A new stake has been created from the Camaçari Brazil Central Stake. The Fiera de Santana Brazil North Stake, which consists of the Alagoinhas, Conceição do Coité, Feira de Santana 3rd, Nova Esperança, Serrinha, and Sobradinho wards, was created by Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis, General Authority Seventy and Elder Aroldo B. Cavalcante, an Area Seventy.
FEIRA DE SANTANA BRAZIL NORTH STAKE (November 18, 2018): President—Ivanilton Barbosa da Silva, 32, businessman, Elite Constructions; wife, Alana Reis Santos Barbosa. Counselors—Wilson Cordeiro de Jesus, 53, maintenance supervisor, Unidas College; wife, Gilmara Conceição Paim. Eudes Evangelista de Sousa, 39, owner, Etec Engineering; wife, Christiana Feitosa Silva.
A new stake has been created from the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Ngaliema Stake. The Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Lukunga Stake, which consists of the Kimbwala 1st, Kimbwala 2nd, Lutendele 1st, Lutendele 2nd, Malueka 1st, Malueka 2nd, and Mazal wards, was created by Elder Joseph W. Sitati, General Authority Seventy, and Elder Pungwe S. Kongolo, an Area Seventy.
KINSHASA DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO LUKUNGA STAKE (February 10, 2019): President—Willy Lumana Mulambo, 45, building management assistant for the Church; wife, Nancy Mpemba Lumana. Counselors—Eric Kahunda Bukaka, 42, state employee, Congolese State; wife, Maha Mbamfu Niangi. Leonard Kongolo Mulamba, 36, teacher; wife, Astride Ndomba Kongolo.
A new stake has been created from the Laredo Texas District. The Laredo Texas Stake, which consists of the Laredo 6th Branch and the Laredo 1st, Laredo 2nd, Laredo 4th, and Laredo 5th (Spanish) wards, was created by Elder Kyle S. McKay, General Authority Seventy, and Elder Carlos Villarreal, an Area Seventy.
LAREDO TEXAS STAKE (December 2, 2018): President—Ted Wagner Wilbur, 55, manager of Mexico operations, CRST; wife, Shauna Lee Birrell. Counselors—Luke Arrington Nigliazzo, 50, director of operations, Robertshaw; wife, Michele Kristin Vader Nigliazzo. Edson Moroni Ruiz Arango, 29, manager of operations, Codysur Trucks; wife, Leslie Treviño.
A new stake has been created from the Mexico City Ectepec and Mexico City Tecamac stakes. The Mexico City Los Heros Tecamac Stake, which consists of the Jarines de Morelos Branch and the Bosques 1st, Bosques 2nd, Los Heroes 1st, Los Heroes 2nd, Montes, and Venta de Carpio wards, was created by Elder John C. Pingree, General Authority Seventy, and Elder Felix A. Martinez, an Area Seventy.
MEXICO CITY LOS HEROES TECAMAC STAKE (December 2, 2018): President—Edgar Eduardo Ramos Pacheco, 47, activities and purchasing director; wife, Sandra Claudia Yañez Ortega. Counselors—Alejandro Sánchez Gómez, 44, administrative assistant for the Church; wife, Xochitl Karina Salazar Hernández de Sánchez. Isuaro Brazil Manzanilla Ortiz, 36, unit director, Secretary of Finances; wife, Cynthia Paola Vázquez Chagaya.
A new stake has been created from the Morong Rizal Philippines District. The Morong Rizal Philippines Stake, which consists of the Sampaloc Branch and the Binangonan, Malaya, Morong, Tanay, and Teresa wards, was created by Elder Evan A. Schmutz, General Authority Seventy, and Elder Jairus C. Perez, an Area Seventy.
MORONG RIZAL PHILIPPINES STAKE (November 4, 2018): President—Craig Alameda Barredo, 46, principal architect; wife, Antonette Teoxon Barredo. Counselors—Ruderic Castillon Ugay, 37, technology consultant, DXC Technology; wife, Jennifer Reyes Peña Ugay. Richard Cuidad Dollete, 54, project supervisor for the Church; wife, Antonette Hernandez Angeles Dollete.
A new stake has been created from the Santaquin Utah Stake. The Santaquin Utah East Stake, which consists of the Santaquin 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 10th, 12th, 16th, and 22nd wards, was created by Elder Steven E. Snow, General Authority Seventy, and Elder Richard Holzapfel, an Area Seventy.
SANTAQUIN UTAH EAST STAKE (November 11, 2018): President—Steven Matley Wood, 57, director of research, Nu Skin; wife, Jenny Ann Sturm Wood. Counselors—Gregg Morris Warnick, 49, director and associate professor, Brigham Young University; wife, Kimberly Ann Nicol Warnick. Ryan Hugh Sharp, 36, professor of ancient scripture, Brigham Young University; wife, Jessica Ashlee Farish Sharp.
A new stake has been created from the São José dos Campos Brazil Stake. The São José Dos Campos South Stake, which consists of the Cidade Jardim, Jacareí, Jardim Satélite, Morumbi, and Parque Industrial wards, was created by Elder W. Mark Bassett, General Authority Seventy, and Elder Sergio L. Carboni, an Area Seventy.
SÃO JOSÉ DOS CAMPOS BRAZIL SOUTH STAKE (November 25, 2018): President—Diogo Traversin Fagundes, 36, businessman; wife, Brenda Medeiros de Carvalho Bruno Traversin. Counselors—Erick Alencar Braga, 37, partner, Braga Accounting; wife, Camila Erisa Vasser. Alan Marcos Cardoso, 36, businessman; wife, Adriana Sayuri Itoi.
A new stake has been created from the Mexico City Tecamac and Pachuca Mexico stakes. The Tizayuca Mexico Stake, which consists of the Plazas Tizayuca, Tizayuca 1st, Tizayuca 2nd, Zumpango 1st, and Zumpango 2nd wards, was created by Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela, General Authority Seventy, and Elder Joel Martinez, an Area Seventy.
TIZAYUCA MEXICO STAKE (December 2, 2018): President—Daniel Moya Oliva, 35, postal employee; wife, Sigrid Osorno Hernández. Counselors—Enríquez Vázquez Ildefonso, 40, government employee; wife, Perla Isabel Ruiz Alcántara. Marco Antonio Velázquez Benitez, 43, transportation manager; wife, Reyna Ruth Guerrero Barajas.Reorganized stakes
ACAPULCO MEXICO STAKE (February 10, 2019): President—Nefi Figueroa Espinosa, 42, specialties administrative assistant, Department of Public Education; succeeding Adan M. Torres Ruiz; wife, Araceli Buenfil Ciprian. Counselors—Anibal Andraca Navarrete, 35, electoral instructor, National Electoral Institute; wife, Briseida Raquel Leon Camargo. Antonio Rojas Torres, 35, facilities manager for the Church; wife, Guadalupe Bernal Torres.
ADROGUE BUENOS AIRES ARGENTINA STAKE (November 18, 2018): President—Marcos Alberto del Castillo, 39, analyst for the Church; succeeding Federico A. Marín; wife, Luciana Lorena Steben. Counselors—Lisandro Adres Gatica, 35, psychological consultant; wife, Melody Pamela Molina. Pablo Ariel Paz, 44, manager, Mundial SA; wife, Alfaro Yeritza Contreras.
AKRON OHIO STAKE (November 18, 2018): President—Quinn J Coburn, 55, chief financial officer, GrafTech; succeeding Douglas L. Talley; wife, Denna Lynn Floyd Coburn. Counselors—Tony Tung Nam Wen, 49, owner, PCDS; wife, Winnsa Siu-Mun Lee Wen. Kumen Rey Call, 44, vice president of finance, TT Electronics; wife, Holly Nynnne Hansen Call.
ANNAPOLIS MARYLAND STAKE (January 20, 2019): President—Kenneth Va'a Niumatololo, 53, head football coach, United States Naval Academy; succeeding John D. Jackson; wife, Barbara Dee Niumatalolo. Counselors—James Pennington Sweany, 53, assistant chief, researcher and reference division, Library of Congress; wife, Pilar Antoneita Pizarro Sweany. Troy Wade Corbett, 49, business financial manager, Department of Defense; wife, Aimee Kristine Spackman Corbett.
APELDOORN NETHERLANDS STAKE (February 3, 2019): President—Jerry Victor Henri Rudolf Bletterman, 47, performance coach, SNS Bank; succeeding Spencer J. Hulleman; wife, Annemielie Louise de Vries. Counselors—Hermann August, 41, insurance specialist, Abnamro Mees Pierson; wife, Anita Vels August. Michiel van Andel, 34, farmer and commodity trader; wife, Melina Neophitou van Andel.
ASHTON ENGLAND STAKE (November 4, 2018): President—Lee John Harrott, 50, self-employed painter and decorator; succeeding Kevin G. Fletcher; wife, Aimee Bridgstock Harrott. Counselors—Peter Adam Hughes, 43, owner, CL Trading Ltd.; wife, Claire Eva Peace Hughes. John Teal, 50, self-employed; wife, Joanne Louise Platt Teal.
BARRANQUILLA COLOMBIA HIPODROMO STAKE (November 25, 2018): President—Ivar Rafael Romero Ortega, 36, teacher; succeeding Justina A. Rodriguez Borja; wife, Yulissa Escalante Buelvas. Counselors—Mario Enrique Gutierrez Martinez, 36, systems coordinator, Altos de San Vicente Clinic; wife, Narciza del Carmen Paez Anaya. Alex de Jesús Molina Arrieta, 37, contractor; wife, Leidys Melissa Lombrano Mejia.
BUCKEYE ARIZONA STAKE (November 11, 2018): President—Roger Blake Maxwell, 54, director of information systems, Apogee Physicians; succeeding David B. Bourgeous; wife, Melisa Albretsen Maxwell. Counselors—Christopher Bud Hart, 44, division manager, Desert Services International Inc.; wife, Tiffany John Hart. Michael Louis Bencomo, 42, head of technology solutions, Mail Innovations UPS; wife, Kristi Marie Fechter Bencomo.
BUENOS AIRES ARGENTINA RAMOS MEJIA STAKE (November 14, 2018): President—Gastón Ezequiel Mercado, 40, professional; succeeding Rodrigo C. Canga; wife, Viviana Laura Surache. Counselors—Gustavo Alberto Romero, 58, inventory analyst for the Church; wife, Monica Flavia Lopez. Ernesto Daniel Conda, 31, logistics manager, Forever Living Products SRL; wife, Gisela Mónica Albarracín.
BURLEY IDAHO WEST STAKE (November 11, 2018): President—Steven Matthew Cook, 47, CEO and owner, Goode Auto Group; succeeding G. Chad Jones; wife, Trista Lovell Williams Cook. Counselors—Mark Wayne Fillmore, 61, dental technician; wife, Leann Broadhead Fillmore. John Fred Kloepfer, 53, self-employed; wife, Suzanne Lambert Kloepfer.
CARDIFF WALES STAKE (January 13, 2019): President—Jason David Spragg, 51, sales executive; succeeding Jared Somerville; wife, Jennifer Patricia Herbert Spragg. Counselors—Adrian George Evans, 58, lecturer, University of the West of England; wife, Brenda Lillie Downes Evans. Benjamine Graham Delve, 36, solicitor; wife, Jane Roberta Sheppard Delve.
CIUDAD OBREGON MEXICO STAKE (November 18, 2018): President—Sai Santana Sai, 29, fleet manager, Fertilizantes Tepeyac; succeeding Alfredo Lazaro Martinez; wife, Yazmina Tabardillo González. Counselors—Jesús Antonio Hernández Pérez, 41, manager, Omnibus de México; wife, Leticia Vázquez García. Roberto Castañeda Zazueta, 42, contractor; wife, Alma Lorenia Ramírez Valenzuela.
CIUDAD OBREGON MEXICO NAINARI STAKE (January 27, 2019): President—Yoowe Santana Vargas, 39, self-employed process manager; succeeding Julio Cabrera Barbeitia; wife, Minerva Medel Yanajara. Counselors—Jaime Benjamin Cedillo Cobián, 41, director of operations, Tool Innovations; wife, Avila Ephemeriella Gastelum. Luis Humberto Alvarez Valencia, 39, professor, ITSON University; wife, Fabiola Castro Gutierrez.
CULIACAN MEXICO HUMAYA STAKE (February 3, 2019): President—Saul Guadalupe Lopez Jacobo, 43, self-employed; succeeding Cosme Galvez Angulo; wife, Maria Marlemnue Felix Zepeda. Counselors—Marco Antonio Jimenez Cabrera, 51, self-employed; wife, Alba Selene Estrada Lopez. Julio Cesar Medina Gamboa, 31, support personnel for the Church and teacher, Durango School of English; wife, Maria Elyset Lopez Medina.
DAVAO PHILIPPINES STAKE (January 27, 2019): President—Rizaldito Saron Castro, 41, general manager, Fix Right Aircon and Allied Services Inc.; succeeding Norman C. Inson; wife, Josette Romo Mulle Castro. Counselors—Fernando Costilo Pareja, 51, marketing operations manager, Sunlife Grepa; wife, Maria Donna Estil Quilaneta Pareja. Andrew Jambaro Doronio Boiser, 36, virtual assistant, Alpine Outsourcing; wife, Jenny Alagasi Barcena Boiser.
FARR WEST UTAH STAKE (December 2, 2018): President—Bryan Scott Arrington, 47, construction manager, Nilson Homes; succeeding Dee L. Schumers; wife, Becky Ann Williams Arrington. Counselors—Kelly Dean Allen, 63, software developer; wife, Linda Ann Searle Allen. Burke Leon Williams, 44, process engineer and program manager, Northrup Grumman; wife, Johanna Terry Williams.
FEIRA DE SANTANA KALIANDIA STAKE (November 18, 2018): President—Luciano Araujo Brito, 40, accountant; succeeding Erivelto Conceicao Bastos; wife, Macilene Antonia Dias Conceição. Counselors—Fabio dos Reis Carneiro, 35, technical manager, CICHO Solutions; wife, Lorrane Teixeira Mendes. Marcio Santos de Carvalho, 38, professor; wife, Jucienny de Almeida Silva Carvalho.
GOMEZ PALACIO MEXICO LA LAGUNA STAKE (January 20, 2019): President—Arnulfo Acosta Mejía, 46, music teacher; succeeding Jose de Jesus Alba Romero; wife, Haydeé Adriana Rodriguez Esparza. Counselors—Alejandro Reyes Villegas, 36, sales manager, Custom Co.; wife, Elvira Noris de Reyes. Tomas Reyes Sanchez, 49, teacher; wife, Lucila Garduño Salas.
GYENONGGI KOREA STAKE (January 20, 2019): President—Hyekeun Lee, 52, president, Samwoo Development; succeeding Yoo Jang Chul; wife, Eunbee Jung. Counselors—Ginam Kim, 54, vice president, Samsung Electronics; wife, Eunmi Kim-Park. Hye Taek Lee, 50, managing director, Heain Sander Inc.; wife, Sungeum Hwang.
HEBER CITY UTAH STAKE (November 18, 2018): President—Bart Allen Wilde, 59, owner, Bart Wilde & Associates, Inc.; succeeding Byron H. Horner; wife, Cynthia Kay Ashby Wilde. Counselors—James Russell Witt, 50, owner and operator, Witt Excavating Inc.; wife, Catherine Evelyn Drake Witt. Spencer Morton Thunell, 41, chief financial officer and partner, Decathlon Capital Partners; wife, Kira Anne Lippy Thunell.
IDAHO FALLS AMMON WEST STAKE (December 2, 2018): President—Christian David Monson, 45, anesthesiologist; succeeding Kipp L. Manwaring; wife, Charise Andrus Monson. Counselors—James Robert Barnes, 48, sales and support manager, Brad Hall & Associates; wife, Karen Green Barnes. Nathan Allen Hunsaker, 47, physical therapist; wife, Audra Kay Anderson Hunsaker.
JACKSONVILLE FLORIDA WEST STAKE (January 20, 2019): President—Jonathan David Crews, 44, co-owner, Guttercap of Florida; succeeding Dennis D. Berry; wife, Marlene Lynn Hughes Crews. Counselors—Christopher Brian Flynn, 48, assistant professor, University of North Florida; wife, Ana Maria Veliz Flynn. Matthew Alan Williamson, 30, senior quality assurance analyst, Deutsche Bank; wife, Juliana Brochier Williamson.
JUNDIAI BRAZIL STAKE (November 11, 2018): President—Paulo Sérgio Ribeiro, 49, partner, Halley Industria; succeeding Jose C. Pierina; wife, Ana Rogério Albuquerque de Andrade Ribeiro. Counselors—Thiago Rocha, 35, business analyst; wife, Arika Aparecida Echila Rocin. Roger Melo, 44, product engineer, Century Link; wife, Flavia Marchioli Bernardes de Melo.
KINSHASA DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO NGALIEMA STAKE (February 10, 2019): President—Nixon Lomena Lohese, 42, logistics manager, ETS Goal Service; succeeding Jean—Pierre A. L. Haboko; wife, Gelly Kinsumba Kintembila. Counselors—Adrien Kanyiki Bajikijay, 47, office manager, Congolese State; wife, Jeanine Ditsidi Kanyiki. Neonndela Konde Basukisa, 40, head supervisor, Neon Service Establishment; wife, Bibiche Kudia Kubanza.
LAFAYETTE INDIANA STAKE (February 3, 2019): President—Matthew Arnold Call, 46, CEO, Endocyte Inc.; succeeding P. Ronald Ellis; wife, Maria Gayle Winkel Call. Counselors—Benjamin Bradley Dunford, 47, professor, Purdue University; wife, Tamara Ballard Dunford. William Travis Horton, 48, professor, Purdue University; wife, Kareena Jensen Horton.
LAUSANNE SWITZERLAND STAKE (May 13, 2018): President—Pierre-Alain Michaud, 42, departmental head, CIMO; succeeding Iwan L. Märki; wife, Dalila Fortas. Counselors—Jérémie Canonica, 34, post-doctorate researcher, Ophthalmic Hospital Jules Gonin; wife, Gareith Canonica. Christian-Rodolphe Buhlmann, 34, safety consultant; wife, Aurélie Sylvie Boyaval.
LOS ANGELES CHILE NORTH STAKE (December 9, 2018): President—César Andrés Sanhueza Díaz, freelance businessman; succeeding Manuel A. Pauvif Sagredo; wife, Florencia Naredo. Counselors—Raul Hernán Figueroa Morales, 56, businessman; wife, Elizabeth Carmen Fuentes Perez. Freddy Humberto Dinamarca Godoy, 40, professor, Cabrero Municipality; wife, Carmen Gloria Valdebenito Contreras.
MEXICO CITY ALAMEDAS STAKE (November 18, 2018): President—Francisco Israel Regina Sánchez, 42, director of infrastructor, Grupo Hitec; succeeding Eduardo E. Centeno Gallegos; wife, Elena Trujillo Baltazar. Counselors—César Lima Escalante, 41, solutions manager for the Church; wife, Blanca Isela Aquilar Arias. Mario Cedillo Ordaz, 62, process manager, FAPRESA; wife, Angélica Mora Manzanarez.
MEXICO CITY MELCHOR OCAMPO STAKE (November 25, 2018): President—Mariano Pineda Alvear, 45, project director, Edificaciones con Aceso; succeeding Homero Rojas Trejo; wife, Leticia Yerbafria Granjero. Counselors—Luis Alberto Duarte Lopez, 39, seminaries and institutes area director; wife, Lillo de Jesús Duarte Jemima. Juan Carlos Moreno Soriano, 34, planning coordinator, Liverpool; wife, Rocio Martinez Garcia.
MEXICO CITY TENAYO STAKE (November 4, 2018): President—Ayax Raúl Bernal Sánchez, 46, self-employed; succeeding Daniel Manzo Peñuñuri; wife, Juana Vianet Meneses Munive. Counselors—Arold de los Santos Pérez, 36, operations consultant for the Church; wife, Matia Esther Rodriguez Bugatin. José Guadalupe Zamora González, 51, temple trip coordinator for the Church; wife, Ibañez Mireya Aguilar.
MEXICO CITY TULTITLAN STAKE (November 18, 2018): President—Pedro Márquez Soto, 53, real estate project manager for the Church; succeeding Francisco I. Regino; wife, Julieta Martinez Hinojos. Counselors—Roberto Ernesto Lasa Chavarria, 51, therapist; wife, Elena León Melgarejo. Jaime Fernando Carbajal Coronado, 37, assistant builder for the Church; wife, Karla Frias Espinosa.
MILAGRO ECUADOR STAKE (January 13, 2019): President—José Eduardo Pezo Castro, 30, private teacher; succeeding Ian E. Chiriguaya Rosado; wife, Melanny Nahomi Heredia Vinueza. Counselors—David Fernando Torres Ortiz, 50, technical leader, Toyocosta; wife, Maria Fernanda Gallegos Fuentes. Jorge Franklin Freire Brito, 52, government worker; wife, Teresa Cadmen Sarmiento.
MURRAY UTAH LITTLE COTTONWOOD STAKE (January 6, 2019): President—Jonathan Morris Bowen, 44, emergency physician; succeeding Paul W. Ruben; wife, Jeannette Sorenson Bowen. Counselors—Russell James Butterfield, 46, physician scientist; wife, Heather Mary Henderson. Hyrum Eric Smith, 47, Michele Christensen Smith.
NORTH OGDEN UTAH EAST STAKE (November 18, 2018): President—Brian Christopher Morris, 42, senior estimator, HHI Corporation; succeeding D. Brad Reeves; wife, Amy Barie Hubbard Morris. Counselors—Robert Karl Stowers, 60, office manager, Mountain Alarm; wife, Susanne Marie Brown. Roger Curtis Smout, 51, outside sales rep, Industrial Bolt & Supply; wife, Kristin Nichols Smout.
NORTH SALT LAKE UTAH LEGACY STAKE (November 18, 2018): President—Damon Charles Glenn, 45, manager of investment, Etrade; succeeding Ronald B. Gordon; wife, Catherine Neddo Glenn. Counselors—Dean Lynn Howes, 66, commissioner, Major League Rugby; wife, Catherine Nelson Howes. Alfred Howard Tukuafu, 46, lead estimator, Jacobsen Construction; wife, Matila Maryann Lavulo Tukuafu.
NUKU’ALOFA TONGA CENTRAL STAKE (February 10, 2019): President—Latu Taipaleti Moala, 55, technical officer, TCC; succeeding Alvin L. Sika; wife, Konokimoana Fainga’a Moala. Counselors—Peauafi Tuitavake, 52, self-employed; wife, Vaiolini Vea Lakepa Malu Tuitavake. Semisi Uinitoni Kakau, 33, senior accountant, LDS Finance; wife, ’Ana He’ihakau Niutupuivaha Kakau.
PACHUCA MEXICO CENTRO STAKE (February 3, 2019): President—Howard Matthew Richards, 46, English and social sciences professor, Monterrey Technical Institute; succeeding Roberto Mendoza Regino; wife, Erika Sarahi Martinez Ramos. Counselors—Cristhopher Roldan Cervantes, 41, assistant manager, National Institute for Indigenous Peoples; wife, Mariela Arleta Sanchez Saldivar. Efrain Vergara Rodríguez, 34, builder; wife, Miriam Itzel Salazar Sánchez.
PLYMOUTH ENGLAND STAKE (November 18, 2018): President—Simon Paul Curran, 36, solicitor, Ashfords LLP; succeeding Paul D. Martin; wife, Leah Crockett Curran. Counselors—Andrew Smith, 56, managing director, Dragon Archery Centre Ltd.; wife, Joy Belinda Brandon Smith. Pani Jack Bundy, 40, company director, Ace Roofing; wife, Abigail Novello Newman Bundy.
PRAIA GRANDE BRAZIL STAKE (February 10, 2019): President—Gilberto Bispo dos Santos, 35, designer; succeeding Max Roberto Santos Villafan; wife, Sueli de Souza Bispo dos Santos. Counselors—Rudolf Fortmüller, 39, director, Colobe IT Solution; wife, Michele de Jesus dos Santos Fortmüller. Gustavo Fernando Ribeiro, 30, small business manager, Banco do Brasil; wife, Carolina Ciandella Ribeiro.
PROVO UTAH EAST STAKE (February 3, 2019): President—Darron Merrill Billeter, 46, associate professor, Brigham Young University; succeeding Edward R. Rasmussen; wife, Robyn Marie Huff Billeter. Counselors—Glenn S. Karlinsey, 55, vice president, AgReserves International; wife, Dayna Bunnell Karlinsey. Eric Layne Perry, 43, owner, Stonebridge Development; wife, April Nichelle Wilson Perry.
PROVO UTAH MARRIED STUDENT 1ST STAKE (February 3, 2019): President—Jay Todd Bishoff, 57, urologist, Intermountain Health Care; succeeding Charles R. Monson; wife, Kristine Kinyon Bishoff. Counselors—Nathan Ronald Hyde, 57, senior counsel, IM Flash Technologies; wife, Michelle Smoot Hyde. Ronald Kjar Gubler, 65, institute teacher; wife, Mary Sue Mills Grubler.
PROVIDENCE UTAH STAKE (January 13, 2019): President—David Alan Smith, 49, optometrist; succeeding Robert C. Henke; wife, Rashell Gibbons Smith. Counselors—Gordon Marcus Allred, 56, teacher, Cache School District; wife, Irene Haws Allred. Jamie Matthew Swink, 51, county attorney; wife, Keri Gene Merrill Swink.
QUEEN CREEK ARIZONA STAKE (February 3, 2019): President—Micah Aaron Rogers, 41, president, Lebaron & Carroll; succeeding Dal W. Zemp; wife, Cami Ann Woods Rogers. Counselors—Richard Jon Caldwell, 51, owner and manager, Arizona Healthy Pet Hospital; wife, Angela Peterson Caldwell. Gordon Bluth, 63, Blucor Contracting, Inc.; wife, Mariann Bluth.
REDDING CALIFORNIA STAKE (January 27, 2019): President—Daniel Stanley Mehr III, 42, partner and attorney, Reese, Smalley, et. al.; succeeding Danford C. Bickmore; wife, DeAnn Marion Mehr. Counselors—Michael Paul Freeman Jr., 43, superintendent, Grant Elementary; wife, Kelly Rose Dahl Freeman. Erick Kimball Goss, 44, physical therapist; wife, Jaylynn Eyre Goss.
RESISTENCIA ARGENTINA SOUTH STAKE (May 20, 2018): President—Pablo Adrián Treppo, 32, sales representative, Sweet SA; wife, Cinthia Alexandra Isendorf. Counselors—César Luis Aragno, 40, property administrator for the Church; wife, Adela Isabel Fernandez. Osvaldo Martín Cardozo, 53, manager, Treasury Department; wife, Marína Angelica Rivera.
REXBURG IDAHO MARRIED STUDENT STAKE (February 10, 2019): President—Fernando Rodrigo Castro, 55, faculty, BYU-Idaho; succeeding Bruce W. Blanchard; wife, Nora del Carmen Castro. Counselors—Richie L Webb, 56, president, Hemming Corporation; wife, Becky Anne Webb. Shane Bryan Berger, 63, CEO, Beehive Federal Credit Union; wife, Jean Berger.
REXBURG IDAHO YSA 7TH STAKE (February 3, 2019): President—Corey Roger Child, 54, fire chief, City of Rexburg; succeeding R. Shane Webster; wife, Lisa Livingston Child. Counselors—Mark Charlton Nye, 58, adjunct professor, BYU-Idaho; wife, Vicki Lynn Arnold Nye. Kyle Brent Kinghorn, 45, teacher and department chair, BYU-Idaho; wife, Malia Ann Steiner Kinghorn.
RICHMOND VIRGINIA CHESTERFIELD STAKE (November 18, 2018): President—Michael Ray Mabe, 52, executive director, Chesterfield County Public Library System; succeeding J. Matthew Scott; wife, Joan Beckstead Mabe. Counselors—Jamil Khalid Corbitt, 47, operations manager, Brenco Solutions; wife, Lauren Seaton Kneebone Corbitt. Walter Duane Stafford, 42, chief information officer, Barefoot Spas; wife, Dawn Marie Marks Stafford.
ROSWELL GEORGIA STAKE (December 2, 2018): President—Reed Aaron Macdonald, 45, CEO, FDS Avionics; succeeding Verne M. Ernst; wife, Andrea Tanner Macdonald. Counselors—Nelson Daniel Zivic, 41, head of human resources, Newell Rubbermaid; wife, Lorena Renée Calabria Zivic. Daniel Ray Lister Jr., 45, executive vice president, SWM Inc.; wife, Melissa Lin Wagner Lister.
SALT LAKE OLYMPUS STAKE (November 4, 2018): President—Keith Stevenson White, 61, medical director of imaging services, Intermountain Healthcare; succeeding Scott T. Buie; wife, Cherilyn Tobler White. Counselors—Kendall Clark Farr, 58, attorney; wife, Cheryl Tingey Farr. Richard Lee Wagner, 51, owner, Valued Wealth Advisors, LLC, Vonderharr Wagner Associates, LLC; wife, Meagan Elizabeth Jenkins Wagner.
SALT LAKE PARLEYS STAKE (January 13, 2019): President—Matthew Thomas Wirthlin, 47, attorney and partner, Holland & Hart LLP; succeeding Charles W. Sorenson; wife, Mary Burton Wirthlin. Counselors—Samuel Charles Straight, 51, attorney; wife, Deirdre Marie Stevens Straight. Timothy Kevin Conde, 42, general counsel, Okland Construction; wife, Elizabeth Jeanne Jardine Conde.
SANTA CRUZ BOLIVIA EQUIPTROL STAKE (February 10, 2019): President—Brigam Bernardo Barrientos Nuñez, 35, general manager and owner, Marrone Muebles SRL; succeeding Jorge M. Becerra Oroza; wife, Fatima Liliana Ortiz Ayala. Counselors—Harold Reinaldo Salazar Quiroga, 32, sales manager, Huawei; wife, Yumi Takei Duran. Alex Guillermo Guachalla Tarquino, 46, manager, Laboratorio ABD; wife, Erlinda Flores de Guachalla.
SANTIAGO CHILE QUILICURA STAKE (June 10, 2018): President—Alejandro Andres Leiva Salas, 42, supervisor, Komatsu Cummins Chile; succeeding Jorge W. Perez; wife, Karina Elizabeth Astudillo Fredes. Counselors—David Ignacio Verdugo Ibañez, 37, operations supervisor, Bopp Chile S.A.; wife, Elizabeth Mariela Arriagada Garcia. Giovanni Esteban Lopez Santander, 43, management supervisor, Biturix S.A.; wife, Mariela Raquel Britez.
SANTIAGO DOMINICAN REPUBLIC EAST STAKE (February 10, 2019): President—Nicolás Rodríguez Santos, 43, finance manager; succeeding Marco del Rosario Breton Cátala; wife, Vilma Cordero Torres. Counselors—Hilton Rafael Paulino García, 43, associate administrative manager, Proconstructora; wife, Wendy Ynes Cabrera Helena. José Roberto Rodriguez Carpio, 33, supervisor, area engineer, RSL Production; wife, Yeidyne Cantalicia Almonte Pascual.
SANTO DOMINGO DOMINICAN REPUBLIC OZAMA STAKE (February 10, 2019): President—Miguel Antonio Santos Hernandez, 36, radar technician, Dominican Civil Aviation Institute; succeeding Alberto V. Valdez; wife, Yenny Almonte Ventura. Counselors—Miguel Angel Tapia Medina, 37, regional director, FUNVAL RD; wife, Zulema Giselle Pacheco Bedrinana. Hector Isaac Matos Francisco, 34, junior accountant, Association of David Iglesia; wife, Yulissa Altagracia Troncoso Matos.
SILVERDALE WASHINGTON STAKE (February 3, 2019): President—Steven Marion Haws, 51, dentist; succeeding Eric R. Gillespie; wife, Nikol Rebecca Mikolajcik Haws. Counselors—Scott Alan Broadbent, 57, dentist; wife, Kendra Patterson Broadbent. Frederick Arthur Salisbury, 63, chief operations officer, Port of Bremerton; wife, Sherri Kim Peterson Salsbury.
SPRINGVILLE UTAH HOBBLE CREEK WEST STAKE (January 20, 2019): President—Everett James Nelson, 55, professor, Brigham Young University; succeeding Alan R. Harker; wife, Lauri Richelle Christensen Nelson. Counselors—Michael David Stevenson, 54, manager of application development, Brigham Young University; wife, Mary Michelle Nelson Stevenson. Brian Howard Boyer, 47, professor, Brigham Young University; wife, Tanya Marie Hawes Boyer.
SPRINGVILLE UTAH SPRING CREEK STAKE (February 10, 2019): President—Russell Craig Dalley, 52, vice president of sales and marketing, Juuva; succeeding C. Arden Pope; wife, Lisa Halliday Dalley. Counselors—John Talmage Patten, 52, assistant superintendent, Alpine School District; wife, Arryn Kronmiller Patten. Richard Peter Hartman, 52, hatchery superintendent, Utah Division of Wildlife; wife, Jill Robinson Hartman.
SUNSHINE COAST AUSTRALIA STAKE (November 25, 2018): President—Gabriel Grainger Miller, 40, managing director, Inscape Design; succeeding Paul J. Thomas; wife, Chelsea Cecilia DeGaris Miller. Counselors—Gordon Westergaard Danielsen-Jensen, 51, manager, Stone Effects Qld.; wife, Kathryn Jane Southerton Danielsen-Jensen. Ashwood Te Whenuanui Caesar, 48, senior business analyst, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries; wife, Rebecca Anne Puckridge Caesar.
TACLOBAN PHILIPPINES STAKE (November 18, 2018): President—Pedro Bimbo Basada Tan, 50, senior trade and industry development specialist, Department of Trade and Industry; succeeding Ricardo A. Aban; wife, Jenny Operario Ruba. Counselors—Jhumer Cajife Operio, 37, real estate broker; wife, Jean Lim-It Calipayan Operio. David Dagano Mendros, 40, sales clerk, EMCOR Inc.; wife, Analiza Baldecanas Dangco Mendros.
TORREON MEXICO JARDIN STAKE (November 18, 2018): President—Angel Carlos Cepeda Santos, 47, key account manager, Schneider Electrical; succeeding Jose A. Jimenez Roldan; wife, Claudia Valles Herrera. Counselors—Gustavo Ademis Castillo Landeros, 41, academic affairs coordinator; wife, Mitzi Garcia Hernandez. Daniel Gómez Junco Santillán, 28, administrative manager, SEVAC; wife, Ada Ragó Abish Canaán de los Santos.
WEST JORDAN UTAH MOUNTAIN SHADOWS STAKE (January 20, 2019): President—Tracy Paul Nixon, 48, seminary teacher; succeeding William C. Perkins; wife, Melanie Allen Nixon. Counselors—Tim Alexander Nelson, 57, director of data operations, Cotiviti; wife, Lori Eileen Elliott Nelson. Claysliton Alexandre Carmo Celestino, 47, director of admin and HR, Dynamond Building Services; wife, Debora de Vasconcelos Celestino.
WILMETTE ILLINOIS STAKE (January 27, 2019): President—Morgan A. Dubiel, 41, self-employed in construction; succeeding James E. Holbrook; wife, Leslie S. Wygert Dubiel. Counselors—Bernard Alexander Fish, 56, IT manager, Brockweiner LLC; wife, Michelle Ann Schulz Fish. Daniel Herrera Ramirez, 47, temple facilities assistant for the Church; wife, Perla Maria Saucedo de Herrera.
VALENCIA VENEZUELA CANDELARIA STAKE (January 13, 2019): President—Claudio Enrique Guanipa Wisocky, 38, importer, Jaron Brown; succeeding Dean J. Rojas Rios; wife, Rosa Mayteh Pérez. Counselors—Alvaro Del Valle Faria Jauregui, 62, self-employed merchant; wife, Celeste Caroina Salazar Araujo. Augusto Ramón Aguiar Méndez, 42, human resources manager, Bureau of Prisons; wife, Betsy Deyanira Silva Flores.
VALENCIA VENEZUELA LOS SAUCES STAKE (November 18, 2018): President—Fernando de Jesús Vivas Calderón, 42, regional director, Church Educational system; succeeding Jorge E. Ferrer Perez; wife, Dariana del Carmen Briceño Zambrano de Vivas. Counselors—Rafel Antonio Sequera Castillo, 59, operations inspector, Naguanagua Waste Management; wife, Ana Elizabeth Sánches de Sequera. César Augusto Rodriquez Bonito, 53, independent contractor, FamilySearch; wife, Maria Nelly Sevilla Galea de Rodriguez.
Electronic versions of the new scriptures in Slovak scriptures are now available online at ChurchofJesusChrist.org and in the Gospel Library mobile app.“We encourage members to obtain their own copies of the scriptures and to use them in regular personal and family study and in Church meetings and assignments,” the First Presidency stated. “As members prayerfully learn and teach from the scriptures, their testimonies will grow and they will receive greater direction in their daily lives.”In addition to the publication of the new triple combination in Slovak, the First Presidency also announced the new edition of the Book of Mormon in Slovak, which now includes footnotes and the Guide to the Scriptures.Printed copies of the scriptures in Slovak will be available by July 26, 2019, through local distribution centers.New tripleThe First Presidency has announced the publication of a new edition of the triple combination of the scriptures as well as a new edition of the Book of Mormon in Slovak.Print versionsThe triple combination contains the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, a helpful study aid titled Guide to the Scriptures, and other study aids. A new edition of the Book of Mormon is also available, which now includes footnotes and the Guide to the Scriptures.
He showed a genuine interest in me when I first enrolled in high school seminary. He was prepared, in advance, for each class so that he had time to interact with me when I entered the classroom. He did this for all of his students. He was always happy, and he enjoyed talking with me. We enjoyed talking about sports, and he always asked about my latest game. Sometimes he even attended my high school games, or he played practice games with me to show his love and support. As I entered the dating years, he was not afraid to ask whom I was taking to an upcoming dance, and he made a point of encouraging me to date young women with high standards. His focus was on his learners rather than on the lessons. As he loved me and showed an interest in me, I became more interested in his message.Teaching is much more than giving a lesson. Rather, it includes loving those you teach, teaching by the Spirit, teaching the doctrine, and inviting your learners to act. As we strive to teach using these important principles, we help our learners become more converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and become more like Him. I am grateful to Brother Palmer for his love and friendship and for his Christlike teaching in my life.Brother Palmer loved those he taught
Melvin J. Palmer, who worked as a high school seminary teacher, is pictured with his wife, Adeline Palmer. Photo courtesy of Alan J. Palmer.Brother Palmer taught by the SpiritBrother Palmer taught the doctrine
Melvin J. Palmer was the “most influential teacher” in the life of one of his students, Elder K. Mark Frost. Photo courtesy of Alan J. Palmer.Melvin J. Palmer, who worked as a high school seminary teacher and now serves in The Gila Valley Arizona Temple presidency, is pictured with his wife, Adeline Palmer. Photo courtesy of Alan J. Palmer.Brother Palmer invited diligent learningHe frequently invited his learners to act (2 Nephi 2:14). During our course of study on the New Testament, he challenged us to memorize each of the mastery scriptures and to know the underlying doctrine. I accepted his challenge, and that experience changed my life. I was amazed how many of these mastery scriptures and associated doctrine were included throughout the missionary lessons as I began preparing to serve a full-time mission to Japan. Brother Palmer was not afraid to invite us to do hard things and to help his students become better learners.
Melvin J. Palmer, who worked as a high school seminary teacher and now serves in The Gila Valley Arizona Temple presidency, was the “most influential teacher” in the life of one of his students, Elder K. Mark Frost, who now serves as an Area Seventy. Photo courtesy of Alan J. Palmer.The Savior Jesus Christ was the Master teacher, and He invites all to follow Him as we teach others (3 Nephi 27:21). The keys to teaching as the Savior taught are to live as the Savior lived and to love as the Savior loved. Do we realize the life-changing influence we can have on others as we teach in the Savior’s way?He consistently created a spiritual environment in his classroom. He prepared himself spiritually, through his own daily prayer and scripture study, and I could feel the Holy Ghost when I attended his class. He encouraged us to come to class with that same Spirit so that “he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together” (Doctrine and Covenants 50:22). He made sure his classes always started and ended with prayer, included the singing of hymns, and encouraged student participation so that each of us could feel the Spirit and become more fully converted.He always emphasized the “why” in his teaching. That approach to teaching provided a strong foundation for me. He taught from the scriptures, and he encouraged us to find answers to our questions in the scriptures. He made learning fun through scripture chases and through doctrinal mastery. He taught us that Jesus Christ is central to God’s plan of happiness and that if we build our foundation upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that the devil shall have no power over us (Helaman 5:12). He also taught us the words of living prophets and reminded us that “whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:38).I was blessed in my growing up years with amazing teachers and mentors but, next to my parents, perhaps none had such an influence on my life as Brother Melvin J. Palmer, my high school seminary teacher. Brother Palmer is an ordinary man with an extraordinary talent for teaching.
Let Us All Press On marks the first full-length album of hymns from The Tabernacle Choir in almost seven years. The album features 14 brand new tracks including beloved hymn classics like “All Creatures of Our God and King” and “More Holiness Give Me.” Contained on the album is also the hymn, “Our Prayer to Thee,” with text written by President Russell M. Nelson. President Nelson wrote the words in 2003, and it was first performed as a hymn in April of that same year at the general conference, where it was matched to a tune by composer Joseph Parry.
The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square have a new album called Let Us All Press On. Album cover provided by Deseret Book.Let Us All Press On is available now on iTunes, Amazon, and DeseretBook.com.“We are grateful for the response to this latest recording by the choir and orchestra,” said Mack Wilberg, music director of The Tabernacle Choir. “We gave the album the subtitle of ‘Hymns of Praise and Inspiration’ and our hope is that the recording’s music can provide the inspiration and uplift that so many are looking for in the world today.”The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and Orchestra at Temple Square announced today that their latest album, Let Us All Press On: Hymns of Praise and Inspiration, took the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Classical Traditional chart, marking the 13th time that an album from “America’s Choir” has earned the top honor.“While being at the top of the Billboard charts is not new for the choir, we are always pleased when the work of these talented performers is well received by the public,” said Choir President Ron Jarrett. “We know that the music of the choir and orchestra can bring peace and healing to those who listen. Our desire is that this Let Us All Press On CD will bring those blessings to all who need them.”
It was just the start of McLoskey’s long and successful musical career, which includes a Ph.D. from Harvard University, music composition studies at the University of Southern California and the Royal Danish Academy of Music, and now a Grammy Award-winning piece for Best Choral Performance in 2018. Conductor Donald Nally of Northwestern Bienen School of Music was a recipient of a Grammy Award for the Best Choral Performance in 2018. Photo courtesy of Lansing McLoskey.“This is ... a statement piece,” said McLoskey, noting that once, he felt so troubled by the political atmosphere of intolerance in the world that he went through an “artistic crisis” where he couldn’t write. And yet while the message in his work might condemn violence and hatred, there are also reverent undertones to it. For instance, during the last four minutes of the piece, while a soloist criticizes extremists, the choir repeatedly sings the mantra “Om.”Although it’s not the type of piece that will likely be performed by The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and is a different kind of oratorio than Handel’s Messiah, Zealot Canticles is still a sacred piece, McLoskey said—largely because the act of composing in and of itself is sacred.“For me, there’s really no distinction, in a way, between secular and sacred music,” he said. “For me, composing and creating is a sacred endeavor.”McLoskey's original composition, Zealot Canticles: An oratorio for tolerance, took nearly seven years to complete and was the recipient of the prestigious Barlow 2015 commission. Based on the works of Nobel Prize-winning writer Wole Soyinka, the libretto of the 20-movement oratorio combines the author’s plays, novels, speeches, interviews, and essays. During the piece, McLoskey said he examined an era when “different races and religions were tolerant and co-existed,” contrary to much of the political atmosphere today.For conductor Donald Nally, the Grammy Award of Best Choral Performance belongs not just to him, but to the many individuals who helped bring the work together.The writing of the piece also required patience and prayer on McLoskey’s part. While he composed, the musician and professor at Miami University said he often fasted and prayed about his work, the majority of which he wrote in his ward’s meetinghouse.“It is truly humbling to have so many artists and friends invest everything into a project that means so much and has a strong message, and then see that it is being heard by many people beyond our local and amazing family,” he said. “This award belongs to our singers, instrumentalists, and the composer.”“I composed probably 80 percent of it in the chapel,” he said. “Our church has a grand piano, and I got the key from the bishop, and I just went and composed in the chapel … at the grand piano to really get peace and not be interrupted.”“Audience members were in tears. But the musicians themselves said that they had to stop because they were so moved that they were crying and couldn’t even continue playing,” he said. “I think it’s really my crowning achievement in my career as a composer.”“When you have a Nobel Prize winner and you have a Grammy winner and they have something really powerful to say about belief, you kind of owe it to yourself to listen,” he said. “Suddenly, you say, ‘Well, hold on, the whole world is giving this guy this giant stamp of approval, it’s not acceptable that we don’t know him, and if we don’t know him, who else don’t we know?” he stated.
Lansing McLoskey and his wife, Kathleen. McLoskey is the composer of the piece, Zealot Canticles: An oratorio for tolerance. Conductor Donald Nally and The Crossing (a professional chamber choir) won a Grammy Award for the Best Choral Performance of McLoskey's piece in 2018. Photo courtesy of Lansing McLoskey.Glen Nelson, co-director of the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts (formerly known as the Mormon Arts Center), noted that while the piece is based on the past, it invites listeners to see how it applies today and encourages them to overcome their differences. And while the sound of the piece might be unfamiliar to many Latter-day Saints, Nelson said that’s the very reason they should listen to it.“I didn’t know this music existed,” he said. “It was what I was looking for my whole life, I just didn’t know it, and I decided immediately, ‘Well, that’s it. I have to be a composer.’”McLoskey isn’t the first Latter-day Saint to have made his mark in the Grammy world. In 1959, The Tabernacle Choir won a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Vocal Group or Chorus. Gladys Knight has won seven Grammy Awards over the course of her musical career, and Harvey Fletcher won a posthumous award in 2016 for his achievements in stereophonic sound. And that’s just the beginning. According to Nelson, though, this is the first time that classical music composers have made such an impact at the Grammys.While this achievement is “the thrill and honor of a lifetime” for McLoskey, it was seeing the reactions of the audience and the musicians that made the biggest impact on him.“I knew you couldn’t end a piece like this in anger,” said McLoskey. “You had to have some sort of sense of introspection and hope, optimism. And in my opinion, there’s no word from any language, any culture, any religion (that) ... encapsulates that sense more than ‘Om.’”Lansing McLoskey had never written anything other than punk music. As a teenager, he had fallen in love with the electric guitar after purchasing one in a flea market for $15. Writing punk music had a very “do it yourself” kind of vibe, and it didn't take long for him to give up piano lessons for the more popular genre. The Crossing, a professional chamber choir, received a Grammy Award for the Best Choral Performance in 2018 for the piece, Zealot Canticles: An oratorio for tolerance. Photo courtesy of Lansing McLoskey.But as a recently returned missionary, McLoskey heard two songs—Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia and Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring—that changed him forever, and suddenly he knew what he wanted to do with his life.Although the iconic Grammy statue technically goes to conductor Donald Nally and The Crossing for the performance, McLoskey has been an integral part of the achievement.
“I love hymn arrangements because they allow you to take something that you probably already know very well and to see it in a new light,” Murphy said.“That definitely permeated our thoughts as we put this together,” Wilberg said. “The subtitle is Hymns of Praise and Inspiration. The other thing I think we wanted to portray in this particular recording is hope and joy. Then of course, as it says, inspiration, along with comfort and solace, affirming what we are all about.”Murphy’s satisfaction comes from hoping it will help listeners appreciate the hymns in a new way.“Membership continually becomes more involved,” Wilberg said, “in some respects requiring more time, effort, and even physical stamina.”Both agreed it’s been a “smooth” transition.“Let’s say it’s a delightful challenge,” Wilberg said.“It’s a thrill,” Murphy said.What is it you wish more people knew, understood, or appreciated about The Tabernacle Choir?“I’ve had people say to me, ‘I had no idea how intense and fast-paced [the choir rehearsals are],’” Murphy said. “Some people think it’s all lollipops and moonbeams. But it’s pretty hard work. … But we don’t want them to know about all the blood, sweat, and tears.”Murphy nodded in agreement.For example, the choir has increased Thursday rehearsals from two hours to two hours and 30 minutes. There are also more opportunities than ever before coming to the choir, Murphy said.The trick to producing a good album—and this is something Murphy says Wilberg does well—is finding the right combination of “unity and contrast,” Murphy said.In the end, both Wilberg and Murphy each expressed gratitude for the privilege of working with The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.What has it been like since the choir changed its name? What reaction have you noticed from people?Nothing less than the best efforts of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and Orchestra at Temple Square recently went into producing their new album, Let Us All Press On: Hymns of Praise and Inspiration.It’s becoming more “involved and intense,” the conductors said.How many songs does The Tabernacle Choir know to perform at any given time?The Tabernacle Choir conductors Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy seemed to like the last question of the interview the most.“We make it look easy. That’s probably a good thing,” Wilberg said with a smile. “I don’t think people realize how much the choir does on so little time together. It’s a tribute to the choir members who come well prepared to do the task at hand. … It has to be that way. Otherwise we don’t accomplish our objective and our mission.”After discussing the new album, both choir conductors opened up about other aspects of life with The Tabernacle Choir.“When it all comes together, there’s nothing quite like it,” Wilberg said.Wilberg admitted he can’t listen to the new CD like a fan because he’s still too close to it. “Perhaps when I’m older and sitting in a rocking chair,” Wilberg said with a grin.“I don’t,” Wilberg said. “They are all like children to me. I always say it’s the one I'm working on at the moment.”“We don’t sit around and say, ‘Wow, isn’t that great? We’ve done this great thing.’ Honestly, I don’t go back and listen to many recordings that we’ve done before, because I’ve moved on,” Wilberg said. “Now, with that said, once in a while I do go back and listen to something, either because of necessity or because of curiosity, and not all the time, but much of the time, I enjoy it much more because there’s time and distance between it.”The new album was one of several topics related to The Tabernacle Choir that Wilberg and Murphy recently discussed in a Deseret News interview. The Tabernacle Choir is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.How is the role of a choir member evolving?At times, people have asked Wilberg what his real job is, as if he only shows up for a few hours a week and programs like Music and the Spoken Word just “magically happen,” he said.When asked if they each had a favorite hymn, the answer was no.
Ryan Murphy stands in front of the Orchestra at Temple Square after a performance. Photo by Debra Gehris, Deseret News Archives.Let Us All Press On, the first album featuring hymns in several years, includes beloved classics such as “More Holiness Give Me,” “All Creatures of Our God and King,” “Hark, All Ye Nations!” “Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah,” and “Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy,” among others.“It has been very smooth, without any problem,” Wilberg said. “I think the ones who may have been most surprised are not members of the Church. They're a little more inquisitive of why it’s happened. But my experience has been as soon as I explain it, they understand.”Wilberg said the choir performs between 300 and 400 pieces a year.“Especially for a compilation of hymns, I think it could be easy for it to all sound alike. This album does not do that,” Murphy said. “What he's so good at doing is finding variety, but you also listen to it and feel like there’s a unity to the whole thing.”How difficult is it to get guest artists to come perform with the choir?The theme and title of the album reflects President Russell M. Nelson’s charge to press forward and help gather Israel, Wilberg said.
The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square have a new album called Let Us All Press On. Album cover provided by Deseret Book.“We don’t take a couple of weeks to learn a piece. We don’t take a couple of hours to learn a piece. We take a couple of minutes to learn a piece,” Wilberg said. “That’s why they go through such a strenuous process to get into the choir.”What personal satisfaction do you feel when an album like Let Us All Press On is released?
The DUP plans to add a second marker to the Fort Palmyra pioneer settlement site in the near future that reads:“Elder George A. Smith called several strong families to travel south of Salt Lake City to settle Palmyra. He counseled them to build a fort for protection to ensure their safety from the local Indians. These stalwart pioneers enclosed a 10-acre square with 10-foot walls. The task of cutting mud blocks, making adobe bricks and building the fort was great. Each family had a small house made with the bricks, which formed the outer walls of the fort; the doors faced the center. Inside, the corral stockade kept the livestock safe. Some families moved into the fort upon completion in 1852. Other families arrived after the Walker War broke out, one year later. The meetinghouse was used for church and school. During the winter of 1853–1854, having been joined by settlers from the Upper Settlement (now known as Spanish Fork), the population at Fort Palmyra numbered 404.At some point the monument and the small parcel (60 by 80 feet) on which it stands was donated to the Church. In the decades that followed, it was not regularly maintained, said Gary Boatright, the historic sites operations manager with the Church History Department.Butler submitted her request to Boatright.This request initiated an extensive multi-year process involving research, meetings, and approvals. Ultimately, the process ended with the Church donating the monument and property to the DUP in January, Boatright said.“A peaceful resolution brought the Walker War to a close in August 1854. Brigham Young counseled the pioneers to move to the Upper Settlement, where there was better farmland. Fort Palmyra was dismantled and the adobe bricks were taken with them to rebuild the buildings they would need to survive. These brave, stalwart pioneer men, women, and children built, then totally dismantled their homes and fort in the space of three years and rebuilt new homes in the second settlement.The DUP and the SUP are great when it comes to celebrating and commemorating local history. Collaboration with these organizations has been a “win-win,” Boatright said.A historic Utah pioneer marker once almost forgotten is receiving attention again thanks to collaboration among the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, the Sons of Utah Pioneers, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.The monument, made of rocks and concrete, is near Spanish Fork and commemorates “Old Palmyra,” a fort built by Latter-day Saint settlers for protection in the early 1850s. The forerunner organizations of the DUP, SUP, and the local stake Mutual Improvement Association erected the marker in 1933 on the southwest corner of where the fort once stood, according to the monument’s plaque.
This marker will be added to the Fort Palmyra pioneer settlement site in the near future. Photo provided by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers.In 2017, Darla Butler, president of the Utah South Center company of the DUP, visited the monument while reviewing all the markers in her area. She found a few spent .22 shell casings on the ground from people taking target practice, but the historic marker was in fair condition otherwise, said Katherine Brimhall, second vice president of the DUP over markers.“They do great things. They have stepped up and preserved many things over the years that would have been lost if they wouldn’t have been there,” Boatright said. “In this specific case, taking care of this monument, they can do that better than us.”“In January 1855, the Territorial Legislature granted Fort Palmyra/Fort St. Luke, a city charter, allowing the government to rename the city ‘Spanish Fork.’ In 1880, many settlers moved back to Palmyra and built a new meetinghouse that served as a church and school.”The DUP is grateful to have stewardship of the monument once again, Brimhall said.Butler said the DUP started placing official markers in 1934 to mark historic landmarks and locations of significant pioneer accomplishments.“Fort Palmyra’s first marker was made the year before, so it doesn’t have an official DUP marker on it. We are placing an additional marker with more information and to honor all the pioneers that settled this area and for all the sacrifices they made to make it a great place for us to live,” Butler wrote in an email to the Deseret News. “We, as Spanish Fork’s Utah South Center Company, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, are proud to get Fort Palmyra an official Daughters of Utah Pioneers marker.”“It was a long process, but we’re delighted to have it,” Brimhall said.Butler and others in the local DUP group expressed interest in cleaning up around the monument and adding more information about the fort’s history, but first they needed permission because the marker and property belonged to the Church, Brimhall said.
“Fort Palmyra’s first marker was made the year before, so it doesn’t have an official DUP marker on it. We are placing an additional marker with more information and to honor all the pioneers that settled this area and for all the sacrifices they made to make it a great place for us to live,” Butler wrote in an email to the Deseret News. “We, as Spanish Fork’s Utah South Center Company, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, are proud to get Fort Palmyra an official Daughters of Utah Pioneers marker.”At some point the monument and the small parcel (60 by 80 feet) on which it stands was donated to the Church. In the decades that followed, it was not regularly maintained, said Gary Boatright, the historic sites operations manager with the Church History Department.“It was a long process, but we’re delighted to have it,” Brimhall said.Butler said the DUP started placing official markers in 1934 to mark historic landmarks and locations of significant pioneer accomplishments.“A peaceful resolution brought the Walker War to a close in August 1854. Brigham Young counseled the pioneers to move to the Upper Settlement, where there was better farmland. Fort Palmyra was dismantled and the adobe bricks were taken with them to rebuild the buildings they would need to survive. These brave, stalwart pioneer men, women, and children built, then totally dismantled their homes and fort in the space of three years and rebuilt new homes in the second settlement.“They do great things. They have stepped up and preserved many things over the years that would have been lost if they wouldn’t have been there,” Boatright said. “In this specific case, taking care of this monument, they can do that better than us.”The DUP and the SUP are great when it comes to celebrating and commemorating local history. Collaboration with these organizations has been a “win-win,” Boatright said.The monument, made of rocks and concrete, is near Spanish Fork and commemorates “Old Palmyra,” a fort built by Latter-day Saint settlers for protection in the early 1850s. The forerunner organizations of the DUP, SUP, and the local stake Mutual Improvement Association erected the marker in 1933 on the southwest corner of where the fort once stood, according to the monument’s plaque.Butler and others in the local DUP group expressed interest in cleaning up around the monument and adding more information about the fort’s history, but first they needed permission because the marker and property belonged to the Church, Brimhall said.“In January 1855, the Territorial Legislature granted Fort Palmyra/For(t) St. Luke, a city charter, allowing the government to rename the city ‘Spanish Fork.’ In 1880, many settlers moved back to Palmyra and built a new meetinghouse that served as a church and a school.”The DUP is grateful to have stewardship of the monument once again, Brimhall said.In 2017, Darla Butler, president of the Utah South Center company of the DUP, visited the monument while reviewing all the markers in her area. She found a few spent .22 shell casings on the ground from people taking target practice, but the historic marker was in fair condition otherwise, said Katherine Brimhall, second vice president of the DUP over markers.
This marker will be added to the Fort Palmyra pioneer settlement site in the near future. Photo provided by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.Butler submitted her request to Boatright.This request initiated an extensive multi-year process involving research, meetings, and approvals. Ultimately, the process ended with the Church donating the monument and property to the DUP in January, Boatright said.“Elder George A. Smith called several strong families to travel south of Salt Lake City to settle Palmyra. He counseled them to build a fort for protection to ensure their safety from the local Indians. These stalwart pioneers enclosed a 10-acre square with 10-foot walls. The task of cutting mud blocks, making adobe bricks and building the fort was great. Each family had a small house made with the bricks, which formed the outer walls of the fort; the doors faced the center. Inside, the corral stockade kept the livestock safe. Some families moved into the fort upon completion in 1852. Other families arrived after the Walker War broke out one year later. The meetinghouse was used for church and school. During the winter of 1853–1854, having been joined by settlers from the Upper Settlement (now known as Spanish Fork), the population at Fort Palmyra numbered 404.A historic Utah pioneer marker once almost forgotten is receiving attention again thanks to collaboration among the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, the Sons of the Utah Pioneers, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.The DUP plans to add a second marker to the Fort Palmyra pioneer settlement site in the near future that reads:
She now looks forward to the dedication of the Abidjan Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) Temple; Church leaders broke ground for the temple on November 8, 2018.Oule Justine, who attended the dedication of the temple in Ghana in 2004 and is considered a pioneer of the Church in West Africa, said the leaders shared a message with love.Sister Bingham, Relief Society General President, and Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, traveled to Ghana, Nigeria, and Côte d’Ivoire, meeting with government leaders, speaking to members and missionaries, visiting the site of the temple in Abidjan, and training Relief Society and Young Women leaders. Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President, takes a cooking lesson from a woman on the street in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, Friday, March 8, 2019.“These people want to be together forever,” said Sister Bingham. “I love the idea that we’re going to have more temples dotted around because it’s very difficult for them to get to the temple where they are now.” Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, makes a home visit to 17-year-old Akpan Prisca, who was recently baptized, in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, Friday, March 8, 2019. Artist rendering of the Abidjan Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) Temple currently under construction. Ground was broken in November 2018.“We’re going away with African eyes,” said Sister Cordon. “We’re going away with new hearts and understanding how we can better live the gospel of Jesus Christ and truly focus our lives on the Savior.”“Today it is very special for us,” explained Khadijah Balie, a local Relief Society leader who joined the Church when she was 14 years old and later served a mission in Durban, South Africa. Young women gather around Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, in Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday, March 5, 2019. Latter-day Saint leaders in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, accompany Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President, on a home visit, Friday, March 8, 2019. Relief Society members in Lagos, Nigeria, gather with Relief Society General President Sister Jean B. Bingham, Wednesday, March 6, 2019.Sister Bingham said it was a privilege to feel the spirit of the Latter-day Saints in the area. “I am so grateful for the testimony that they’ve shared with me. … I think each one of us can learn that despite whatever challenges we have, we can keep that testimony bright in our hearts and live the gospel as the West Africans do.”“It is like the Savior is close to us anytime,” said Matinaise. “We can come here and feel His love.” As the sun goes down, Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, meets with a family on the roof of a building in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, Friday, March 8, 2019.She continued, “It has been a remarkable experience to be here with these dear people. If we can trust like the people in West Africa … and to love more, and to minister more and to open our homes to others like they do, we will continue to see the blessings pour down from heaven.”“It was my prayers to have a temple in Ivory Coast in West Africa,” added Balie. Latter-day Saint girls dressed up to give Sister Jean B. Bingham and Sister Bonnie H. Cordon a surprise greeting at a Church meetinghouse in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, Saturday, March 9, 2019.“It is my first time to meet them, and what they are seeing touched me personally, so I’m very happy,” said local leader Kouin Matinaise.“We’ve met so many wonderful people,” she said. Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, leads a discussion with Young Women leaders in Lagos, Nigeria, Wednesday, March 6, 2019.“What’s so amazing about these people is [that] they trust in God,” said Sister Cordon. “I also love their understanding and their reliance on their families. Family is a big part of the West Africa area.” A Latter-day Saint family meets with Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President, in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, Friday, March 8, 2019. Young women take a picture with Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, Friday, March 8, 2019.Love emanates from West Africa, said Sister Jean B. Bingham after she wrapped up an 11-day tour of West Africa on March 13, according to Newsroom.“Even when they come, we feel the greetings of our prophet,” said Dorothee Assad, a stake Primary president. “We feel also that they love us, as we love them. So, it’s nice to have them here, not also in Ivory Coast but in Africa.” Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President, makes a home visit in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, Friday, March 8, 2019.“We cannot wait for the temple to be completed and to go to the temple here in Abidjan,” said Julie Beugre Bowa, a stake Relief Society president.The women leaders were in West Africa the same weekend members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were participating in the dedication of the Rome Italy Temple.Young Women leader Tah Benin Benedicte said the closest temple is in Accra, about a 10-hour drive from Abidjan.
Sister García is a former ward Relief Society president, ward Primary and Relief Society presidency counselor, Relief Society ministering supervisor, and Sunday School teacher. She was born in Trujillo, Perú, to Antonio Gregorio Moreno Flores and Irma Teofila Castillo Vera.
Jeanette Vergara and Carlos VergaraSister Picard is a seminary teacher and nursery teacher and a former stake and ward Young Women presidency counselor, ward Relief Society presidency counselor, ward Primary president, Sunday School teacher, and family history center director. She was born in Lagny-sur-Marne, France, to François Alain Pratique and Joëlle Marguerite Roux.
Fernando García Carrion and Carol G. Moreno
Maksim Byrdin and Ol’ga ByrdinaPaul Picard, 41, and Elodie Picard, three children, Vienna 4th Ward (English), Vienna Austria Stake: Armenia/Georgia Mission, succeeding President Allen B. Bostrom and Sister Sheri L. Bostrom. Brother García is a former stake president, mission presidency counselor, bishop, and high councilor. He was born in Santiago de Chuco, Perú, to Telmo Roque Garcia Ulloa and Andrea Violeta Carrión Castillo.Armenia/Georgia Mission
Mark R. Alder and Beki B. AlderFernando García Carrion, 49, and Carol G. Moreno de García, three children, Los Postes Ward, Lima Perú Canto Grande Stake: Perú Cusco Mission, succeeding President Henry Herrera Linares and Sister Alicia Cordova de Herrera. Brother Becerra is a former stake president, bishop, bishopric counselor, and ward financial clerk. He was born in Cochabamba, Bolivia, to Jorge Eduardo Becerra and Lily Gaby Jorget Oroza.Brazil Santa Maria MissionPerú Cusco MissionSister Meza is a former stake Primary presidency counselor, ward Primary president, ward Relief Society and Young Women presidency counselor, seminary teacher, and stake and ward music chair. She was born in Distrito Federal, México, to Jorge Alejandro Ramos Rivera and Maria del Rosario Fernandez de Ramos.
Paul Picard and Elodie PicardJorge M. Becerra Oroza, 52, and Maria R. Da Silva de Becerra, five children, Los Mangales Ward, Santa Cruz Bolivia Equipetrol Stake: Brazil Santa Maria Mission, succeeding President Marcelo Louza and Sister Andrea Philippelli Louza.Brother Byrdin is a former mission presidency counselor, branch president, bishopric counselor, and high priest group leader. He was born in Moscow, Russia, to Oleg Evgenievich Byrdin and Tatiana Alexandrovna Pankova Byrdina.Sister Byrdina is a former ward Young Women presidency counselor, Relief Society teacher, Sunday School teacher, and seminary and institute teacher. She was born in Moscow, Russia, to Vladislav Ivanovich Pomoshnikov and Antonina Ivanovna Chertova Pomodhnikova.Elder Alder is a former stake presidency counselor, stake and ward Young Men president, bishop, high councilor, elders quorum president, and missionary in the California San Diego Mission. He was born in Salt Lake City to Lawrence Wesley Alder and Carolyn Ranck Alder.Maksim Byrdin, 47, and Ol’ga Byrdina, five children, Stavropol Group, Moscow Russia Stake: Russia Yekaterinburg Mission, succeeding President Ray M. Beck and Sister Julie B. Beck. Philippines Antipolo Mission (newly created)Sister Alder is a former ward Relief Society meeting committee member, Primary teacher, and temple ordinance worker. She was born in San Antonio, Texas, to Barry H Bright and Donna Bright Linford.Brother Meza is a current elders quorum secretary and former stake president, stake presidency counselor, mission presidency counselor, bishopric counselor, stake Young Men president, high councilor, and missionary in the México Veracruz Mission. He was born in Guadalupe, Nuevo León, México, to Edmundo Meza Ceniceros and Maria Adelina de la Cruz Rosales.Chile Rancagua MissionArgentina Córdoba MissionMéxico Saltillo MissionSister Becerra is a former stake and ward Relief Society president, Sunday School teacher, and seminary teacher. She was born in Curitibanos, Santa Catarina, Brazil, to Gentil Alves Barbosa and Maria Da Silva de Barbosa.
Maria R. Da Silva de Becerra and Jorge M.
Scott D. Hintze and Janice B. Hintze
Alan Edmundo Meza de la Cruz and Abish
Ramos de Meza
Mari-Lynn Johnston and B. Bradley WilsonCopenhagen Denmark TempleHans Hjarup Andersen, 65, Frederiksberg Ward, Copenhagen Denmark Stake, called as president of the Copenhagen Denmark Temple, succeeding President R. Ingvar Olsson. President Andersen’s wife, Lis Dan Engmann Andersen, will serve as temple matron, succeeding Sister Barbro A. K. Olsson. He is a patriarch, temple ordinance worker, and sealer, and a former bishop and high priests group leader. A self-employed marketing director, he was born in København, Denmark, to Poul Børge and Kirsten Andersen.
Patricia Ann Fabry and G. Kem NixonVictorino Agsaulio Babida, 66, Parañaque 3rd Ward, Parañaque Philippines Stake, called as president of the Manila Philippines Temple, succeeding President Carlos C. Revillo. President Babida’s wife, Flocerfida Magtibay Magbujos Babida, will serve as temple matron, succeeding Sister Amparo R. Revillo. He is an Area Seventy, a former stake president, bishop, and mission presidency counselor. President of FAMO Training and Assessment Center, he was born in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, to Enrique Bose and Presentación Ebreo Agsaulio Babida. Leslie Niven and Milan Foster Kunz
Lis Dan Engmann and Hans Hjarup Andersen
Tamara Fay Crockett and David Ray BrownCharles Patrick McFarlane, 67, Evergreen Ward, Spokane Washington Stake, called as president of the Spokane Washington Temple, succeeding President Steven L. Bates. President McFarlane’s wife, Corla Howard McFarlane, will serve as temple matron, succeeding Sister Julie Bates. He is a temple ordinance worker and sealer, and a former stake president, bishop, and high councilor. Retired president of a concrete and asphalt company, he was born in Black’s Harbour, New Brunswick, Canada, to James Joseph McFarlane and Marie Suzanne Lanteigne.Manila Philippines TempleSister Risenmay is a Young Women advisor and Sunday School teacher, and a former mission president’s companion, ward Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary presidency counselor. She was born in Roosevelt, Utah, to Garn Lamar and Barbara Gilbert.Sister Babida is a temple ordinance worker and a former stake Young Women president, ward Young Women and Primary president, and ward Relief Society presidency counselor. She was born in San Juan, Batangas, Philippines, to Primitivio Adan Magbujos and Leoncia Extra Magtibay Magbujos.E. Bradley Wilson, 66, Medicine Lake Ward, Anoka Minnesota Stake, called as president of the St. Paul Minnesota Temple, succeeding President Nathaniel R. Payne. President Wilson’s wife, Mari-Lynn Johnston Wilson, will serve as temple matron, succeeding Sister Shauna M. Payne. He is an area Public Affairs missionary and temple ordinance worker, and a former Virginia Richmond Mission president, stake presidency counselor, and bishop. Retired partner of Grant Thornton LLP, he was born in Salt Lake City to Paul Williams and Helen June Jackson Wilson.St. Paul Minnesota TempleSister Nixon is an assistant to the matron of the Manhattan New York Temple and a former stake and ward Young Women president, and ward Relief Society and Primary president. She was born in Salt Lake City to Charles Frank and Willadene Ann Reid Fabry.
Brad Kaye and Elaine Gilbert RisenmaySister Wilson is an area Public Affairs missionary and temple ordinance worker, and a former mission president’s companion, stake Young Women and Primary presidency counselor, ward Young Women presidency counselor, and institute teacher. She was born in Salt Lake City to David Leon and Marian Marretta De Witt Johnston.Sister Kunz is a Sunday School teacher and temple ordinance worker, and a former mission president’s companion, and ward Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary president. She was born in Van Nuys, California, to Joseph Errol and Lois Arlene Niven.Philadelphia Pennsylvania TempleSister Andersen is a Primary teacher and a former stake Primary president, stake Young Women presidency counselor, ward Relief Society president, ward Primary presidency counselor, and temple ordinance worker. She was born in København, Denmark, to Bjarne Bendix Engmann and Jonna Dan Folkmann.Spokane Washington TempleManhattan New York Temple
Flocerfida Magtibay Magbujos and Victorino
Because of that “it is great to be a woman in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”The greatest hero of women is the Savior Jesus Christ, said Sister Wendy Nelson during an interview with an Italian newspaper correspondent on March 11.Sister Nelson said secularization, addiction, and pornography are hurting the family. But Church doctrine teaches members to follow the law of chastity, avoid addictions, to stay close to their family, and to reach out and support those in the community.Mastrolilli then asked Sister Oaks what the Church teaches children.As a result, each week the Church gathers the children together and “we teach them music, we teach them how to pray, we teach them how to love each other. It’s a wonderful thing. ...Children also have the opportunity to speak publicly in the Church from the time they are small. “It makes a very dramatic difference, because if you say it from the time you are little, then it comes to your heart. It’s not only just in your head,” she said.Children need tools, she said. “They need to be educated, they need to be cared for, they need to be put in safe environments.”Latter-day Saint couples teach that respect to their children.“In our Church, all people are equal,” she said. “We come to [the temple], and we make equal promises to God.”Responding to a question about the role of parents and families, Sister Nelson said for 30 years she worked as a marriage and family therapist to help families that were struggling. Church doctrine, she said, teaches that every person on earth is a first-generation son or daughter of heavenly parents. A nation, she continued, is only as strong as its families. “If we have really bad families, we have a really bad nation,” she said. “The strength of a mother and a father in the home to help raise children is fundamental.”Sister Oaks, a former Primary president, told Mastrolilli, “We teach them to love, we teach them that their families are forever, that they will come to [the temple] to learn of God, and they will make promises to God, and that they will receive blessings.”Sister Oaks said, “I know that I can stand by my husband as a woman that he respects and loves.”“We teach them about everything that is important to us—about chastity, about education, about family—and we teach them from music.”ROMEChildren should be taught “that they don’t ever have to be afraid because when they pray to Heavenly Father, He hears and He answers and He is there for us.”Pointing to a painting of the Savior hanging in the temple lobby, Sister Oaks said the Church teaches children about Jesus Christ—“how we would act, how we would live, how we would love.”In response to a question about the roles and responsibilities of women in the Church, Sister Nelson told Mastrolilli that women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints actually do much that women pastors in other religious organizations do. “We teach doctrine to men and women; we pray from the pulpit; we lead organizations for women, youth, and children; we serve as missionaries,” said Sister Nelson.“That’s where we start with family is to say, God is our Father.”The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gives its members a great sense of meaning, said Sister Nelson. Church members do not say, “Why am I here? They know why they are here. They are here to receive a body. They are here to go through trials, a time of probation. They are here to help other people.”The interview in the lobby of the Church’s new Rome Italy Temple followed an interview with President Nelson, President Oaks, and President Henry B. Eyring.Pointing out that both she and Sister Nelson hold doctorate degrees, Sister Oaks spoke of the importance of education for Latter-day Saint women. Quoting Brigham Young, she emphasized that women need an education so they can teach the children.Sister Nelson, the wife of President Russell M. Nelson, and Sister Kristen M. Oaks, the wife of President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency, met with Paolo Mastrolilli, the New York correspondent for the national Italian newspaper La Stampa.
Audio recordings of scripture translations for the Church used to be done in a professional studio. Now new technologies allow voice talents for the Church to record audio of scripture translations at home before sending them in for approval. The simplified process has helped the scriptures committee move forward with recording an increasing number of languages.Much of our work is about helping individuals and families to simplify their lives, said Rob Jex, scriptures product manager over the Gospel Library app. “This is where our jobs become most meaningful.”Another major change, regarding the production of scripture audio recordings, began in 2014.Simplifying print products and processes The introduction of a new digital press in 2013 has allowed translated editions in different languages to be more efficiently printed, even at lower quantities.This simplification “has been an effort of looking at everything in our processes from beginning to end and asking, ‘Where can we improve, and what would save either time or resources?’” said Brent Meisinger, a product manager in the Church’s scripture division. “Many people, from managers and linguists, to skilled producers, designers, typesetters, and press professionals help to inform all the improvements that are being made.”“Just a few short years ago, I never imagined that I would be using a digital device to study the scriptures,” Sister Craig said. “Using the Gospel Library app, with its unlimited margins, has allowed me to capture thoughts and impressions that otherwise might have been lost.“The leaders of the Church are setting an example in simplifying the work to help extend and increase the blessings of the Lord to individuals and families around the world,” explained Sister Michelle D. Craig, Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency and a member of the scriptures committee. “We can feel the Lord hastening His work to gather Israel. And with this hastening comes the joyful imperative to simplify and focus,” she said.“One of the purposes for this reduction is a movement towards more equity across languages,” said Kelly Gibson, one of the Church’s scriptures product managers. “Most languages have three or four options for their printed scriptures.”Steady improvements to websites, mobile applications, scripture products, curriculum and other materials produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been made in recent years as the Church has engaged in a conscious effort to simplify and improve its offerings to members, allowing them to focus on the core purposes of the gospel in their personal and family study.Use of the Church’s Gospel Library app, which was first released as a scriptures app in January 2010, has continually increased over the years. The capabilities and functionality have improved, allowing for personalized, home-centered Gospel study experiences.“The app has helped me study gospel topics more deeply and to organize my thoughts and other study materials in a way that makes sense to me,” Sister Craig said.Other changes have been made in recent years to help save time and resources in the printing of various styles of scriptures. The process for putting thumb tabs to mark the various books of scripture was recently revised to semi-automate an old manual process. Additionally, the introduction of a new digital press in 2013 has allowed translated editions in different languages to be more efficiently printed, even at lower quantities.
Starting December 15, the Church will reduce the number of styles offered for the aesthetic bindings of the scriptures. The effort to simplify and reduce printing and production costs of scriptures allows the Church to produce translated scripture materials in more languages.The styles being reduced include compact-sizes across all languages in which they are available, snap-closure covers, and both brown and burgundy color options. (Military pocket-size products will remain available.)Previously, all audio recordings of the scriptures were done in professional studios with language coaches, script monitors, and sound engineers and producers. But a more efficient process has been introduced where voice talents are provided with a high-quality microphone and online recording program to produce recordings of a quality respectful of the scriptures. With the new system in place, the committee is moving forward with recording an increasing number of languages.Changes continue to be made as part of an ongoing process, Meisinger explained. “We’re still looking at products, processes, and policies to see where else we can introduce efficiencies,” he said. “In every area, small changes can make a big difference. And with the help of the Lord, we will be able to find solutions we previously never thought possible nor imagined. His guidance is the most crucial aspect of this work.”New technologies, new options The Gospel Library app's improved capabilities and functionality help members around the world enjoy more personalized, home-centered Gospel study experiences. Starting December 15, the Church will reduce the number of styles offered for the aesthetic bindings of the scriptures.As has been done in previous years, starting December 15, the Church will reduce the number of styles offered for the aesthetic bindings of the scriptures. Fourteen styles will be reduced in the English translations, which will also result in reducing six of the same styles in Spanish, and one style in Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean.
The Music and the Spoken Word broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160 AM/102.7 FM, ksl.com, KSL X-stream, BYU-TV, BYU Radio, BYU-TV International, CBS Radio Network, Dish Network, DirecTV, SiriusXM Radio (Channel 143), and on the Tabernacle Choir’s website and YouTube channel.While we may retire from a career, we need never retire from being kind and gracious, from being a good friend and good neighbor, from reaching out in love and compassion to others. Like a majestic piece of music that swells, not fades, to its conclusion, life can be most rewarding when it is lived in crescendo.The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at musicandthespokenword.org.That’s an example of what's been called living “life in crescendo”—a music term that means to grow or increase (see “The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life's Most Difficult Problems,” by Stephen R. Covey).It’s natural to think at a certain point in our lives that we’re done learning and contributing. Maybe we’ve given all that we have to a job, a cause, a responsibility, and we feel that we can now relax and coast to the finish line. While a period of rest may be well deserved, we will always need a sense of purpose and meaning, something to work on, something to look forward to, something to contribute to, something to learn. No matter our age, we all can find meaningful things to do with our lives.When the 2018 Nobel Prizes were awarded, an international trio of laser scientists shared the award in physics. Among them was 96-year-old Arthur Ashkin, believed to be the oldest person to ever receive a Nobel Prize. One might think that at his age, this achievement would be the ideal conclusion to a long career, a final exclamation point on a life of hard work. Ashkin doesn't seem to think so.Tuning inOne man volunteers his time conducting a choir at a state prison. A lawyer serves breakfast at a homeless shelter every Saturday morning. A woman found that she has a passion for studying rocks, learning everything she can about them and sharing what she learns with others. A retired couple spends their time researching their family history. And another retiree volunteers each week to help children learn to read. All these have found that wherever we are in life, there are opportunities for improvement and progression.Editor’s note: The “spoken word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. The following was given March 17, 2019.The Wall Street Journal reported that he “told Nobel officials that he might not be available for interviews about the award because he is very busy working on his next scientific paper” (see “Trio of Laser Pioneers Share Physics Nobel Prize,” by Robert Lee Hotz and Joanna Sugden, Wall Street Journal, October 3, 2018, page A3).
So, amidst the frustrations of her freshman year, she prayed for clarity and direction. “One day I was out running and I felt an impression that I needed to go on a mission.” BYU athlete Erica Birk-Jarvis confers with her coach, Diljeet Taylor, during a recent indoor track meet. Photo courtesy of Erica Birk-Jarvis.Having a child while competing in college athletics, she said, would not “have been my plan in a million years. But I know that God has an individual plan for all of us. My testimony of that has been strengthened through this experience.”“Being a mother has given me more of an eternal perspective, which helps with racing. I know I’m sacrificing time away from my son, so I don’t want to just go to a race and hope I do well. … My performances are more meaningful to me.”But running was still a joy, even though it took her a full year to get back to top physical condition. She returned to the Cougar cross-country and track and field teams and soon began claiming All-America honors.She experienced a mixture of emotions. She worried her athletic goals would never be fully realized. She didn’t know how a pregnancy would affect her post-delivery performance.Then, with about 1,000 meters to go, she heard a cry from some of her teammates and friends: “Do it for Jack!”“But I did notice I had a different attitude, and I started to separate [from my rival],” she said. “I felt like I had this extra strength because I was doing it for Jack and not just for myself anymore.”“That girl was running right behind me the entire race,” remembered the returned missionary and All-American distance runner.Tyler and Erica named him Jack.“It was sort of scary. We were not planning on having a baby at that time,” she said.A few moments after hearing the “Do it for Jack!” cries, Birk-Jarvis broke the finish-line tape, becoming Brigham Young University’s first WCC women’s cross-country champion.Full-time missionary service offers countless opportunities for personal growth and development. But it likely won’t shave much time off of, say, your personal best in the mile. But Birk-Jarvis focused her attention on serving others and forgot about trying to maintain top distance-running fitness.And as a bonus, missionary work ended up actually making her a better college athlete. “Being a missionary taught me a lot about dedication and hard work and keeping a positive attitude.”The university also has been supportive, arranging for babysitters during practices. Meanwhile, her Cougar teammates have become doting “aunts” to little Jack. “They are all so nice to him, and they love him,” she said.Birk-Jarvis would later set state high school records in cross-country and in several track events at Utah’s North Summit High School before being offered a spot on BYU’s respected cross-country and track and field teams.Her athletic comeback was difficult. “It was so hard. I didn’t run at all during the last six months of my mission, so I was really starting from the bottom.”She couldn’t seem to shake one of her competitors, who never seemed more than a shadow’s length away.After the delivery, Birk-Jarvis began walking every day. At eight weeks, her walks turned into runs. She discovered her competitive streak remained strong. But she approached her running goals with newfound maturity.The moment was right to take a break from running and dedicate herself completely to sharing the gospel. She accepted a call to the Ohio Cleveland Mission.Erica Birk-Jarvis may have been leading the pack of runners during the final third of last year’s West Coast Conference women’s cross-country championship race, but it wasn’t easy.Her trust in God has also deepened.When you’re a mom, there are many things no longer done “just for myself.” Besides being one of the country’s top college distance runners, Birk-Jarvis also has a toddler son—Jack.“Plus, it could get so cold in Ohio,” she said, laughing, “I didn’t want to ask my companions to go out and run with me. So I just did what I could each day. I didn’t worry much about athletics.”And for the first time in her young athletic career, she was waylaid by serious injuries that often kept her from competing.BYU associate head coach Diljeet Taylor said Birk-Jarvis has returned to competition “blessed with more talent than what she left with. … Her confidence is at an all-time high. It’s driven by how motivated she is. She understands that the sacrifices she makes are different from others because she has Jack at home.”“I thought I was done with running for sure. … But it also felt so good. I was so excited about having a baby.”“I have loved running since I was a little girl,” she told the Church News. “My mom would take me and my siblings on runs, and we would ride our bikes alongside her.”She continued to train hard through the first seven months of her pregnancy. A healthy boy arrived two days after Christmas, changing the Birk-Jarvis’s lives forever.But transitioning from high school to college athletics proved difficult. Everyone she lined up against at both intercollegiate meets and team trainings was also a top-flight runner. “I went from being the best to basically being nothing,” she said.The Utah-born Birk-Jarvis inherited good running genes. Her mother, Nicole Wardrop, ran for BYU in the late 1980s.Mothers everywhere can likely relate to that Birk-Jarvis “kick-it-in-gear” moment.Then, in the middle of the 2017 competition season, Birk-Jarvis found out she was going to be a mother.Being a collegiate athlete and a mother makes the lifelong Latter-day Saint something of an outlier. And she admits her sojourn to the top of college distance running—she claimed a pair of All-America honors at the recent NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships—did not follow a traditional route.Baby Jack is a regular at his mother’s races, attending all of BYU’s home races and several of the away meets.Birk-Jarvis is quick to add that she’s never alone. “My husband has been so much help, and I always know Jack is with family.”Like many Latter-day Saint mothers, Birk-Jarvis prayerfully seeks balance in her busy life. She is a Division 1 athlete, a full-time student, a wife, and a parent. But despite her crazy schedule, she agrees with her coach that being a mom makes her a better athlete.After returning home in 2015, she laced on her running shoes and once again began training seriously for Division 1 athletics. She also began dating and then married Tyler Jarvis, a fellow former missionary in Ohio.As she labored in Ohio, she discovered that hardships and rejections need not be defining nor final. “And you also experience so much failure in running, but you have to keep racing and not give up.”
Tyler and Erica Birk-Jarvis smile with their young son, Jack. Photo courtesy of Erica Birk-Jarvis.Missionary service affected her in ways far beyond distance running. It was a period of lasting personal growth. “I was so shy before my mission. It was so good for me to learn how to talk and how to relate to people.”Birk-Jarvis didn’t accelerate to a world-record setting pace. Her weary legs didn’t become a blur like the Roadrunner in the cartoons.“I get to come home to a cute little baby who loves me. It brings me so much joy and puts everything into perspective. … I would not be the same runner without Jack.”
But she doesn’t limit her teaching just to ward members. Sister Goaslind also accompanies a community choir and has been playing at rest homes for as long as Fleckenstein can remember.“[She always played with] no music. ... She would take three songs and put them together in a beautiful arrangement, and I was really impressed by her. … She doesn’t just play what’s written; she does her own thing,” Esplin said.Though Goaslind admits she doesn’t know how much longer she’ll be able to teach and that her body is slowing down, she is just as passionate about music as she was the day she started.Christine Fleckenstein, Goaslind’s daughter, added that many people believe the organ is a dying art, but since her mother has started teaching organ lessons, several families in their ward have bought one for their homes.“Mothers and fathers now play the piano and the organ. … That’s a huge impact, not just on the kids,” Fleckenstein said. “Our old bishop and his wife played for the [ward] choir, … and his wife played the organ for sacrament meeting.” Fleckenstein added that now they both play organ and piano duets at Goaslind’s semiannual recitals.“This is my mission. This is my payback time. ... [If I weren’t teaching], I’d be sitting watching TV and drooling into my bed, wondering why I was here,” Goaslind joked.
Gay Goaslind smiles at her 90th birthday party on January 14, 2019. She doesn’t have a driver’s license and frequently takes a bus to teach her students. Photo courtesy of Christine Fleckenstein.“[I do this so] they can serve on their missions or so that they can serve in the Church,” Goaslind said.Goaslind’s influence has clearly spread to her entire community, considering nearly 100 friends, family, and Church members attended her 90th birthday party this past January.For Goaslind, her purpose is all about maximizing her students’ and their parents’ ability to serve in any capacity.Gay Goaslind’s musical career began at the age of 5, when she attended a conservatory of music throughout grade school in Bell, California. She played her first public concert when she was 14 and has continued to publicly perform for over 70 years. Throughout her career, she has taught at high schools and colleges in the Bay Area, including working as a choir accompanist and putting on musicals every semester.“She’s got almost all of her students’ parents taking organ lessons, partly because you don’t really tell her no,” Ciana Esplin joked. “She doesn’t limit herself. … It makes me think, ‘What am I going to be doing at 90 years old that I’m so passionate about and love so much?’”One of those 58 students is Ciana Esplin’s son, Jacob.In fact, Goaslind loves the organ so much that within the last three years she hasn’t just been requiring her students to learn the organ, but their parents too. Gay Goaslind poses with her students and their parents at one of their semiannual piano and organ performances. Photo courtesy of Christine Fleckenstein.“I looked over at Sister Goaslind, and I said, ‘I think it’s your turn now,’ and she said, ‘Oh, no, you got this!’” he said. “It went all right. … I hit a few wrong notes, but it was terrifying.”But Goaslind’s musical expertise isn’t just limited to piano. She started playing the organ when she was 18, after being trained by a University of Utah music professor. She was also an organist in the Oakland California Temple for eight years. Gay Goaslind’s students say she encourages them to practice and develop their talents. Photo courtesy of Christine Fleckenstein.“She expects a lot,” 17-year-old Jacob Esplin told the Church News. “If you don’t practice enough, she’ll just look at you and shake her head.”Goaslind officially moved into her Stockton, California, neighborhood about six years ago and has since accumulated 58 students, whom she teaches Monday through Friday at her Brookside Ward building in the Stockton stake—all for free.“[One time] I walked into sacrament meeting, I looked up, and saw a [young man playing] the prelude. … You wouldn’t even know it was a 9-year-old playing,” Fleckenstein said.Ciana Esplin explained that since she has taken organ lessons, she feels more confident in her ability to play, and if called to be the ward organist, she would feel comfortable growing into that role.Fleckenstein said that this is nothing new; her mother has been encouraging young students to perform in Church meetings for years.Esplin first met Goaslind in her Linden, California, ward, where Goaslind would come play musical numbers for her grandsons’ missionary farewells.“I get up in the morning, walk a half a mile, and take two buses to get [to the church], and walk another half mile [back]. As long as I can keep doing that, I’ll do it,” Goaslind said. Gay Goaslind poses for a picture at her 90th birthday party on January 14, 2019. Photo courtesy of Christine Fleckenstein.Jacob Esplin remembered one instance where he was playing organ prelude music at stake conference, and all of a sudden the stake president said they were going to start singing a prelude hymn.Despite this daily trek, Goaslind finds it completely worth it. “It’s such a pleasure. It’s such a privilege for me to be able to do that.”“Music is keeping me alive.”But it’s no surprise that Goaslind expects a lot—she hasn’t held a driver’s license for years and makes personal sacrifices to get to her lessons.“Even though she worked an eight-hour day job and taught, she made time to play for assisted-living homes,” Fleckenstein said. “It’s been a huge blessing [to our family].”“It was fantastic!” Goaslind said. “It was the party of all parties.” Gay Goaslind sits by her students at one of their semiannual performances. She teaches both piano and organ to her students. Photo courtesy of Christine Fleckenstein.According to Ciana Esplin, anyone who can make Primary songs sound amazing is incredibly talented. Esplin isn’t referring to herself but to her family’s 90-year-old piano teacher, Gay Goaslind, whose mastery of Primary hymns is just one of countless accomplishments achieved throughout her 72-year—and counting—musical career.Goaslind finds joy in teaching her young students to play an instrument that is usually thought to be played exclusively by elderly people. That is why she’s not afraid to push them out of their comfort zones and let them shine.
Prophetic invitations always have promised blessings, he said.Following the prophets of God is directly connected to receiving Heavenly Father’s blessings, said Elder Bennett.“As you come unto Christ and place Him at the very center of your life, He will bless you with every essential thing you need,” he said. “Don’t let the world’s distractions displace or replace the Savior’s place in your heart or in your life.”4. Learn how to hear and follow the whisperings of the Holy Ghost.“These prophetic promises apply to each and every one of you. All you have to do is exercise faith and take the necessary small and simple steps to receive the blessings promised to you personally by the Lord’s prophet. … As you watch the next general conference sessions, listen for apostolic invitations and their associated promised blessings.”“Now, you may not come from perfect circumstances either, but I promise that if you will act with faith in your Heavenly Father and His plan, and in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, and follow God’s prophets, I promise that you will be given power to do whatever the Lord needs you to do, and become whatever He needs you to become in spite of your circumstances,” he said.“The world would have you believe that prophetic invitations are not important and will not make any difference in your life,” he said. “However, I promise that … ‘by small and simple things are great things brought to pass’ in our lives.”2. Learn “all you can” about Jesus Christ and follow Him.“Where can the spirit be present?” Elder Bennett asked. “At your desk, in your room, in your apartment, at a park, a class, even during an exam, and, of course, at church and in the temple. The Spirit can be present at any appropriate place where you and those you are with earnestly seek to invite His influence.“She persisted night after night, but her father would simply sit like a statue while she kissed him on the cheek and said, ‘I love you, Dad,’” said Elder Randall K. Bennett of the Seventy, and now husband to Shelley, during a campus devotional at Brigham Young University on March 19.1. An individual must ask Heavenly Father how He feels about him or her and what their mission is on earth, and then follow those impressions with exactness.“Will you kiss your father on the cheek every night and tell him that you love him—for one full year?” the Apostle asked.“President (Russell M.) Nelson has extended numerous prophetic invitations with significant promised blessings,” he said. “Acting on those invitations will draw you closer to your Heavenly Father and your Savior.”As a 15-year-old girl attending youth conference, Shelley Watchman unexpectantly met an Apostle. When she met the Apostle—who did not know Shelley or her family situation—he invited her to do something surprising:She continued the nightly ritual for an entire year and then, because she enjoyed expressing love to her father, she decided to continue.“During my years in university, I remember vividly the stress of study, work, finances, papers, reports, finding better work, midterms, finals, a thesis, etc. At times it felt overwhelming. But daily prayer and scripture study powerfully magnified my ability to do all that was required. These invitations are simple, and the promises are great, but remember ‘by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.’”The young woman agreed, even though silently she thought it would be an impossible task. The Apostle didn’t know that her father was a wonderful but very, very reserved man who was not a member of the Church. The obedient youth did what the Apostle asked her to do, despite the initial unfavorable response from her father. Elder Randall K. Bennett speaks during a campus devotional at Brigham Young University on March 19, 2019. Photo by Gabriel Mayberry, BYU.5. Prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day.Although it was a small task, Shelley’s obedience to the Apostle’s invitation made it possible for her to hear her father tell her that he loved her—something she deeply desired—and it also softened her father's heart.6. Serve your ancestors and others in the temple.Echoing the words of President Nelson, Elder Bennett promised students that they will receive answers as they sincerely and persistently do the spiritual work needed to hear the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. To do what the Lord needs a person to do, he or she must have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.3. Spend more time where the Spirit is present.“The Lord will more than match your efforts; He will magnify your remaining time if you will generously commit time to communicating with Him, studying His truths, and assisting in His work.”Elder Bennett also shared video clips of six invitations from the teachings of President Nelson speaking to young adults. Each clip shared an invitation and promised blessings as a person is obedient to that invitation.“Your contribution to the world will be profound if you will always be found following God’s prophets,” he said. “In addition to reminding you of who you are, President Nelson continually invites you and I to become better, and he always promises blessings that will follow as we accept the Lord’s invitations through Him.”Reminding listeners of the opportunity that comes each general conference, Elder Bennett invited listeners to prepare for and tune in to every session of the upcoming conference.“Eventually, one night she heard her father whisper, ‘I love you, too,’” Elder Bennett said. “The next night he kissed her on the cheek as well. A few days later, her beloved father suddenly passed away from a heart attack.”Miracles come as individuals spend time in the temple, the leader taught. “Being outward and other-focused instead of inward and self-focused will bring great blessings and incredible joy as you serve others.”
3. From the Donations menu at the left of the screen, choose Settings. Set up your bank account for electronic reimbursementsBy the end of March, ward clerks in the United States can make reimbursements via an electronic funds transfer directly to a member’s specified bank account, according to a May 15 notification.4. Scroll down to the Expense Reimbursement Account box and select Add Reimbursement Account.The new online process makes it easier and faster for ward clerks to process reimbursements, especially since they don’t have to send checks that members then have to cash.5. Add your preferred bank account type, routing number, and account number.2. Go to ChurchofJesusChrist.org/donations.1. Sign in to your account on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.5. Authorize the change and click Save.The Church is making it easier for members to get reimbursed for calling-related expenses like snacks purchased for Nursery children or Mutual activities.
“One great guy from Kansas City recognized me and approached me,” he said. “He was a former college baseball player, so he came over one day and played catch and had a lesson with the elders. He’s become a friend.”March of 2019 has been “completely different” for the 39-year-old who once started Game 7 of a World Series. President Jeremy Guthrie enjoys conversing with sister missionaries from the Texas Houston South Mission. The mission president spent 15 years playing professional baseball. Photo courtesy of President Jeremy Guthrie.“One of the biggest differences between being a mission president and a baseball player is that as a ballplayer, you are accustomed to days off and off-seasons,” he said. “But in the work of the Lord—missionary work in particular—there are no off days. The work never slows down.”For 15 seasons as a professional baseball player, President Guthrie would count down the final days of March leading up to Opening Day—the start of a new season, with all its possibilities.For pitchers such as President Guthrie, the days and weeks of March leading up to Opening Day are often defined by pressure.“Companionships often develop friendships that last forever because they spend so much time together, just like teammates in baseball,” he said.Spring training also offered the returned missionary unforgettable moments reconnecting with teammates, playing a few rounds of golf, and enjoying warm Florida or Arizona evenings with family and friends.“Spring training games would start around the beginning of March,” he told the Church News. “That was always an exciting time because you were able to get out, get to work, make sure all the moving parts are still functioning properly, and get ready for the season by competing against the other players.”
President Jeremy Guthrie and Sister Jenny Guthrie with Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Sister Harriet Uchtdorf at the 2018 Conference for New Mission Presidents and their Wives in Provo, Utah. Photo courtesy of President Jeremy Guthrie.“My wife joins me for all the conferences and trainings in the daytime, but she is home for the children when they get back from school.”For the Guthries, finding time together is tough in the mission field. Their three school-aged children are busy with their respective activities, and Sister Guthrie is usually the parent getting them to school and to other functions. Working with 140 full-time missionaries requires much of President Guthrie’s time.“But I embraced the challenge of trying to do my best during that short window of time. You have about four weeks to audition—and sometimes even less—to show a team what you are capable of and to earn an opportunity to pitch in the Major Leagues.”“I’ve been humbled to a degree that I have never been in my entire life. ... I certainly feel even more simple and more weak than when I was called.”Baseball great Joe DiMaggio once said he relishes his sport’s Opening Day “like a birthday party when you’re a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen.”Whenever he and his wife and missionary companion, Sister Jenny Guthrie, witness the missionaries working together, they are reminded of the camaraderie found in a well-oiled baseball team.“The missionaries come out with so much faith and so much hope to bless and serve others,” he said. “It really speaks to this generation of young men and women who are willing to give up so much to come out and serve.”Few full-time missionaries were once big-league ballplayers. But President Guthrie agrees that every elder and sister in his stewardship left behind opportunities and loved ones to serve the Lord. They are making precious sacrifices.Pitcher Guthrie’s March days were busy with training sessions, preseason games, and workouts with coaches and catchers. Now President Guthrie’s March calendar is filled with zone conferences, trainings, interviews, welcoming new missionaries, bidding farewell to departing sisters and elders, and coordinating with Houston-area priesthood leaders.“Nope,” he said, laughing, “my arm is as close to dead as it could be.”Texas Houston South Mission president Jeremy Guthrie knows exactly what “Joltin’ Joe” is talking about.
Jeremy and Jenny Guthrie serve as mission presidents in the Houston Texas South Mission.Houston, of course, is a Major League city, with the Astros playing at downtown Minute Maid Park. There’s plenty of buzz across “Space City” about the 2019 baseball season. President Guthrie is still a few weeks shy of his 40th birthday. He looks fit enough to step out of the bull pen and throw a few innings. But he’s not battling nostalgia as Opening Day approaches.But he still keeps a glove in his car and is always up to play catch with his children, the missionaries, or anyone else who wants to toss a baseball with a guy who has won a World Series ring (with the 2015 Kansas City Royals).“I don’t have time to think about baseball,” he said. “I loved my career, and I love baseball. But I have a good ability to compartmentalize and move forward. When I retired, I was on to the next thing.”As he and Sister Guthrie approach their first anniversary of missionary service in Houston, President Guthrie believes that statement stronger than ever before as they strive to support the missionaries and help them find correct answers.So does the pitcher-turned-president still possess a “live arm”?Shortly after receiving his call as a mission president last year, President Guthrie told the Deseret News he was “living proof that the Lord likes to work with the simple and weak sometimes.”
Announcing a significant shift in the curriculum followed by seminaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around the world, the First Presidency released a letter on March 22, 2019, detailing changes which will align seminary study with that of the Come, Follow Me curriculum and schedule.
The letter states, “Making this change will enhance the home-centered, Church-supported approach to gospel study through a unified study at home, Sunday School, and seminary. We encourage all youth to fully participate in seminary as they seek to increase their love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and deepen their conversion to the restored gospel.”
In a video released the same day on the seminaries website, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder Kim B. Clark, Commissioner of the Church Educational System; Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, General Young Women President; and Chad H Webb, Seminary and Institute of Religion administrator, discussed the changes and what they mean for seminary students and teachers.
“In January of 2020, we will shift from a school year calendar to an annual calendar, thus allowing us to align seminary curriculum with Come, Follow Me,” Elder Holland said in the video. “We’re going to make a half-step toward that in the summer of 2019. In June of this year, we will shift and start to study the New Testament.”
While seminary studies will continue to be based in the scriptures, the Church leaders explained that the curriculum will be more doctrine-based and will help to strengthen, protect, and prepare youth for missions, marriage, and service in the Church.
“We think this is a tremendous development at this time when our young people need ever more strength,” Elder Holland said. “We think is a wonderful alignment … with what the rest of the Church is doing. And we believe that it's going to be wonderfully symbiotic with the … Church-supported—and now we add seminary-supported—home-centered gospel study.”
The continuing Restoration
Explaining why the changes are being implemented starting this year and into next year, Elder Clark said, “I think it's because the prophet of the Lord stood up in general conference and said, ‘We need home-centered, Church-supported gospel instruction. In fact, we need a home-centered Church.’ And because he said that, it changed everything.”
Elder Clark explained that rather than worrying about the logistics of making inspired changes ahead of time, President Nelson’s direction allowed them to say, “We’re going to do this, and then we'll figure out how to make it happen.”
As Elder Holland explained it, this too is an example of how the Restoration of the Church is ongoing.
“For me, the element that is most exciting is the backdrop to it all,” Elder Holland said. “And that is that the Restoration is ongoing. ... The Restoration, revelation, prophetic leadership is very much alive and well, and that’s the overlay on any number of these developments that we’ve had, even in the last few months.”
Reflecting on his own experiences, Elder Holland said, “I love seminary, I loved it in my own life.”
Seminary is a valuable tool for youth in the Church, he explained, because it gets them into the standard works and helps them come to know the Savior and focus on His teachings.
“We know that our young people need to be more deeply converted unto the Lord Jesus Christ,” Elder Clark said. “They need to have personal spiritual experiences with the scriptures. And we feel that by going a bit deeper, we can help them do that. So I think that's another benefit from this change.”
Sister Cordon emphasized that allowing more opportunities for the youth to take what they learn in seminary into their homes and use it to teach and testify to their families will “enlarge their souls” and strengthen their testimonies. “There's something different when a youth hears themselves talk about Christ,” she said.
From left: Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, General Young Women President and a member of the Board of Education; Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder Kim Clark, General Authority Seventy and commissioner of education; and Chad Webb, the administrator of seminaries and institutes.
A simplified approach
The new alignment will bring many changes, the Church leaders explained, but they noted that, by being open to change and willing to learn, the new curriculum and calendar will be effective for seminaries across the globe.
Rather than studying a different book of scripture for Sunday School, seminary, and their personal study, the changes will allow youth to spend more time understanding and applying the teachings of Christ from a single book of scripture, the Church leaders explained.
“One of the blessings that I think is very obvious is the simplification,” Sister Cordon said, noting how she has often heard youth question which areas of study they should prioritize. Simplified gospel study can lead to deeper understanding and a deeper conversion to the Savior, the leaders explained.
Additionally, while in the past seminary curriculum has been approached either by topic or by sequentially moving through the scriptures, the new approach will create a blend of topical and sequential teaching and study, Brother Webb said, explaining that the new approach will enhance doctrinal mastery and allow for deeper learning in the classroom and at home.
The topical and sequential blend will “help them still love the scriptures and be tied to what the scriptures teach, but in a way that’s relevant to them and ... that are of most worth at this time in their life,” Brother Webb said.
Elder Clark added, “We want to … give the students an opportunity to really dive deep, and really understand the doctrines of the gospel … We also want them to be able to see the power that comes from weaving different books of scripture together. So while we’re studying the Book of Mormon, we can gain insight from the New Testament.”
There is power in understanding how the scriptures blend and support one another through the doctrine of Christ and when students understand the principles of the gospel, they can live them, Elder Clark explained. And when they learn to really live them, they can “become whom the Lord wants them to be,” he said.