how to research World War I and II records.
Wednesday General Session and Innovation Showcase
Steve Rockwood explores where industry giant FamilySearch has been and is going. Introduction of the all-new RootsTech Innovation Showcase.
Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Thursday General Session
Brandon Stanton started Humans of New York, a photography and storytelling blog. HONY has built a devoted following of over 20 million fans across several social media platforms.
Brandon Stanton, founder of Humans of New York
MyHeritage DNA 101: From Test to Results
(Sponsored by MyHeritage)
Learn about the MyHeritage DNA service and how the process works, from taking the test to the lab analysis. Learn about MyHeritage DNA’s over 40 ethnicities and how to optimize your DNA matches.
Google Photos: Collect, Organize, Preserve, and Share
Google Photos is a powerful, free app for storing, organizing, and sharing. Learn how to edit and create photo projects and automatically add your photos to the app from digital devices.
Unlocking Roman Catholic Records
The Catholic Church is essential for uncovering the lives of millions of immigrants from many nationalities. See how findmypast and the Catholic Church are working to make these records easily accessible.
A Gift of Life: Who's Writing Your Story?
Only you can tell the real stories of love, loss, forgiveness, and change. Don't leave the task of finding the answers of your life's history to someone else. Take the time to write your life story.
Friday, March 2, 2018
Friday General Session
Scott Hamilton is the living example that good guys CAN finish first! He is an Olympic champion, cancer survivor, television broadcaster, speaker, author, husband, father, and eternal optimist!
Scott Hamilton, Olympic skater
findmypast's British and Irish Hidden Gems
(Sponsored by findmypast)
Explore some of the wonderful findmypast.com collections that can help you break down your British ancestry brick walls, go back further in your family research, and add untold color and detail to your family story.
Finding the Right DNA Test for You
DNA testing is becoming an integral tool, but what is it and what does it do? How can DNA actually help your genealogy? If you are brand new to genetic genealogy, this is the class for you.
How Not to Leave Your Genealogy Behind
Nobody wants their genealogy research to end up in a landfill. Hear a few horror stories of genealogy materials destroyed and how you can avoid those mistakes.
Amy Johnson Crow and Curt Witcher
Finding Elusive Records at FamilySearch
Learn new skills and techniques used by the experts and lesser known record identification tools and features of the FamilySearch website.
Saturday, March 3, 2018
Saturday General Session
Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., host of popular PBS Finding Your Roots series, and Natalia Lafourcade, one of the most successful Latin American pop singers, will keynote this opening session.
Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Natalia Lafourcade
Civil Registration Indexes of England and Wales
England and Wales national indexes and recent innovations at the General Register Office have opened up new possibilities and completely new indexes.
Advancing Your Genealogy Research with DNA
(Sponsored by Ancestry)
Learn what new tools AncestryDNA has to advance your research and get more out of your DNA results.
Pain in the Access: More Web for Your Genealogy
Library, archive, government, and specialized websites have much to offer. Discover these sites and strategies for getting more online data.
Curt WitcherIndividuals and families interested in attending the live event in Salt Lake City should register as quickly as possible online at RootsTech.org.Watch at RootsTech.org. No registration is required to view the live streams. All times are in mountain standard time (MST).RootsTech Live Streaming Schedule The live broadcasts give those unable to attend in person a sampling of the show’s marquee content. Interested viewers can watch the select broadcasts live at RootsTech.org. No registration is required to view the live streams.RootsTech, the world’s largest family history and technology conference, happening February 28 to March 3, 2018, announced its free live online streaming schedule.“RootsTech 2018 offers over 300 sessions for those able to attend in person,” said Tyler Stahle, RootsTech marketing manager. “However, the 19 sessions we will live stream for free will expand the show’s reach and give more people the opportunity to participate remotely in this world class conference.” In 2017, streaming sessions garnered more than 50,000 views, and that number continues to grow each year.Find and share this announcement online in the FamilySearch Newsroom.It will broadcast 19 of its popular sessions, including Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton; Brandon Stanton, founder of the Humans of New York photo blog; host of the popular PBS show Finding Your Roots, Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Natalia Lafourcade; and Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International. People register for the RootsTech family history and technology conference at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, February 8, 2017. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.
“Carrying this burden keeps me, on the most fundamental of all levels, human” (“Elder Alexander B. Morrison of the First Quorum of the Seventy,” Ensign, May 1987).Elder Morrison was sustained as a General Authority on April 4, 1987, and served in that capacity until October 7, 2000. His assignments included serving in the United Kingdom/Ireland/Africa Area Presidency, as President of the North America Southeast Area, and in the Utah North Area Presidency.“My roommate taught me two principles that just electrified me,” he said in the Church News article. “The first one was that the glory of God is intelligence, that the major purpose for our mortal existence is to learn, and that we will have the chance to learn forever. I was going to school because I loved to learn. My mind was beginning to open to all the wonders of knowledge. The thought that I could learn forever absolutely fascinated me.Elder Morrison became the first person in his family to attend college, and while attending the University of Alberta in 1949, he had an LDS roommate who introduced him to the gospel.Elder Morrison spent his career devoted to the curing and elimination of disease and malnutrition. Among his notable contributions are his work directing several international committees in the World Health Organization, his leadership of groups of Nobel Prize-winning scientists, and his work as chairman of the Department of Food Sciences at the University of Guelf in Canada.A funeral will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. at the Bountiful Utah Orchard Stake Center, 3599 South Orchard Drive, Bountiful, Utah.“The second principle my roommate taught me was that marriage is intended to be an eternal relationship. I was dating Shirley Brooks. The thought that I could be with her forever—well, I would have jumped through hoops for that opportunity!”Elder Alexander Baillie Morrison, emeritus General Authority Seventy and internationally known scientist, died at home in Bountiful, Utah, on Monday, February 12, 2018, at the age of 87.“I carry victims’ faces in my mind as I brush my teeth and rinse my mouth with water whose purity I take for granted,” he said in an Ensign article. “I feel jungle heat on my skin as I move through air-conditioned corridors. I remember what starvation looks like as I sit down to abundance three times a day.Born to Alexander S. Morrison and Christina Wilson Morrison in Edmonton, Alberta, on December 22, 1930, Elder Morrison grew up working on the family farm in Canada.That hard work ethic and a love for learning benefited him throughout his life.The couple were baptized in December 1950 and married a week later. They were later sealed in the Cardston Alberta Temple and have eight children, 24 grandchildren, and 24 great-grandchildren.His work within the Church—as well as in his professional life fighting disease and hunger throughout the world—was a manifestation of his faith in Christ.During the more than 13 years he served as a General Authority he also served on many committees, including the Developing Nations Committee, the Boundary and Leadership Change Committee, the LDS Charities Board of Directors, the Strengthening Church Members Committee, and as Assistant Executive Director of the Church’s Curriculum Department.For 14 years of his professional career he served in the Federal Public Service of Canada as assistant deputy minister in charge of health protection. At the time, it was the highest nonpolitical government position in Canada ever held by a Latter-day Saint. He also spent a year in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1981 to 1982 as a consultant to the director general of the World Health Organization.
Elder Alexander B. Morrison, emeritus General Authority Seventy, died at home in Bountiful, Utah, on Monday, February 12, 2018, at the age of 87.BOUNTIFUL, UTAH“I mumbled and grumbled about all the work, like everybody does, but, in retrospect, I see that the ability to work is worth more than anything,” he said in a Church News article in May 1987.Elder Morrison earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Alberta and a PhD at Cornell University, and nearly a decade later he earned another master’s degree in pharmacology from the University of Michigan.
Recognizing that how a person or family is supported is often on a personal, case-to-case basis, Carter said an effective way to know how to best support a family is to simply ask them.5. To be acceptedRather than just ministering to people with disabilities, it is important to include people with disabilities in ministering to others.There is a difference between being “known about” than being “known.” Oftentimes a person with a disability is labeled by their disability, but it is more important to be known by their names, strengths, gifts, and positive qualities.4. To be knownIt is through simple actions that all in a congregation will feel welcomed and experience a sense of “belonging.”“We foster belonging not through programs but through relationships,” Carter said. “That’s how belonging comes to pass.”Sharing his findings in research regarding young people with disabilities and their families, Carter shared “what it means to be a community marked by belonging.”1. To be presentSmall acts such as greeting new families when they arrive, introducing them to others, drawing them into conversations, inviting them to other church events, involving them in smaller groups, noticing absences, and following up to know why they are gone are simple ways to reach out that are very effective.Whether it is an architectural design element of the physical building—such as inaccessible classrooms or a step that makes it difficult for a person to enter the building—or a feeling of not being welcome, all are barriers for a person with disabilities.Sharing results from his multiyear research project that included nearly 500 young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, Carter offered 10 dimensions that help in fostering a sense of belonging in faith communities.“My sense is, even though I am going to focus on those young people [with disabilities], … this is really a conversation tonight about what it means to foster belonging for anyone. So I challenge you to think about how the ideas I share today might be expressed within the communities that matter most to each of you.”“Uncertainty almost always leads to avoidance,” he said. “And when people go unacknowledged or overlooked or ignored, they stop coming eventually.”“The scriptures are reminding us over and over that all we do, all we are, has to be marked by love,” he said. “Service systems … are not designed to love, but the Church is.”“If we were going to leave here together and stroll through [a nearby] neighborhood and start knocking on doors, what we would find is that one of every three households that we knocked on would include a family that had a member with a disability.”Research shows that nearly half of the adults with intellectual disabilities who are supported on state services are not involved in any congregation at all. Just over half of the parents—56 percent—of kids with disabilities said they have kept their child with a disability home from participating in religious activity because there was not support provided.Using the positive example of a clergy leader who is unfazed by a noise or someone speaking out while they are offering a sermon, Carter said simple acts like that make those with disabilities and their families feel accepted in the congregation.“The core needs are not what’s different, but the supports that we have to provide to support people are different.”6. To be supported“What is standing in the way of people becoming present in our communities?” he asked.Carter is the Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Special Education at Vanderbilt University and was this year’s guest lecturer at the annual event. His research focuses on evidence-based strategies for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, autism, or other disabilities to find support and promote valued roles in school, work, community, and congregational settings.“These are well within our capacity to do—as a church and as the people who live in our communities,” he said.“While that’s worthwhile to do, it is not sufficient,” he said. “We presume that that’s enough—everyone is welcome. An announcement communicates something very different than an invitation.”8. To be befriendedCrucial to a person feeling a sense of belonging is friendship. For many people with disabilities, research shows their circle of friends and associates only includes family members and people who are paid to help them—such as staff and aides.For many successful families, “belonging didn’t begin with a general invitation, but a personal invitation,” he said. “When we are not intentional about personally reaching into our communities, we end up inadvertently leaving people out.”3. To be welcomedAnd those relationships come from simple, ordinary gestures.“It reflects a recognition that they, like everyone else, are indispensable members of the body. … Our faith community have much to gain by encountering the gifts [of] people with disabilities and their families,” he said. “When that mutuality is expressed we start to see real, deep, lasting belonging happen for families.”2. To be invitedCarter shared that in most of the available data he has collected, it shows people with developmental disabilities find themselves on the outskirts of their communities.“We can’t legislate friendship; we can’t mandate friendship,” he said. “So here’s where the opportunity comes for all of us. … It’s life lived beyond the walls of our congregation that pushes people from mere acquaintances toward close friendships.”Young people with disabilities and their families want more than to be integrated or included. “They want to experience belonging,” Dr. Erik Carter said during the 14th annual Marjorie Pay Hinckley Lecture at Brigham Young University held on February 8.“We learned that two-thirds of teenagers are not involved in any youth program or teen groups within their local congregation, and less than one out of five congregations are said to support children with developmental disabilities within their religious education programs, or to host support groups for families or to provide respite opportunities,” he said.9. To be needed“Those are ordinary actions that send a powerful message to families,” he said.“Healthy communities are marked by care for one another,” he said. “They recognize and they strive to support the spiritual needs of families in their congregation but also the emotional, practical needs of their members. That care communicates that you matter, that you belong.”Carter pointed out that communities are filled with people with disabilities. “It’s a natural part of the human condition. … There’s 60 million Americans with disabilities—that’s about 19 percent of any community. It cuts across geographic areas, it cuts across every demographic—race, ethnicity, economic status, geographic locale—and so you can maybe begin to think about what is one-fifth of the community I live in?”“Less than half of parents that we talked to in our studies had ever been asked about the best way to include their son or daughter in religious education activities,” he said. “So that might be a starting point—ask good questions.”Looking at the Orem-Provo area in Utah, Carter shared that of the 526,000 people living in the metropolitan area, there are about 15,000 children and adults with intellectual disability and autism who live in that community alone. He added that more than half of all people over the age of 65 have a disability. Audience members listen as Dr. Erik Carter of Vanderbilt University speaks during the 14th annual Marjorie Pay Hinckley Lecture at Brigham Young University, held in the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors’ Center on February 8. Photo by Aislynn Edwards, BYU. Dr. Erik Carter of Vanderbilt University speaks during the 14th annual Marjorie Pay Hinckley Lecture at Brigham Young University, held in the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors’ Center on February 8. Photo by Aislynn Edwards, BYU.“Belonging always begins with presence,” he said. “We cannot have a presence in a community if you are not actually present. And yet, in so many of our communities, the primary barrier to belonging is simply the absence of people with disabilities—from worship, from learning, from service, from social activities, from all the things that make up congregational life. … It is hard to feel like you are part of a community from the outside.”Recognizing many congregations proclaim that they are welcoming on their website, in their church signs, and in their outreach materials, those actions are not enough.Whether that is sharing a meal or participating in a favorite hobby, going to the mall, or watching a game together, friendship develops as a person includes another person—whatever their abilities—in those ordinary gestures.Recognizing that some people experience uncertainty when they are around people with disabilities—worrying about what to say or not to say to those people—Carter said it is important to continue to reach out. It’s not always about the exact words that are said, but rather how a person feels in a situation.“The great thing about this befriending is you don’t have to have any training. You don’t need a specialized degree. … We know how to befriend people, and the way you do that for people with developmental disabilities is exactly the same way.”7. To be cared forThe markers of fostering belonging and meaningful inclusion are the same for all people, especially in congregations of faith.10. To be loved“We were meant for relationships,” Carter said.“What we learned when we asked parents to share their perspectives on the extent to which their current congregation was accepting of their son or daughter with disabilities, only a little more than half strongly agreed that clergy and congregational leaders accepted their child, and slightly less than half strongly agreed that other congregation members accepted their child.”Research also shows more than half of the youth in high school with autism had not been invited to a social activity with peers even once in the previous year.“As Christians we are called to welcome the stranger, but the stranger is not supposed to remain a stranger for very long,” Carter said.
We see many more people invited with increased authority and greater power to come unto Christ by these missionaries because of their pre-mission temple and family history experiences.We envision their powerful influence on friends to come back or be baptized as the youth share their testimonies with others.
Aaronic Priesthood holders can experience spiritual strength as they participate in temple ordinances.
A group of young men and young women serve in the Accra Ghana Temple.Greater opportunities to serve in the temple by performing baptisms and being witnesses will gently encourage more young men to be worthy of a current temple recommend and to attend the temple more often.Elder Donald L. Hallstrom, General Authority Seventy, recently taught: “We have come to understand that the greatest predictor of spiritual success—measured by ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood, receiving the endowment, serving a mission, marriage in the temple, and raising a righteous family—is for a young man or a young woman to have personal spiritual experiences in their youth—for them to feel the influence of the Holy Spirit” (“The Conversion of the Children of God” [Church Educational System training broadcast, June 13, 2017]).As more young men experience the blessing and power of performing vicarious baptisms in the house of the Lord, they too will experience such spiritual promptings to prepare diligently for and serve faithful full-time missions.On December 14, 2017, the First Presidency sent a letter to priesthood leaders. In it they announced that “under the direction of the temple presidency, ordained priests may be asked to officiate in baptisms for the dead, including performing baptisms and serving as witnesses.”The delightful dilemma seen in some temples since January 1 is typified by lines of young men and women waiting to enter the temple to baptize and be baptized in behalf of ancestors awaiting that deliverance from spirit prison.Saving the souls of Aaronic Priesthood holdersPresiding Bishop Gérald Caussé declared: “The Aaronic Priesthood is more than just an age group, a teaching or activity program, or even a term to designate the young men of the Church. It is power and authority to participate in the great work of saving souls—both the souls of those young men who hold it and the souls of those they serve. Let us put the Aaronic Priesthood in its rightful place, a choice place—a place of service, preparation, and accomplishment for all the young men of the Church” (“Prepare the Way,” Apr. 2017 general conference).Recently a young priest who officiated in the temple baptistry testified in sacrament meeting of the powerful spirit he felt through that service and of the additional excitement he now felt to prepare for and serve a full-time mission.In turn, this spiritual chain reaction of a deeper conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ will enlarge their capacities to become more righteous husbands and fathers. And as the Lord promised, they will bring salvation to their own soul (see D&C 4:4).Inviting worthy young men to step out of the world more often and enter the house of the Lord, focused on serving and blessing others, is a powerful way to allow these spiritual experiences to occur.In many places, the youth have responded in greater numbers to the invitation to engage in family history and temple work with increased faith and have gone to the temple with their own family names.These acts of faith will open the windows of heaven and give young men greater opportunities to feel the Holy Ghost and have spiritual experiences.Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles declared: “I invite the young people of the Church to learn about and experience the spirit of Elijah. I encourage you to study, to search out your ancestors, and to prepare yourselves to perform proxy baptisms in the house of the Lord for your kindred dead.”Moreover, as more worthy young men and women from less-active or nonmember homes serve in the house of the Lord, they will bring a powerful spirit home with them, thereby blessing their families by extension. In these ways, multigenerational families of faith are expanded on either side of the veil.We anticipate that more young men will enter the mission field better prepared and spiritually stronger, having fulfilled their Aaronic Priesthood duty by baptizing and being baptized in the temple.The Savior is hastening His work on both sides of the veil as each Aaronic Priesthood holder is given even greater responsibility and opportunity in the temple to “learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence” (D&C 107:99).Saving the souls of those they serveWhat a powerful promise from a prophet, seer, and revelator!He then promised the following blessings as the youth act in faith on this invitation: “Your testimony of and conversion to the Savior will become deep and abiding. And I promise you will be protected against the intensifying influence of the adversary. As you participate in and love this holy work, you will be safeguarded in your youth and throughout your lives” (“The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn,” Oct. 2011 general conference).
Perú Trujillo South Mission
Armando A. and Jessica RebazaSister Treadway serves as a Sunday School teacher and is a former ward Relief Society and Young Women president, ward Primary presidency counselor, and seminary teacher. Born in Modesto, California, to Richard Erler and Terryl Elaine Tedesco.Sister Bennallack also serves as a stake institute supervisor and stake young single adult adviser and is a former stake Relief Society president; ward Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society president; and temple ordinance worker. Born in Adelaide, Australia, to Kenneth Ross Leach and Gloria Marie Leach.Spain Barcelona MissionGordon LeRoy Treadway, 51, and Kristi Elizabeth Treadway, three children, Morgan Hill Ward, Temecula California Stake: Utah Orem Mission, succeeding President Chris D. Killpack and Sister Shelby W. Killpack. Brother Treadway is a former stake president, bishop, ward and branch Young Men president, elders quorum president, and missionary in the Washington Seattle Mission. Born in Salt Lake City to LeRoy Edward Treadway and Donna Marie Scott Crews.
Patrick and Elizabeth Appianti-Sarpong
Dee Lon and Bonnie C. Jones
Craig D. and Laurel E. GalliSister Souza serves as a temple ordinance worker and stake Young Women president and is a former ward Relief Society and Primary president, stake Primary president, and missionary in the Brazil Brasília Mission. Born in Santo André, Brazil, to Osni Dionisio Hoffmann and Lorena Bernadethe Thiesen.
Gordon L. and Kristi Elizabeth TreadwaySister Rebaza serves as ward Relief Society president and is a former stake Primary presidency counselor, ward Young Women presidency counselor, and ward Primary presidency counselor. Born in Lima, Perú, to Carlos Alfredo Cuba Quintana and Maria Elvira Catalina de Cuba Vallejo.
Fernando and Miriam SouzaBrazil Porto Alegre South MissionUtah Orem Mission
Paul R. and Andrea K. BennallackSister Appianti-Sarpong serves as a ward Primary presidency counselor and is a former ward Relief Society presidency counselor, Relief Society teacher, and Sunday School teacher. Born in Accra, Ghana, to Joseph Ohene and Lucy Boateng.Nigeria Ibadan MissionThe following new mission presidents and their wives have been called by the First Presidency. They will begin their service in July of 2018. Biographies of each mission presidency couple will be published throughout 2018 on news.lds.org.Craig David Galli, 59, and Laurel Evans Galli, four children, Garden Park Ward, Salt Lake Bonneville Stake: Spain Barcelona Mission, succeeding President Merril T. Dayton and Sister Debbie Forrest Dayton. Brother Galli serves as a Sunday School teacher and is a former bishop, bishopric counselor, welfare service missionary, high councilor, ward Young Men president, and missionary in the Spain Seville Mission. Born in Reno, Nevada, to Peter Galli and Dorothy Bastian.Philip Kevin Bussey, 61, and Cathy Hafen Bussey, three children, Duthie Hill Ward, Bellevue Washington Stake: Spain Madrid Mission, succeeding President Kevin B. Pack and Sister Cindy A. Pack. Brother Bussey serves as a seminary teacher and temple sealer and is a former Area Seventy, stake president, bishop, stake Young Men president, multistake public affairs director, stake mission president, and missionary in the Argentina Cordoba Mission. Born in Porterville, California, to John Warren Bussey and Anne Edith Rogers.Dee Lon Jones, 58, and Bonnie Coltrin Jones, seven children, Lake Creek 1st Ward, Heber City Utah East Stake: Brazil Porto Alegre North Mission, succeeding President José V. Campos and Sister Vera L. Campos. Brother Jones serves as a YSA stake presidency counselor and is a former bishop, stake presidency counselor, high councilor, ward Young Men president, ward mission leader, and missionary in the Brazil Recife Mission. Born in Burley, Idaho, to Gary Dee Jones and Bertha Priest Giles.Armando Alonso Rebaza Atanacio, 38, and Jessica Ivone Cuba de Rebaza, three children, La Molina Ward, Lima Perú La Molina Stake: Perú Trujillo South Mission, succeeding President Manuel Rios Alejandro and Sister Beatriz Huamani de Rios. Brother Rebaza serves as a stake presidency counselor and is a former bishop, bishopric counselor, high councilor, and missionary in the Colombia Cali Mission. Born in Arequipa, Perú, to Elias Alberto Luciano Rebaza Rado and Adalzahinda Maria de Rebaza Atanacio.Brazil Porto Alegre North MissionSpain Madrid MissionSister Jones serves as Primary activity days leader and is a former stake Young Women president, ward Relief Society and Primary president, and ward Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary presidency counselor. Born in Homestead, Florida, to Horace Ether Coltrin and Olea Jean Coltrin.Australia Perth MissionSister Bussey serves as a seminary teacher and is a former ward Relief Society president, ward Young Women president and presidency counselor, nursery leader, and Primary teacher. Born in Mount Pleasant, Utah, to David Larsen Hafen and Carolyn Blain Hafen.Paul Richard Bennallack, 57, and Andrea Kay Leach Bennallack, six children, Takapuna Ward, Auckland New Zealand Harbour Stake: Australia Perth Mission, succeeding President Walter S. Fife and Sister Dana L. Fife. Brother Bennallack serves as a stake institute supervisor and stake young single adult adviser and is a former stake presidency counselor, bishop, high councilor, ward mission leader, and missionary in the New Zealand Wellington Mission. Born in Bendigo, Australia, to Frank John Bennallack and Leonie Schenck.
Cathy H. and Philip K. BusseySister Galli is a former stake and ward Young Women president and ward Relief Society president. Born in Salt Lake City to Wayne Cannon Evans and Vella Sidney Neil Evans.Fernando da Silva e Souza, 52, and Miriam Maria Hoffman e Souza, two children, Praia Grande Ward, Praia Grande Brazil Stake: Brazil Porto Alegre South Mission, succeeding President Rogério G. R. Cruz and Sister Dejane Valença Cruz. Brother Souza serves as a high councilor and temple ordinance worker and is a former stake president, stake presidency counselor, bishop, and missionary in the Brazil Recife Mission. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, to Rivaldo da Rocha Souza and Therezinha Pereira da Silva.Patrick Appianti-Sarpong, 32, and Elizabeth Ohene Appianti-Sarpong, two children, Tema 3rd Ward, Tema Ghana Stake: Nigeria Ibadan Mission (new). Brother Appianti-Sarpong serves as a bishop and is a former bishopric counselor, stake Young Men presidency counselor, ward Young Men president, seminary teacher, and missionary in the Nigeria Lagos Mission. Born in Accra, Ghana, to Yaw Appianti-Sarpong and Grace Osei.
A resident of Helena, Montana, President Bingham has served as a stake president and, as a young man, labored in the Australia Melbourne Mission. Before being called as a mission president, he was the chief executive officer and president of Helena College University of Montana. President Daniel Bingham and his wife, Donna Bingham, have served in the Australia Sydney South Mission since July, 2017. President Bingham broke his neck in a serious bicycle accident on Wednesday, February 14, 2018.“President Bingham and his wife, Donna, have been serving since July 2017. They have four adult children. The family is grateful for prayers on their behalf at this difficult time.”“On [February 14] Daniel J. Bingham, president of the Australia Sydney South Mission, was involved in a serious bicycle accident and suffered a broken neck. He has undergone surgery and is currently in intensive care at a local hospital,” according to Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff.A mission president serving in Australia has been hospitalized following a serious bicycle accident.
The Petty Family went on to thank the many people who had demonstrated bravery during the shooting and had helped save lives. They also expressed thanks to the first responders at the shooting scene, “bringing an end to yesterday’s violence.”Friends and fellow ward members have also rallied to support Madeleine’s family.“We are heartbroken by the loss we feel in the tragedy that unfolded yesterday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Our hearts go out to the families of all impacted by this tragedy, and our prayers are for their comfort and healing. We wish to thank our family, friends, and the community for the love and support demonstrated to our family.“Her selfless service brought peace and joy to those that had lost everything during the storm. We will not have the opportunity to watch her grow up and become the amazing woman we know she would become, we are keeping an eternal perspective. We are grateful for the knowledge that Alaina is a part of our eternal family and that we will reunite with her. This knowledge and unabiding faith in our Heavenly Father’s plan give us comfort during this difficult time.”The Mormon community in south Florida demonstrated their grit and unity following Hurricane Irma, he added. “We will rally together during this [tragedy], just as we did following the hurricane.”The stake leader belongs to the Coral Springs Ward, so he knows each of the girls well and has watched them grow up over the years.“It is impossible to sum up all that Alaina was and meant to her family and friends. Alaina was a vibrant and determined young woman, loved by all who knew her. Alaina loved to serve. She served her community through her participation in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas JROTC program and her countless hours of service as a volunteer for the Helping Hands program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Alaina was part of hundreds of volunteers that rushed to the most heavily impacted areas of Florida to clean up and help rebuild the lives of those devastated by Hurricane Irma.“They are grateful for the miracle that is Madeleine’s life,” said President Smith.
Alaina Petty, 14, who was killed in the Florida school shooting rampage February 14, participated in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas JROTC program. Image courtesy of the Petty family.Madeleine will likely undergo further surgeries, “but has been stabilized,” said Coral Springs Florida Stake President Stephen Smith. “Doctors are optimistic she will make a strong recovery.”President Smith estimated 12 Mormon students attend Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Both Alaina and Madeleine have siblings at the large public school.PARKLAND, Florida
Alaina Petty, 14, was killed in the Florida school shooting rampage February 14. Image courtesy of the Petty family.Her fellow ward member, Madeleine Wilford, 17, a junior at the school, was shot in the arm and back and underwent multiple surgeries at a nearby hospital.Alaina’s family issued a statement on Thursday:On Thursday, the Church released a statement, saying, “Once again we find ourselves as a nation and as communities faced with a tragic loss of life and incomprehensible sorrow following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Among the many injured or killed were two members of our faith. To all of the victims and their loved ones, we extend our love. These are hours filled with grief, emptiness and a terrible sense of loss. We unite our prayers with millions of others who are mourning and praying for them.”The family of Alaina Petty, a Mormon teen who was killed in Wednesday’s Florida school shooting rampage, is “heartbroken” by the loss of their loved one.He called Alaina “a fun girl who is always a joy to be around. She reached out to other girls and loves to help others.”
Alaina Petty, 14, was killed in the Florida school shooting rampage February 14. Image courtesy of the Petty family.Alaina Petty, 14, a freshman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and a Mia Maid from the Coral Springs Ward, was killed in the attack that claimed 17 lives.Madeleine, he said, is a talented basketball player and an “enthusiastic girl who loves life.”Comfort, they said, is being found “in our Heavenly Father’s plan.”The suffering in the aftermath of the shooting is felt far beyond the Coral Springs Ward. “It’s a shock,” said President Smith. “No one thinks something like this could have happened in our neighborhood and community.”
All missionaries have been accounted for, and the Latter-day Saint Service Center is intact.Chainsaws from the LDS Charities emergency containers are being used to clear debris, and tarps from the containers are being used to protect open buildings. Following the night of storm, yellow-vested Helping Hands volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were out in number along with their neighbors to begin the task of cleaning up and rebuilding.With the dawn of a new day, Tonga faced the carnage that took place in the night from a cyclone that some say was the worst in 60 years.Described as the strongest storm to hit Tonga in recent history, Cyclone Gita pounded the Kingdom of Tonga with fierce winds and torrential rain. Power was shut off as a precautionary measure prior to the storm’s landfall.Liahona High School sustained substantial damage, and it is estimated it will be at least two weeks before school will be able to commence.The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opened their meetinghouse doors to as many as 9,000 residents who crowded into buildings to escape the cyclone’s force. One Latter-day Saint chapel lost part of its roof.Residents have been asked to boil their water as a precaution.As many as 50 percent of homes were destroyed or damaged and any “non-substantial” buildings were also destroyed. Trees were snapped off or uprooted, and power lines are down all over the island. It is estimated that it could take weeks to restore power. Liahona High School in Tonga sustained damage from Cyclone Gita, February 2018.
“Miraculously, the Church was able to obtain permission to use a piece of property ideally located across from the new bullet train station in Gangneung that brings visitors to the Olympics,” wrote Korea Seoul Mission President Richard Craig Sonksen in an email to the Church News.Media crews from around the world who are curious to see what’s happening inside the inviting blue building have interviewed many of the missionaries and volunteers.“We also have family history resources available for our visitors,” wrote President Sonksen. “We have missionaries that speak Japanese, Chinese, French, Dutch, Spanish, Russian, and Norwegian, as well as English and Korean.”But the center’s main goal, according to local public affairs manager Oh Hee Keun, “is for as many as possible to see the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the eyes of the members and missionaries.“Our secondary goal is to teach members the joy of giving service and working together with the missionaries. All who serve find that volunteering brings joy and happiness.”Visitors in transit between sporting events and train rides can duck inside the center to recharge phones, utilize the free Wi-Fi, watch live Olympic broadcasts, enjoy activities for the kids, and snap fun shots from a winter sports photo zone.The Church’s public affairs team in Seoul directed construction of the temporary building with assistance from a team of volunteer electricians, carpenters, painters, and IT professionals. The facility’s completion is being called a miracle, said Oh Hee Keun.GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREAThe Mormon Helping Hands Center here offers just about everything a cold and tired Olympic spectator, volunteer, media representative, or even athlete could ask for. Missionaries, volunteers, and visitors gather outside the Mormon Helping Hands Center in Gangneung, South Korea. Photo courtesy of Helping Hands Center.Open daily during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games, the center is staffed by a rotating team of missionaries and member volunteers trained to provide translation and other services.Since then, the Helping Hands Center has become a second home to a team of missionaries, including senior missionaries Elder Rocky Nielsen and Sister Adele Nielsen, who extended their 18-month mission to assist at the center.“People felt the enthusiasm and light coming from the volunteers,” he told the Church News. “I had so much fun performing outside the office, entertaining passersby, and [meeting] some incredible people.”It’s a place to warm up, enjoy a hot beverage, and recharge cell phones. And visitors not rushing to, say, a hockey match or a skating competition, can even explore their family history and chat with missionaries in a variety of languages.The center has already become a must-see venue for members in South Korea for the Games. Mormon visitors in recent days have included Olympic medalist Noelle Pikus Pace and performing artist Alex Boyé, who stepped outside the building to offer an impromptu “concert.”Even amid the excitement of the Games, the missionaries not assigned to the center are maintaining their typical proselytizing duties, noted President Sonksen.Elder Yoon Hwan Choi, a General Authority Seventy and a member of the Asia North Area Presidency, presided at the center’s January 27 grand opening. Several local civic leaders joined him in the ceremonial ribbon cutting.The blue two-story Helping Hands Center has already become a popular locale in Gangneung, home to the Games’s ice events.“Even though the [construction] site was found so late, we were able to open the center 12 days prior to the opening of the Olympics.”
Hymns were performed by the American Festival Chorus, directed by Craig Jessop and accompanied by Bonnie Goodliffe. Family members follow Jon M. Huntsman Sr.'s casket into the Huntsman Center for funeral services at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday, February 10, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.President Ballard, whose daughter Brynn is married to Huntsman's son Peter, spoke of his own close friendship of many years with Brother Huntsman.“Brother Huntsman’s mortal life was a marvel of diligence and hard work. His devotion as a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and stalwart servant of the Lord has influenced the lives of loved ones and all with whom he came in contact.”The friend drove the car around with the spray-painted word for months “as a reminder to all of us of the side of my father that we all loved,” he said. A photo of Jon M. Huntsman Sr. is surrounded by flowers and and an American flag during his funeral in the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday, February 10, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.“We express to you and your family our heartfelt sympathy at the passing of your beloved husband and our friend, Jon M. Huntsman Sr.,” President Nelson read. “At the same time, we rejoice with you in his life of devoted service. Programs for the funeral of Jon M. Huntsman Sr. in the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City are pictured on Saturday, February 10, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.“He shared our burdens,” he said. “He mourned with us. He wouldn’t let us go until he knew we were healed. Nobody was beneath my father, a true sign of humility. He always sought to acknowledge everyday working people who never received any recognition.”He said the two have traveled the world together and knelt in prayer in many places. “It has been my privilege to give Jon priesthood blessings over matters pertaining to business, family, and health. And he, likewise, has blessed me by the power of the holy priesthood that he bore.” Jon M. Huntsman Sr.'s casket is carried by family members after funeral services in the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday, February 10, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.Christena Huntsman Durham said Huntsman loved his role as a father.The two have shared moments of both good news and sad news, he said. “Being the bearer of some of those experiences has been one of the treasures of my life, to be that close to this wonderful friend of mine.”With youngest sibling, Mark, standing by her side at the pulpit, youngest daughter Jennifer Huntsman Parkin said her father was “a masterful teacher, never missing an opportunity to teach in either word or deed.”Noting that the two have each spent time in the hospital, President Ballard said, “I have pushed him down the hallways in a wheelchair after surgery, and he has pushed me down the hallways in the hospital. I don’t know how the nurses let us do that, but we made a great case that we were the only ones that could do that and do it properly.”“He loved to sing silly songs with us, and some of those songs have carried on to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. When I was young, he would sometimes drop us off at school, and as we were driving down the street, he would often sing, ‘Don’t know much about biology, … but I do know that I love you.’” Flowers arrangements and a family photo are displayed during the funeral for Jon M. Huntsman Sr. in the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday, February 10, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.The service was conducted by Bishop Herbert E. Scruggs, who noted that Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was in attendance as well as members of the Seventy, the Presiding Bishopric, and general officers of the Church. Leaders of other faiths, public officials, community leaders, and business associates of Huntsman also attended.The invocation at the service was offered by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and the benediction was given by Elder Ronald A. Rasband, both of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.“I did not have any brothers when I came into the world,” he said. “I had some wonderful sisters, but I felt Jon was my brother. He even called me ‘Brother Russ.’ I don’t know that he even remembered, sometimes, my last name.”President Nelson said the most important date of Brother Huntsman's life was June 20, 1959, when he and Sister Huntsman “were sealed in the House of the Lord.”Church President Russell M. Nelson presided over and spoke at the service in the Jon M. Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus. President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, also spoke, as did six of the eight Huntsman children.Within the university arena and in the vicinity of the cancer research hospital that each bear his name and legacy, billionaire industrialist, philanthropist, and Church leader Jon Meade Hunstman was honored at a funeral service Saturday, February 10.“Everything that gives us confidence and joy now looks at that date as the hinge point in their history.”James Huntman said the words “go big” characterized and defined his father in many ways. “From this cavernous arena to the cancer hospital behind us on the hill, to buildings of higher education which dot universities around the country, to numerous shelters for those in need, to a multi-national, billion-dollar corporation, which all bear his name, my father never shied away from setting high expectations for himself, for his family, and for those around him.”On behalf of his counselors in the First Presidency, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring, President Nelson read a letter addressed to Sister Karen Huntsman, widow of Brother Huntsman, who died February 2 at age 80. President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, holds Jon M. Huntsman's scriptures during Huntsman's funeral in the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday, February 10, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.Peter Huntsman said his father’s corporate success was nothing more than a means to an end. “With the foundation he and my mother established, their life’s work will live for generations to come.”He recalled that during his teenage years, his father developed close relationships with many of his friends. One friend, Steve Burnett, owned a vintage Volkswagen Beetle. One morning, he was surprised to find that someone had spray-painted the letters “E-L-V-I-S” down the driver’s side of the car.She said she once expressed to him the desire to one day be CEO of the company. With tear-filled eyes, he looked at her and said, “I have no doubt that you could do that, but you have an opportunity to do something far greater than I have ever done, and that is a chance to be a righteous mother and a loving one.” Church leaders attend the funeral for Jon M. Huntsman Sr. in the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday, February 10, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News. The American Festival Choir sings during the funeral for Jon M. Huntsman Sr. in the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday, February 10, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.
Jennifer Huntsman Parkin and Mark Huntsman speak during the funeral for Jon M. Huntsman Sr. in the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday, February 10, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.All of the Huntsman children were present except for Kathleen, who is deceased, and David, who is serving with his wife, Michelle, in the Washington D.C. South Mission, where he presides.Paul Huntsman said his father’s greatest tribute was not his business success, or even his considerable philanthropic impact, but his influence on the lives of those who knew him. Jon M. Huntsman Sr.'s casket is carried by family members after funeral services in the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday, February 10, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.Jon Huntsman Jr., U.S. ambassador to Russia and former governor of Utah, said of his father, “Although his charitable heart was formed in his youth, I noticed that after his diagnosis of prostate cancer 25 years ago, that his life became a public crusade to relieve human suffering. And because he refused to be imprisoned by his own deteriorating condition, he brought to fulfillment his most important work.”“It didn’t take long to figure out that the biggest Elvis fan in the neighborhood was my father,” James said. “To this day I never understood why my father did this, but as a young teenager, I thought it was pretty cool, and pretty unexpected and a small example of ‘going big,’ even when you’re pranking somebody.”As though speaking to his father, he said tearfully, “Dad, earlier this week, I chaired my first board meeting of Huntsman Corp. Thanks to you, I’ve never felt more prepared. Thanks to you, I’ve never felt more lonely. Our loss and our loneliness can only be exceeded by our gratitude for your love, direction, leadership, faith, and example.”The letter made note of Brother Huntsman's love for his family and other people, “his lifelong efforts to accomplish his dreams and his great testimony of the gospel.” It expressed appreciation for his Church service as a missionary, president of the Washington D.C Mission, stake president, regional representative, and Area Seventy.
President Russell M. Nelson talks with Karen Huntsman prior to the funeral for her husband, Jon M. Huntsman Sr., in the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday, February 10, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.“My father taught us through his actions that the greatest exercise of a human heart is to reach down and lift another up,” she said.
President Russell M. Nelson speaks during the funeral for Jon M. Huntsman Sr. in the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Both President Ballard—whose daughter, Brynn, is married to Peter Huntsman—and Elder Rasband said Huntsman had the ability to compress two days work into one day.“He was a genuine believer,” said Peter Huntsman. “He spent 50 years in Church leadership positions.”Sitting in his office at the Church Administration Building, President M. Russell Ballard holds a worn and heavily marked set of scriptures—bound together with two rubber bands—and talks about his friend Jon M. Huntsman Sr.In addition, the Huntsmans made it possible “for the presidents of the Church to visit Saints who had never seen a prophet“ in remote locations across the globe by making their private jet available to President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson, said President Ballard.
President M. Russell Ballard looks through the pages of Jon Huntsman's scriptures as he and Elder Ronald A. Rasband, both of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, talk about the service Jon Huntsman Sr. rendered to the LDS Church during an interview at the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.He also had a special relationship with each of his children and grandchildren, family members say.As a mission president he could have afforded to buy and drive any car on the market, but instead he drove the mission vehicle—a Chevy Malibu.He traveled with Huntsman across the globe. Wherever he went, Huntsman always carried his worn and marked scriptures with him, said Elder Rasband.Huntsman’s son, Peter Huntsman, said his father had the special ability to teach his nine children equally and employ “big picture strategy” at home as well as in his business and Church work. His father believed in working “longer, harder, and stronger.”“We share today in the grief of the Huntsman family,” wrote the First Presidency in a statement. “We honor Jon as a cherished husband, father, and friend, esteemed as a leader for his exceptional capacity, commitment, philanthropy, and service throughout the world. We express our love to Karen, to their children, and family. Jon’s legacy of faithful leadership, generosity, and goodness stands as a beacon for the entire Huntsman family and many others throughout the world.”A man who was personally involved in his grandson’s mission preparation, Jon Huntsman faithfully attended Church leadership trainings and always felt he had something to learn from any Church leader, even as a global business leader and billionaire.But, he adds as he holds up Huntsman’s scriptures, which he borrowed from the family to use in his funeral address, “This says a lot.”Huntsman, 80, died Friday, February 2, 2018, “surrounded by a loving family, following long-term health challenges.” Elder Ronald A. Rasband and President M. Russell Ballard, both of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, talk about Jon Huntsman Sr. during an interview on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Elder Ronald A. Rasband (center) and Jon Huntsman Sr. (left) at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China. Photo courtesy of Elder Ronald A. Rasband.Years later, his son David H. Huntsman is also serving as a mission president in Washington, D.C. Huntsman Chemical president Ronald A. Rasband (left) and Jon Huntsman Sr. (right) celebrate the opening of a new Huntsman facility in Ribecourt, France. Photo courtesy of Elder Ronald A. Rasband. Sister Barbara Ballard, Elder M. Russell Ballard, Jon Huntsman Sr. and his wife, Karen Haight Huntsman, with one of their grandchildren. Photo courtesy of President M. Russell Ballard.The week before he died, she was with her father. “He said, ‘Honey, just remember the Atonement and preach about the Atonement and the love the Savior has for each one of us.’”Known for his philanthropic donations—he gave away $1.5 billion in his lifetime—Jon Huntsman had three passions: Helping the homeless, promoting education, and finding a cure for cancer. President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speaks of Jon Huntsman Sr. during an interview at the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.David Huntsman said it is a great privilege to “follow in his father’s footsteps,” to conduct missionary meetings and zone conferences in the same buildings his father did three decades earlier. Elder M. Russell Ballard, President Boyd K. Packer, Jon M. Huntsman Sr., Bishop H. David Burton, and Elder D. Todd Christofferson at the Baton Rouge Evacuation Center on September 4, 2005. Photo courtesy of President M. Russell Ballard.Jon Huntsman also had a special relationship with President Howard W. Hunter, who lived in his ward. When one of the three were sick or recovering from surgery, the other two would visit. Often President Hunter, President Ballard, and Huntsman would take a ride together to buy a frozen yogurt.Married to Karen Haight Huntsman—the daughter of Elder David B. Haight of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Sister Ruby Haight—Jon Huntsman was the father of nine children.He said over the years he observed, in both his Church and professional work, a constant. Huntsman, he said, was always busy and running for a plane. But he always made time to check in with his wife, sometimes multiple times in a day. “You could see that he had a wonderful relationship and partnership with Karen,” said Hardy.Even then Huntsman was generous with his means and helped ward members with the instruction that they never know where the gift came from, said Elder Rasband. At a time when the Huntsmans didn’t have a lot of money, “I saw his generosity in person,” he said.President Ballard said Jon Huntsman’s commitment to the Church was evident in his decades of service to the Church—where he helped the Church internationally gain footholds in countries where Huntsman Chemical Corporation was operating. On one trip President Ballard and Elder Rasband watched as Jon Huntsman made it possible for the Church to receive missionary visas in Singapore and Thailand. He also helped the Church in Russia.Ralph Hardy, who worked with Huntsman professionally and served with him when both men were Area Seventies, said Huntsman’s accomplishments cannot be understated. “He started a company from scratch” that resulted in 15,000 employees and plants all over the world.Christena Durham said her father’s religion “was part of him.”David Huntsman said his father spoke to the missionaries about his favorite topic. “He liked to talk about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the impact it had on him and the impact it has on all of us when we apply it to our individual lives.”Peter Huntsman said his father focused on “what are things I can do to help others help themselves?” and “what are things I can do to help people with problems out of their control?”He learned quickly that his boss expected him to work hard, get results, and be “moral, ethical, and honest.”
From left, Elder M. Russell Ballard and his wife, Barbara; President Howard W. Hunter, and his wife, Inis; Jon and Karen Huntsman; and Elder Ronald A. Rasband visit a Huntsman facility in Bayport, Texas. Photo courtesy of Elder Ronald A. Rasband.Jon M. Huntsman, Peter Huntsman, and Elder M. Russell Ballard survey damage after Hurricane Katrina in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on September 4, 2005. Photo courtesy of President M. Russell Ballard.He accomplished this despite dealing with an auto-immune disorder and several forms of cancer, said President Ballard, noting Huntsman was often in severe pain. “I can’t remember many days when he didn’t have some health issue,” added Elder Rasband.One of the last times President Ballard and Elder Rasband heard Jon Huntsman offer a Church talk was two years ago during a mission meeting in the Washington DC South Mission. Elder Ronald A. Rasband, left, and President M. Russell Ballard, both of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, talk about the service Jon Huntsman Sr. rendered to the LDS Church during an interview at the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.David Huntsman said his father “loved to be around people” and found “great strength and happiness” from his associations in the Church.Huntsman, a former Area Seventy, stake president, and mission president in Washington, D.C., was a “strong, powerful, fair businessman” whose “word was his bond,” said Elder Ronald A. Rasband, the former president and Chief Operating Officer of Huntsman Chemical Corporation and now a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks of Jon Huntsman Sr. during an interview Salt Lake City on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. President M. Russell Ballard of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve holds Jon Huntsman's scriptures during an interview at the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.Elder Rasband met Huntsman in the mid 1970s when the pair worked together in a married student ward at the University of Utah. Hunstman was the high councilor assigned to the ward; Elder Rasband was the elders quorum president. The relationship between the pair—that would lead Elder Rasband to begin work in 1976 at Huntsman Container Company and ultimately take the helm of Huntsman Chemical Corporation—“began with the Church.”
Huntsman Chemical president Ronald A. Rasband and Jon Huntsman Sr. in Beijing, China. Photo courtesy of Elder Ronald A. Rasband.It is hard to say everything about Huntsman’s service to his family and the Church, and his work as an international businessman and philanthropist, said President Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.Elder Rasband said Elder Haight and President Ballard served as a mentor to Jon Hunstman, who was his mentor. Now Elder Rasband will be a mentor to the Huntsman children.
“He was just wonderful,” one of the priests, Steve Holbrook, recalled at a reunion with President Ballard in January 2004. “He would take each of us out to lunch when we would get our mission calls. It was at Fred’s Burger Chalet, which was right next to his office.” Family activities, including family home evening, are a high priority in the Ballard household of 1980.
M. Russell Ballard and Barbara Bowen Ballard smile in an official wedding photo from 1951.He has a rich family legacy, and President M. Russell Ballard has built upon it with his own ministry spanning 42 years as a General Authority, 32 of them as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder M. Russell Ballard and his wife, Sister Barbara Ballard, were among those attending at the dedication of the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple on Sunday afternoon, August 23, 2009, in South Jordan, Utah. Photo by Gerry Avant. Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visits with Nathan Smith during his visit to Edmonton, Canada, June 10–11, 2017. Photo by Linda J. Purnell.A subsequent April 1994 general conference sermon was expanded into a book titled Counseling with Our Councils, published in 1997 and revised in 2010.“Given the challenges we all face today, how do we stay on the Old Ship Zion?” President Ballard asked. “Here’s how. We need to experience a continuing conversion by increasing our faith in Jesus Christ and our faithfulness to His gospel throughout our lives—not just once but regularly.”The opportunities and responsibilities of teachers to help young people do that were emphasized in his February 26, 2016, address in the Salt Lake Tabernacle to Church Educational System religious educators.In speeches in 2007 and 2008 given to graduating students at BYU-Hawaii and BYU-Idaho, he urged them to become involved in the worldwide conversation about the Church that was transpiring via the Internet.That was where he met Barbara Bowen after returning from his mission in 1950. In an experience that paralleled that of President Thomas S. Monson and Sister Frances Monson, he met her at a “Hello Day Dance.”“Gone are the days when a student asked an honest question and a teacher responded, ‘Don’t worry about it!’” he remarked. “Gone are the days when a student raised a sincere concern and a teacher bore his or her testimony as a response intended to avoid the issue. Gone are the days when students were protected from people who attacked the Church.”Later, he would be the bishop of the ward, and it was after that service that he became adviser to the priests quorum in the early 1970s. The spiritual welfare of the Latter-day Saints has been an ongoing concern of President Ballard during his ministry.Perhaps due in part to his ancestral heritage and family relationship to the Prophet Joseph Smith, President Ballard has championed the preservation and commemoration of Church history.President Ballard has been keenly aware of the development of technology and its potential impact in the lives of the Latter-day Saints for good or ill.Soon thereafter, he was called to preside over the Canada Toronto Mission from 1974 to 1977. It was during that service that he was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 3, 1976, continuing his duties as mission president until the term of service was up.
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visits Chorley, England, to attend the 2017 British Pageant. Photo by Simon D. Jones.His great-great-grandfather, Hyrum Smith, was martyred at Carthage with the Prophet Joseph. His grandfather, Elder Melvin J. Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, recorded a dream in which the Savior appeared to him in a room in the Salt Lake Temple and embraced him.Now, he leads that quorum, having been appointed as its acting president on the occasion of the recent reorganization of the First Presidency. Elder M. Russell Ballard greets Lester Card, one of Canada’s military veterans who was honored during a cultural program held Saturday evening, October 27, 2012, in celebration of the dedication of the Calgary Alberta Temple. Photo by Gerry Avant.He chaired the council that organized the Church’s worldwide Pioneer Sesquicentennial of 1996-97, the centerpiece of which was a wagon train and handcart trek from Nauvoo, Illinois, to Winter Quarters, Nebraska, ending up at the mouth of Emigration Canyon in Salt Lake City, the point where President Brigham Young and the 1847 Mormon pioneers gazed at and descended into the Salt Lake Valley.They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on August 28, 1951, and shortly thereafter, he was called to serve in a bishopric of the Monument Park 13th Ward in Salt Lake City.M. Russell Ballard was born October 9, 1928, to Melvin R. and Geraldine Smith Ballard in Salt Lake City, where he attended East High School and enrolled at the University of Utah in 1946.Later, as a missionary in England, Elder M. Russell Ballard wished to see a copy of that issue. After some persuasion, the publisher took him to the newspaper “morgue,” and allowed him to take a picture with his own camera of that newspaper issue. He still has that photo in his possession.“I believe the Lord will consider each case separately and judge the circumstances of each individual,” he wrote in that article. “I have sincerely sought direction from our Father in Heaven to help me understand the nature of suicide. And I have come to know, as well as anything else that I know from God, that these people have a place in the kingdom of our Father, and it is not one of darkness or despair, but one where they can receive comfort and experience serenity.”Based in part on experiences in his ministry, President Ballard wrote a compassionate, informative, and hopeful article, “Suicide: Some Things We Know, and Some We Do Not,” published in the October 1987 Ensign. Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visits with a family during his visit to Edmonton, Canada, June 10–11, 2017. Photo by Linda J. Purnell.It was while on that mission in England in 1950 Elder Ballard called upon the publisher of the Newbury Weekly News. His family history had included an account from Elder Melvin J. Ballard, who was a boy of 11 in Logan, Utah, when two elderly strangers approached his sisters, handed the eldest a newspaper, and told her to take it to her father quickly. The newspaper contained an article that included valuable family history information for the Ballards.
M. Russell Ballard as a toddler.
Elder M. Russell Ballard speaks during the closing session of BYU Women's Conference held in the Marriott Center on May 1, 2015. Photo by Mark A. Philbrick, BYU.In a memorable October 2014 general conference sermon, he spoke of challenges that at times confront them, including “physical and mental health issues, the death of a loved one, dashed dreams and hopes and—for some—even a crisis of faith when faced with life’s problems, questions, and doubts.” Seth Singleton, Chatanooga Valley Ward in Tennessee, is greeted by President Russell M. Nelson, left, and Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on September 3, 2016. Members of Seth’s stake came to Louisiana and were assigned to do cleanup at flood-damaged St Amant Baptist Church. Photo by R. Scott Lloyd.
As a young bishop, M. Russell Ballard serves alongside his counselors, executive secretary, and clerks.With his wife, Sister Barbara Ballard, by his side, Elder M. Russell Ballard tells a story to his family members during a council meeting in Salt Lake City on Monday, December 26, 2016. He has been an energetic advocate of the council system in the Church stretching at least as far back as October 1993, when he talked on that subject in general conference for the first time. Photo by Nick Wagner, Deseret News.The park, which memorializes the arrival of the pioneers in 1847 and includes a living-history village among its attractions, has been a pet institution of President Ballard over the years.“When I was a young missionary in Hucknell, England, and read Grandfather’s testimony, I wept,” he recounted in a 1986 Church News interview. “A spirit came over me that confirmed his testimony was true. Ever since then I have felt I have known the Lord very intimately through Grandfather’s experience.” Elder Ballard speaks from the pulpit of the Salt Lake Tabernacle at the October 1978 general conference.Former Explorer adviser Chip Smith recalled at the reunion that if President Ballard came to class on Sunday and found that some of his priests were absent, “he’d be on the phone in the hall, and he’d call every one of those boys to come.”“Too often, young people find themselves in the same room with family or friends but are busily communicating with someone not present, thereby missing an opportunity to visit with those nearby,” he remarked.That newspaper issue had been printed on May 15, 1884, and, miraculously in those days before air travel, it was delivered to the Ballard family only three days later. Elder Ballard treasures his marriage with his wife, Sister Barbara Ballard. “I knew from the beginning that I wanted to marry her,” he says.During his ministry as an Apostle, President Ballard has become known for memorable teachings and events.As social media grew more and more pervasive, he admonished young people to let it be their servant and not their master. Speaking at a May 2014 worldwide satellite broadcast emanating from San Diego, California, and delivered to college-age Church members, he expressed concern about excessive text messaging and use of social media that supplant talking directly with one another and talking in prayer to God.On February 21, 1980, he was called as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, where he served until his call as an Apostle on October 6, 1985.“Stay in the boat and hold on!” would be a theme he would return to repeatedly in coming years.“A friend of mine thought I ought to meet her, so he tagged in to dance with her, danced over to where I was, introduced me, and I danced with her 30 seconds before I was tagged out,” he recalled later. “That was the beginning of a courtship of 11 months.” He has been, for example, an energetic advocate of the council system in the Church stretching as far back as October 1993, when he talked on that subject in general conference for the first time.In the face of 21st-century challenges, CES teachers must “love the Lord, His Church, and your students,” he admonished. “You must also bear pure testimony sincerely and often. Additionally, more than at any time in our history, your students also need to be blessed by learning doctrinal or historical content and context by study and faith accompanied by pure testimony so they can experience a mature and lasting conversion to the gospel and a lifelong commitment to Jesus Christ. Mature and lasting conversion means they will ‘stay in the boat and hold on’ throughout their entire lives.”He employed a metaphor used by President Brigham Young, “the Old Ship Zion,” to represent the Church of Jesus Christ.In 2007, the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation bestowed its Junius F. Wells Award upon President Ballard for his contributions to the memorialization of Church history.The canyon was the site of a gala celebration in July 1997 to welcome the commemorative wagon train, held at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City and attracting some 50,000 spectators.
“All missionaries serving in the Samoa Apia Mission and the Tonga Nuku’alofa Mission are safe as Tropical Cyclone Gita moves through the region,” said Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff. “Missionaries in Tonga are taking refuge in Church buildings away from the coast and have taken necessary preparations to help keep them safe.Mormon missionaries serving in cyclone-battered Tonga and Samoa are accounted for and unharmed.A tropical cyclone is the same type of storm as a hurricane.The Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple serves approximately 41,000 members throughout Tonga and the Line Islands of the Pacific Ocean.More than 78,000 Latter-day Saints live in Samoa.NUKU’ALOFA, TONGAWeather experts anticipate flooding and coastal inundation to cause as many problems as wind damage. After passing by Tonga, Gita is expected to travel west before slowly dissipating.The eye of Gita passed just south of the low-lying Tongatapu group of islands in southern Tonga on Monday with maximum sustained winds estimated at 145 mph, the Associated Press reported. The nation has declared a state of emergency.Residents prepared for the tropical cyclone by nailing boards and roofing iron to the homes to try to limit the damage from coconuts, trees, and other flying debris.Home to more than 64,000 members, Tonga enjoys a rich Mormon history. The island nation has the largest number of Latter-day Saints, per capita, of any nation in the world.“We pray for all those in the South Pacific who are impacted by this powerful storm.”Gita has strengthened since hitting Samoa and American Samoa last weekend, where it caused damage to buildings, flooding, and widespread power outages, according to the AP reports. U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday, February 11, declared an emergency in American Samoa, a U.S. territory.Over the past few days, Tropical Cyclone Gita has hammered Tonga and neighboring South Pacific islands with what is being called the most powerful storm to hit that region in memory.
“Young children frequently teach us simple and pure faith,” Sister Jones said. “They can be the first to love and the first to forgive. As we carefully and closely observe them and encourage them in their growth—whether as parents, teachers, or extended family—our learning increases, our understanding deepens.”The secular world dismisses religion as irrelevant in this modern, science-driven world, said Sister Bingham. “Yet studies corroborate what religious adherents instinctively feel: there is social value in allowing religious expression in the community.” Sister Jean B. Bingham and Sister Joy D. Jones have a dialogue with a Muslim council member at the World Women’s Interfaith Conference 2018.Tension can be seen, for example, in rules sometimes banning religious clubs from colleges and universities, or in regulations curbing the conscience of health care practitioners, she explained. “Public figures and regular citizens often hesitate to articulate their religious values to avoid controversy.”Local and international women’s leaders from Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, and Christian communities gathered to discuss “living faithfully in an increasingly secular world.” Speakers spoke on how their religious conviction has helped them navigate life in a positive way.“Yet in many ways, religion finds itself on the margins of society, where one’s beliefs and values may be expressed privately but are often dismissed publicly,” said Sister Bingham. “Conflicts sometimes arise when religious organizations or individuals share their views of right and wrong in the public sphere.”“I am convinced that when we unite together as women of faith, we not only strengthen the relationship between religions, but individual lives are touched as we reach out to those in need.”Sister Bingham and Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, joined other women of faith during the World Women’s Interfaith Conference at Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales, on February 9.A choir of Primary children from Wales provided music for the event, singing “‘Give,’ Said the Little Stream” and finishing up with a Welsh song about Jesus. The World Women’s Interfaith Conference 2018 had more than 300 guests from many faiths including Muslims, Hindus, Sihks, Bahai, LDS, and spiritualists.“She also recognizes that others live by different faith systems and allows them to express themselves in ways consistent with their beliefs.”It is incumbent on society to teach the values of service, love, and compassion to children, she said. “We serve others and it changes us. We are never the same after even the smallest effort to help another. … My prayer is that we can recognize the inborn strength and potential of our little ones to love, to serve, and to lead. Each forward step we take together to touch a life will help to change the world for good.”In her remarks, titled “Serving with Those of All Ages,” Sister Jones said it is within the home—with children and parents together—that spiritual values are taught, exemplified, and reinforced most effectively.“When doing so, we find that uniting in good works is not only beneficial to others but is ennobling to the soul,” she said.“If we teach them, children can become selfless individuals who are much happier looking into the lives of others than they will ever be staring at their selfies. Service, of course, is part of that teaching. It is the perfect antidote to ego. Remember the acronym for ‘ego’ is ‘easing God out.’ Yet God is the very being who guides our efforts to serve humbly and sincerely.”“In a world that can often seem devoid of such values, parents and children grow when they seek to learn and apply these truths in a family setting,” she said. “The home is God’s mini-university for learning many of life’s lessons regarding relationships, sacrifice, and service to one another.”Perhaps a most important teaching “in a society that emphasizes the selfie rather than being selfless” is the modeling of selfless behavior, Sister Jones said.Religious leaders of all faiths throughout history have urged their followers to discover the blessings of putting another’s needs before their own, she explained. In Wales, historically well known for choirs, LDS Primary children sing at the World Women’s Interfaith Conference 2018.Citing the “Religious Faith and Charitable Giving” study by Arthur C. Brooks, Sister Bingham said the research has shown that more than 90 percent of those who attend weekly worship services donate to charity and nearly 70 percent volunteer for charitable causes.“A woman of faith makes decisions based on her spiritual values and religious framework, not on the latest popular trends or political pronouncements.“First, she needs to know what she believes and be able to articulate those beliefs and values to herself and others. Second, she acts on her beliefs and strives to live according to the highest and noblest virtues her belief system espouses. She is an example and a light to others through the clouds of uncertainty and darkness in the world around her.In a narcissistic world, parents and leaders must teach children the value of service to others, she said.“I was impressed with the articulateness of the women of other faiths who spoke,” said Sister Bingham after the event. “They humbly, yet confidently, shared their religion and how it has impacted their lives for good and how they reach out to help those in need.”Addressing the topic “Coping as a Woman of Faith in a Secular World,” Sister Bingham said the faith groups represented at the conference share a desire to use their resources and work unitedly in a common cause.NEWPORT, WALES Alaa Khundakji of the Muslim Council of Wales addresses the World Women’s Interfaith Conference 2018.She and Sister Jones said it was important for LDS leaders to participate in the event “to share our faith and values, as well as to demonstrate our support for the good works of other women of faith.”She told the audience that they share a “weighty responsibility to inspire the rising generation,” while recognizing that “children can teach us.”
Sister Jean B Bingham, Relief Society General President, addresses the more than 300 guests at the World Women’s Interfaith Conference 2018.“Religion and faith is part of who we are—as women, as men, as fellow humans, as children of God,” she said. “Despite pressure and ridicule from those who see no value in religion, people of faith must maintain the ability to love and serve others as our tenets teach and as our hearts desire. … Public affairs leaders for the Church in Great Britain, Daryl and Monic Watson, greet conference speaker Dr. Surinder Narula, chair of the South Wales Sikh Association.Women—and men—of faith have the responsibility, as well as the blessing, of serving those in need, said Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President.Parents and communities must be conscious of what they are teaching by example, she said. “The reality is that we’re inspiring greatness when we help children recognize their worth and support them in identifying their potential.”Then, answering the question posed in the theme, “How do we cope as women of faith in a secular world?” Sister Bingham said: Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, enjoys a tender moment with a few of the Primary choir children at the World Women’s Interfaith Conference 2018.Noting that all human being are created in the image of God, Sister Jones said, “We see every person on earth of equal, limitless value regardless of age. The value of a child is truly beyond measure, despite what his or her current circumstances may be.” Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President, greets a guest at the World Women’s Interfaith Conference 2018.
Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, addresses the more than 300 guests at the World Women’s Interfaith Conference 2018.
Missionaries bearing flags of many nations prepare to march to the ferry crossing in Nauvoo. Photo by Don Searle.Many participants drove long distances to be part of the event. Some came from other areas of Illinois, from Iowa, and from Missouri.Flags snapped loudly in the breeze. A few of the marchers stepped carefully out on the ice at the edge of the Mississippi River and gazed across at Iowa as they thought about the trials that lay ahead of their ancestors who came to this crossing.NAUVOO, ILLINOISFor some, like Barbara Barros of Star Valley, Wyoming, this year was a repeat of something they have done before. Sister Barrus has come to the exodus commemoration for the past 14 years in a row. It is, she says, one way to honor the sacrifices of her ancestors. Pinned on her coat today she wore the name of Nancy Ann Wilson. Sister Barrus is a great-great-great-granddaughter of Dunbar Wilson, who was called in section 124 of the Doctrine and Covenants as a member of the high council in Nauvoo.After the welcoming remarks, the marchers formed ranks in the street next to the Cultural Hall. They were led by a flag bearer and drummer boy followed by a contingent dressed as the Nauvoo Legion. Behind them came missionaries and members carrying flags of many of the nations from which the pioneer residents of Nauvoo had come. Following these flag bearers came other people walking—many families—and some participants riding in horse-drawn buggies and wagons. Participants ranged in age from their 80s down to infants or toddlers bundled in strollers and children’s wagons. Sister missionaries help visitors find names to wear as they participate in the exodus reenactment. Photo by Don Searle.
Sister Helene Hipple wore the names of two of her ancestors, one only recently discovered. Photo by Don Searle.
Elder Phillip Lowe marched with the Nauvoo Legion group. Photo by Don Searle.At the Pioneer Memorial next to the Mississippi River, there was a flag-raising ceremony, with singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance. President Lusvardi made brief remarks honoring the pioneers. Ben Pykles, curator of Church historical sites, offered comments about the pioneers’ sacrifices. A closing prayer was offered by Lachlan Mackay, an apostle of the Community of Christ church.The Community of Christ sponsored other events during the weekend in connection with the commemoration. These included a meeting at which Brother Pykles spoke. All of the weekend’s events were well-publicized in Nauvoo and surrounding areas.Some 500 members, missionaries, and visitors walked the Trail of Hope on Saturday, February 3, commemorating the exodus of the pioneers from this city 172 years ago. A few brave marchers ventured out onto the ice at the edge of the Mississippi River for photos. Photo by Don Searle.Temperatures were dauntingly cold—near freezing, accompanied by a brisk wind—and served as reminders of the conditions faced by the Latter-day Saints when their exodus began on February 4, 1846.Those marching in this 2018 commemoration met first at the Family Living Center, behind the historic Cultural Hall in the center of old Nauvoo. They enjoyed hot chocolate or cider with cinnamon rolls and muffins. They were welcomed by President Mark Lusvardi of the Illinois Nauvoo Mission and heard brief comments by Susan Sims, Public Affairs representative for the Church’s Iowa Des Moines Public Affairs Council. She spoke of the faith of the pioneers and their willingness to sacrifice for their belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.The exodus reenactment was covered by representatives of a regional newspaper and of public radio.They moved out heading south on Main to Parley Street, then proceeded west to the river crossing at the end of Parley. Marchers pass the blacksmith shop on Parley Street en route to the Mississippi River crossing. A flag bearer and drummer lead the group, followed by the Nauvoo Legion contingent and a group of flag bearers representing many nations. Photo by Don Searle. Some participants wore the names of several ancestors. Photo by Don Searle.Those who marched in this year’s pioneer exodus reenactment pinned to their coats badges with the names of people who had lived in Nauvoo. Many marchers wore more than one ancestor’s name; some of these ancestral connections had only been discovered in recent weeks as they prepared for the exodus commemoration by doing family history research.
With the help of the sextant, after 15 days, the group made it to their destination and were able to secure the help they needed to return and rescue the rest of the original crew that had been left behind.“Just as Shackleton had never made the trip from Elephant Island to South Georgia Island and needed a sextant to keep him on course, none of us have ever before traveled on this mortal journey and we also need help to guide us home, our own version of a sextant,” said Bishop Waddell.In order for the instrument to work and keep the group on course, they needed the sun to determine their position.With polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton at the helm, the ship was part of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition—a voyage meant to be the first transcontinental crossing of the Antarctic continent.Let us fix our spiritual sextant on the Son of God, setting a true course in life that leads us safely home to our Heavenly Father.On the morning of November 21, 1915, the bow of the Endurance began to sink, and the crew abandoned ship. For a few weeks, the men continued to live on the ice, waiting for the right conditions to leave on lifeboats. Recognizing they needed to leave, the crew made the harrowing trek to nearby Elephant Island. Shackleton soon realized there was no chance of rescue and gathered a small group to journey to South Georgia.“The Holy Ghost binds us to the Lord. By divine assignment, He inspires, testifies, teaches, and prompts us to walk in the light of the Lord. We have the sacred responsibility to learn to recognize His influence in our lives and respond” (“Let the Holy Spirit Guide”).“Their only hope for survival would be for someone to travel during the brutal Antarctic winter, crossing one of the most turbulent seas in the world while battling hurricane-force winds and waves measuring as much as 60 feet in their 22-foot lifeboat, in search of help,” explained Bishop W. Christopher Waddell of the Presiding Bishopric in a commencement speech. “Leaving the majority of men camped in the snow and ice on Elephant Island, Shackleton and five crew members sailed for the tiny South Georgia Island, 800 miles away, the navigational equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack” (BYU–Idaho Commencement, Dec. 15, 2017).Every week, Church members around the globe have the opportunity to repent of their sins and partake of the sacrament. With that cleansing ordinance, we promise to take the Savior’s name upon us, and in turn are promised that we “may always have his Spirit to be with [us]” (D&C 20:77).After porting in Buenos Aires, the ship set sail on October 26, 1914, and made a stop at the island of South Georgia. Just days after departing South Georgia, disaster struck and the Endurance encountered ice, becoming trapped in ice located just 80 miles from the coast of Antarctica in the Weddell Sea.Let the Holy Spirit guide;
Let his whisper govern choice.
He will lead us safely home
If we listen to his voice
(“Let the Holy Spirit Guide,” Hymns, no. 143).Even more difficult than surviving the elements was the challenge of navigating the open ocean in the James Caird—the 22-foot lifeboat—with only the use of a sextant, a handheld instrument used to determine latitude and longitude.More than a century ago in April of 1914, the ship Endurance set sail from Plymouth, England, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the time of her launch, the ship was among the strongest wooden ships ever built, with the capacity to travel in arctic conditions. A depiction of the James Caird landing at South Georgia at the end of its voyage on May 10, 1916. Image probably by expedition artist George Marston (1882–1940), via Wikimedia Commons. The Holy Spirit acts as a guide to all who are worthy of His companionship and who are willing to fix their course on the Son and follow His guidance. That direction is crucial to a safe return home.“In other words, an old-fashioned GPS, but harder to use,” Bishop Waddell said. “For Shackleton, it had to work, for if they were to miss the mark and sail past South Georgia Island, they would be over 3,000 miles from the next land mass and would certainly not survive.”Like Shackleton, who looked to the sun to guide his survival efforts, we look to the Son of God to guide us in our mortal journey home.“Brothers and sisters, we live in a most difficult dispensation,” President Russell M. Nelson said in his April 2017 general conference talk. “Challenges, controversies, and complexities swirl around us. These turbulent times were foreseen by the Savior. He warned us that in our day the adversary would stir up anger in the hearts of men and lead them astray. Yet our Heavenly Father never intended that we would deal with the maze of personal problems and social issues on our own” (“Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ into Our Lives”).In a general conference address in April 1987, President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015), who later served as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said: “The spiritual sextant, which each of us has, also functions on the principle of light from celestial sources. The light will come through. Then you can fix your position and set a true course in life” (“Covenants”).With 27 men to take care of and his ship stuck in the floe, Shackleton and his crew tried to stay busy as they camped on the sea ice for months.“We can, if we live worthy of it, have the blessing of the Spirit to be with us, not only now and then, … but always. … To always have the Spirit with us is to have the guidance and direction of the Holy Ghost in our daily lives,” said President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency in the October 2015 general conference (“The Holy Ghost as Your Companion”).Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught in the April 2017 general conference: “Our Father in Heaven knew that in mortality we would face challenges, tribulation, and turmoil; He knew we would wrestle with questions, disappointments, temptations, and weaknesses. To give us mortal strength and divine guidance, He provided the Holy Spirit, another name for the Holy Ghost.Not one of the men was lost.
The rededication will not be broadcast to meetinghouses in the temple district and the three-hour block of meetings will continue as normal for all units on the day of the rededication, Sunday, April 22.“President M. Russell Ballard will preside over the single rededicatory session, which will be by invitation only,” it says in the letter from the First Presidency announcing the temple rededication. “No open house or cultural celebration events will be held in conjunction with the rededication.”During the storm, rains breached the temple beginning on August 26, flooding the temple annex building, the temple's basement and the main floor. Water reached more than a foot high in the first floor and the second floor was not damaged. (See related story.)After sustaining significant water damage in August 2017 from flooding from Hurricane Harvey, the temple has been closed the past few months for repairs.The Houston Texas Temple is the Church's 97th operating temple and the second temple built in Texas. It was first announced on September 30, 1997, and a groundbreaking ceremony took place a few months later on June 13, 1998. President Gordon B. Hinckley offered the prayer at the dedication held on August 26, 2000.The temple is scheduled to open for patrons on Tuesday, April 24.The Houston Texas Temple will be rededicated on Sunday, April 22, 2018, the First Presidency announced on Thursday, February 8.
Nerves were further rattled by aftershocks that will likely continue over the next two weeks.Taiwan is a seismic region and earthquakes are fairly common. A massive quake in 1999 rattled the entire island and killed more than 2,000. Still, the force of the Hualien temblor will never be forgotten.All Mormon missionaries are safe and accounted for following a powerful earthquake in Taiwan that killed at least seven and injured hundreds more.An update on the Taiwan Taipei Mission website noted that the damage to missionary apartments was limited to items falling off bookshelves. Missionaries evacuated from their apartments in the Hualien area were not being allowed to reenter their residences until government officials had deemed them safe.Facebook posts from Taiwan noted that several missionaries serving in impacted neighborhoods found shelter Tuesday at a local Mormon meetinghouse.“We are so proud of our missionaries who remembered to grab their 72-hour kits before they left their apartments,” the update noted.Missionaries serving in the Taiwan Taipei Mission were also directed to email anxious parents and let them know they were safe.HUALIEN, TAIWANHualien Mayor Fu Kun-chi said about 60 people were missing, according to Reuters news service. Many of the missing were believed to be trapped inside multistory buildings, some of which tilted precariously after the quake struck about 14 miles northeast of Hualien on the island nation’s east coast.The magnitude 6.4 quake rattled the popular tourist city of Hualien just before midnight Tuesday, February 6—toppling buildings, buckling streets, and leaving thousands without water and power.Meanwhile, Church officials were still working Wednesday to gather information on the status of local Latter-day Saints and Church properties, according to Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff.“This is the worst earthquake in the history of Hualien, or at least over the past 40 years that I’ve been alive,” said relief volunteer Yang Hsi Hua in the Reuters report. “We’ve never had anything like this; we’ve never had a building topple over. Also, it was constantly shaking, so everyone was really scared; we ran to empty open spaces to avoid it.”
I was asked about my religious beliefs. I explained that I was born in Utah and that I was a Christian. I explained how there had been a restoration that took place through the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1830. I shared how Joseph Smith had translated a record about a family that left Jerusalem around 600 BC and traveled down the Arabian Peninsula. Then they crossed the ocean and established a great civilization on the American continent. I explained that this record included a visit from our Savior Jesus Christ after His Resurrection. I could feel the Spirit whispering these truths to them as they sat and listened to this story. I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to be challenged to memorize these most precious and basic beliefs of the gospel.Every person listened intently, and I could feel the Spirit bear witness to each of them of these truths. As I concluded the articles, I then asked if anyone would like to hear what our prophet had to say to the world about the family. One person spoke up and said, “You mean a prophet like Muhammad?” I said yes, a prophet like Moses, Elijah, or Abraham. I pulled out a copy of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” that I kept in my pocket and read it to the group. There seemed to be tears welling up in their eyes as everyone listened. This was counsel they had never before heard, and they wanted copies of their own. I arranged for everyone in the group to get copies of their own the next day.I had the opportunity of conducting a seminar for my employer in the city of Amman, Jordan, and I happened to be there during the time of the king’s death. One evening, after our meetings, eight of us went to dinner. Our backgrounds were very diverse, coming from different countries and religious beliefs. As we were finishing our meal, the subject turned to the king’s death and the love the Arab world had for him. The discussion then turned to the religious activities of the king and his family.—Jerry Butt is from the Stone Creek Ward, Bountiful Utah Stone Creek Stake.I was asked what the Church believes, and this presented a great opportunity for me to share the thirteen Articles of Faith as I was counseled by Brother Stephen Page in a CES class I attended years ago. He encouraged us to memorize the Articles of Faith and be ready to share them, based on a story President Kimball had shared about the interaction of a young boy on a train to California with a businessman.