Tuning in …How do you describe that sound? It isn’t easy. Some would say you have to experience it. As one barbershop singer said: “When you’re singing, the sound around you is incredible. You feel like you’re being carried away with it. It’s absolutely inspiring. … The chords ring and you feel like you’re being swallowed up by the music itself” (Robert A. Stebbins, in The Barbershop Singer: Inside the Social World of a Musical Hobby , 64).For many, the music is only part of the experience. Relationships, to them, are inseparable from the sound. It’s friendship, as much as music, that keeps them singing. One expert has written that “barbershoppers feel a strong fellowship—a wave of warmth and friendliness—when they sing together. An important facet of the fun and personal enrichment gained from barbershop singing … is its camaraderie“ (Stebbins, The Barbershop Singer, 66).Many historians trace the history of barbershop singing to the 1880s and ’90s when African American musicians started adding multipart harmonies to popular contemporary songs. Over several generations, a unique style emerged, and the unmistakable sound we know as barbershop began to take shape (see “Roots of Barbershop Harmony,” barbershop.org).There are many things in life that can be done alone. You can play a piano alone—or a violin or guitar or any other musical instrument. You can sing a solo, give a speech, or recite a poem alone. But then there are other things—some of the most beautiful—that simply can’t be done alone. For example, you can’t sing barbershop alone. Barbershop singing, by definition, involves joining with others in vocal harmony. It’s about music, but it’s also about community—about working together to create a thing of beauty.The Music & the Spoken Word broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160 AM/102.7 FM, ksl.com, KSL X-stream, BYU-TV, BYU Radio, BYU-TV International, CBS Radio Network, Dish Network, DirecTV, SiriusXM Radio (Channel 43), thetabernaclechoir.org and youtube.com/TheTabernacleChoiratTempleSquare. The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. mountain standard time on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at musicandthespokenword.org/schedules.No, you can’t do barbershop alone, and you can’t do life alone either. We need each other. We need friendship and fellowship. We all do better—we all live happier and more peaceful lives—when we are in harmony with others.Editor's note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This message was given July 7, 2019.Something magical happens anytime people come together with a shared passion. Whenever they have a sincere interest in doing something meaningful and a heartfelt willingness to cooperate rather than compete, they accomplish things that would not be possible working alone.
Calling for service, civility and Christlike love and noting that “all are alike unto God,” Elder Gary E. Stevenson honored—during a BYU Management Society Gala Award Ceremony—the NAACP for the organization’s commitment to advancing equality and justice in society. (See related story.)Over the past 18 months, the First Presidency has “made its partnership with the NAACP a high priority,” said the Church in a press release that included the announcement of President Nelson’s participation in the convention.President Russell M. Nelson will address the 110th annual national convention for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on July 21 in Detroit, Michigan. NCAACP National President Derrick Johnson speaks with President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at left during a press conference in Salt Lake City on Thursday, May 17, 2018. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.In addition, the two organizations also came together on Temple Square last May to call all people, organizations, and governments to work together to achieve greater civility and racial harmony. (See related story.)Elder Jack N. Gerard of the Seventy spoke at the NAACP 109th annual convention in San Antonio, Texas, one year ago. (See related story.)Church and NAACP leaders have met several times to pursue a joint education and employment initiative that has been deployed in Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, and Charlotte, North Carolina. They have customized the Church’s self-reliance services materials and programs to be most effective for the initiative.With the support and encouragment of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, local Church members refurbished the offices of the NAACP in Jackson, Mississippi, in January 2017. (See related story.)“I’m honored to have The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stand in unity with the NAACP to advance equality and justice for all,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “We must recognize and accept the importance of creating amity with those that are raising the consciousness of this nation—the Church is committed to doing just that.”
Singing time will focus on music that supports the scriptures that children study in their classes.2020 curriculum materialsBefore January of 2020, wards and branches will automatically receive printed copies of Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families to distribute to members in their units. Additional copies will be available for members to purchase by the end of 2019.Instruction and class discussion should help class members understand and apply the doctrine in the scriptures. Sunday School classes do not begin with prayer but do conclude with one.All teachers attend a teacher council meeting quarterly during the 50-minute class time on the week they don’t teach and are encouraged to reference the Teaching in the Savior’s Way manual and website.All Primary classes will learn from the same Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Book of Mormon 2020 lesson manual.
During 2020, the focus of study at home and at Church for children, youth, and adults will be the Book of Mormon.These new resources, along with new Book of Mormon videos, will be available soon in the Gospel Library app and at ComeFollowMe.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
During 2020, the focus of study at home and at Church for children, youth, and adults will be the Book of Mormon.Families and individuals are encouraged to study the scriptures more at home using the new manual Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: The Book of Mormon 2020 (link to come). This home-study manual focuses on the same Book of Mormon scripture passages that you will learn about in your Sunday School classes.The following curriculum resources support home-centered learning that deepens conversion to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and strengthens families. Links to online resources will be added to this article as they become available.
During 2020, the focus of study at home and at Church for children, youth, and adults will be the Book of Mormon.DigitalPrimary (every Sunday)The Sunday School manual for adults and youth is Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020. Teachers should use the manual for individuals and families to learn about the scripture accounts and the principles to be taught, then use the Sunday School manual to prepare and organize lessons that support what class members are studying at home, combining and adapting lessons as necessary.Individuals and families (home study)All organizationsElders quorum and Relief Society will focus on messages from the most recent general conference. “Learning from General Conference Messages” is available in conference issues of the Ensign and Liahona, at ChurchofJesusChrist.org, and in the Gospel Library app.
Wards and branches will need to order copies of the Primary and Sunday School manuals for teachers and leaders who do not use digital versions of these manuals. Instructions for ordering are found in Instructions for Curriculum 2020. To help the Church reduce costs and to ensure that materials are delivered on time, leaders should place orders by August 31, 2019.PrintThe Church has prepared new manuals for individuals and families, for Sunday School, and for Primary.Aaronic Priesthood (2nd and 4th Sundays)Young Women (2nd and 4th Sundays)Aaronic Priesthood quorum meetings focus on the gospel topics found in Come, Follow Me—For Aaronic Priesthood. Leaders and teachers select lesson outlines that best meet the needs of quorum members. (Learn more.)Details and the list of materials to be used for classes are provided in the newly released document Instructions for Curriculum 2020. It is also available online and in the Gospel Library app under “Come, Follow Me.”Nursery classes will continue to use Behold Your Little Ones: Nursery Manual.See “Additional Resources for Teaching Children.”During 2020, children, youth, and adults are encouraged to study the Book of Mormon at home. This study will be supported in Primary, Sunday School, and seminary.Young Women meetings focus on the gospel topics found in Come, Follow Me—For Young Women. Leaders and teachers select lesson outlines that best meet the needs of class members. (Learn more.)Sunday School (1st and 3rd Sundays)Elders Quorum and Relief Society (2nd and 4th Sundays)
In 1939, he received a juris doctorate from Southwestern University Law School in Los Angeles. He graduated just two-tenths of a point below the highest grade in his class and became one of Los Angeles’s leading attorneys.He really was “something.” That group was formed after he graduated from Boise High School in 1926 and enrolled at the University of Washington in Seattle for a short time. He and his band auditioned for, and were awarded, a contract to perform aboard the SS President Jackson, a cruise ship making a five-month tour to Asia. They had a full daily schedule, playing light, popular music during the lunch hour, classical music during dinner, dance music in the ballroom, and theater music to accompany silent movies aboard the ship.“I just decided I couldn’t be a musician,” he said of the night he packed away his musical instruments. “I would have had to travel and play lots of nights. I didn’t think marriage and life on the road would be a good combination for us.”The series focused on the Brethren outside their service as General Authorities. Don Grayston, then a Deseret News photographer, and I visited Elder Hunter in his home one day in May 1985. I asked Elder Hunter to tell me about some of his interests beyond his Church service.He ended that phase of his life in 1931, shortly after he married Clara May Jeffs. He returned home from a musical gig, wrapped his saxophone, clarinet, and violin in chamois, and packed them away in boxes. Except for a few special occasions and family gatherings, they had remained in storage.Although he left his music career, he retained a deep love for music. “I still get the urge to play from time to time,” he said. “And my toes can’t stay still when I hear an orchestra.”He said his love for music had taken him on a route leading to his greatest happiness—marriage to Clara May Jeffs, whom he met in Los Angeles at a Gold and Green Ball. But when he met her, his days as a musician were numbered. Soon after their marriage, he decided to give up music.
A young Howard W. Hunter holds a saxophone.In Boise, Idaho, where he grew up, he learned to play the violin, marimba (he won one in a contest), and drums. He formed a band. He switched to playing clarinet and saxophone for practical reasons. “I got tired hauling around big drum sets and marimbas every time we played, so I started playing something I could tuck under my arm,” he said, giving out one of his characteristic full-voiced laughs.The only sound that came out was air brushing against a hollow tube. “It’s been too long,” he said. “The reed has dried out.”He became an attorney and businessman before he was sustained October 10, 1959, to the Council of the Twelve Apostles.In 1985, I wrote a series of articles about members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, one of whom was Elder Howard W. Hunter. In 1994, he became the 14th President of the Church.He told me about his music career, playing for dances and other activities, as a volunteer as well as a professional.I asked him if he ever took out one of the instruments. He got up from his chair, went to a closet, and removed a black case. Inside, his clarinet was nestled in royal-blue velvet. He assembled the rosewood instrument, fingered its keys, which were stiff from years of disuse, and, tentatively, blew into its mouthpiece.After serving 36 years as an Apostle, he became President of the Church on June 5, 1994, at the age of 86. He died less than a year later, on March 3, 1995, at age 87.I thought his mother had a good foresight. He grew to be six feet tall and had hands so large they easily could have spanned an octave and a half on the piano.During our visit, Elder Hunter rummaged through a stack of photos and found a picture of five young men with musical instruments. On the drum was written “Hunter’s Croonaders.” Pointing to the fading photograph, he laughed and said, “Weren’t we something!”He tried again, continuing to puff into the instrument until he coaxed from it a sweet, mellow sound echoing past memories. Then, sitting on the end of a piano bench in his living room, he played snatches from several melodies that were favorite tunes from his days as a professional musician on a cruise ship to Asia and on a radio program in Los Angeles, California.He recalled being about six years old when he ventured into music. “My mother thought it would be a good idea for me to study piano,” he said.He explained that his job with the band was just another experience from which he earned money. He always had a job. As a youngster, he delivered magazines to homes and sold newspapers on street corners. “I yelled out the headlines,” he said. One he particularly remembered was on November 11, 1918, announcing the armistice of World War I. That was three days before he turned 11.Elder Hunter recalled that when he later traveled with BYU’s International Folk Dancers in 1984, which took them to China, he asked a guide if he had heard of the French Club, one of Shanghai’s elite dining places. The guide said he had, and, as a matter of fact, the club was still there. “He took me by there,” President Hunter said. “It looked just like it did when my band played there.”When ashore, they played in hotels and dinner clubs in Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Manila.
During a 1985 interview in his home, Elder Howard W. Hunter—then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and later President of the Church—holds a clarinet from his earlier years as a performing musician. Photo by Church News archives.Howard and Clara Hunter had three sons, the first of whom died in infancy. She died in 1983. Elder Hunter married Inis Egan in 1990.
Hlebasko acknowledged the many blessings he had received despite his accident and expressed gratitude for each. Even so, the opportunity to participate in the act of baptism was not yet fulfilled.When that time came, however, Hlebasko said he wasn’t sure it would be possible.Hlebasko—then a varsity high school athlete competing in soccer, cross-country, track, and basketball—remembers laboring in coming to terms with his physical limitations. That, he said, was a natural struggle.“I did some research and found that it was possible, but I would need a lot of assistance,” he said. “I have some mobility in my arms, so I’d be able to raise my hand when pronouncing the blessing. Jaden and I practiced a lot too. I had her get under my armpit while I said the blessing, and she would let herself in and out of the water. My dad would need to wheel me in with the help of what is kind of like a dolly.”“When my oldest daughter, Jaden, was preparing to be baptized, I figured I would have somebody else do the baptism because I didn’t think it was possible for me to baptize her,” he said. “Being the strong-willed personality she is, Jaden didn’t want anyone else but me to do it.”
Jarom and Leslie Hlebasko pose with their daughter Miree at her baptism. Photo courtesy of Leslie Hlebasko.“The accident happened on a Friday, and I was turning in my mission papers the following Monday,” Hlebasko said. “I spent the next several months in intensive care, and I wasn’t able to serve a mission for my church. This was hard for me because in my patriarchal blessing, it says that I would baptize and confirm many into the Church. I always thought it would be related to missionary work, and with me not being able to serve, I wondered how I would baptize in my condition as a quadriplegic.”His friends soon came, and one gave him a priesthood blessing before his parents and a helicopter arrived. It was soon determined the severity of his injuries had resulted in paralysis from the chest down.Years went by, and Hlebasko married his high school sweetheart, Leslie, and the two added three daughters to their family. Hlebasko earned his degree in engineering technology, with an associate degree in design technology, eventually earning a job as the team lead at an engineering firm.On June 1 in Cedar City, Jarom Hlebasko entered a baptismal font and faced his eight-year-old daughter, Miree, ready to baptize her a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At that moment, feelings of gratitude and fulfillment washed over him—gratitude because there was a time in his life when he didn’t think performing such a baptism would be possible, and fulfillment because once again he was realizing a blessing pronounced years before.“I encourage those with challenges that hinder them from being able to baptize their children to try everything in their power to do this ordinance. To be a witness to the glisten in your child’s eyes after getting out of the water is a special, tender moment. If you are able, take the opportunity.”Hlebasko joked about water and weightlessness doing strange things to his body, and when he was sitting in the font, his legs floated to the surface. He said everyone got a good laugh out of it, including himself. Even so, after the baptism was complete, he said he was grateful. And he felt the same way when he was able to baptize his daughter Miree a few years later.In the winter of 2000, 18-year-old Hlebasko was enjoying time with his friends in the new-fallen snow. Just about to leave, he decided to have one last jump into the soft, deep powder. Rather than his landing softly in the snow, his head hit a mound of hard ground hidden below the snow’s surface, and he immediately recognized the magnitude of his accident.“I remember laying under the snow and being completely awake but not being able to move anything,” Hlebasko recalled. “All I could do was lay there and call for help in what wasn’t much more than a whisper—and just pray that my friends would come find me.”“It has been a true blessing to be able to do this,” Hlebasko said. “It’s one of those things you don't take for granted. The tenderness for a dad to baptize his children is hard to describe. The privilege is mine to baptize my children. Jarom and Leslie Hlebasko pose with their three daughters at the baptism of their oldest daughter, Jaden, in 2014. Photo courtesy of Leslie Hlebasko.The spiritual struggle, however, was something he didn’t expect.Thinking back on the blessing he received and the words of his father all those years ago, Hlebasko decided he would do all he could to be able to be the one to baptize his children.
Jarom Hlebasko poses with his daughter Miree at her baptism. Photo courtesy of Leslie Hlebasko.A patriarchal blessing, according to ChurchofJesusChrist.org, is available to every worthy, baptized member; it provides a declaration of a person’s lineage in the house of Israel and contains inspired direction and personal counsel from the Lord.“I remember when I was 16 years old and received the . . . priesthood, giving me the ability to baptize,” Hlebasko said. “My sister would soon be baptized, and I asked my dad if he would allow me to do it. His response was that I would have the opportunity to baptize my own children as their father, and it was his privilege as a father to baptize his children. I respected that answer and looked forward to the chance to baptize my children.”
“Heavenly Father, whatever Thou wouldst have me do, I’m happy to do it. Just know that I’m all in. . . . We want to give everything we have.”“I was a little embarrassed, but it got me going,” Brother Pace remembered, adding, “I became a changed person because of that.”“We hope to help people have some smiles and enjoy the journey along the way,” Brother Pace said, “but we’re very serious about our discipleship. These are not times for casualness, because of the challenges we’re facing in the world and facing as a household of Saints.”“If we follow the prophet, nothing is too hard for the Lord,” Brother Pace said. “And it doesn’t matter what the circumstances are in the world in which we live; the Lord will be with us, and He’ll lift and prosper and bless us.”Mark Leonard Pace was born January 1, 1957, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the fourth of 10 children of Lorin Nelson Pace and Marylynn Haymore Pace—and the first of several joining the family as the Paces presided over the Argentine Mission in the late 1950s. They returned to raise their family in Holladay, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City.“‘I’ve saved my favorite student for you,’” she remembers being told as he paired her up for a date with someone from Olympus—her old elementary-school acquaintance Mark Pace. “At first I said, ‘I don’t think so; I know him—maybe line me up with someone I don’t know.’”“But that’s not our life,” he said of hobbies, interests, and activities. “Our life is the gospel, our marriage, and our family.”Brother Pace added, “We trust the Lord, we trust His wisdom, and He has called us—we are going to do our very best and trust He will make us equal to the task.”The commitment to the gospel and the willingness to do hard things became a lifelong template.Then his companion called for them to go out and resume their work. “So we knelt together in prayer and then went out to serve and change the world,” he said. “And I never again felt what I had felt at that moment. I loved my mission—it changed my life.”“It’s relaxing and an escape from the world,” he said, to collect eggs for the hatchery, watch baby chicks emerge several weeks later, and then “grow them up” over the summer to see which ones have the desired shaping and coloring to keep and to show in the state fair or poultry association events. His breeds include Old English Game bantams, light-brown leghorns, and Rhode Island Reds.Brother and Sister Pace are the parents of seven children, again the result of following counsel that might seem hard for some—to start a family after marriage while pursuing education.“My [mom’s] vision that there’s something better than just going along to Church was a very meaningful experience for me,” he said.With this latest chapter in their lifelong service, the Paces look forward to teaching and learning opportunities with others.“And she said, ‘You deserve to know. Now, you have to put in the effort—you need to read the Book of Mormon; you need to pray to find out. But you deserve to know.’”He underscored President Russell M. Nelson’s emphasis on the home-centered, Church-supported curriculum, calling the promised blessings “significant.”“I wasn’t in the business of lying to my mom,” he recalled, “so I said, ‘No.’“My mom said to me, ‘Mark, has the Holy Ghost told you that the gospel has been restored and that the Church is true?’That was where Mark Pace first met Anne Marie Langeland—as second-grade classmates in elementary school, moving up each grade together and attending adjoining wards that worshipped in the same meetinghouse.“I felt peace,” he said, explaining that the feeling of peace that he felt then as he started his reading of the Book of Mormon—just as he did at the conclusion of his reading then and his ongoing reading and seeking the truth through his efforts since—was from the Holy Ghost.He cited one afternoon, in his first assigned city in Spain, when the missionaries had returned to their apartment for lunch and he was gazing out the window while reflecting on the reality of missionary work. “This is hard,” he told himself. “I’m not going home, but this is really hard—gut-wrenching hard.”Brother Pace learned then, as well as a few years later as a full-time missionary serving in the Spain Madrid Mission, that nothing is too hard for the Lord, that with His help, all things are possible.He remembers almost shrugging off the activity when the sign-up sheet was passed around in seminary, preferring to focus on his playing on the Olympus basketball team. But feeling a prompting that the seminary class president should probably participate in the seminary-sponsored activity, he retrieved the paper and made himself available for the event.And she remembers the first date—and its January 11, 1975, date. “It took me a few minutes, but I thought, ‘Wow, this is something special.’”And he recalled once again his mother’s prompting when he was 12. “Just coasting then wasn’t good enough, and it’s not good enough now. The Lord is moving forward His work, and if we can bless, support, and encourage, we’re happy to lend everything.”Such was a prayerful commitment just prior to his call as Sunday School General President.Leading the Spain Barcelona Mission and its 480-plus missionaries from 2012 to 2015 was “a life-changing experience” for the Paces. “Their faith and devotion to the Lord was an inspiration to us and a great blessing to the preaching of the gospel,” said Brother Pace of their missionaries. “We rejoice as their lives move forward, building Zion in their families and communities.”Brother Pace enjoys sports, hiking into the Grand Canyon and crossing over the Uinta Mountains, and raising chickens. The latter he started as a teenager with an uncle and his brothers in breeding the fowl for proper body shaping and coloring.
Buenos Aires, Argentina. Graphic by Mary Archbold.“He wasn’t in my circle of friends, but we knew who the other was,” she said, noting that after the sixth grade, she and her family moved to Salt Lake City’s Avenues neighborhood.When Anne Marie was in her senior year at East High School, her seminary teacher, Terry Baker, proposed a seminary dance with another area school, Olympus High, where he had taught the year before.After high school graduation, Mark Pace and Anne Marie Langeland again found themselves separated—she moving to Norway to accompany her parents on a mission assignment and he leaving soon thereafter for his mission in Spain. This time, they stayed in contact through sharing letters and resumed dating upon their respective returns, getting engaged six months later and then marrying in the Salt Lake Temple on November 21, 1978.The reading, praying, and asking seemed a tall order for a preteen, but he remained diligent.She got the green light from her mother when she mentioned the date and the Pace name, her mother having known his mother from previous stake Relief Society interactions.
Brother Mark L. Pace, Sunday School General PresidentNew Sunday School General Presidency from left: Brother Milton da Rocha Camargo, First Counselor; Brother Mark L. Pace, President; and Brother Jan E. Newman, Second Counselor, pose for photos at the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City on Monday, April 8, 2019. Photo by Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News.“Trying to do that was a great blessing to us, our family, and our lives,” Brother Pace said. “The greatest harvest of our lives, the greatest jewels and the greatest joys are our children and our grandchildren.”
Graphic by Heather Tuttle, Deseret News.Brother Mark L. Pace remembers the moment at age 12 when his mother asked him a direct question—creating both a challenge and an opportunity that helped shape his life and prepared him for his recent call as the new Sunday School General President.
“We can always come closer to God no matter how distant we might feel,” he said. “I made some mistakes, but my testimony has grown so much more as I’ve striven to repent and keep moving forward.”The transition from missionary service to regular home life can be jarring, and, unlike what the Colorado missionary experienced, some loved ones aren’t always helpful in the transition process.Returning home can be tough for young adults and their loved ones, but returned missionaries’ service isn’t for naught, Marshall said. Heavenly Father is pleased with the service they have offered, he said, despite any imperfect circumstances or choices.Prior to a Face to Face event in March 2016, Elder Holland shared advice in a video post for young adults who have returned early from mission service.“Give them space,” Marshall said, advising loved ones of returned missionaries. “But make sure you’re close by, because it can be a little depressing. Be their friend.”“I felt lost and empty,” he said. “At times, the most difficult part of coming home was [finding] the motivation to keep going to church, reading the scriptures, and praying. The simple things were the hardest.”Read the full story on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.“Just love them,” said the missionary who served in Colorado. “Encourage them to always remember the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.”By letting the Spirit be an ever-present guide, early-returning missionaries can be embraced by their loved ones and peers without being judged, the article explains.Young adults who serve missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may experience an array of injuries, issues, and circumstances that result in being unable to continue with their mission service and returning home earlier than expected.Another unnamed individual, who served in Colorado, returned home early from his mission for disciplinary reasons and was excommunicated from the Church. He was later rebaptized, but coming home was difficult for him.“When someone asks if you’ve served a mission, you say yes,” he said. “Cherish the service you rendered. Be grateful for the opportunity to have testified, to have been out in the name of the Lord, to have worn that missionary name plaque. . . . Please, please do not relive this; do not rehash it; do not think you’re inadequate or a failure.”In his case, he had the support of friends and family. Goal-setting, regularly meeting with his bishop, and temple attendance were essential in creating a close relationship with his Heavenly Father. Additionally, the love of God, having a testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and repentance were what made recovery truly possible.
Support of friends and family, goal-setting, regularly meeting with their bishop, and temple attendance are essential for early-returning missionaries to help them create a close relationship with Heavenly Father.True Repentance“As missionaries, we’re not perfect,” Marshall said. “We’re still subject to temptation; we can still sin. But your imperfections are probably what Satan wants you to focus on—to feel like your offering isn’t accepted by the Lord because of those times when you weren’t the best missionary.”Once home, some of these young adults can feel disconnected from their loved ones and the Church, but there is hope and strength that both returned missionaries and loved ones can find in the process, according to a recent digital-only article for young adults in the July issues of the Ensign and Liahona.Sharing two stories of missionaries who returned home early from their missions and what they learned from the experience, the article also offers brief comments from several Church leaders, including Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.A Worthwhile ExperienceMarshall, a man who returned home early from his mission due to physical and mental challenges, has, at times, felt regret for what kept him from being a “fully functional missionary.” But, he said, he still feels his mission service was worthwhile.
Nigerian refugee and Catholic Sister Abbey Perpetwa talks about the classes she is taking at St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church in Rome, Italy, on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints partners with the Catholic Church to help refugees. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News. Refugees attend cooking class taught by Latter-day Saint Charities missionaries at St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church in Rome, Italy on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints partners with the Catholic Church to help refugees. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.ROME, Italy Latter-day Saint volunteer Cecilia Panecianco teaches English language class to refugees at St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church in Rome, Italy on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints partners with the Catholic Church to help refugees. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.As a result of the classes—and of learning both Italian and English—he got a job as a waiter at a local restaurant. A refugee attends classes at St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church in Rome, Italy, on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints partners with the Catholic Church to help refugees. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.Above them on the wall is a colorful mural of an Italian village.
A Catholic nun practices piano at St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church in Rome, Italy on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints partners with the Catholic Church to help refugees. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.Carrots and celery—infused with regional spices—boil in a large pot in front of Sister Anita Canfield. She speaks as she chops more vegetables inside the Latter-day Saint Charities Friendship Center located in the heart of Rome. More than a dozen refugees are participating in her cooking class.The Canfields volunteered in soup kitchens, fed refugees on the streets, and went into refugee camps. They talked to others offering aid. Without exception, they heard one resolve over and over again: What do refugees need most? A friend.And so the Friendship Center began.
Latter-day Saint Charities missionary Sister Anita Canfield, right, hugs Latter-day Saint volunteer Cecilia Panecianco at the Latter-day Saint Charities Friendship Center in Rome, Italy. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.Latter-day Saint volunteers think they are teaching a language or a cooking class, she said. But the students at the center are learning to believe in themselves again. Latter-day Saint Charities missionaries Steve and Anita Canfield talk at St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church in Rome, Italy on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints partners with the Catholic church to help refugees. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.He is so grateful, he regularly prays for his teachers.Housed inside the St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church in Rome, Italy, the Friendship Center—open every weekday afternoon from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.—gives refugees in the city a place to integrate.“That is what we came to do—to teach them that they can make it,” she said. Latter-day Saint Charities missionary Anita Canfield, right, teaches refugees during cooking class at St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church in Rome, Italy on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints partners with the Catholic Church to help refugees. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.In the Rome Welcome Center, amid the hive of activity on a recent afternoon, a visitor arrives and is greeted by Sister Canfield. It is obvious the women are friends. “Go to English,” she tells the visitor.Latter-day Saints in Rome sponsor the classes to help refugees and promote self-reliance. Some 500 people come each week to take a class or receive other services.On the other side of the room, a young man, Josh Perego, teaches piano to additional students wearing headsets and practicing on digital keyboards.Elder and Sister Canfield began their mission in Germany, where the Europe Area presidency asked them to examine what the Church—which had partnered in recent years with hundreds of organizations to assist in the world refugee crisis—should do next to help refugees.Tayyab Saleem is a student who has been participating in English, Italian, and computer classes at the center for five months.“They come here and they feel friendship and love,” said Elder Steve Canfield, who with his wife was serving as Europe Area welfare specialists. “There is a sense of hope that things are going to get better.”As she talks, a group leaves the center to take a tour of Rome. They need to learn about their host city, she explains.This is the Canfields’ third mission. First and foremost, they and the other Latter-day Saints who volunteer here want Rome’s refugees to feel like they have a friend. “You can’t fake love,” she said.As Saleem speaks, other visitors arrive looking for assistance. Sister Canfield is quick to respond. “What is your language?” she asks a refugee who is new to the Friendship Center, trying to assess how to help.“They need someone to help them integrate into the country,” Sister Canfield said.Seven years ago he fled his native Pakistan and arrived in Italy with “no job, no nothing.” Somalian refugee Fardusa Osman attends intermediate Italian language class at St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church in Rome, Italy, on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints partners with the Catholic Church to help refugees. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.The crowds continue to enter and exit the center. Some have just completed Italian and English classes; others are learning to drive. Some are here to take classes that certify them to care for the elderly or to clean homes and businesses. Refugees walk to tour a museum after classes at St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church in Rome, Italy, on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints partners with the Catholic church to help refugees. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News. Sister Margaret, a Catholic nun, practices piano during a class taught by Josh Perego, a local Latter-day Saint. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.“I learned of the Friendship Center,” he said. “They love everyone. There is no difference between color or religion. Our kids will be better in the future.”The work is just a part of larger refugee efforts sponsored by Latter-day Saint Charities across the globe. The organization supports refugees by providing both immediate relief and long-term support and by working with resettlement agencies. In 2018, Latter-day Saint Charities assisted with 371 projects in 56 countries. Refugees attend cooking class taught by Latter-day Saint Charities missionary Anita Canfield, right, at St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church in Rome, Italy, on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints partners with the Catholic Church to help refugees. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the location of the Layton Utah Temple.
The temple will be located on a 11.8-acre site at the corner of Oak Hills Drive and Rosewood Lane in Layton, approximately 25 miles north of Salt Lake City, Newsroom reported. The temple is projected to be three stories high and roughly 87,000 square feet.
President Russell M. Nelson originally announced the temple in April 2018 general conference.
Renderings of the Layton Utah Temple will be available in the future, as more detailed design plans are still being developed. A groundbreaking date will also be forthcoming.
Currently, Utah has 17 operating temples. Construction plans for the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple were announced in May 2019. Additionally, temples in Tooele Valley and Washington County have been announced.
Larry Eastland, president and founder of the Widtsoe Foundation, said the Widtsoe Family Collection is “without question, the most ambitious digital database project involving Latter-day Saint scholars ever undertaken by any organization and will expand the reach of his scholarship globally to scholars of all faiths.” Dr. Laura Redford, Ph.D., Widtsoe Foundation board member and director of the LDS Scholars Archive and Widtsoe Family Collection, speaks during a dinner at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City on Thursday, January 31, 2019. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.Kari Robinson, Elder Widtsoe’s oldest great-grandchild and chair of the Widtsoe Family Collection steering committee, said: “John A. Widtsoe’s insights into religion, education, and the functions of the universe are as relevant today as they were during his lifetime. His intellect was far-reaching, and his level of curiosity and devotion to the cause of truth was never ending.”A special kick-off event was held in January at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City, Utah, on the anniversary of Elder Widtsoe’s birthday. The nearly 80 attendees included Widtsoe descendants, scholars, educators, archivists, and friends. Richard H. Madsen, John A. Widtsoe’s great-grandson, speaks during a Widtsoe Family Collection dinner at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City on Thursday, January 31, 2019. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.The first phase of the digital database is expected to be online before the end of 2019. Works by other prominent Latter-day Saint scholars and theologians will follow. All of these individual collections will become part of what will be known as the Latter-day Saint Scholars Archive. Larry Eastland, president and founder of the Widtsoe Foundation, far right, speaks with other attendees of the Widtsoe Family Collection dinner at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City on Thursday, January 31, 2019. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.The aim of the Widtsoe Family Collection is to bring these doctrinal writings into the public light and “put Latter-day Saint scholarship in conversation with other religious scholars from other denominations,” said Dr. Laura Redford, director of the Widtsoe Family Collection.“It’s something religious scholars who are studying the principles of the Latter-day Saint faith or how our doctrine has been interpreted over time will find very useful,” said Redford, who has taught at UCLA and Scripps College. John W. “Jack” Welch, the Robert K. Thomas professor of law at BYU and a Widtsoe Foundation Distinguished Scholar, speaks at a dinner at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City on Thursday, January 31, 2019. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.His repository is often considered the foundation of modern Latter-day Saint scholarship, yet most of his writings are inaccessible—either out of print or in archival collections. Some of his definitive works include “Rational Theology,” “Priesthood and Church Government,” “Discourses of Brigham Young,” “Joseph Smith as Scientist,” “The Message of the Doctrine and Covenants,” and “The Word of Wisdom.“ Carolyn Durham Person, John A. Widtsoe’s granddaughter, attends the Widtsoe Family Collection dinner at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on Thursday, January 31, 2019. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. Guests listen to a guest speaker during the Widtsoe Family Collection dinner at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City on Thursday, January 31, 2019. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.With the goal of using digital technology to bring the masterworks and religious writings of Elder John A. Widtsoe to scholars and the public around the world through digital technology, the John A. Widtsoe Foundation and Widtsoe family descendants have jointly announced the Widtsoe Family Collection.The Foundation will digitize documents that are only presently on paper and will address necessary copyright permissions. In addition to published books, the project will draw on archive materials held by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, various university collections, historical societies, and members of the Widtsoe family.Elder Widtsoe, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from 1921 to 1952, was one of the most prolific Latter-day Saint scholars of his time, having written nearly 30 books; more than 700 magazine articles, speeches, and conference talks; various radio addresses; and dozens of religious tracts and pamphlets.He added: “This will be the first of several collections from other eminent Latter-day Saint scholars, making it what we believe will be the most important collection of Latter-day Saint scholars in the world.”To make such information useful, the digital collection of Elder Widtsoe’s writings will be searchable by topic, key word, or title. Audio and video recordings of Elder Widtsoe’s will also be part of the collection. Attendees to a Widtsoe Family Collection dinner at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on Thursday, January 31, 2019, look over John A. Widtsoe’s autobiographical book “In a Sunlit Land.” Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.Church members will also find value in the database when preparing a Church talk or lesson. ”It’s meant to be free and open to the public,” Redford said.
“He was about 24 years old, so it kind of puts it all in perspective, … that these were young people and radio was new,” she said. “They were trying to find programming that people would tune into on a regular basis.”For Newell, Music and the Spoken Word has come to play an unexpected role in his life.A sacred responsibility“So it has an honored place in our home,” he said. “When I look at that radio, I picture my mother on this little farm in the middle of nowhere in Idaho. They would gather and hear this miraculous medium, the radio, and listen to the broadcast.”Across the country, Music and the Spoken Word became a part of not only people’s entertainment, but also a way for many people to take a break from the pressures of life, Swinton said.But despite all that, the radio signals were strong, she said, and they broadcast the program each week to Europe and even out into the Pacific. “They still had Music and the Spoken Word going out over the air to all of the listeners.” Laurie Vukich applies makeup to Ari Hunsaker as the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square prepares for the 90th anniversary of Music and the Spoken Word in Salt Lake City on Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.Each week as he prepares to stand in front of the cameras and microphone, Newell said the words of President Hinckley echo in his ears.Newell grew up similarly attached to the program, but “never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I someday would be the announcer of the broadcast.”To honor the longevity of the broadcast and the legacy of his predecessor, Newell signed off from the 90th anniversary broadcast the same way Richard L. Evans did for nearly 41 years before him. The parting words, much like the broadcast itself, offer a continuation of hope: The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square rehearses for Music and the Spoken Word in Salt Lake City on Sunday, July 14, 2019. The choir celebrated the 90th anniversary of Music and the Spoken Word being on air. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.And while not every week turns out to be a home run, Newell sincerely tries to make each week’s message “fresh, inspirational, insightful, and informative so that anyone can listen to it.” Sound engineer Joey Russell works as the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square rehearses for the 90th anniversary of Music and the Spoken Word in Salt Lake City on Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.What hasn’t changed in all that time is the message and purpose behind the broadcast. Attendees listen as the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square rehearses for the 90th anniversary of Music and the Spoken Word in Salt Lake City on Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.Across Utah and eventually across the nation, Music and the Spoken Word became a staple radio program for hundreds of thousands of people each week.“The music is the star of the program and that’s what it’s about … but the message is meant to be a nondenominational, inspirational message that can reach anybody, anywhere, of any background of any faith or no faith. Regardless of the place and time, our mission is to spread goodwill, to lift spirits,” Newell said.“They were on the air when the stock market fell and ... even during the war, there was no break,” she said, noting the Tabernacle was closed to the public during the war years, so the choir rarely had a live audience from 1942–1945.“I remember asking him when he was first introduced to the choir,” Swinton told the Church News. “And he said, ‘Oh, I would stretch out on the floor in front of the radio with my family and we’d listed to Music and the Spoken Word. So I think there was a lot of that.”“I run into people all the time, younger people, and they’ll say, ‘I want your job.’” Newell said. “Many people think it’s my job. They don’t realize it’s a [Church] calling.”“It’s been 30 years,” Newell said with a laugh, and no further notice has come. The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square rehearses for Music and the Spoken Word in Salt Lake City on Sunday, July 14, 2019. The choir celebrated the 90th anniversary of Music and the Spoken Word being on air. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.“Radio was just in its infancy,” Swinton said, noting that the program itself was fairly basic.When the broadcast began back in 1929, it was a weekday afternoon program, explained Heidi Swinton, an author and historian who wrote a book about the history of the Tabernacle Choir.From a single man climbing a ladder and holding a microphone in the air, to a team of digital production and sound engineers and cameramen backed by radio and television broadcast teams, the means by which the hundreds of voices of the Tabernacle Choir are captured and sent out across the media airwaves around the world each week have changed drastically in the 90 years since the choir’s first live radio broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word.“Music is the anchor to all that this broadcast is about,” he said. And whether a person is listening to or performing the music of the broadcast, he said there’s almost always “a song that’s going to make that difference for you.”“They’re just offering their very best. They’re not being paid for it, the choir, the orchestra, and me. We’re not paid for this, this is just our offering. It’s a willing, consecrated offering, and there’s something really sacred about that,” Newell said, adding that being a part of a such a longstanding broadcast with the purpose of lifting people’s spirits is a remarkable opportunity.Then, beginning as it did it’s very first broadcast 90 years before, the choir sung out the first strains of the hymn “The Morning Breaks.”Throughout the past 90 years, the choir and the broadcast have always been there to respond to what is happening in the world, “giving people something to hang on to that is positive,” Swinton said. “I think that the choir has always felt that their role was to lift people, to give them hope, to give them a sense that life is going to be better.”A long-standing legacyJust minutes before the broadcast began, Newell took his spot on the raised platform away from the stage and addressed the audience. He explained that the broadcast would be sent out to more than 2,000 TV and radio stations around the world. Those in attendance, he noted, were participating in yet another historic occasion for the longstanding program. As the lights dimmed and the choir stood, a hushed reverence fell over the audience and one of the stage crew announced 10 seconds to start. Apparel hangs as the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square rehearses for Music and the Spoken Word in Salt Lake City on Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.Ron Jarrett, the choir’s current president, noted that although choir members get to spend, at most, 20 years performing, the small fraction of time they get to be a part of the broadcast week after week means a great deal to them.On Sunday morning, July 14, Music and the Spoken Word celebrated its 90th anniversary and continued its legacy as the longest running continuously broadcast network program in the United States.“To be able to do something like that, that really blesses people and lifts their spirits, it’s a great blessing and honor,” he said. “It’s also a sacred responsibility. I think all of us sort of look at it that way.”When President Gordon B. Hinckley called Newell to be the broadcast’s announcer after Elder Richard L. Evans retired the role, he told Newell that it would be his calling until further notice.“When he called me, he said, ‘Each week needs to be an inspirational gem,’” Newell said.
Conductor Mack Wilberg works with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, July 14, 2019, during a rehearsal for the 90th anniversary of Music and the Spoken Word. The broadcast originally began in 1929, making Music and the Spoken Word the longest running continuously broadcast network program in the United States. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.“I remember growing up with it,” Newell told the Church News. “In fact, I have an old radio, which is one of my treasured possessions. It’s an old upright Philco radio that my mother gave me.”Looking back at accounts of the choir and their broadcasts from the 1930s, Swinton said Richard L. Evans, the producer, writer, and announcer of the program at the time—and later an Apostle—would write little notes in the margins of the program as he learned and adjusted each week.
The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square rehearses for Music and the Spoken Word in Salt Lake City on Sunday, July 14, 2019. The choir celebrated the 90th anniversary of Music and the Spoken Word being on air, making it the longest running continuously broadcast network program in the United States. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.The fact that it is a calling, for almost all the performers involved, is part of what makes the broadcast so remarkable, Newell said.“It’s a remarkable thing when you consider that for 90 years, this program has been on the air through good times and bad, through ups and downs, in the world, the nation, communities, and individual hearts,” Newell said. “And this broadcast has been like a trusted friend for so many people for so many, many decades.”“Until we meet again, may be peace be with you, this day and always.”“The technology [is different] and the audience is much broader and wider now,” said Lloyd Newell, the announcer for the weekly program. “But the broadcast is essentially the same. … It’s beautiful music with an inspirational message. And the music and the messages are timeless.That’s part of the program’s longevity, he said. Whether the messages came from him or his predecessor, an uplifting message with beautiful music is something that everyone can use, he said. “We all need something positive, we need inspiration, something good in our lives.”As people filed into the Conference Center at Temple Square prior to the 9:30 a.m. 90th-anniversary broadcast, music from the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square filled the room as they completed their rehearsal leading up to the broadcast. The audience, made up mostly of visitors and not locals from Utah, filled the lower center sections of seating at the conference center.
The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square rehearse for Music and the Spoken Word in Salt Lake City on Sunday, July 14, 2019. The choir celebrated the 90th anniversary of Music and the Spoken Word being on air, making it the longest running continuously broadcast network program in the United States. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.It’s hard for him to believe that 30 years have passed since he became the announcer for the program. And even though his career background is in TV news, he never planned on doing something like this.In her younger years, Newell said, his mother would gather with her family on their farm and listen to Music and the Spoken Word on that same radio each Sunday.Even Walter Cronkite, a well-known American broadcast journalist who performed with the choir during one of their Christmas programs, could recall growing up listening to Music and the Spoken Word.
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson toured The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Welfare Square as part of a brief visit in Salt Lake City on Thursday, July 11.Elder Jack N. Gerard, a General Authority Seventy, and Elder Kent F. Richards, an emeritus General Authority Seventy, hosted Carson at Welfare Square. Sister Marsha Richards, wife of Elder Kent F. Richards, offers a cheese sample to HUD secretary Dr. Ben Carson at the Welfare Squares dairy facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, July 11, 2019. lder Jack N. Gerard, left, and Elder Kent F. Richards, right, visit with HUD secretary Dr. Ben Carson in a Deseret Industries Thrift Store located at Welfare Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, during a July 11, 2019, tour. Elder Kent F. Richards, left, and Elder Jack N. Gerard of the Seventy, center, greet Dr. Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, at Welfare Square—owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—in Salt Lake City, Utah, July 11, 2019.The HUD secretary also toured several housing and mixed-use facilities while in Salt Lake City. Dr. Ben Carson, HUD secretary, walks into Welfare Square facilities with Elder Kent F. Richards, second from right, and Elder Jack N. Gerard during a Thursday, July 11, 2019, tour in Salt Lake City.His brief tour included stops at a dairy facility and Deseret Industries, with the hosting leaders explaining the Church’s principles of welfare and self-reliance and the processes of gathering and making available food and new and used goods to help less-fortunate individuals as well as for humanitarian distribution.SALT LAKE CITY
Fifteen women have served as general presidents of the Young Women organization—including the current Young Women General President, Sister Bonnie H. Cordon.
A young woman holds her Personal Progress manual.During the tenure of Sister Ardeth G. Kapp, who served as General President from 1984 to 1992, the Young Women motto and logo were introduced. The Young Women theme and values were also introduced.Relief Society General President Eliza R. Snow supervised the association; Ella Young Empey was named as president.On May 8, 2018, the First Presidency announced that a new initiative is being developed to replace existing children and youth programs within the Church, including Personal Progress.With the publication of the 1915 Beehive handbook, the Church established its first recognition program for young women. Similar to the eight values in the current Young Women program, young women of the past completed requirements in seven “fields” of personal improvement. Options included:On June 19, 1880, the first General President of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association, Elmina S. Taylor, was called by President John Taylor.Nearly 150 years ago, on the evening of November 28, 1869, in the parlor of the Lion House in Salt Lake City, President Brigham Young organized the Young Ladies' Department of the Ladies' Cooperative Retrenchment Association—the predecessor to the Young Women program.
His leadership style was filled with invitations and opportunities. When the Savior admonished us to “Come, follow Me,” His invitation was not only for us to hear His words, but to do what He would do—to act with love and charity and to lead others to Him.“And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers” (see Luke 2:41-52).
Young women participate in a Young Women’s camp.
From personal experience, he knows well the power that a latter-day Apostle’s visit can have on his homeland. President Nelson first came to Belarus—an eastern European nation of 9.5 million—in 1993, offering a prayer on the land and its people.President Davydik said Elder Rasband asked the members to remain in Belarus and build up the Church in their native country.At the district conference, Elder Rasband assured the Belarusian members of President Nelson’s love for them and spoke optimistically of the Church’s future in their country.Several of the events offered Latter-day Saints opportunities to ask questions of the visiting Apostle. President Davydik said Elder Rasband’s loving counsel to the young people will have a lasting impact.
In Minsk, Belarus, President Russell M. Nelson, then an Apostle, stands with Mikhail Davydik, president of the Minsk Belarus District and a former mission president. President Davydik joined the Church after hearing Elder Nelson speak in 1993.The visiting apostle also challenged each member in Belarus to fast and pray for his or her neighbors. “He asked to think about how each of us can lead them to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.”With Utah’s Pioneer Day quickly approaching, Minsk Belarus District Branch President Mikhail M. Davydik is a modern-day reminder that Latter-day Saint “pioneers” are not solely the claim of history.
President Russell M. Nelson, left, meets with Leonid Gulyako, Belarus Minister of Religious Affairs, center.Now another Apostle’s recent visit is again blessing Belarus, said President Davydik. Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles met with local members and leaders in Belarus during the final days of May and the beginning of June. (See related story.)In 1993, President Davydik was baptized just days after hearing President Russell M. Nelson, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, deliver a speech in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.Since then, he has functioned as a true pioneer—going before “to prepare or open up the way for others to follow” (Thomas S. Monson, “Led by Spiritual Pioneers,” Ensign, August 2006). He has served as a priesthood leader for his fellow Belarusian Saints and has presided over a Church mission.President Davydik has been a firsthand witness and participant of the pioneering story of the Church in his native land.“The Apostle told us, ‘You are the pioneers of the Church in Belarus.’”“Elder Rasband spoke about himself and his family and answered questions from the young men and young women,” he wrote. “It struck me that Elder Rasband responded as if he had known these young people for a long time. It was amazing for me—and it was evidence that he was really an Apostle and that he was acting under the guidance of the Holy Ghost and speaking through revelation.”“Elder Rasband told us not to just live for ourselves but to establish the Church for those who are coming after us. He told us to never stop trying and that the future depends upon us,” wrote President Davydik.“It is not the scenery; it is not the climate; it is not the history. The things you remember best are the individuals you meet and have learned to love,” said President Nelson following his 2017 visit.Elder Rasband’s visit to Belarus included meetings with leaders from the Minsk Belarus District and the Minsk Branch, a youth devotional, and a district conference.He would return in 2017 as president of the Quorum of the Twelve to reconnect with the Belarusian members, including President Davydik. (See related story.)Joy and happiness, promised Elder Rasband, comes from keeping God’s commandments. Aerial view of the old historic center of Minsk city, Minsk, Belarus. Adobe Stock image.“It was a real miracle to see and recognize a living Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ,” he wrote in an email. “During his four-day stay in Minsk, there were four meetings with members of the Church. This was a big deal for us. It had never happened before.”
Elder Ballard used river rafting as a metaphor for life and essential supplies, such as life jackets and river guides, for spiritual tools that can help navigate earthly life. Through earnest prayer, gospel study, and covenant keeping, all of God’s children can make it safely home.
God’s Divine Power to SaveWhen Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was a teenager, he participated in the Hill Cumorah Pageant in Palmyra, New York, according to an article in the August 2008 Ensign and Liahona magazines. One evening, he went to the Sacred Grove to pray about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, but nothing happened. A month after his prayer, Elder Christofferson received the answer to his prayer while reading in the Book of Mormon.Read “Stay in the Boat and Hold On!”President Thomas S. Monson, then First Counselor in the First Presidency, told a story from his youth in October 1995 general conference. As a 12- or 13-year-old boy, President Monson floated down the Provo River in an inflated inner tube from a tractor tire. He came upon a family shouting for someone to help save one of their family members from drowning in a fierce whirlpool. President Monson grabbed the woman out of the water and brought her to her family, saving the woman’s life.Read “How Does the Holy Ghost Help You?”Read “A Summer with Great-Aunt Rose.”Keeping a Positive Outlook on LifeSummer—a time many go camping, hiking, and swimming—can also be the perfect time to learn or teach gospel principles. These seven summer stories from General Authorities can serve as gentle reminders that gospel knowledge can come throughout the summer holidays.
Making It Safely Home to God
Safety and Salvation in Christ’s Divine Mercy
When God Speaks to UsRead “Elder D. Todd Christofferson: Prepared to Serve the Lord.”In October 2014 general conference, then Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave an address about staying steadfast in the gospel, even when life’s challenges and circumstances are difficult to manage.Together, they talked about the similarities between the campfire they painted and personal faith. The light and warmth of the campfire—a metaphor for memories, experiences, and personal history of faith in God’s goodness—can carry each person through the dark, lonely night of uncertainty. And when the night is over, the dawn of faith will come. Read “Our Campfire of Faith.”Read “Who Honors God, God Honors.”Personal Campfires of FaithSoon after, Elder Stevenson noticed a large rattlesnake on top of the rock he was climbing minutes earlier. Elder Stevenson asked his dad how he knew the snake was there, and his father taught him about the power of the Holy Ghost. Elder Stevenson said he has never forgotten what he learned that day.Elder Christofferson said he learned that “we can’t dictate to God when, where, or how He will speak to us. We just have to be open to receive what He disposes, when He disposes it. It comes according to His will.”President Monson said he learned that God knows each one of His children and “generously permits us to see and to share His divine power to save”—a message for members to work toward the saving of souls through missionary efforts.During October 2015 general conference, then President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, as Second Counselor in the First Presidency, gave an address about an 11-year-old named Eva who was sent to spend her summer at her great-aunt Rose’s house. Even though Eva wanted to hate everything about staying with Rose, she realized she loved being around Rose. Eva wanted to know how Rose could always be so happy, and Rose told her it was faith, hope, and love that had guided her through her good and bad experiences and helped her to keep a positive outlook on life. Years later, Eva was still grateful for the lessons she learned from the summer she spent with her great-aunt Rose.
The Power of the Holy GhostElder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told a story in April 2015 general conference of two teenage brothers, Jimmy and John, who decided to scale a canyon wall in Southern Utah. They realized too late that they both couldn’t easily get to the top of the cliff, so John, the older of the two, hoisted Jimmy to safety atop the ledge. Just as John felt he would die, his younger brother pulled him to safety.Elder Holland compared this story to the Fall of Adam and how each person has a brother—the Savior—who, as our Brother, will pull us to the safety of salvation through His divine mercy. Read “Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet.”In April 2017 general conference, Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told a personal story from a childhood hiking trip. When Elder Stevenson’s father took him on a summer hike, Elder Stevenson jumped from rock to rock along the sides of the trail. As Elder Stevenson began to climb on top of a large rock, his father grabbed him by the belt and told him to keep on the trail.During the October 2018 general conference, Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about building personal campfires of faith. Elder Gong recalled a memory he had of painting with Elder Richard G. Scott, using Elder Scott’s painting Campfire at Sunset as a model for Elder Gong to paint.
For those unable to attend, Elder and Sister Bednar’s comments will be streamed live at ChurchofJesusChrist.org/broadcasts/europe-area-broadcasts.
RootsTech London Schedule of Events for Saturday, October 26
What Is FamilySearch?
FamilySearch is the world’s largest genealogical organization, with the largest collection of free genealogical resources. With a network of over 5,000 family history centers, FamilySearch provides the best in-person and online experience for family history. Come learn about its global products and services.
FamilySearch.org: 10 Easy Tasks
Come learn about 10 easy tasks at familysearch.org that can help you navigate your own family history. Learn how to upload and tag memories, explore your Tree in new ways, utilize hints, index historical records, navigate new apps, search records, and much more.
FamilySearch Mobile Apps: Family History into the Future
Warning! This app may become addicting. Use the FamilySearch mobile app to experience family history in a new way, using the latest tips and features of mobile computing. Find out how to easily complete simple family history tasks anywhere you go, including preserving photos and stories, discovering record hints, and sharing with others.
Family History That Won’t Put Your Kids to Sleep
Let’s be real. Not everyone is as excited as you and me when we crack open the dusty box from the attic. But FamilySearch has made huge strides to make family discovery interactive and fun. Yes, we said it: FUN! This class showcases the many engaging activities found on the FamilySearch Tree app and online. We promise these activities will have your family laughing, posting, and sharing in no time.
An Evening with Elder and Sister Bednar
Elder and Sister Bednar will share inspirational stories of faith and family from their own background as parents and as Church leaders. Don’t miss their special message, which is sure to bring your family together and help you make new connections to your family, past and present.
ExCeL London Auditorium
Following is a schedule of events for members on Saturday, October 26, beginning at 1:00 p.m.Interest in the RootsTech conference in the United States has been growing steadily since its launch in 2011. More than 17,000 guests from every state and 47 countries gathered at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, and more than 111,000 tuned in via the internet for RootsTech 2018.The event in London is part of several experiences specifically for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during an afternoon of inspiration, learning, and celebration at the ExCel Convention Center. These free activities, meant to help individuals and families discover, gather, and connect family relationships include:
Read the full story on BYU Magazine.Charity and changeA recent BYU Magazine article highlighted five tips to help improve family relationships.Manners matterFear can blind one to the needs of those that surround them. Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “If we simply love God and love our neighbors, we are promised that we will overcome our fears” (“Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear”).Originally shared by professional counselor Mark D. Ogletree at a series of presentations to BYU Alumni chapters in Nebraska, California, and Texas, these tips share practical, gospel-centered advice to help families overcome challenges and improve parenting.“Successful marriages require a high degree of selflessness. To be happily married, men and women should strive to identify their spouse’s needs and meet them.”Ogletree referred to a book by Hara Marano titled A Nation of Wimps. In her book, Marano talks about how when children are overprotected and overmanaged, they are unable to adapt to the “normal vicissitudes of life,” making them “risk-averse” as well as “psychologically fragile.”Alma 7:23 says, “And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times.”Seeing self-destructing selfishnessLove in, fear outStop over-protecting childrenWhen people realize they have the agency to choose how they act and react, they are empowered to make some real changes—in their own lives as well as in the lives of others. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “My beloved friends, a first step on this wondrous and fulfilling path of true discipleship starts with our asking the simple question: ‘Lord, is it I?’” (“Lord, Is It I?”).
In addition to completing training with the Association for Student Conduct Administration regarding how to appropriately ask questions during student-conduct review meetings, Utt noted that HCO employee training will be regularly reviewed and will be included as part of the onboarding process for HCO employees.Students have always had the right to appeal an HCO decision or action if they feel a decision was made without reasonable support of facts or if they feel the HCO showed bias in their decision or actions. However, awareness of the appeals process in the past has been low, Utt said. Updates to the website offer clarification on the appeals process for students.
He highlighted three settings where mission leaders will model for missionaries the way to help others—receiving new missionaries, conducting regular personal interviews with missionaries, and helping missionaries as they conclude their full-time service.“He helped me see what a companion could do to help someone grow in faith. He helped me see possibilities of what the Lord could do through me for others.”“Before you came into my office to be called, I studied your picture. I read the names and ages of your children. I looked into your eyes when you came into the room. And, as always happens, I felt a love for you as I asked you to tell me where you were born. As best I could, I tried subtly to ask something about how and when you have seen God’s hand in your lives and in the lives of your children. A new mission president gives a comment during a breakout session of the 2019 Mission Leadership Seminar at the Provo Missionary Training Center which was held June 23-25. Photo by Leslie Nilsson.“You will help them choose to do right,” President Eyring said. “They must choose for themselves to invite people to come unto Christ. They will not convert people, but they will help those people choose to exercise faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement and to repent of their sins. Your missionaries will then help them choose through faith to be baptized by priesthood authority.“Mission assignments can change the lives of missionaries and even the lives of their families for generations—I myself have learned that is true,” President Eyring said, speaking of his mission companion.He promised the new mission leaders joy as they feel the Lord’s gratitude for their sacrifice and service and watchful protection over them and their families.Another way to help missionaries is through the assignments of companions, trainers, and leaders—choices inspired by the Holy Ghost and confirmed by the Spirit to the missionary, he said. The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles attends the 2019 Mission Leadership Seminar held at the Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, June 23-25, 2019. Photo by Leslie Nilsson.“I testify that God the Father knows and loves you,” President Eyring said. “Jesus is the Christ. He is our Savior. You are in service to Him and with Him. This is the true and living Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He loves us and He leads us through His prophet, President Russell M. Nelson. I so testify in the Savior’s name.”President Eyring concluded with promises and his testimony.“The Lord will magnify your power to see with the eyes of faith,” he said. “You will be able to see people as children of God more clearly than you ever have before. That gift of the Spirit will come because of your desire for their eternal happiness. With inspiration, you will be able to help them feel that they can have a wonderful future.”Underscoring the word “help” and its spiritual and practical meanings, President Henry B. Eyring reminded new mission presidents and companions of their role to help missionaries to help others.Receiving new missionariesPresident Eyring also spoke of the wife of his mission president—her example, influence, and impact. “I was sorry that our visit was so short, yet she helped me see with spiritual eyes what a great daughter of God is like. That raised my desire and hopes for having such a companion for life and for eternity.”He added: “My prayer is that you will succeed in your determination to help missionaries grow in their power to teach, lead, and love others under the direction of the Spirit. Teach them the power of the Atonement in overcoming their weaknesses, their mistakes, and their transgressions. As they humbly come unto Christ and rely on His merits, teach them that He will help them, and ‘make weak things become strong unto them’ (Ether 12:27).”“I did that, not out of curiosity, but out of a desire to be inspired how I can help the Lord give you the help He wants for you. You mission presidents and your companions will feel the same way about your missionaries. And your missionaries will learn from you how to help the people they meet. By your example, they will be like the elders and sisters I have seen who greet strangers they meet as if they were their long-lost and dear friends.”President Eyring recalled a personal interview he had as a missionary in meeting with a visiting general authority, saying it set an example that he has tried to follow.Regarding meeting with missionaries at the end of their full-time service, President Eyring reminded mission presidents to praise them, thank them, urge them to continue in faithful service, encourage them to keep the commandments, and help them set post-mission goals.“You will help your missionaries choose to serve by helping them feel the love of God and the influence of the Holy Ghost,” said President Eyring, the Second Counselor in the First Presidency. “And they, in turn, will choose to help the people they meet and teach to come unto Christ in the way you helped them choose the right.”“After new members have been baptized your missionaries will help them want to obey the command ‘receive ye the Holy Ghost.’ (John 20:22). Your missionaries will have helped them to make that choice by giving them experiences when the Spirit has touched and warmed their hearts. And those members will then choose to endure, being faithful to their covenants, because your loving missionaries will have helped them feel joy in keeping commitments with God.”Speaking Tuesday morning, June 25, at the 2019 New Mission Leadership Seminar held in the Provo Missionary Training Center, he emphasized that the new mission leaders are called by the Savior “to help Him in His rescue mission,” adding “your missionaries, all of them, are called to help.”Recalling his own last interview, President Eyring said: “It has taken me years to see what he was doing in that interview. He was helping me choose my own goals for a lifetime—goals to come unto Christ and to invite and help others I love to choose to come with me. Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks with new mission presidents and their wives during a breakout session of the 2019 Mission Leadership Seminar at the Provo Missionary Training Center which was held June 23-25. Photo by Rachel Sterzer.Personal interviews, final interviewsTo the new mission leaders, he said: “I pray that you will help them grow over a lifetime in their desire to draw closer to the Savior and to help others draw unto Him as well.”“In every personal interview I have had with a person in the Lord’s missionary work, my overriding purpose is to help him or her feel the love of the Lord and the influence of the Holy Ghost.”President Eyring offered suggestions on ways mission leaders could prepare to greet and welcome arriving missionaries. Offering as a model, he shared his preparations and interactions in meeting with many of the new mission presidents and companions attending the seminar. A new mission president gives a comment during a breakout session of the 2019 Mission Leadership Seminar at the Provo Missionary Training Center which was held June 23-25. Photo by Leslie Nilsson.PROVO, UTAH