“Since each one of us is unique, each sister will need something different,” Sister Bingham said. “In [Handbook 2], it says ‘phone calls, letters, email, or other means to watch over and strengthen sisters’ are appropriate ways to find out their needs and help them. That’s the focus—we want to make sure that we are strengthening sisters in the gospel and each sister feels valued, needed, and included.”Although the details of the process have changed since those early days, the principles remain the same—to minister as the Savior would minister.The new format will encourage women in the Church to stop worrying about “what counts” for visiting teaching and will share ideas to help visiting teachers focus on strengthening each woman they visit.The early practice of ministering visits started not long after the Relief Society was established in 1842. As the population of Nauvoo, Illinois, was expanding, Relief Society leaders began to use visiting committees to assess the needs of the members and gather donations of money, food, and clothing to provide aid and relief to the needy.For some women, a visit to their home or a phone call might be the best way to minister to them. For others, sending a text or email offering encouragement might be the best thing for that month.By looking to the needs of the individual, visiting teachers are able to “avoid the mentality of visiting teaching being like a checklist [where] you come and give a message and 15 minutes later you leave and it is done,” said Sister Aburto.“We want sisters to have that same understanding,” Sister Bingham said. “Visiting teaching is genuine caring; it is compassionate service. It is making the bishop and the Relief Society president aware of the needs of the sisters that they visit.”“What are we supposed to do?” asked Sister Sharon Eubank, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency. “Do what she needs.”“Following His example, as visiting teachers we can come to know and love each sister we visit, remembering that love is the foundation of all we do,” it reads in the January 2018 message. “When we pray for inspiration to know how to serve her and help her strengthen her faith, ‘the angels cannot be restrained from being [our] associates.’”Sister Eubank added that there are many ways visiting teachers can minister. “‘Do what she needs’ is the essence of visiting teaching—an hour spent listening, a text at the right time, a walk, a scripture, a seat saved at church, pulling a few weeds in the garden while the kids run around—these are all valid ways to visit teach if they meet a sincere need. The book of Alma shines some insight on our baptismal covenant as the people of that time promised to ‘bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light’ [Mosiah 18:8]. Strengthening others is evidence of our conversion to the Lord,” Sister Eubank concluded.Beginning January 2018, changes to the monthly visiting teaching message will help sisters “minister” to each other in a more personal way. Rather than providing a specific message, each month a “Visiting Teaching Principle” will provide ideas to help sisters minister more effectively to each other.Recognizing that a spiritual message is important, Sister Bingham said visiting teachers should look for messages catered to the women that they visit.The changes are meant to help visiting teachers look beyond a universal prepared message and figure out what the sister they visit personally needs. Rebekah Lowe, center, whose new baby was in the hospital, greets her visiting teacher, Jaime Johnson, of the San Clemente California Stake. Sister Johnson, accompanied by her two sons, picked up Sister Lowe’s son so her friend could go to the hospital.Effective visiting teaching can be as simple as listening with love, as Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, noted. “About two weeks after I was sustained in my calling, I went to the home of one of the sisters I visit. As she opened the door, she gave me a big hug, and asked me how I was doing. Feeling the sincerity of her question and her love for me, I broke down in tears as I shared how inadequate I felt. She allowed me to cry on her shoulder and lovingly listened to me as I let out the emotions that I had been holding inside. I came to see how I could strengthen her, but she strengthened me.”“It can be [a quote] from the First Presidency, it could be from something you read in your scriptures, it can be something that you know this particular sister has an interest in,” she said. “It should be for that sister. What does she need?”“We want to help sisters understand how to really care for and strengthen each sister,” Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President told the Church News. “The [Church] handbook doesn’t talk about our responsibilities to teach a lesson. It talks about how ‘visiting teachers sincerely come to know and love each sister, help her strengthen her faith and give service. [Visiting teachers] seek personal inspiration to know how to respond to the spiritual and temporal needs of each sister they are assigned to visit’ [Handbook 2, 9.5.1].”Rebekah Lowe, center, whose new baby was in the hospital, greets her visiting teacher, Jaime Johnson, of the San Clemente California Stake. Sister Johnson, accompanied by her two sons, picked up Sister Lowe’s son so her friend could go to the hospital.“Making personal connections and listening with an attitude of love is the essence of visiting teaching,” the January 2018 message reads. “Modern technology and time-honored face-to-face visits help us do it anytime, anywhere and in many ways. That is ministering as Jesus did.”
Speaking to students in the BYU–Idaho Center on the Rexburg campus, Brother Brough began by sharing a story of when he had been serving as mission president in Guatemala City. He and his wife had only been there for a short time and were traveling to a more remote zone. As they were traveling, they learned that a demonstration was blocking the road they were planning to travel. Knowing that demonstrations can take hours, the couple decided to take an alternate route—one they knew had a few risks—to their destination.The driver and passengers saw the Broughs and came over to laugh and enjoy the predicament of the “silly gringo.” They pointed out the branch on the road.“Wonderful young people attending BYU–Idaho, I tell you this story to make the point that we must heed warnings, promptings, and direction given us by the voice of the Lord—no matter how strong or mild,” he said. “That voice comes in many forms: scriptures, commandments, whisperings from the Holy Ghost, the words of the living prophets, parents—especially mothers, Church leaders, and good friends.“I have had such strong answers to many prayers, so why not an unmistakable answer to the most important of all requests that I had made to the Lord up to that point in my life?” he said. “I believe it was to teach me to listen to the still, small voice and not doubt. Furthermore, I have come to understand that if I am repentant, being exactly obedient, following my leaders, and making other good choices—in other words, if I am worthy—Heavenly Father will not let me make big mistakes without proper warning. Nor will He you. …Recognizing there are times that a person is seeking personal revelation, direction, and counsel from the Lord and feels as if they aren’t receiving an answer, Brother Brough reminded listeners that the Lord will “direct thy paths” as a person puts their trust in Him.“Are we listening for and heeding these promptings and warnings? Why is it important to do so?”Brother Brough told listeners that although some things the Lord asks may seem insignificant, the Savior never said, “If ye love me, keep the commandments that appear important.” Brother M. Joseph Brough and Sister Emily Jane Brough greet BYU–Idaho students at the end of a devotional on October 17, 2017.“Sometimes we will be likewise surprised; we will not understand why Heavenly Father asks specific things from us,” he said. “Those can be some of the toughest times to be exactly obedient.”Quoting the scripture found in Proverbs 3:5–6, Brother Brough said: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”“Life is not a fairy tale, but I believe that as we end this life, everyone can experience the words ‘and they lived happily ever after,’” said Brother M. Joseph Brough, Second Counselor in the Young Men General Presidency, during a campus devotional at Brigham Young University–Idaho on October 17.“Exact obedience means as I make a mistake or commit a sin, the speed at which I start the repentance process is important. I need to immediately repent. I must use the repentance process whether my mistakes are large or small. And I must respond immediately.”“There is one clear voice of warning that we must always heed,” he said. “That voice comes from the Lord’s chosen apostles and prophets. It might not be popular by the world’s standards, … but you can—no, you must—trust that it comes from Heavenly Father.”Crucial to the Lord directing one’s path is obedience, the leader taught.“We must trust the Lord with all of our heart,” he said. “We must understand that our knowledge falls short of what is best for us and best for others. If we do trust in Him, what a wonderful promise He bestows: He will direct our paths.”“I am sure that I do not completely understand what exact obedience means, but here is what I have come to understand,” he said. “It is not perfect obedience; that is impossible. Hence, repentance must be a key part of exact obedience. …Remembering when he was deciding whom to marry, Brother Brough said he was in love with his wife and had fasted, prayed, attended the temple, and counseled with his parents—and still wasn’t sure if he should proceed.
Brother M. Joseph Brough, Second Counselor, Young Men General Presidency.“Not knowing what to do, I paused outside the vehicle and pleaded with Heavenly Father: ‘Please help me in my moment of carelessness,’” he recalled saying. “Can you believe that a large banana truck suddenly pulled out onto the road from behind us?”That “happily ever after” comes from heeding the voice of the Lord, living the doctrine of Christ, and making and keeping sacred covenants, he taught.“My young friends, Heavenly Father is here to keep us from making very costly mistakes if we are seeking His warnings, promptings, and revelations from all available sources—and if we heed and act upon them. We have the right to have the Holy Ghost always be with us, especially in crucial moments of life.”Exact obedience also requires a commitment to heed all the warnings and promptings and commandments Heavenly Father gives His children, he said.After driving for a while, the couple came to a spot on a dirt road that looked like a steep drop-off. Although a small branch had been dragged across the road in an effort to warn others to “proceed with caution,” the couple failed to register what it meant and were soon dangling off a 20-foot ledge where a bridge had washed out.
“We dedicate every part of these facilities and consecrate them for the sacred purpose of helping to prepare Thy servants to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the four corners of the earth so that honorable men and women will accept Thy word,” he prayed. Missionaries study at the Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.During his brief remarks, Elder Oaks reviewed some of the history of missionary training centers in the Church.“And so this mighty and noble effort to bring the people of the world to Jesus Christ and His restored gospel began by small and simple means.”“It is fitting and appropriate that these new buildings are filled with light,” she said. “They are representative of the light which fills the hearts and minds of all those who have burning testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.”MTC President David Martino said the architectural features of the new buildings allow light to penetrate through the edifices, “which is analogous unto the Light of Christ that permeates our souls.”When standing in an upper room of the buildings, peering out of the windows that span from floor to ceiling, President Martino said missionaries can “observe God’s creations” as they view the mountains, they can overlook the temple that reminds them of their covenants, and they can look down on the campus and view other missionaries.Sister Oscarson said from the time that Samuel H. Smith became the Church’s first modern-day missionary in 1830 to this day, “this work is fulfilling the prophecy found in Daniel 2. The divinely hewn stone cut out of the mountain is rolling down the mountain and will fill the whole earth.”In 1977, the name of the Provo facility was changed to the Missionary Training Center. The following year the Salt Lake Mission Home was closed and all missionaries—regardless of where they would be serving—were brought to Provo for orientation and training.The newly expanded MTC includes 2 new 6-story buildings with 200 new classrooms, more than 100 practice teaching rooms, and 13 computer labs. The buildings feature extensive glass exteriors to maximize natural light.PROVO, UTAHIn 1968, Church leaders decided to establish language training in other locations and to expand gradually to the teaching of 16 languages. In 1969, language training missions were established at the Church College of Hawaii for Japanese, Korean, and Chinese and at Ricks College for Dutch and the languages of Scandinavia.The Church’s experience with MTCs began in 1925, when a Missionary Home and Preparatory Training School was established in Salt Lake City near Temple Square, he said. The Church began pre-mission language training over 35 years later, in December 1961. At first, missionaries were oriented in Salt Lake City, then sent to Provo for language training, which was given in various facilities on the BYU campus. In 1963, the facility in Provo was named the Language Training Mission and included training in Spanish, Portuguese, and German. Four years later, Navajo and French were added, Elder Oaks explained.Samuel Smith accomplished missionary work without an MTC, a companion, lessons, or Preach My Gospel, she said. He only had “a testimony and a knapsack full of copies of the newly printed Book of Mormon,” she said. “He walked 25 miles his first day and ended up sleeping outdoors under an apple tree on the cold damp ground because the local innkeeper was offended by his message of the Restoration.”Sister Oscarson said one week earlier she had the privilege of speaking at a devotional in the MTC and saw the silhouettes of missionaries gathered in the classrooms.This is one of the most unique learning facilities in the world, he said. “The buildings are awe-inspiring, but the missionaries that reside here—having set aside their schooling, their work, their social life, and having dedicated 10 percent of their mortal existence to serving others—are what make it a spiritual sanctuary and an anomaly to the world.”“Now, 92 years after the first missionary training was given in Salt Lake City in English, we have 15 MTCs worldwide that provide training to approximately 40,000 missionaries each year,” Elder Oaks said. “We are grateful for the assistance of all who have helped with this wonderful new addition. Their work and dedication will bless the lives of tens of thousands of missionaries for many years to come.”The completion and dedication of the Provo Utah Missionary Training Center expansion “marks a new era in the work that will accelerate,” said President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency.“This was a time of rapid expansion of missionary training centers,” said Elder Oaks, noting that MTCs were established in Brazil, New Zealand, Mexico, Chile, the Philippines, Peru, Argentina, Guatemala, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, England, Spain, Ghana, and South Africa.Missionaries, he said, will learn at the MTC to support each other and to listen to each other—as well as to the Holy Spirit. “They will continue to listen to and support companions as they teach investigators together in the field.”Samuel Smith baptized no one and was able to share only a few copies of the Book of Mormon. “But,” said Sister Oscarson, “two of the copies he left with people would find their way into the hands of Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, who were eventually baptized and who brought many others into the Church. Missionaries look over the art at the Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. The Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.In 1973, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles decided to enlarge the Language Training Mission in Provo, and three years later the facilities in Hawaii and Rexburg were closed and all missionary language training was moved to the new Provo facility.During the dedicatory prayer, President Eyring asked the Lord to bless “those who labor, who serve, who study, and who live” at the missionary training center.But, she said, the Lord had a greater vision in mind for spreading the gospel to the whole earth. “One could rightfully say that the earliest MTC was the School of the Prophets, which was organized in Kirtland, Ohio, in 1833.” The Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. New renovations have been made to accommodate 2,200 elders and sisters.During his remarks before dedicating the new buildings, President Eyring said missionary training centers “play a major part in the Lord’s great cause of taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to the children of Heavenly Father in all the world.”“All these are a reminder that the Lord is hastening His work to prepare the world for His Second Coming,” he said.In 1925 the Salt Lake Mission Home was established under the direction of President Heber J. Grant and could accommodate 99 missionaries, who attended for one week and were set apart for their missions by a General Authority. Missionaries walk the grounds of the Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.Also participating in the dedication with President Eyring were Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and chairman of the Missionary Executive Council; Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, the Church’s Young Women General President who serves on the Missionary Executive Council; and MTC President David C. Martino. Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, and Elder Brent H. Nielson, General Authority Seventy and Executive Director of the Missionary Department, offered prayers during the dedication, which was attended by Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé, other Church leaders, and hundreds of missionaries currently receiving instruction at the Provo MTC.“We are here in these beautiful new buildings where you will see many magnificent architectural features, pensive messaging throughout the campus, and marvelous murals that adorn the walls,” he said. “Collectively, these add up to the experiential and inspirational learning that happens as a missionary resides here at the missionary training center.”“We speak sometimes of hastening His work as if we can change His time schedule by our effort,” said President Eyring, moments before offering a prayer of dedication on the new MTC facilities in Provo on Friday, October 13. “My guess is that we can neither delay nor accelerate His plan. But we can, if we listen to His Spirit, play our part to make His called messengers more joyful and more effective, helping them feel personally closer to Him as they serve in His cause.”
From the start of his presidency, President Kimball was holding area conferences in arenas and stadiums across the globe, from Scandinavia to the Far East, and from South America to South Africa to the South Pacific. In 1979 and 1980, he held similar area conferences across the United States, including the June 28–29 conference at the Lakeland Civic Center, located between Tampa and Orlando in central Florida.A local Latter-day Saint, he had been assigned to serve on the security detail during the prophet’s stay in the hotel. Back then, there weren’t several full-time security personnel traveling with the prophet, but rather local members were recruited to position themselves at a small table near the floor’s elevator and stairwell—more to protect the leaders’ time and energy from local members trying to meet and greet the prophet.Editor’s note: Former Church News editor Gerry Avant retired in May after 45 years as a reporter/editor chronicling events of the Church and the work of its leaders and members. This is the first in a series of articles about behind-the-scenes events she witnessed.The next morning, President Kimball put on his new shoes, which felt fine—initially. However, by the time he arrived in Florida and then attended some meetings with local leaders, his feet were hurting. He had not brought along his old, comfortable shoes.To start this collection of recollections, I chose this story—to put a twist on the “footsteps of the prophets.”
Gerry Avant poses for a portrait at the Deseret News in Salt Lake City on Thursday, February 9, 2017. Photo by Spenser Heaps.I later asked President Kimball’s personal secretary, D. Arthur Haycock, about how the man came to be wearing the prophet’s shoes. Brother Haycock said that he had received a letter from a member who had been at a recent meeting in which President Kimball, sitting on an elevated dais, had stretched out his legs and rested one foot on top of the other, thereby exposing a hole in the sole of one shoe.I recall only three times in my 45 years at the Church News that I’ve written personal accounts, or to say it another way, put myself in the story. When I retired last May, Deseret News editor Doug Wilks invited me to write a series of articles about some behind-the-scenes experiences of my assignments.“How many people can say they’ve walked in the prophet’s shoes?” he asked.Now, I’ve never walked in the shoes of a prophet, but I have walked in the footsteps of prophets: Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, Howard W. Hunter, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas S. Monson.With a big smile lighting up his face, he exclaimed: “I’m walking in the prophet’s shoes! I’m breaking them in for him. I’m going to wear them all night.”In June 1980, I traveled with President Spencer W. Kimball and his wife, Sister Camilla Eyring Kimball, to an area conference in Lakeland, Florida.When they got to the hotel that evening, Brother Haycock asked the men in the hall if anyone could find a way to stretch President Kimball’s shoes. He had in mind someone going to a store to buy a shoe stretcher, or perhaps a trip to a shoe repair shop to have the shoes stretched professionally. But when the man I would later meet asked what size shoe President Kimball wore, he volunteered to wear the prophet’s shoes all night. He told me that he wore shoes in a size slightly larger than President Kimball’s. It was a bit uncomfortable squeezing his feet into smaller shoes, he said, but declared it was a great honor to do that little bit of service.I made a comment to the walking man, something along the line of, “Are you getting your exercise?”Brother Haycock said the letter writer expressed dismay that he (Brother Haycock) would allow the prophet to go around wearing shoes with holes in the soles. Until he received the letter, Brother Haycock was unaware that this was the condition of President Kimball’s shoes. Having received the letter the day before President Kimball’s trip to Florida, he left his office, went to a store, and bought a pair of shoes, which he gave to President Kimball that evening.
President Spencer W. Kimball.On the first evening in Lakeland, I took the hotel elevator to the floor on which those of us from the “Salt Lake group” had our rooms. When I arrived on the floor, I saw a man walking in the hallway. He was walking when I left about 15 minutes later and walking still when I returned about an hour after that.I’ve traveled the width and breadth of the United States and to some 60 countries, mostly reporting on the travels of prophets and apostles as they’ve spoken to tens of thousands of members and ministered to the one.
Please review answers to ticket frequently asked questions (FAQ) and the concert listing on lds.org/events for more information.Questions?No tickets required for December 17 Music and the Spoken WordTickets will NOT be available by phone or in person through the Conference Center Ticket Office. Visit lds.org/events beginning October 21, where you can request up to four free tickets. You’ll be able to see which nights are available and you will know at the end of the selection which night you have received. Reserve ticketsThis year's performances, which also feature the the Orchestra at Temple Square and Bells on Temple Square, are December 14, 15, and 16, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. in the Conference Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Award-winning actress, singer, and dancer Sutton Foster and acclaimed British actor Hugh Bonneville will be the featured guest artist and narrator (see related story).If your 2017 holiday plans include attending one of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s popular Christmas performances, plan to reserve your free tickets on October 21, at 10:00 a.m. MDT.The 30-minute Music and the Spoken Word broadcast on Sunday, December 17, will contain music and guest artist performances from the evening concerts. This Sunday morning event at 9:30 a.m. will not require tickets. Guests will need to be seated in the Conference Center by 9:15 a.m.Ticket requests on lds.org/events are processed through Tickets.com, and you must have a Tickets.com account with a username and password to request tickets. If you’ve requested tickets from lds.org/events previously you may already have an account. If you don’t have an account or don’t remember your account information, you can create your account now for speedier processing on October 21. Watch the account setup video to see how.Past guests have included acclaimed tenor Rolando Villazón (2016), Broadway star Laura Osnes and British actor Martin Jarvis (2015), and singer Santino Fontana and the Sesame Street Muppets (2014).
The Meridian Idaho Temple was announced by President Thomas S. Monson at the Church’s April 2011 general conference. Ground was broken for the temple on August 23, 2014.“It is a house where we literally believe it is God’s house on earth,” explained Lindhardt. “One of the special, unique things of the temple is it seals families forever, and families are such a central role in the gospel.”
The celestial room of the new Meridian Idaho Temple.Lindhardt said the temple announcement was a welcomed surprise to residents. “I think it caught a lot of them off guard with the Boise [Idaho] Temple already in the valley, just a little over 12 miles away. I don’t think they expected to have another temple so close and in their vicinity.”Lindhardt said the Sawtooths and other mountains in the area influenced the temple’s design, which had its beginnings when he visited the temple site on a rainy March day more than five years ago. The temple is located in an agricultural area settled by descendants of Mormon colonizers. Sealing room inside the new Meridian Idaho Temple.Free tours of the temple will be available beginning Saturday, October 21, 2017. The open house continues through November 11, excluding Sundays. Reservations for the complimentary open house tickets are available online at templeopenhouse.lds.org. Exterior view of the Meridian Idaho Temple, prior to the new temple’s October 2017 open house.There are about 426,000 Latter-day Saints in Idaho. The Meridian Idaho Temple will be the Church’s 158th operating temple around the world and will serve more than 60,000 Latter-day Saints in 16 stakes in the greater Boise area, including a few stakes in eastern Oregon. “It’s on a bluff that overlooks the Boise River. It’s just a beautiful setting,” said Tom Lindhardt, project manager of the temple. “As you look to the views of the north and the east, you start to see the foothills of the Sawtooth Mountains.” A detail shot of glass-art windows of the new Meridian Idaho Temple.The temple’s dome has an octagonal shape. “It has a titanium shingle in it that changes color depending on the sunlight, kind of from a brown to a gold to a tan,” he added.Open house Local supportStone used inside the temple is marble that was quarried in Egypt, Italy, and Spain. Thousands of plants and shrubs were used to landscape the temple grounds, including native conifers and hundreds of rose bushes.“It was just a hay field,” said Lindhardt. He continued, “[The temple has] kind of a unique shape and design. … It doesn’t have the traditional tall spires of a lot of the Latter-day Saint temples.”The temple will be dedicated the following day on Sunday, November 19, in sessions at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, and 3:00 p.m. The dedication will be broadcast to members of the Church at meetinghouses in Idaho and within the temple district. In those areas, the three-hour schedule of meetings will be canceled for that Sunday to enable members of the Church to participate in and focus on this sacred event. The baptismal font of the new Meridian Idaho Temple.“It’s an opportunity to feel the beautiful peace of this temple, the spirit of the temple,” said Lindhardt. “People of all faiths will enjoy their visit to the open house.”Temple designThe Meridian Idaho Temple is located at 7345 North Linder Road, a few blocks north of the intersection of North Linder Road and Chinden Boulevard. A view inside the bride’s room of the new Meridian Idaho Temple. The entry of the new Meridian Idaho Temple.“The design motifs that you’ll see throughout the temple are the camas flower and the syringa flower,” said Lindhardt. “You’ll see them in the exterior precast throughout the site and on the building itself. They’re carved into the carpets in the sealing rooms and in the celestial rooms.” The syringa is the state flower of Idaho.There are more than 100 paintings inside the temple, including 10 original pieces of art. Two original murals reflect the Idaho mountains and wilderness.This will be the Church’s fifth temple in the Gem State, with others located in Boise, Rexburg, Twin Falls, and Idaho Falls. A sixth temple, in Pocatello, has also been announced (see related article).“It’s been special to me to be able to use their motifs and help them build a temple that they can just love for generations to come,” he said. As part of the open house and dedication activities, 6,000 local youth will participate on November 18 in a cultural celebration honoring Idaho and Church history. The celebration will be held at the Taco Bell Arena on the Boise State University campus in Boise. An instruction room inside the new Meridian Idaho Temple. An instruction room inside the new Meridian Idaho Temple.Local Latter-day Saints expressed their appreciation to those building the temple by providing treats and lunches to the construction workers. “The Primary children will write notes to the workers, and that touches them more than you could imagine. And it just shows the excitement through the valley for this new temple that they get in their backyard,” he said.
In addition to the ways to download described in this article, you can access video, audio, and music from the following:
This is the menu that appears when you click the session menu (the icon with three vertical dots).From an individual talk page
I testify that this work is true. Our families are prompting us to accomplish what they couldn’t. I am so grateful that the gospel gives us hope to see and be reunited with our loved ones for all eternity. They are not lost. I know that the work of temples has been inspired, that the sealing power is real, and that this work is to bring us all home again. Someone suggested to me that she didn’t yet want to receive her temple ordinances, but I knew how strongly I felt her spirit urging me to do this work for her. Finally, on the third attempt her temple baptism was performed.A few weeks later our stake was holding a temple session prior to stake conference. I wanted to take a family name, but having shared the last group, I didn’t think I had any others that were ready. About 10 p.m. the night before our session I signed in to FamilySearch.org. I looked at my temple list and found that Aunt Jenny was now ready to receive her endowment. She and several other relatives had received their previous ordinances in temples around the world—Brazil, Mexico, and Nigeria. At this time, I learned that I could retrieve a name from the “shared” list, so I was able to be Aunt Jenny’s proxy at our stake session the following day.I had several family names I was working on, and Aunt Jenny’s name was in a stack of those needing further ordinances. I received a notice from FamilySearch that names that hadn’t been processed within two years should be shared with other family members or released to the temple. I was reluctant to share, but I wanted to follow the rules. It would take a long time to do all of the temple work myself. Aunt Jenny’s name was in the batch, and I strongly felt her spirit as I shared the group of names.As a convert to the Church, I have immersed myself in family history and temple work, though I still have much to accomplish. A few years ago, I was working on the name of my great-great-aunt Jenny. I knew little about her except how she was related by marriage and where she had lived.My husband and I took a batch of family names to the temple for baptism, but when we arrived home Aunt Jenny’s family file card had been skipped. A short time later one of our daughters was accompanying her ward Young Women to the temple for baptisms, so I sent Aunt Jenny’s card along with them. Once again, her card came back unprocessed.
“All was easy without my understanding, and the more I read [it] and the more I thought of it, the more I was impressed that I had received the assurance that God had answered my prayer in that way, and that the remainder of the book was of greatest benefit to me and to each and all who listen to its words.”Born in Palermo, Sicily, Italy, Francesca had studied religion until 1905. That year, his brother, Antonine, living in New York City, invited him to attend a seminary taught by a Methodist pastor in the Italian Brandi Chapel, Elder Semadeni said.“The fury of the wind turned the pages, and I hastily read Alma, Mosiah, Mormon, Moroni, Isaiah, Lamanites—except for Isaiah, all were names I had never before heard.”“Soon, Vincenzo became a teacher of that congregation,” he said.Heiss sees significance not only in the fact that the acquisition occurred 30 years after the movie came out but that, as the Church nears the completion of the Rome Italy Temple, “this is part of the Italians’ heritage. We’d like them to know we continue to document their history.”
Letter written in Italian by Vincenzo Di Francesca to Elder Stephen O. Gibson, a Mormon missionary, recounting Francesca’s conversion after finding a copy of the Book of Mormon without a title page. It was recently acquired by the Church History Department. Photo by R. Scott Lloyd.Now, 30 years after the movie’s release, the Church History Department has acquired the handwritten testimony of Francesca, who, as a pastor in an Italian parish in New York City in February 1910, found a soiled copy of the Book of Mormon without a title page and with no title on the cover.In May 1930, while looking up something in a French dictionary, he saw the entry “Mormon.” From that, he found sufficient information to write to the president of Brigham Young University in Provo. His letter was passed on to Church President Heber J. Grant. Francesca was sent some information, and at long last, he learned more about the Church. This copy of the Book of Mormon without a title page or a name on the cover is purportedly the one found by Vincenzo Di Francesca on a barrel of ashes in New York City. It is in the archives of the Church History Department. Photo by R. Scott Lloyd.After receiving the spiritual experience from reading the passage in Moroni, he continued his services in the parish, “but my preaching was tinged with the new words of the book. The members of my congregation were so interested that they became dissatisfied with my colleagues’ sermons. When members began leaving the chapel during their sermons and remained when I occupied the pulpit, my colleagues became angry with me.”Curious, he picked up the book and beat it against the barrel to knock off the ashes. He noted that it was printed in English but that the frontispiece had been torn away.Translated portions of the letter include the following:“After, I prayed to the Eternal Father in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ. I asked Him to tell me if this book was of God and if it was good, true, and to mix the words of it with the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in my preaching publicity.“I closed the door of my room with the key, knelt with this book in my hands, and read the 10th chapter of the book of Moroni.Francesca’s story was recounted in the Ensign magazine in January 1988. It is a first-person account drawn from the Church News (then called the Deseret News Church Section) of February 28, 1951; the May 1968 Improvement Era, and a letter that Francesca wrote to Avard Fairbanks, “the only known account by the author in English of his 40-year struggle to join the Church.” From the movie How Rare a Possession, depicting Vincenzo Di Francesca, an Italian pastor in the 20th century, who found a copy of the Book of Mormon without a titled cover. He became converted to its teachings.The dramatic story of his conversion to the restored gospel after going many years without knowing the title of the book or where to find the Church before ultimately being baptized in 1951, is one of two conversion stories depicted in the movie, the other being that of Elder Parley P. Pratt, a 19th-century Church leader.He called Francesca “one of the great Church heroes, a man who sacrificed his career to join the Church and lived in isolation and kept the faith all those years.”Elder and Sister Semadeni focus on the first generation of missionaries to serve in Italy, and in connection with that, they contacted Brother Gibson and acquired the letter Francesca had written to him.Millions of Latter-day Saints became acquainted with the remarkable conversion story of Vincenzo Di Francesca through the 1987 Church-commissioned movie How Rare a Possession: The Book of Mormon.Ultimately, he was censured by a committee in the parish and ordered to burn the book. This he refused to do.Elder Semadeni read through the letter, written in Italian, and found that it sheds new light and gives greater detail than was depicted in the film. From the movie How Rare a Possession, depicting Vincenzo Di Francesca, an Italian pastor in the 20th century, who found a copy of the Book of Mormon without a titled cover. He became converted to its teachings.World events, including a revolution in Sicily, prevented his being baptized. Not until January 18, 1951, was he baptized and confirmed on the island of Sicily by Elder Samuel E. Bringhurst, president of the Swiss Austrian Mission. In 1956, he received his endowment at the Swiss Temple in Bern.“He continues to be a hero among the Italian Saints,” Elder Semadeni said of Vincenzo Di Francesa.
How Rare a Possession is a 64-minute film produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It depicts the conversion stories of Parley P. Pratt, a Church leader in the 19th century, and Vincenzo Di Francesca, an Italian pastor in the 20th century, who both join the Church after studying the Book of Mormon. It also shows several key scenes from the Book of Mormon.The movie in which his story is recounted, How Rare a Possession: The Book of Mormon, is still available for purchase on DVD from Church distribution centers. Letter written in Italian by Vincenzo Di Francesca to Elder Stephen O. Gibson, a Mormon missionary, recounting Francesca’s conversion after finding a copy of the Book of Mormon without a title page or titled cover. It was recently acquired by the Church History Department. Photo by R. Scott Lloyd.“While I was in that pose, to await a positive answer, I felt all my body becoming cold and my heart to palpitate as if it would talk, and a gladness as if I had found something precious, extraordinary. …“He had asked Vincenzo Di Francesca to write up his conversion and testimony,” explained Matthew K. Heiss, area manager of Global Support and Acquisitions in the Church History Department.Francesca never married. Until his death, he lived with his sister in Sicily, who arranged a Catholic funeral for him, then gathered his effects and gave them to LDS missionaries who turned them over to the mission president. Some of these, including what is purportedly that Book of Mormon copy he found in 1910 in New York City, were conveyed to the Church archives in Salt Lake City.“Elder Gibson has donated this to the Church, and it gives us validation of documents that we already have here, but it also reminds me of the fact that people who have had significant Church experiences have personal records and we are actively collecting those kinds of things.” Vincenzo Di Francesca, an Italian pastor in the 20th century, found a copy of the Book of Mormon without a titled cover. He became converted to its teachings.In the account published in the Ensign, Francesca told of the cold February morning in 1910 when he was walking down Broadway and saw that the pages of a book lying on a barrel of ashes were being moved by the strong wind from the open sea.In November 1914, he was called into the Italian army and saw action in France. At the end of the war he returned to New York, where he was admitted to his former congregation as a lay member. He was sent to Australia, where, while preaching to some Italian immigrants, he again taught from the Book of Mormon, still not knowing the name of the book. He was reported to the synod and again cut off from the church.The newly acquired document is a letter written by Francesca in 1966, the year of his death, to Elder Stephen O. Gibson, a Church missionary serving in Italy at the time. It was acquired from him on August 3, 2016, for the Church History Department by Elder Lorenzo and Sister Virgina Semadeni, who are serving a Church-service mission in the Italian Project of Global Support and Acquisitions in the Church History Department.He wrapped the book in a newspaper and took it home, where he cleansed the pages with denatured alcohol and cotton so he could read the pages.Heiss said one of the key messages from this acquisition “is there are still historical treasures that are out there waiting to be collected and preserved.”
Elder Lim was also present on Sunday, Sept. 10 of this year, when Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles created the 100th stake in the Philippines.In 1973, when President Ezra Taft Benson organized the first stake in the country, Elder Lim was called to serve as its president.That is the work that Elder Lim and others in the Philippines—and in other nations across the globe—are witnessing. It is a work that continues to move forward and grow throughout the world.Keith Erekson, director of the Church History Library, said in a Church News interview that the Church grew steadily throughout its first century, reaching 1 million members in 1947. Then, the growth began to accelerate, rising much more dramatically since the 1950s.“This is an occasion you will never forget,” Elder Hinckley said on that day. “What we will begin here will affect the lives of thousands and thousands of people in this island republic, and its effect will go on from generation to generation for great and everlasting good.” One week after witnessing the creation of the 100th stake if the Philippines, Elder Allen Haynie of the Philippines Area Presidency and Elder Ryan Pagaduan, an Area Seventy, organized the Calasiao Philippines Stake—the 101st stake in the Philippines.“The places with the fastest growth are in the world’s southern hemisphere, locations in Latin America, Asia, and Africa,” he said.On April 28, 1961, then-Elder Gordon B. Hinckley stood with a small group at the American Cemetery and Memorial in Manila, Philippines, and offered a prayer on the land and the people. In the weeks that followed the Church was legally registered in the country and missionaries were sent to the nation.Three years later, in 1964, missionaries knocked on the door of Augusto Lim, an attorney who would become the Church’s first General Authority from the Philippines.In a Church News interview in 1999, President Thomas S. Monson declared that “the growth of the Church is unlimited.”There is no church which can compare with the activity and the growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said President James E. Faust, the late second counselor in the First Presidency, during a sesquicentennial celebration of a pioneer ward in Salt Lake City on February 14, 1999. “There is no organization which fosters the principles of truth and righteousness as this Church does. And those of us who stand at the very vortex of it have a hard time even to conceive of what is happening in the onrolling of the work in our day and time. I rejoice in all that has happened in the past. I look forward in confidence to the future. ... The work of God will go forward, as the Prophet Joseph said, nobly and boldly until it fills the whole earth.”Today there are more than 746,000 members of the Church in the Philippines—a remarkable number considering that the growth in the country occurred in just more than half of a century.“The progress of the Church in our day is truly astounding,” said President Hinckley. “The God of heaven has brought to pass this latter-day miracle, and what we have seen is but a foretaste of greater things yet to come.” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 99).President Monson noted that since its early pioneering days, the Church has come out of obscurity. “Our membership has been imbued with the meaning of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans: ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation’” (Romans 1:16).After meeting with the missionaries, Elder Lim realized that what the missionaries were teaching “was what I believed in the first place. … I just knew this was it; this was something I could understand.”During his decades of service he witnessed much of that growth. “The future is bright ... ,” he said. “More people hear about the Church, see the Church in action, and desire to know more about it. What a glorious time to be living and serving the Lord.”President Monson said in 1999 that it is every member’s responsibility to make certain the work of the Church continues to move forward. “We have the privilege to witness the inspiration of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. All of us are builders of the Church. Our responsibility is great, our obligation is real, our duty calls us to the colors of the Church in our time.”In the years that followed, Elder Lim witnessed rapid Church growth in the Philippines. The Philippines Mission was formally organized from the Southern Far East Mission in 1967 and by the end of that year there were 3,000 members of the Church in the Philippines.Prophecies in the Book of Mormon and the early revelations foresaw a time when the Church would spread throughout the earth.The fact that there are more members outside the United States than inside indicates that “the international Church plays a very significant role in the Church today,” he said. “We see this reflected in messages in general conference and Church magazines, and in recent developments in Church education. We also see it in modern initiatives, such as with self-reliance, that are developed internationally and then implemented in the United States.”The creation of the 100th stake marked a historic milestone for the Church and the Philippines—the first nation outside of the Western Hemisphere to experience this level of LDS growth. The Church has reached the milestone of 100 stakes in only four other countries of the world—Brazil, Mexico, the United States, and Peru. (See related story.)
Whether it was as a young man serving as a labor missionary in Tonga or Hawaii, building the Polynesian Cultural Center, building the ‘Iosepa’—a Hawaiian wa’a kaulua (a traditional 100-foot, double hull sailing canoe that took a year and a half to complete), or working to build the Church or his family, Pulotu’s lifetime of service has contributed to much good in Hawaii and throughout the Church. Master woodcarver Tui'one Pulotu speaks during a BYU–Hawaii devotional on October 10. Photo by BYU–Hawaii.“The director heard the name and said to David, ‘That’s the name we want to use for the leading girl.’ The director asked me if they could use her name and I said, ‘yes’ for my wife. Mahana means sunshine and she is worth more than the eight cows that Johnny Lingo offered.”LAIE, HawaiiPulotu, who is from the Tongan island Pangai, has been involved in many artistic pursuits over the last few decades including as a set builder for the original “Johnny Lingo” film and as a labor missionary to help build the Polynesian Cultural Center and much of the BYU–Hawaii campus.“When I came here to Hawaii, I was just a young restless guy who didn’t know much and did not speak much English,” he said. “But in the service of God as a building missionary, I learned all these things and developed my talents. As with the ‘Iosepa,’ on many of the projects that I worked on throughout my life, when I completed them and looked at the work I asked myself, ‘Did I actually do that? There’s gotta be somebody else who helped me.’ I know that God has helped me accomplish the impossible and He will help you.”“Johnny Lingo” set builder and master woodcarver Tui’one Pulotu told Brigham Young University–Hawaii students, “Anything is possible,” during a campus devotional on October 10.During his address, Pulotu shared personal experiences from his own life that prove “anything is possible” with the Lord’s help.“You know, I built the sets for the movie 'Johnny Lingo,' I even built the canoe used at the beginning,” he said. “David Jacob, a good friend of ours, was with the filming crew at the set of Johnny Lingo. He walked over while I was talking with the director and asked me, ‘How is [your wife] Mahana?’
“He was really searching for the truth,” said Sister Amparo G. Revillo.In 2002, President Wayne Gardner was presiding over the Chile Santiago East Mission. One early September morning his wife, Rowena, awoke with terrible abdominal pains.The couple’s dedication was so strong that when they were paid they walked directly to their priesthood leader’s home and paid their tithing before buying anything else so “we were not tempted to spend it.” They walked to Church because they could not afford a tricycle vehicle and traveled eight hours by bus to attend district conference four times a year.
President Jack Wixom and Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, Salt Lake Temple president and matron. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.After the Ho Chings married, they started a family, settled in Utah, and developed a business. But the temple remained their guiding compass. Both have worked in the temple and President Ho Ching helped organize the 2005 dedication of the rebuilt Apia Samoa Temple when he was serving as an Area Seventy.Sister Ho Ching added she “is excited to learn what the Lord expects for me to do.”
Sister Judy Ann Ho Ching and President Beaver Ho Ching, Apia Samoa Temple matron and president. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.When Sister Rosemary M. Wixom was called to be Primary General President, her husband, Jack Wixom—a former mission president in Washington D.C.—needed a way to spend his time. He turned to the temple. Each time he served in the temple he felt like he was “coming home.”“But the temple is also where we go when we need to be comforted or reassured,” he said. “It is the place to go and receive inspiration and motivation in life and to see clearly what the Lord would like you to do.”His prayer was answered when Latter-day Saint missionaries knocked on his door. President Beaver Ho Ching and Sister Judy Ann Ho Ching, Apia Samoa Temple president and matron, and President Carlos C. Revillo Sr. and Sister Amparo G. Revillo, Manila Philippines Temple president and matron, walk across Church headquarters during 2017 Seminar for New Temple Presidents and Matrons on October 10, 2017. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.The two would serve together when President Gardner presided over the Mexico Cuernavaca Mission and, most recently, in the Tijuana Mexico Temple, where President Gardner served as first counselor in the temple presidency and Sister Gardner served as an assistant to the matron.“No place on earth I would rather be”President Revillo knew this was the time “to be serious about his life and his family.”President Revillo would eventually serve as a mission president in Tacloban, Philippines. The couple has also spent the last seven years serving in the temple in Manila and Cebu, Philippines. President and Sister Revillo will now serve the next three years as president and matron of the Manila Philippines Temple.“The temple is a place of healing,” said Sister Teresa Gardner.“There is purpose in building an edifice of such beauty and power, because it uplifts all who come,” President Wixom said. It is the same with our lives, he added. “There is no place on earth I would rather be.”Now he and Sister Wixom—the newly called president and matron of the Salt Lake Temple—are excited to serve together in the “most precious asset the Church has—the Lord’s house.”“The Samoan culture is all about families,” he said. “And it is in the temple that families can be sealed for time and all eternity.”
President Carlos C. Revillo Sr. and Sister Amparo G. Revillo, Manila Philippines Temple president and matron. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.Many of President Gardner’s most joyful moments have occurred in the temple. He and Rowena were sealed in the Cardston Alberta Temple. Years later, his children introduced him to his second wife, Teresa. They were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.Two months later, Sister Revillo followed. She read the Book of Mormon and took notes as if she were studying for a test.“My wife, Judy Ann, and I go to the temple once a week, and every time I walk out of the temple I feel so good,” he said. “There is no place I would rather be than at the temple,”“The temple became a special part of my life when I was single,” she said. “I just enjoyed being there.”“It was not a sacrifice,” said Sister Revillo. “We were so excited to go to Church.”Life's anchoring edifice and second home“You realize that life has a lot of surprises,” he said.The Gardners returned to their Arizona home that same day. Sister Gardner died a few months later.In November, the Gardners will begin their respective assignments at the Madrid Spain Temple.“Sacrifice is a huge part of the temple,” said Sister Wixom. “We have watched people all over the world make huge sacrifices for the temple. That same sacrifice happens when the temple is across the street. We not only give our time, but give our hearts to the temple.”Sister Ho Ching was baptized when she was 16. She soon discovered that the temple was a place she could call a second home.“We have observed how the Lord allows you to serve. He puts in place the circumstances that allows a person to serve.”“The temple is a place of healing’”That dramatic decision impressed upon young Beaver the importance of the temple. Since that day, it has remained his life’s anchoring edifice.The Salt Lake Temple—which took 40 years to build—is a symbol of sacrifice, said Sister Wixom. “Every nail, every drop of paint, every structural design and molding . . . was created at great sacrifice,” she said, noting that many who worked on the temple did not live to see it dedicated.When President Revillo got a good job, his employment took them from city to city in the country. In one location the couple—and their six children—awoke at 4 a.m. to catch the bus in time for 8 a.m. Church meetings. In another city, they had to cross a river without a bridge to attend meetings. But by afternoon, the river ran too high and the couple spent the night in a truck until they could safely cross again in the morning when the river receded.“The Lord is in the temple”Each calling, they say, doubles as a sacred charge to help others realize and enjoy the blessings found only inside one of the Church’s dedicated temples.Although any service in the Church comes with personal and family sacrifice, the Wixoms testify that “it will work out.”President Carlos C. Revillo Jr. was a young father in the Philippines when he offered a simple prayer. “I was thinking about my life. I had no direction. I asked the Lord.”The new temple presidents and matrons bring their own life changing, personal temple experiences to their respective assignments. Four couples attending the seminar shared their testimonies of temple worship with the Church News.Their service in Tijuana offered the Gardners daily opportunities to see families sealed together for eternity in the temple.“We were told she had terminal cancer and didn’t have long to live,” he said.He loves to observe the temple patrons and “look into the faces of people of all colors, races, and walks of life.” He finds in each one “the glow that comes from the Savior.”But President Gardner knew he was never alone in his grief. He was loved and supported by his family, friends, and fellow members—and found divine comfort inside the temple.The temple allows people to receive essential covenants and ordinances for themselves and others.He was baptized in 1971—one decade after missionaries entered the Philippines and two years before the first stake was organized in the country.
Sister Teresa Gardner and President Wayne Gardner, Madrid Spain Temple matron and president. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.“There is nothing like seeing parents sealed to their children—all dressed in white and kneeling at the altar,” said Sister Gardner.They are anxious to serve alongside the Samoan Saints.When President Beaver Ho Ching was still a little boy, his family relocated far from their home in American Samoa.For the 36 couples participating in the 2017 Seminar for New Temple Presidents and Matrons on October 9–12, their new assignments entail far more than full-time administrative duties.President and Sister Ho Ching will serve as the president and matron, respectively, of the Apia Samoa Temple.The temple, Sister Revillo said, “is a house of revelation. The Lord is in the temple.”President Gardner rushed his wife and missionary companion to the hospital, assuming she was dealing with appendicitis. The diagnosis was far more grim.“We moved to Hawaii when I was 9 years old so our family could be sealed in the temple,” he said.
Elder Cook shared how one such enticing of the Spirit prompted him to change while on his mission. While he and his companion were teaching a lesson on honesty, an experience came to his mind. When he was 16 years old, he found an old abandoned truck that was partially dismantled, which was similar to his own ’46 Chevy truck. It had a part that he needed. He and his friend who was with him rationalized that no one would miss the part, so they took it and put it on his truck.Just as the adversary entices others to follow him, the enticings of the Holy Ghost are real and powerful. Elder Cook said, “As we are obedient and yield to the enticings of the Spirit to pray, to study the scriptures, and serve others, we begin to see who we really are—from God’s perspective and not just from our own. We feel God’s pure love for us and recognize our infinite worth. We can feel comforted, valued, and lifted. And often, the enticings of the Spirit and our feelings of God’s love will prompt us to repent and change and become better.”“Cowboy up and learn to put off the natural man or woman,” Elder Carl B. Cook, General Authority Seventy, urged students during his campus devotional address at Brigham Young University on October 10.Blessings come as we submit our will to Heavenly Father, Elder Cook said. “In order to experience this joy, we must learn to follow the enticings of the Spirit, the things of God, rather than the enticings of the adversary, or the things of the natural man,“ he said. ”Because of the Father's gift to us of agency, we choose daily which enticings to follow.“Over the next 10 to 15 years, Elder Cook worked with Stubby, giving him consequences for bad behavior and rewards for good behavior. “Over time, after many rides and somewhat to my surprise, Stubby began to soften. He submitted more readily to the saddle and bridle. He was less determined to have his own way.”While his kids were young, Elder Cook bought two horses named Bob and Stubby.In this media-saturated world, each person is affected by public scrutiny that comes through social media. Elder Cook said, “I suggest that it is more important than ever to look to God and let Him communicate to us our worth and the value of our contributions, rather than looking to others.”Eighteen months later, when he returned from his mission, he found the owner of that old truck and reimbursed him for what he had taken, completing his repentance. “At last, I felt clean and I was filled with joy and peace,” Elder Cook said.
Elder Carl B. Cook, General Authority Seventy, speaks at a BYU devotional on October 10, 2017. Photo by Madeline Mortensen, BYU.“The antidote for pride is humility. It is humbling ourselves and putting God’s will above our own, seeking what He wants instead of what we want, and aligning our will with His,” Elder Cook said.Stubby became Elder Cook’s horse of choice, and due to his turnaround in behavior, he was renamed to Spinner. “We would say, in horse lingo, that he was well broke. Spinner gave up his natural will and aligned his will with his owner’s, or his master’s, will,” he said. The BYU Women’s Chorus performs during the BYU devotional held on October 10, 2017, at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah. Photo by Madeline Mortensen, BYU.“Bob was wonderful, and Stubby ended up being, as expected, a stubborn, strong-willed, obnoxious animal that consistently acted up and caused trouble with the other horses,” he said.In closing, Elder Cook said, “My message today is an invitation, an invitation for each of us to see ourselves as God sees us, yield our hearts to Him, align our will with His, and change.”“My experience of taking that once-insignificant rusty truck part was brought forcefully back to my memory,” Elder Cook said. “Suddenly I was pained by having taken the part. I knew it was wrong. The Spirit helped me understand that from God's perspective, I had not been honest. I began repenting and asking God for forgiveness.”One such enticement of the adversary that prevents one from submitting fully to the will of God is pride, which President Ezra Taft Benson described as “the great stumbling block.”“The natural man or woman is the mortal part of us that allows the physical, the temporal, or our own desires to overcome our inherent spiritual goodness and our desires to become like our Heavenly Parents,” Elder Cook said. The fight will not be won immediately, he said, “and we are dependent upon God and Jesus Christ to help us change our nature.”The adversary is constantly enticing people to be lazy, complacent, discouraged, indifferent, and doubting. “If we are wise, we ignore and shun those enticements. We exercise self-control and develop the capacity to avoid them. If we are injured by them, or if we become ensnared by them, we escape through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Though some things may take time to overcome, nothing is impossible—including repudiation of sin, repentance, forgiveness, and healing,” Elder Cook said.“When we rebel, or turn our backs towards God, we are actually turning our backs on true joy and happiness,” Elder Cook said. Pride pulls us to focus completely on self.Just as one cannot serve two masters, “as my Grandma Jenny, who was a true cowgirl, used to say, ‘You can't ride two horses at the same time,’” Elder Cook said.
Mormon Helping Hands volunteers assemble food kits for distribution in Puerto Rico following recent hurricanes, October 2017.President Rosa is a Puerto Rico native—a proud Boricua. And he’s not easily spooked by hurricanes. But Maria was an entirely different animal.Donations of essential provisions such as rice, water, and batteries have helped many in the San Juan stake endure the aftermath of the historic storm. “And we do what we can to deliver some hope,” he added.Meanwhile, San Juan stake members still gather on Sundays in darkened meetinghouses for sacrament meeting. Only the stake center in the Trujillo Alto neighborhood has a generator. But it’s rarely used.About 15 percent of the San Juan stake members lost their homes. “They were left with nothing but a floor,” he said.“The hurricane was so tough,” he told the Church News. “We still have people struggling just to find food and water. We wait in long lines to get supplies. And, for most people, there’s still no [running] water or power.”“There are still people on parts of the island that need help,” he said. “Puerto Rico needs help.”Others remain displaced as they seek building materials to patch up damaged homes.The San Juan resident’s worries stretch beyond caring for his family and reinvigorating his robotics business. As president of the San Juan Puerto Rico Stake, he’s responsible for the temporal and spiritual health of thousands of Mormons living in 10 wards and branches in and around the capital city.Some economists predict Puerto Rico’s economy will take more than a decade to recover. In the meantime, President Rosa worries updates from the embattled island will soon be buried deep in each passing day’s news cycle. Latter-day Saints in San Juan, Puerto Rico, gather at a meetinghouse to help distribute relief supplies in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.“The hurricane was horrible,” he said. “It took out all forms of communication. I couldn’t even get AM radio signals. It took out all the antennas.”San Juan’s metropolitan area gets a bit better each week. But many living in the rural regions have seen little improvement.He also repeats counsel shared by President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency during his September 15 visit to Puerto Rico in between hurricanes Irma and Maria (see related story).Elder González met with government officials to establish procedures to ship relief supplies to Puerto Rico. They also counseled with bishops and Relief Society presidents to share direction on providing relief in its many forms to members.“President Eyring promised us that if we read the Book of Mormon we will be fine,” he said. “He taught us to trust the Lord, do your best, and serve others.”President Rosa counts himself among the lucky on this U.S. island territory. He had running water in his home for a couple of days (but no longer), and his cell phone usually works. But when he drives through San Juan and the outlying communities in his stake, he’s reminded that Puerto Rico’s recovery remains a slow, uncertain process.The local Mormon leader had hoped to travel to Salt Lake City to attend the recent general conference. Instead, he spent conference weekend looking after folks in need in his stake.The Church’s Welfare Department dispatched 40 containers of ocean shipments to several Caribbean islands hammered by the recent hurricanes—including Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. Martin. The shipments contained food, water, building materials, hygiene kits, and cleaning supplies, according to Mormon Newsroom.“It runs on diesel, which is like gold right now,” he said.A Church-chartered plane filled with 80,000 pounds of food and water was also dispatched to Puerto Rico.The support of general Church leaders has helped lift President Rosa and other local members. Elder Walter F. González, a General Authority Seventy and the Caribbean Area President, recently traveled to Puerto Rico with his wife, Sister Zulma González, and Elder Julio C. Acosta, an Area Seventy.Wilfred Rosa wages daily battles with food and water shortages, power outages, gas lines, and spotty cell phone service.Such challenges have come to define life in the days and weeks since Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico. But perhaps his greatest fear is “that people will forget about us. We don’t want to be forgotten. We will have needs here for months to come.”“Seeing the island from the air for the first time was a very emotional experience,” Elder González told Mormon Newsroom. “It appeared as if the very life of the island had been violently swept away.”“There is still so much need,” said President Rosa.In his frequent meetings and visits with hurricane-weary members, President Rosa speaks of God’s love and its sustaining power. “This is an opportunity for us to have faith in the Lord and to trust Him.” Caribbean Area President Elder Walter F. González, seated at the head of the table, meets with bishops and Relief Society presidents in Puerto Rico to discuss ways to assist members impacted by Hurricane Maria. An airport and adjacent neighborhoods in San Juan, Puerto Rico, show significant damage from Hurricane Irma. Recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria remains a slow and worrisome process for Latter-day Saints in the U.S. territory.Many Latter-day Saint families have left for the U.S. mainland. “Some say they will return—but others tell me they’re never coming back.”SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICOIt’s been almost a month since Hurricane Maria dramatically changed this island. Only 15 percent of the people have electricity, and 40 percent still don’t have reliable access to drinking water, according to USA Today. From left to right: Dennis Gonzalez, engineer and subdirector of the Puerto Rico Department of Housing; Sister Zulma González; Brother Carlos Diaz, a former Puerto Rico senator; Elder Walter F. González, Caribbean Area President; Sister Millie Maldonado, Wings of Hope; and San Juan Stake President Wilfred Rosa, October 2017.
Hugh BonnevilleHugh BonnevilleFoster is best known for her Tony Award-winning roles on Broadway.“Each year there is a new theme for the Christmas concert, which magnifies the strengths of our guest artists,” said Ron Jarrett, president of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. “With Sutton Foster and Hugh Bonneville headlining the concert, audiences will experience a full-scale production of world-class music, dance, and storytelling with amazing visual effects in the Conference Center.”
Sutton FosterAs a solo artist, Sutton has toured the country with her hit solo concert, which featured songs from her debut solo CD, “Wish,” as well as her follow-up CD, “An Evening with Sutton Foster: Live at the Cafe Carlyle.” She has also graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, Feinstein's, Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series, and many others.The Orchestra at Temple Square and Bells on Temple Square will also join the choir for the popular holiday performances December 14, 15, and 16, 2017, in the Conference Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.Audiences will recognize Bonneville for his portrayal of Lord Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham in ITV/PBS Masterpiece’s global hit “Downton Abbey.”One of Broadway’s most accomplished performers, Sutton Foster has starred in 11 Broadway shows, including her Tony Award-winning roles in “Anything Goes” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” as well as originating roles in “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Young Frankenstein,” and “Shrek the Musical.” On TV, Foster stars as Liza in the critically acclaimed TV Land comedy series “Younger” and previously starred in “Bunheads.”Complimentary tickets will be available beginning Saturday, October 21, at 10:00 a.m. MDT, at lds.org/events.Sutton FosterThe Grammy Award-winning, multiple Emmy Award-winning Mormon Tabernacle Choir is made up of 360 men and women who are accompanied by the Orchestra at Temple Square, a 150-member symphony, and the Bells on Temple Square, a 32-member handbell choir. The choir, orchestra, and handbell choir are all volunteers.TicketsThe choir has its own recording label and has just released the CD and DVD versions of last year’s Christmas concert, “O Come, Little Children,” with one of the world’s leading operatic tenors, Rolando Villazón, as the guest artist and narrator. A companion book, “The Little Match Girl,” is also set for release.The annual Christmas concerts have attracted thousands of people to Temple Square for the Christmas season for more than a decade. Guest artists have ranged from singer Natalie Cole to the “Sesame Street” Muppets™ to Broadway star Audra McDonald to narrator Tom Brokaw. The free performances are seen by tens of thousands each year as well as millions more in PBS television specials and this year on BYU Television.Mormon Tabernacle ChoirAward-winning actress, singer and dancer Sutton Foster and acclaimed British actor Hugh Bonneville will be the featured guest artist and narrator at this year’s Christmas concerts by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.Patrons will be able to request four tickets online; however, tickets will not be available through phone or in person. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Patrons will be able to see which nights are available and will know at the end of their selection which night they have received. Additional ticket information is available at mormontabernaclechoir.org.“Sutton Foster’s crystal-clear voice and vibrant stage presence will pair wonderfully with the choir and orchestra. She will be an absolute delight for audiences,” said music director Mack Wilberg.Hugh Bonneville received a Golden Globe and two Emmy nominations for his role in “Downton Abbey.” His many film credits include “Notting Hill,” “Iris,” “The Monuments Men,” and “Paddington.” Most recently Bonneville starred in “Viceroy’s House,” in which he portrayed Lord Mountbatten. He made a celebrated return to the stage last year in Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” at Chichester Theatre.“We are equally privileged to have the multitalented Hugh Bonneville as our narrator bringing to life a story specially tailored to him about joy and peace at Christmas,” said Wilberg, who will conduct the music for the annual event along with associate music directory Ryan Murphy.
Madilyn Paige and Nicole Luz participate in a panel discussion during a Face to Face broadcast for LDS youth held on October 11.“I learned that the way to truly love yourself is to remember who you are,” she said. She said it is important to remember that “real worth” comes from God.When asked about finding clean music, Patch, who is a returned missionary and married, answered by reminding youth of the many good options available today.“This world, especially growing up now, it is so hard to resist the temptations and resist comparing ourselves and feeling like we are good enough,” Madilyn said. “Remember who you are, remember where you come from, and remember that you all have a purpose. It is different than everyone else. … Stay strong, you can do anything you set your mind to especially with Christ and Heavenly Father on your side.”Questions touched on a variety of topics facing youth today. Whether it was answering how they stay strong when surrounded by wickedness in the world, how to keep the Sabbath Day holy, or how they are able to be confident enough to perform, each of the artists shared their testimonies and personal experiences.“They took questions from us, and they have a really great perspective,” said Christian Sorensen, a 12-year-old from Orem, Utah. “They are experiencing it as we are. It makes me want to work harder at singing.”“Sometimes [life] will be hard and we will fear, but it will be harder without the Holy Ghost by our side,” she said. She reminded listeners that it “never will be easy, but we want to say I worked a lot and I learned a lot and I stayed by my Heavenly Father’s side.”When asked about how to overcome fear and pressures in the media, Madilyn shared her own experience of facing stage fright and how she has worked to be consistent in praying and having positive thoughts.For many of the youth, a highlight to the event was hearing from artists who are around their same age. Lexi and Nicole are both 15, and Madilyn and Patch are young adults.Lexi has performed around the world with many notable artists and has a large following online. Madilyn, 20, competed on The Voice at age 16 and has continued to perform throughout the U.S. and Canada. Nicole Luz, 15, starred in the Brazilian version of American Idol at age 9, as well as Brazil’s version of The Voice Kids at age 13. Last year she won first runner-up in the teen category in an international talent competition with 500 youth from 80 countries. Patch is a member of the band Beyond 5. He served in the Scotland/Ireland Mission.Whether performing on a popular television show or in a viral Youtube video, many young LDS musicians are making their mark in the music industry and winning fans around the world. Along with their powerful voices are strong testimonies of the Savior, and a desire to share their talents with others.In addition to answering questions, the artists performed several songs—individually and together. Both Lexi and Madilyn performed some of their own original songs. They concluded the event with a performance of “Come, Come Ye Saints” all together.“The last thing you should be doing is comparing,” she said. “Comparison is the thief of joy, and the second we start comparing we stop progressing.”“I really liked how they were the same age as us,” said Mia Bateman, a 15-year-old from Mapleton, Utah, who attended the event. “They are connected to what we all go through in life, and shared really great things to help us get through things.”“A hymn isn’t just something that is inside the green hymn book or that we sing at church. … Music makes us feel things and experience life in a different way, so we really need to make sure the music we listen to is showing Heavenly Father how we feel about Him.”When asked about maintaining a good self-image in a world that continues to pressure youth to look and act a certain way, Lexi reminded youth to not get pulled into the “perfected photoshopped bits of [others] lives.”When asked about facing trials and adversity, Nicole, who is from Brazil, encouraged youth to read the Book of Mormon and pray.The event, along with past Face to Face events, can be viewed online.Following the program’s regular format, two youth moderators asked questions submitted by teens and then the artists took turns responding in a candid manner.Youth around the world were able to get to know four of those musicians as they tuned in for a live Face to Face event on Wednesday night. Originating from BYU’s broadcast building in Provo, Utah, youth gathered in a studio—and virtually throughout the world via broadcast—to hear the testimonies and experiences of four artists—Patch Crowe, Nicole Luz, Madilyn Paige, and Lexi Walker.“The only 'like' that matters, the one view that counts, is God’s,” she said. Nicole Luz and Patch Crowe perform during a Face to Face event for LDS youth held on October 11.PROVO, Utah
“My young friends, no matter our circumstances, we all need to draw the Savior’s power into our life at all times,” she said. “We all need to have a clear understanding of our divine nature and purpose so that each decision each of us make in life can be guided by our desire to receive virtue and healing from the Savior.”Recognizing that during a person’s mortal existence sometimes a person experiences tribulation and sorrow, Sister Aburto said, “We experience heart-wrenching situations, and it becomes hard to find the strength to go on. During those times, it may be difficult to believe that by reaching up to the Savior and turning our hearts to Him, He has the power to heal us.”
Sister Reyna I. Aburto speaks during an LDS Business College devotional held in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square on October 10. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.Although the father of the young men was a hard worker who tried to teach the principle of work to his sons, the young men took every opportunity to run away from their chores.
Other times, a person experiences periods of spiritual laziness, where he or she just goes through the motions and is not “anxiously engaged” in reaching up to God to receive help from Him. Students sit in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square during an LDS Business College devotional on October 10. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.For that, a person needs to start with the desire to draw close to the Savior and nurture that desire until it becomes faith and belief. Important to building faith is doing the small and simple things—prayer, focusing thoughts on the Savior in a more intentional way, studying the words of living prophets, and taking the sacrament every Sunday.Sister Aburto also spoke of the children of Israel who were bitten by the fiery serpents while in the desert. Many of them died because they refused to listen to the prophet and look to be healed.“It was then, through the Light of Christ, that I received a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ,” she said. “I felt the sincere desire to join the Church and to start participating in this remarkable journey of discipleship, experiencing its ups and downs, just like everyone else. All I had to do was to desire to reach up to the Savior, to turn my heart to Him, to believe in Him, and to act on that behalf.”“Without moving or even turning one inch and still lying facedown, his brother replied, ‘Lucky you that you can see it,’” Sister Aburto said.Doing small and simple things prevents a person from becoming “spiritually lazy,” said Sister Reyna I. Aburto of the Relief Society General Presidency during an LDS Business College devotional on October 10.Sister Aburto, who was called in April 2017 as the Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, shared with LDS Business College students a story about two brothers who lived many years ago and were extremely lazy.Sister Aburto shared her experience of growing up in a different faith. She believed in God but was in a “spiritual sleep” that prevented her from having a clear understanding of the nature of God and His love for her.“The Lord has promised that when we reach, He responds,” she said. Sister Reyna I. Aburto sits with her husband, Carlos, prior to the LDS Business College devotional held in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square on October 10. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott. LDS Business College students exit the Assembly Hall on Temple Square after a campus devotional on October 10. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.
A choir performs during an LDS Business College devotional held in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square on October 10. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.“Many of the people of Israel did not look at the serpent on the pole in order to be healed because it was such a simple thing to do that they did not believe it had power to heal them,” Sister Aburto said. “Because of unbelief or maybe because of their ‘spiritual laziness,’ they did not make even the smallest effort to look. Does this sound like the story of the two brothers? Could it also describe us when we refuse to reach up to the Savior by doing the simple things that turn our hearts to Him?”
Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency.
“One day, the two brothers were, as usual, avoiding work at all costs and went to their favorite hiding place,” she said. “One of them was lying face down on the grass and the other one was lying face up, right next to him.”
LDS Business College students exit the Assembly Hall on Temple Square after a campus devotional on October 10. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.“I know that you have a busy life,” she said. “In fact, you are anxiously engaged in school, work, Church callings, helping family and friends, and having a social life. I am not implying by any means that you are lazy. My desire is to plead with you not to fall into the trap of spiritual laziness, but to keep doing the ‘small and simple things’ that will get you closer to the Savior so He can bless you.”When she was 26 years old, just after she had separated from her first husband and had a 3-year-old son, Sister Aburto found herself overwhelmed by fear, despair, and hopelessness.“In both of our cases, we were not physically lazy—we were actually busy and hardworking people—but we were going through a long period of spiritual laziness, without stretching ourselves toward God,” she said.Sharing how her husband, Carlos, joined the Church as a boy, Sister Aburto talked about how, because of various circumstances, his family did not remain active in the Church. Years later, while living in a new country and experiencing heartache, he decided he would read the Book of Mormon. President Bruce C. Kusch conducts the LDS Business College devotional held in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square on October 10. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.Recognizing there are so many things competing for one’s attention, time, and heart, Sister Aburto said it can sometimes be difficult to keep one’s sight on the Lord and His gospel.After two weeks, he finished the book, “was a new man,” and returned to activity in the Church.“As he started to read, something amazing happened: he could not sleep,” she said. “Back then, he had two jobs and not much spare time, but instead of eating during his breaks, he continued reading the book.” LDS Business College students exit the Assembly Hall on Temple Square after a campus devotional on October 10. Photo by Marianne Holman Prescott.All of the sudden, the brother that was looking up saw a huge plane passing in the sky for the first time ever above their small town. With excitement he told his brother to look!
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people in fire-threatened areas have evacuated their homes, including many Mormon families.“He just told us, ‘I can either sit down and feel sorry for myself or get up and try to help others,’” reported President Judd.“All of our members [and missionaries] are safe—that’s the best news,” said Santa Rosa California Stake President Gary Kitchen.Four meetinghouses in the Santa Rosa stake were being used as shelters.A high councilor from the Napa stake, for example, lost his home to the fires. Still, hours later, he was taking part in emergency stake meetings and looking for ways to help others in need.But there’s also loss, fear, and pain.It’s expected to take several days to gather a complete assessment of the impact on Mormon families and properties, he added. Once needs are identified, the members here are anxious to offer relief any way they can.“We’re still waiting for some of our member families to be able to return to their homes,” said California Ukiah Stake President Thomas Engstrom.SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIAThirty-three member homes were destroyed in the Santa Rosa California Stake. At least eight more were lost in the neighboring Napa California Stake.First, there’s relief.Member families began offering assistance even as fire crews were battling the scattered blazes. “The members have responded magnificently,” said President Kitchen.“We’ve had a number of families, including members and people who are not members, staying at our buildings,” said President Kitchen.Deadly and destructive wildfires in northern California have left Latter-day Saints dealing with a bevy of emotions.Power has been out for several days in some areas, and cell phone service has been spotty.No Church-owned properties—including meetinghouses and the California Santa Rosa Mission home and office—were damaged, although at least two chapels were still without power on Tuesday, October 10.Many Napa members traveled across impacted regions to deliver generators in areas left in the dark by outages. In Santa Rosa, meanwhile, members have been quick to deliver meals and offer shelter in their homes to any impacted by the disaster.“These fires happened so quickly and so dramatically,” said Napa stake president Kory Judd.A volatile mix of dry grass, brush, heat, low humidity, and wind gusts reaching almost 80 mph has fueled the fires. Communities heavily impacted by the wildfires include Napa, Sonoma, Kenwood, the outskirts of Ukiah, and the north and east sides of Santa Rosa.The wildfires were sparked on Sunday, October 8, and were still burning three days later. At least 15 people were killed, and more than 2,000 homes, businesses, and other structures have been lost, reported USA Today.
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Born August 28, 1958, in Toledo, Ohio, Hamilton was adopted when he was six weeks old by Dorothy and Ernest S. Hamilton. He has overcome many obstacles on his path to success, including an illness at age two when he stopped growing. Doctors were unable to determine the cause, and over time the condition corrected itself.When asked how he feels about keynoting RootsTech 2018, Hamilton says he looks forward to soaking in the RootsTech experience and sharing his story. “We all have a story to tell. All of us. And we all have great lineage and heritage. And we’ve got all of these generations and generations and generations [before us]—nothing started with us.” While at RootsTech, Hamilton says he is excited to meet as many people as he can and hear about how they have found their lineage, ancestors, and families.RootsTech 2018 has announced that Scott Hamilton, American champion figure skater, Olympic gold medalist, motivational speaker, author, philanthropist, cancer survivor, TV broadcaster, and husband and father will be the RootsTech 2018 keynote speaker on Friday, March 2, 2018, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Scott Hamilton will be the keynote speaker at RootsTech 2018 on Friday, March 2, 2018, in Salt Lake City, Utah.Hamilton is considered one of the greatest male figure skaters of all time. He won a gold medal for his performance in the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo. He won four consecutive U.S. figure skating championships and four world championships from 1981 to 1984. In 1990, Hamilton was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame and the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. In all, he has earned more than 70 titles, awards, and honors for figure skating.His highly publicized battles with cancer that interrupted his skating career have inspired millions. Following his mother’s passing from cancer and his own survival, he established the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation (Cancer Alliance for Research, Education, and Survivorship) to improve cancer survivorship. In 2014, he founded the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy to rebuild figure skating and offer fresh ways for students to fall in love with skating, as he did as a child.RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.His parents supported his figure skating passion from the time he began skating at age 13. “Family in my early years of skating were all in the ice show. I remember taking pictures on our front lawn in April, all in our costumes and ice skates. … Once I started skating, everybody was involved. … We were all in, 100 percent. It was our ‘candy,’” he said.About RootsTechGo to RootsTech 2018, February 28 to March 3, 2018, to learn more about Scott Hamilton’s incredible journey, discover your roots, make family connections, and catch the spirit of belonging to generations of your family.His wife, Tracie, and four children are now the center of his life. While helping with recovery efforts in Haiti following the devastating 2010 earthquake, he and Tracie fell in love with two amazing orphans. “Now they are our own children, so now we have four,” said Hamilton. “It’s fun, and it’s crazy, and it’s nonstop, and [we] just keep going, going, going. Life is full. Life is good. And I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities to be a part of this very fun—we put the fun in dysfunctional—family.”“All of us have a legacy to leave for future generations,” he said. “It’s hard to be memorable in this world, but through our children, we have a chance to really make an impact,” he said.Besides his many accomplishments in the public arena, Hamilton says his family members have always been an integral part of his success and are the most important people in his life. He is excited to share more of his personal and family stories at RootsTech 2018.Hamilton feels his legacy is compassion, kindness, and generosity. “If I can raise money for cancer research and be successful in that, if I can be a good father and allow my kids to have everything they need to be successful in their lives and for their children and for their children and their grandchildren, then I think I’ve done my job.”For the past 30 years, his broadcast analysis of national and global skating competitions has provided firsthand insights, and his speeches and books are uplifting and motivating.