“I invite you, my young brothers and sisters, to look for those messages and promises that are specific for you and for me, for us, in these latter days,” Sister Aburto said. “By doing so, each of you will find guidance, assurances, answers, and, most of all, a purpose.”“Do you feel overwhelmed by the massive amount of information that surrounds you and the conflicting voices that pull you in different directions?”Reminding students of the power that comes through reading the Book of Mormon, Sister Aburto shared her own experience of the feelings and peace and comfort that came into her life when she read the Book of Mormon when she was 26 years old.The answer to most of those questions and concerns, Sister Aburto said, is “found in the small and simple things we can incorporate into our daily lives.““Do you have questions and longings in your heart?”Recognizing a big part of the beauty and power of the gospel of Jesus Christ lies in its simplicity, Sister Aburto shared 17 pieces of advice—as a mother, aunt, and friend—to help students along their way.
Sister Reyna I. Aburto of the Relief Society General Presidency speaks during a Salt Lake Institute devotional at the LDS Institute of Religion in Salt Lake City on September 13, 2018. Photo by Steve Griffin, Deseret News.Sister Reyna I. Aburto of the Relief Society General Presidency greets people after speaking at a Salt Lake Institute devotional at the LDS Institute of Religion in Salt Lake City on Septempber 13, 2018. Photo by Steve Griffin, Deseret News.Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, posed those questions to students of the Salt Lake Institute during a devotional Thursday, September 13.“She reminded me of the simple things—like reading the Book of Mormon—that give us the power that will lift me,” she said. “I want a complicated, big answer, but it is the simple things that make a difference.”“We all feel like that from time to time,” Sister Aburto said. “It seems that at times we struggle to find or remember our place and our purpose. At times, we may look at the future and feel that we do not have what it takes to face it. At other times, we may even look at the next day, or the next week, and be overwhelmed by fear.”“Have you ever felt discouraged and inadequate?”Those words rang true for University of Utah student Mele Taunauta. The sophomore from Millcreek, Utah, returned home from her mission to San Jose, California, in February and has since missed the feelings she had as a missionary.
Church-service missionaries differ from full-time missionaries in several ways:The couple has enjoyed meeting all different kinds of people—both members of the Church and people outside of the Church. One of the highlights of their mission has been working with the young missionaries.“I’m so glad we followed that counsel,” said now-Elder Bowen, who serves with his wife as a self-reliance missionary in the Tennessee Knoxville Mission. “It has been such a good experience.”“We have loved being a part of zone conferences and district meetings,” Sister Bowen said. “It has been a neat experience, and we have been so blessed and taught by the young missionaries. I have a greater respect for my three sons who served missions.”Full-time senior missionaries do the following:Church-service missions are also a great option for couples who may not be in a position to serve together—such as one spouse is still working or has physical limitations.The couple began to recognize that there is “always something going on,” and the advice from their Church leader kept coming back to them: “Don’t wait.”“The closer we kept getting to retirement the more real it became,” said Rachele Walker, from American Fork.“Closing the trunk lid isn’t going to be as easy as we thought it would be,” Elder Bowen said.Another important step is a frank conversation with a spouse, determining together what the best plan would be, as well as conversations with priesthood leaders and with family.“We recognize not everyone is able to serve a full-time mission,” said Williams. “Some may not be able to leave home.”To anyone who is thinking about serving a mission, the answer is clear: “You are needed,” said Miller.As someone who was a little nervous before leaving rural Idaho to serve in a big city on her mission, Sister Bowen said of her experience, “Not long ago we met a new couple and flashbacks of nervousness of little things came back. All of those fears go away. They don’t seem so big now. And it didn’t take long.”Although single women are eligible to serve as either a full-time or Church-service missionary, single, divorced, or widowed men are able to serve only as Church-service missionaries.They are not required to learn a foreign language, maintain the same schedule as young elders and sisters, or, depending on their assignment, wear Sunday dress all of the time. They are able to call family freely and even watch television if they choose.“Between texting, email, and phone we have been able to keep in touch [with family],” said Elder Bowen.
Jenny Friesen, a teacher and the Surrey British Columbia Stake young women president, could not wait for her sons to see President Nelson personally.These are the latter days, she said, and “the Lord really needs us to be His Saints.”One day after addressing a record audience of 49,000 Latter-day Saints in Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington, President Nelson traveled to Langley, British Columbia, to address Latter-day Saints from the greater Vancouver area.Teach them about God’s Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, President Nelson continued. “He came into the world to do the will of His Father, because His Father sent Him.”
President Russell M. Nelson speaks in Langley, British Columbia, on Sunday, September 16, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.“My intent today is to increase your gratitude for the covenants you have made with Him,” he said. “And even more, my hope is to build your faith that you will be able to claim the eternal blessings promised as you keep those covenants.”LANGLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA He also asked the congregation to teach children about the restoration of priesthood authority. Let “your homes be sanctuaries of faith for these children,” he said.Then, singing a line from a popular Primary song about prophets, President Nelson said God teaches His children through prophets. He shared his personal witness of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.“I feel a little like the resurrected Lord might have felt when He first appeared to people on the Western Hemisphere. He directed His attention to the children,” President Nelson said. “Is there anything more that you parents and teachers would like for your children than to have real peace in their hearts and in their minds?”President Russell M. Nelson strained to see the Primary-age children in the congregation of 4,600 Latter-day Saints gathered in the Langley Events Center on Sunday evening, September 16.During the devotional, President Eyring spoke of the feeling he received at his own baptism, his service in the Church, and his marriage. Crowds line up outside of the Langley Events Center to hear President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speak in Langley, British Columbia, on Sunday, September 16, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, laughs while sitting with President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Langley Events Center in Langley, British Columbia, on Sunday, September 16, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.President Nelson closed by leaving a blessing on those in the congregation. Hevenxen de Guzman and Baelfire de Guzman play in front of the Vancouver British Columbia Temple in Langley, British Columbia, on Sunday, September 16, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.Closing, President Eyring said, “I bear you my witness that the covenant path in the Church of Jesus Christ is the way to happiness in this life and joy in eternal life forever.”President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints share the blessing of being under covenant with God.“Oh yes. Now I can see you,” he said.Joshua and Jamille Clair, who live with their daughter Callista in Delta, British Columbia, said President Nelson’s message was directly for them. “Hopefully we will be able to apply everything from the prophet we have heard today,” Jamille Clair said.The meeting in British Columbia marked another stop this year for President Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, who have also visited Canadian Latter-day Saints in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta.British Columbia—where the Church dedicated the Vancouver British Columbia Temple in May 2010—is home to nearly 31,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sister Wendy Nelson, President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, look at the crowd before speaking at the Langley Events Center in Langley, British Columbia, on Sunday, September 16, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.“Do you think that Wendy’s being from Canada might prejudice me in some way?” said President Nelson. “I’ll confess she is a very good influence on me. Actually, we love all the Saints wherever they live, and we love to be with them.”“At 94 years of age, my husband is becoming more and more of his true self every day,” she said. “Why wouldn’t he be? He is doing exactly what he was foreordained to do.”Jenny and Scott Friesen of Surrey, British Columbia, live in the area, where they enjoy hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities with their three sons. Zach Friesen, 14, participated in an all-youth choir that performed Sunday night for President Nelson.“The Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God,” said President Nelson. “Do you realize more than 180 million copies have now been distributed? It is another testament of Jesus Christ. It is the instrument by which the promised gathering of scattered Israel will take place.”“She can no longer comfort, mourn, or serve as she always has,” he said. “But she is growing more powerful in bearing witness of the Savior.” Crowds line up outside of the Langley Events Center to hear President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speak in Langley, British Columbia, on Sunday, September 16, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaks at the Langley Events Center in Langley, British Columbia, on Sunday, September 16, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.Continuing, he said, “Please help them to focus, even at an early age, on the blessings of the temple. … That is where they will receive their greatest blessings.” President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, leave the Langley Events Center after speaking in Langley, British Columbia, on Sunday, September 16, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.“They have never experienced the flooding of emotion that happens when he enters the room and everyone stands up,” she said. “They have never experienced the feeling that says, ‘I want to follow him.’”Kristen Potter of Vancouver, British Columbia, said the teachings from the meeting were a good reminder to focus on family and home. Devin Roth holds his son Miles Roth as they wait to hear President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speak at the Langley Events Center in Langley, British Columbia, on Sunday, September 16, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaks at the Langley Events Center in Langley, British Columbia, on Sunday, September 16, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.“Of course, our children need correction from time to time,” said President Nelson. “That’s why they have parents. Please correct them quietly and privately.”Sister Nelson shared her testimony and witness of her husband’s prophetic mantle.Latter-day Saints are drawn to the province not only for employment and universities in Vancouver and Victoria, but also “for the beauty of its vastness,” said President Frank Hitchmough of the Victoria British Columbia Stake. “Ocean, mountain ranges, and large areas of arable land drew the Saints here as well.”So he asked them to stand, raise their arms high in the air, and wave “like french fries.” Primary children raise their hands at the request of President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Langley Events Center in Langley, British Columbia, on Sunday, September 16, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.During Sunday’s devotional, President Nelson—a father of 10, grandfather of 57, and great-grandfather of 119—directed his remarks to the Friesens and other Church members teaching “precious children.”Help children understand “the significance of the sacrament” and that this is the “Church of Jesus Christ,” said President Nelson. “It is His Church.” Sister Wendy Nelson, wife of President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaks at the Langley Events Center in Langley, British Columbia, on Sunday, September 16, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaks at the Langley Events Center in Langley, British Columbia, on Sunday, September 16, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.“First and foremost, teach them what it really means when they sing ‘I Am a Child of God.’ God is their Heavenly Father,” President Nelson said, noting children can call upon their Father in prayer anytime “without recharging batteries or paying service fees.”Romney Udani of Surrey, British Columbia, said the meeting marked the first time he has ever been in the presence of a prophet. “I have always had a testimony of prophets,” he said. “Being here confirmed that for me.”Teach them to be worthy to be called as missionaries for the Lord, to be tithe payers, to keep the Word of Wisdom, to shun the “perilous plague of pornography,” to gain an education, and to be good citizens, he said.President Eyring said his wife, Sister Kathleen Eyring—now suffering from the effects of age—only speaks a few words each day.“The promised blessing from the baptismal covenant holds marriages and families together in a bond of love,” he said. “Always remembering the Savior and keeping His commandments is the path to marital love and family happiness.”President Nelson asked parents and teachers to “read the Book of Mormon to these wonderful children. Read the Bible and other standard works to them. They will be better students in all of their subjects if they learn to read along with you.”
Lisbon Portugal TempleSister Coelho is a ward Relief Society presidency counselor and a former stake and ward Relief Society president, ward Young Women president, and Sunday School teacher. She was born in Salvaterra de Magos, Santarém, Portugal, to Francisco Lopes Magalhães and Maria Celeste Mendes Papoila.Calisto Martins Coelho, 76, Amadora Ward, Oeiras Portugal Stake, called as president of the Lisbon Portugal Temple. President Coelho’s wife, Maria Fernanda Papoila Magalhães Coelho, will serve as temple matron. He is a bishop and a former stake president and public affairs director. Retired high school educator and management consultant, he was born in Saboia, Odemira, Portugal, to António Coelho and Hortense das Dores Martins.The following new temple president and matron have been called by the First Presidency. They will begin their service when the temple is dedicated.
Calisto M. and Maria M. Coelho
And they worry the worst is yet to come.“The rivers are expected to crest tomorrow, so it’s only going to get worse for us in the next couple of days,” said President Quick. “We’ve just got to get this rain out of here, or it’s just going to keep adding to the rivers.”“We are also praying that the riverbanks will hold—that would be a tremendous blessing,” he told the Church News. “But we are prepared to accept the will of the Lord and we’re working hard taking care of people.”
“Miraculously, the freefall extinguished the flames…,” he said. “I plead with you not to let the temptations of the world—including the time-consuming allurements of your occupation—distract you from the real reason you are here on earth. Will you use your agency to choose Jesus Christ and His gospel?” People line up outside Safeco Field in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday, September 15, 2018, to hear President Russell M. Nelson speak.3. The honors of men fadeThis came clearly into focus years ago as President Nelson was traveling with four passengers on a flight from Salt Lake City to St. George Utah; during the flight, one of two engines exploded, sending the small plane into a downward spiral.On the last day of the journey, the family approached the steepest and most dangerous rapid of the journey, Lava Falls. With Horn Creek Rapid fresh in his memory, President Nelson “instructed each family member to hold tightly to the ropes on the raft, knowing that the raft would always come to the top of the water.”President Nelson said life has taught him that “the honors of men, exhilarating as they may seem at the time, fade into oblivion compared to what the Lord has in store for covenant-keeping children—the supernal gift of eternal life. That’s the greatest of all of God’s gifts.” People gather at Safeco Field in Seattle, Wash., to hear President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, September 15, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.“If you are doing your best to make the Lord Jesus Christ the center of your faith, your life, and that of your family—if you will hold onto him and his gospel as tightly as our family held onto that raft on the Colorado River—he will work miracles for you in your lives.”3. The honors of men fadeFrom the outset of the task—undertaken during the Cold War when all of Eastern Europe was “under the oppressive yoke of communism,” obstacles were placed in his way. “Well, the Lord is able to do His own work, and I was privileged to watch the unfolding of one miracle after another—always and only after I had brought my best thinking, my most fervent prayers, and my most courageous efforts to the task,” he said. “I learned that the Lord likes effort. ... He blesses our best efforts.”President Nelson’s final lesson is that “we are happiest when we are thinking of someone other than ourselves.”President Nelson began his remarks recalling an experience his family had years ago when they took several of their nine daughters on a rafting trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. On the second day of the trip, as the family approached Horn Creek Rapid, President Nelson put one arm around his wife and the other around his youngest child. “As it flexed over the brink, that rubber raft became a catapult and shot me like a stone from a slingshot—right over the raft and into the churning waters of the Colorado River,” he said. “I felt like an egg in an eggbeater.”He invited the nurse and her surgeon husband to read the book and loaned them his only copy. “When her husband returned my precious Book of Mormon to me, he casually tossed it to me and said, ‘Thanks a lot.’ People gather at Safeco Field in Seattle, Wash., to hear President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, September 15, 2018. “I plead with you to make reading the Book of Mormon a regular part of your daily life,” he said. “Doing so is one of the surest ways ‘to hang onto the raft’ and learn the truths of the restored gospel.”A Safeco Field official confirmed the devotional was the largest “non-sporting event in the history of Safeco Field” and the second largest event the venue has ever hosted, said Elder Gary F. Gessel, an Area Seventy.During the Korean War, President Nelson was a surgeon in the Army and was asked by his surgical nurse why he was different from other surgeons. “I responded: ‘If I am different from other surgeons, it is because I know the Book of Mormon is true.’”“As a Church, we need to be doing what the Savior wishes us to do,” concluded President Nelson. “And as a people, we need to be looking and acting like true followers of Jesus Christ.Latter-day Saints began lining up for the devotional midday—arriving at Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners, up to six hours before the 6 p.m. start. Some 2,200 local youth, Laurels, and Priests age 16 to 18, filled the seats directly in front of President Nelson during the historic meeting.In his dying moments those honors meant nothing to him. What did matter was his wife and children—to whom he was sealed in the holy temple.None of the Church's shipments of relief material are ever labeled: “For Latter-day Saints only.”From the experience, President Nelson learned a powerful lesson. “We are all, metaphorically speaking, on a rafting trip through life,” he said. “Usually it is beautiful and peaceful, but at some point we hit mighty rough rapids. ... As we face churning challenges in our lives, the greatest and only real safety comes as we hold onto the raft, which is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.”1. Hold to the raftToday Washington has 288,000 Latter-day Saints, three temples and eight missions, according to the Church's public affairs department. Church members account for 3 percent of the state's population, according to the Pew Research Center.President Nelson said he felt strangely calm. “Events of my life rapidly flashed before me. I thought about all the framed degrees, awards, and honors on my office wall, and the various uniforms, tuxedos, and doctoral robes that I’d worn in my life.”In 1985, just 19 months after being called as an Apostle, President Nelson was asked by President Ezra Taft Benson to open the countries of Eastern Europe for the preaching of the gospel.Standing on second base in Seattle's Safeco Field, President Russell M. Nelson shared the “lessons life has taught me” during a devotional with 49,000 Church members—the largest non-sporting event ever held in the iconic baseball stadium.Speaking one week after celebrating his 94th birthday, President Nelson addressed the topic “lessons life has taught me,” and shared five lessons.2. The Book of Mormon is the word of GodThis is also why the Church engages in humanitarian service around the globe. “Whether we are digging wells in Africa, providing wheelchairs to those in need in Peru, or among the first to respond after natural disasters anywhere in the world, our efforts are designed to help all mankind,” President Nelson said.4. The Lord uses the unlikelyThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is well-established in the Pacific Northwest; the Church's first unit in Washington was organized in Tacoma in 1899 with 21 members. By 1940 membership in the state had reached 5,000.“I had spent much of my professional life opening hearts to perform life-saving operations, but I had no experience that would lead me to believe I could open countries for the preaching of the gospel,” he said. “And yet, a prophet had given me an assignment, so I set out to do what seemed utterly impossible.”In the year 1992, President Nelson was able to report to President Benson that the Church was established in every country in Eastern Europe.People gathered at Safeco Field in Seattle, Wash., listen to President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speak on Saturday, September 15, 2018.SEATTLE, Washington“Our message to the world is simple and sincere: We invite all of God’s children on both sides of the veil to come unto their Savior, to receive the blessings of the holy temple and qualify for eternal life, so that they can have enduring joy now and forever.”“A fundamental characteristic of followers of Jesus Christ is the desire and willingness to care for others,” he said. “This is why at the last general conference we emphasized ministering as a higher, holier way of taking care of each other.”“‘Thanks a lot?’ I said. ‘That is a totally inappropriate answer for one who has read the Book of Mormon. You didn’t read it, did you?’” People gathered at Safeco Field in Seattle, Wash., listen to President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, September 15, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.Clinging to others can help as we minister to each other, but not if it means letting go of the raft, he said. “If I have learned anything in my life, it is that our ultimate security, and our only enduring happiness, lies in holding onto the iron rod of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, complete with its covenants and ordinances. When we do so, we can safely navigate through rough waters because we have access to God’s power.”5. Care for othersThe couple took the book back, read it, and asked to know more. President Nelson subsequently taught and baptized both of them.“My dear brothers and sisters, we are living in the most crucial era in the history of the world,” he said on Saturday evening, September 15. “Since the beginning of time, prophets have foreseen our day and prophesied about what would take place during this winding-up period before the Savior comes again.”Accompanied by his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, and President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, President Nelson expressed gratitude for the opportunity to return to the Pacific Northwest, where in 1985 he was made an honorary member of the Seattle Surgical Society.
Full-time missionaries serving in hurricane-threatened areas in the Carolinas evacuated prior to Florence’s Thursday arrival.President Walker said he has asked the Church-operated bishops’ storehouse in Atlanta to deliver building supplies and other provisions to impacted areas in his stake as soon as the roads are accessible.“In some areas, that could take a week or more,” he said.The category 1 hurricane made landfall at 7:15 a.m., local time, near Wrightsville Beach, just east of Wilmington, North Carolina.“The flooding is just so devastating,” said President Walker. “My nephew and his wife in New Bern have three feet of water in their house.”Still, Michels feels fortunate his home escaped any significant damage.“But it really could have been much worse for us,” she said.Longtime Harkers Island resident Lloyd Michels said he would never forget Hurricane Florence’s unwanted visit to his tight-knit island community. “We stayed in our home and made out okay, but this has been a fantastic storm,” he said.Hurricane Florence hit her home in differing bands of intensity throughout the evening. She was only able to sleep for a couple of hours early Friday. Meanwhile, flooded streets are preventing her from leaving her neighborhood.“It’s the price you pay for living in paradise,” she said.“As of this morning, we have maybe 20 member families whose homes are uninhabitable, and I’m sure there are many more,” said Kinston North Carolina Stake President David Walker on Friday.Hurricane Florence’s relentless first-day assault on the Carolinas is impacting a number of Latter-day Saints, with floodwaters inundating homes and transforming subdivision streets into canals.Florence’s center may linger for another whole day along coastal North and South Carolina, punishing homes with crushing winds and floods and endangering those who have stayed behind, CNN reported.The stake president is also concerned for Church members and their neighbors in the coastal communities in nearby Carteret County—including Harkers Island, an area rich in Church history.Cell phone service and other communication have proven fairly reliable.There were no initial reports of injuries as local priesthood and Relief Society leaders in eastern North Carolina scrambled to make contact with members from their wards and branches who opted to stay in their homes during the ongoing storm.As Florence continues its surge, Friday afternoon’s high tide near Harkers Island and neighboring areas could prove troublesome, he said. “We’ve probably got 24 more hours of bad weather in that area.”Members living in the riverside city of New Bern and surrounding communities in North Carolina’s Craven County have been hit especially hard.Since arriving, “the storm has been constant, but it seems to be getting better,” he said after he and his wife, Lillian, endured an anxious night of powerful wind and driving rain. “This is as bad or worse as I’ve ever seen.”“We are not in the worst part of this yet but should start to see some impact later today,” Charleston South Carolina Stake President Darren Johnson reported Friday morning. “If we feel we are ready, and if we are spared from the major impact of this storm, we will be ready to go and assist in [affected] areas.”Emily Hancock Nelson lives in Carteret County’s Otway community. The lifelong Latter-day Saint regards the reality of hurricanes in her coastal community with measured humor.“We are all safe and doing well,” said South Carolina Columbia Mission President Weston Innes in a text message. “We have already had some service opportunities and know there will be much more in the coming weeks. We feel the prayers of so many wonderful Saints.”
Church leaders have been in contact with mission, stake, and district leaders in the path of Typhoon Mangkhut, urging them to take all necessary precautions to prepare those in their care for the storm. Many Church buildings in the path of the typhoon are already being used to shelter members and others, and the Church is working with local vendors to secure food, water, and other basic supplies.
Missionaries in affected areas in the Philippines are all safe and accounted for and are being moved to outlying areas. All missionaries have been instructed to carry adequate supplies. Mission presidents are communicating regularly with the parents of missionaries as the situation progresses. Mission leaders in Taiwan and Hong Kong have also been instructed to take necessary precautions.
The Church is monitoring the situation and local personnel are on standby to coordinate relief efforts as needed. We pray for the safety and wellbeing of the people of the Philippines and those in the surrounding region.The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued the following statement regarding Typhoon Mangkhut:
“So we did on our trip—we began at the temple.”“When President Nelson was at the pulpit, an easier angle than looking at him directly was to look out at the audience and watch them looking at him,” said Elder Holland, the member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who accompanied President Nelson on his inaugural global ministry tour last spring. “That triangle of looking at the devotion on their faces, the adoration, the tears gave me my impressions of him, my feelings about what he was saying as I saw what it meant to them, as I saw the look on their faces.”And Elder Renlund personally saw that influence in action. “Sensing that my wife might have been a little chilled on the flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Salt Lake City, President Nelson procured a blanket from the flight engineer and gave it to my wife to use,” he said. “I asked myself afterwards, ‘Why am I not that thoughtful towards my wife?’”President Nelson himself answered that question in a media interview in Montreal, Quebec, following the August 18 devotional there. He labeled them “broadening” experiences.Before accompanying President Nelson earlier this month to the Caribbean, Elder Renlund and Sister Ruth Renlund had never been with the prophet in visiting any congregation outside the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. President Russell M. Nelson speaks during a Jerusalem District Conference priesthood meeting at the BYU Jerusalem Center in Jerusalem on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.Impact on President Nelson President Russell M. Nelson, right, and Elder Dale G. Renlund shake hands with missionaries at a September 1, 2018, missionary meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Photo by Rex Warner, Deseret News. President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, joined by Elder Ronald A. Rasband and Sister Melanie Rasband, wave to members following the June 8, 2018, devotional in Edmonton, Alberta.“He was not only, as the prophet, ministering to those on this side of the veil, he was literally ministering to those on the other side of the veil as well,” Elder Rasband said. “You can see how that would be a wonderful thing for me, as a partner on this trip, to tell the members: ‘You’re going to hear this great message [from President Nelson], and you’ve already heard words about the covenant path and the gathering of Israel—I want you to know that we went and did that on our first day in western Canada.’“When he shifted from English to Spanish in San Juan, pronouncing an apostolic blessing in Spanish, tears began to flow for many in the congregation. I suspect that if they were asked, they would have individually felt that they were ministered to.”Elder Rasband said the increasing number of devotionals reminds him of President Gordon B. Hinckley’s time as Church President, “when it was almost like, ‘OK, I’ve got to come into the office and take care of some administrative business, but get me on that plane and get me out in the world.’”Elder Renlund watched President Nelson as he greeted several mothers and children while exiting a meetinghouse in the Dominican Republic. He held one in his arms without the child getting alarmed, then knelt by an elderly woman in a wheelchair to help buoy her spirits. President Russell M. Nelson, center, and Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, behind him, greet members following a September 1, 2018, devotional in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Patricia Holland, tour the new temple site in Bangkok, Thailand, on Friday, April 20, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.“I remember him saying, ‘It’s just the opposite. It’s the going out that energizes us and makes us able to handle the things during the week. It’s being with the Saints, seeing their faith. ” The hands of Russell M. Nelson and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reach out to shake hands after a devotional in Bangkok, Thailand, on Friday, April 20, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.“Clearly it means a lot to him to be doing this,” Elder Holland said, adding, “I think he’s conscious that in recent years, the Presidents of the Church haven’t always been able to get out, haven’t always been with the people—but he is vigorous enough, he is healthy enough to do that. …“But I am a member of the Church like every other member, and Russell M. Nelson is my prophet as well as theirs,” Elder Holland said. “I’m as adoring as they are because he is my prophet, he is my president.”“We know and acknowledge that we won’t always have access to every President of the Church for every moment of his administration. Some of those limitations might come from ill health or the incidence of age. But while President Nelson can get out to the people, I know that he wants to do exactly that—and it’s clearly what the members want him to do. They want to see him and hear him personally.”As they arrived at the public meetings, the Apostles and their wives walked with the Nelsons, usually a respectful step or two behind. The Apostles and their wives spoke in the meetings before the Nelsons, often testifying of his prophetic calling and encouraging members to listen and learn just as they themselves do. And while the Nelsons taught later in the meetings, the Apostles and their wives listened intently and took notes, later sharing their impressions in subsequent speaking assignments or on the Apostles’ social media pages.Hectic pace Elder Ronald A. Rasband and his wife, Sister Melanie T. Rasband, attend a devotional in Alberta, Canada, in June 2018.“He’s not hesitant to extend invitations, and I love that,” Elder Rasband added. “It’s one thing to get up and give a great speech. It’s another thing to give a great speech and a stern invitation. And Russell Nelson does that—and it helps me in my ministering.” Graphics by Aaron Thorup, Deseret News.“In this ministering, he appeared completely unrushed,” Elder Renlund said. “Time seemed to slow down as he took all the time he needed to bless and lift others. In every encounter though, he directs people to the Savior and the Savior’s love.”So Elder Holland did the next best thing—something he calls “the visitor’s vector.”“We enjoy meeting the people—they energize us,” he said. “We learn their names, their culture, their language.”First on the agenda for the trip to the western Canada province of Alberta for Elder Rasband and his wife, Sister Melanie Rasband, was to join the Nelsons in an endowment session at the Edmonton Alberta Temple, with President and Sister Nelson taking family names for proxy ordinance work.Consider the pace of President Nelson’s devotional travels so far: the first with stops in London; Jerusalem; Nairobi, Kenya; Harare, Zimbabwe; Bengaluru, India; Bangkok; Hong Kong; and Laie, Hawaii. That’s eight sites for public meetings in 14 days and a total round-trip distance of nearly 30,000 miles, well more than the 24,901-mile circumference of the earth.
President Russell M. Nelson, center, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, right, along with District President Dennis Brimhall walk at the BYU Jerusalem Center in Jerusalem on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.The four are the first to acknowledge they have the privilege of knowing President Nelson more closely and interacting with him more frequently than most Church members, given the proximity of their Church Administration Building offices and the Brethren’s interactions in administrative meetings.Said Elder Holland of such incidents: “You have no idea who that person is or what their unique need was, and you certainly didn’t prepare a talk for just one person, but that is how the Spirit works, turning a congregational experience into a one-on-one, more personal moment.”As President Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, have traveled across four continents in the last five months, much has been written about the impact these devotional meetings have had on the tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints meeting with him in the first year of his tenure as Church President.To learn from himElder Andersen repeatedly invoked the Oliver Cowdery phrase “days never to be forgotten”—as found in the Joseph Smith—History footnotes—when he spoke to members during the mid-August weekend in which he and Sister Kathy Andersen joined the Nelsons in central and eastern Canada. Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles addresses more than 4,000 Latter-day Saints gathered at the Palais des congrès convention center in Montreal, Quebec, on Saturday, August 18, 2018.Elder Andersen witnessed of what he saw as President Nelson spoke to Canadian Saints. “The people were on the edge of their seats because there was a spiritual strength that was coming, and the Lord was magnifying the President,” he said, adding, “it was very powerful to me to see the Lord’s mantle upon him, the President of the Church and the prophet of the Lord. I’ll never forget it—it was marvelous.” President Russell M. Nelson, front right, and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, arrive at a stop during their June 2018 member devotional tour in the Canadian province of Alberta, followed by Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Melanie Rasband.In fact, President Nelson became the first Church President to speak extensively to a large gathering of members in a language other than English as he spoke in Spanish—the native language of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico—during devotionals there September 1–2.President and Sister Nelson are scheduled to participate in a pair of devotionals in Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia. They will be joined by President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency.“In that way,” summarized Elder Holland, “we were exactly like everyday, garden-variety members of the Church who were thrilled to be with the prophet of God.”“It’s the desire of the Lord for us to be with people and help them in their challenges as they apply the teachings of the gospel in their lives,” President Nelson continued in the Montreal interview. “No matter what the problems are, we can help them. So we love to meet with them, to help them, to lift them, to love them, and to learn more about them.”And yet the Apostles have watched President Nelson make it as personal and individual as possible.And that’s how Elder Holland observed President Nelson for nearly two weeks of public meetings in England and Israel, in Kenya and Zimbabwe, in India and Thailand, and in Hong Kong and Hawaii. “I loved looking at the people looking at him, watching him, and listening to him,” he said.One of Elder Rasband’s takeaways from the trip was President Nelson’s message of love and thanks coupled with invitations for commitment. “President Nelson loves Heavenly Father’s children, wants them to know it, wants to thank them for all they’re doing to build up the Church—and then give them serious invitations: ‘We’ve got to do better on gathering Israel on both sides of the veil; we need to be inviting people to get on the covenant path if they’re off it.’“For Kathy and me, it was a unique experience that we’ll remember all our lives, to travel three days with the Lord’s prophet, to be at his side, and to be able to testify of him and of the inspiration and revelation that he receives,” Elder Andersen said.“I just thought it exemplified Russell Nelson—he’s not just a talker of the word; he’s a doer of the word. And it gave me my message for those days in whatever setting I was in—that we started at the house of the Lord,” Elder Rasband added, saying it reminded him of how President Nelson started his presidency by broadcasting his first message in January from the Salt Lake Temple Annex and spoke the words “we want to begin with the end in mind.”“We learned too. We were eager students sitting at his feet,” Elder Holland said, underscoring the messages of President and Sister Nelson of family, temples, covenants, and following divine inspiration.On these devotional trips, as well as after any type of address given, Church leaders have had members come up, saying “that talk was just for me.”Eager students at his feetAlthough speaking to a large group, the Apostles recognize the individual impact provided by the Holy Ghost.All this from President Nelson, who turned 94 on Sunday, September 9.Then add the others: the June trip to Alberta, with nearly 1,800 flight miles in a three-devotionals-in-as-many-nights weekend, followed by three evening devotionals in a central and eastern Canada swing that covered more than 4,000 miles and the recent Caribbean visit with two days of meetings and a nearly 6,300-mile distance.He called two weeks of listening to President and Sister Nelson teach “a rare privilege” for him and his wife, Sister Patricia Holland. “The members in each of those locations had that experience one time; Pat and I got to have it more than a half-dozen times in sequence. In that sense, we were very much like every other member who heard them—it’s just that we had more of a ringside seat, heard them more often, and loved every minute of it.”Ministering to the massesAnd the four Apostles who accompanied the Nelsons on the prophet’s first devotional trips—Elder Holland, Elder Neil L. Andersen, Elder Ronald A. Rasband, and Elder Dale G. Renlund—still bask in the singular experiences as they reflect on the impact of those travel and speaking assignments on them and their wives.“We are able to speak to many, while knowing that the Holy Ghost will customize the impact of the message to the needs of the individual member,” said Elder Andersen.Often when the General Authorities travel on assignment, they seek for opportunities to meet privately with a handful of individuals or families in “ministering to the one.” But when the devotionals run on a daily schedule and travel is required to get from one city to the next, it’s more “ministering to the masses.”“One of the things you’ll see President Nelson do is he’ll sit up in his chair, and he’ll look,” said Elder Andersen. “He’ll look around as if he’s looking at everyone, and then he’ll speak to the one. He’s speaking to everyone, but he sees in a face something that stirs a certain impression, a certain inspiration. So it’s true there’s a certain largeness to it, but there’s a personal nature to it as well.” President Russell M. Nelson, along with Elder Dale G. Renlund and Sister Ruth Renlund, arrive for a September 1 missionary meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Photo by Jason Swensen.“He appears tireless and desirous of blessing the people,” Elder Renlund said of accompanying President Nelson. “Being with him made us want to become better people. President Nelson exerts a Christlike influence on those around him to try hard, to be kinder, and to be more devoted to the Savior and His work. This influence occurs because President Nelson is himself a genuine disciple of the Savior.”Elder Andersen said travel assignments—such as these devotional trips—are “energizing,” as he recalled a conversation long before being called as a General Authority when asking then-Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles if traveling worldwide to meet with the Saints was exhausting.President Nelson, he added, has that same philosophy, wanting to go to, be with, and minister to the people by shaking hands, giving blessings, offering apostolic blessings, and lifting others. “His message about ministering is his life,” Elder Rasband said. “That’s his life—that’s who he is.”But what have these devotional trips meant to him and to the Apostles traveling with him?
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks during the member devotional in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on August 17, 2018.“They talked about family, so Pat and I would go back to the hotel room and talk about our family. Some of the things they said, we would say, ‘That’s an overlay on our situation. That fits with what we want for our children and our grandchildren.’ So in addition to being fellow travelers with them on the trip and at the pulpit, we did have our own takeaways—those little nuggets in the talks given that applied powerfully to us. …Sitting on the rostrum off to the side and behind the speaker’s podium, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland didn’t have the best sight lines to see the face of President Russell M. Nelson as the prophet spoke to Latter-day Saints in eight member devotionals spread over two weeks and three continents in April 2018.In the prophet’s presence With is arm on the shoulder of Elder Ronald A. Rasband, President Russell M. Nelson points toward a group of youth at one of the member devotionals during a June 2018 trip to Alberta, Canada.Elder Renlund noted the prophet’s speaking in Spanish in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico as connecting in a personable way. “By the look on the faces of the congregants (in Santo Domingo), each seemed to feel President Nelson was speaking directly to him or her,” he said.
It wasn’t until December 15, 2008—more than 50 years after the temple was first completed—that an angel Moroni statue was placed on the spire of the temple.For many years, converts to the Church would immigrate to the United States to be with more Church members. In the 1950s, Church leaders encouraged new members of the Church to build the Church in their native lands, causing the Church membership in Britain to increase.Some 32 years later the temple closed for renovations, adding 8,500 square feet and a fourth floor to the existing building. A rededication was held on October 18–20, 1992, where President Gordon B. Hinckley led the 10 sessions. The statue of angel Moroni was not placed on top of the temple’s spire until 2008, 50 years after the temple opened.Ten years after the angel Moroni was placed on top of the London England Temple and 60 years after its dedication on September 7, 1958, the London England Temple continues to bless members of the Church living in the United Kingdom.Today there are more than 186,000 members of the Church in the United Kingdom, with six missions, 327 congregations, and two temples. In June 1998, a second temple in Great Britain, located in Preston, England, was dedicated.A year later the Church purchased the 32 acres identified, and an official announcement of plans to build the temple was released on August 10, 1953. Two years later, President David O. McKay participated in a groundbreaking ceremony on August 27, 1955.A Church News article from September 20, 1958, reported the reaction of President David O. McKay after returning home from his trip to England, saying he “lauded the workmanship of the London Temple.”With that counsel came the need for a temple for the members of the Church in England.In an area where the Church has long been established—the first unit was created in Preston in 1837, just seven years after the Church was officially organized—the London Temple stands as the first temple in the United Kingdom and is the Church’s 12th operating temple.The site of the original 34,000-square-foot building, located 25 miles south of London in Newchapel, Surrey, England, was selected in June 1952 by President David O. McKay and Elder Stayner Richards.According to a Time magazine article dated Monday, September 15, 1958, the new temple was opened to the public for 17 days, and at the time of dedication there were 11,000 Church members in Britain, with 75 chapels.Prior to the dedication, 76,000 people toured the temple during a public open house.The placing of Moroni was the conclusion of the Jubilee Celebration of the London Temple held in 2008. The Jubilee project included restoring the Manor House and the visitors’ center, adding new mission offices to the temple site, and renovating the accommodation center for temple patrons.After three years of constructing the mid-century modern-styled building, a dedication took place over three days, September 7–9, 1958. President McKay presided over the six dedicatory sessions.“Under gray, threatening skies with 150 [spectators], … a helicopter flew in from Buckinghamshire, 58 miles away, to lift the 8-foot, gold-leaf covered statue to the top of the 50-year-old temple,” a Church News article stated. “Scaffolding—erected earlier—made it possible for construction workers to access the top of the 180-foot spire and secure the statue. The event briefly stopped traffic on the busy A22, which passes the temple, and onlookers got out of their cars to peer through the temple gates.”“The visitors, warned not to talk or smoke within the temple, were escorted in groups through the building (cost: $1,700,000), saved their questions to be asked later,” the article stated. “They had plenty of questions: Why was there a telephone switchboard? Why were there locker rooms and powder rooms with Queen Anne–style dressing tables? What was the green and beige drawing room, called the Celestial room, used for, and why should a church be furnished like a luxury hotel, with grey wall-to-wall carpeting, concealed lighting, air conditioning, and armchairs in fawn and black? Whispered one woman to her husband: ‘I’d like to come here for a holiday.’”
Placed near a busy motorway, the London England Temple attracts many Church member and nonmember visitors.
What counsel would you give members living in Puerto Rico or other areas of the Caribbean who are trying to decide if they should remain in their homeland or relocate to the mainland of the United States?Elder Renlund: If I were giving any advice to the rising generation in the Caribbean—to the youth and the young adults—it would be to reread President Nelson’s talk at April general conference.Some questions and responses have been edited for length and clarity.President Nelson: Whenever one of the Twelve Apostles comes to a country, that country will be blessed. To have two of the 15 men who hold the holy apostleship here in this country is a very important, historic step. The [Dominicans] will be blessed because of the fact that the Lord’s Apostles have been here and taught and loved the people.What counsel do you have for members in the Caribbean as they seek personal revelation to better minister to one another in a troubled world?
How does the gospel allow us to grow even during periods of struggle and even sadness?Would you share your feelings about the people of the Caribbean?On September 1, President Russell M. Nelson and Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participated in a Caribbean Area member devotional in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.Following the historic gathering, which included a message from President Nelson delivered entirely in Spanish (see related article), the visiting Brethren sat down with several Latter-day Saint news organizations, including the Church News, to discuss their historic visit to the Caribbean.President Nelson: We travel around the world, and wherever we go people ask, “What can we do to have a better life and become closer to the Lord?” President Russell M. Nelson, far right, and Elder Dale G. Renlund greet community visitors who attended the September 1, 2018, member devotional in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Photo courtesy of the Caribbean Area.The answer for everyone is to get close to the Lord Jesus Christ and keep His commandments. The Lord has promised us that if we keep His commandments we will prosper in the land. … His thoughts will govern your thinking and His plans will become the foremost part of your own plans.Elder Renlund: What one should do with one’s life is very individual. Every member of the Church has been blessed with the Holy Ghost. Our counsel to people throughout the world is to stay in their homelands and to strengthen and build up the Church. But we don’t tell people what to do. We trust that they will be inspired by the Holy Ghost as to what to do. President Russell M. Nelson delivers his message and testimony in Spanish at a September 1. 2018, member devotional in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Photo courtesy of the Caribbean Area.Likewise, if one is inspired by the Holy Ghost to make changes in one’s life, we don’t get in the way of that.I think some of the most difficult challenges in life are opportunities to build faith. Once you start to focus on the Lord and your fellow men, you can keep His first two commandments even more perfectly than when things are rosy.I watched him interact with babies, with grandmothers, and with parents. He brings people closer to the Savior. That’s what President Nelson has always done—he directs people to the Savior and to our Heavenly Father and Their work. He invites Heavenly Father’s children home.President Nelson: These are challenges all over the world—how do we strengthen our families and how do we raise children who are obedient?Elder Renlund: In our meeting with the Dominican members, something very historic happened: the prophet of God spoke in Spanish to all assembled. (See related article.) It’s the first time it’s happened in this dispensation. It brought a spirit and a look to the faces of the people. It was the language of the Spirit that spoke to them because we have a prophet who, through the [magnified] gifts God has given him, can communicate in Spanish to the people.Last year’s hurricanes presented great hardships for many Puerto Ricans, including Church members. Yet many Puerto Rican members say it was also a period of personal growth and increased unity in wards and branches.Any concluding thoughts? After speaking to Latter-day Saints in the Dominican Republic on September 1, 2018, President Russell M. Nelson greeted members of the congregation. Photo courtesy of the Caribbean Area.And wherever we go, there are always challenges. In some places, it is too hot and in some places it is too cold. In the Caribbean, we have too many hurricanes. And so it goes.In that talk they would find, number one, that they should receive their own testimony of the restored gospel to know that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them and to know that Christ has restored His work to the earth. Also, that they can gain their own testimony of the Book of Mormon.President Nelson: It is possible to find joy in life even through the most difficult circumstances. The hurricane that came a year ago damaged Puerto Rico mercilessly. Yet hundreds of Latter-day Saints came to help out. They distributed relief supplies, food, and other commodities that were needed.Elder Renlund: It is unbelievable to be with the prophet, President Nelson. It is a thrill I wish everyone could have.President Nelson: I love the people of the Caribbean islands. I first came here in 1994 and I’ve been here many times since. I remember in 2002 I was able to come here with President Thomas S. Monson. That was a blessing for the people and for me.Your children will be more obedient. They will be sweeter. They will be kinder. They will be more intelligent if you read them the scriptures. Correct them in private and praise them in public.How does a visit from a prophet of God bless those he visits?Then it doesn’t matter what else is going on; they have something that is very sure.What advice do you have for the Caribbean members to strengthen their marriages and families?The answer is the same for all people: God gives everyone blessings and challenges. The blessings of life and the opportunity to learn and develop faith are the same for all people. That’s a great gift.If the Holy Ghost is directing a person to stay put and build the Church, their families, and their lives in the place where God has already placed him or her, then that’s what he or she should do.What are your expectations and advice for the Caribbean’s rising generation?We have a message of hope for all the world: come to the Lord Jesus Christ and keep His commandments, and your families and your countries will prosper.The challenges are the same throughout the world. If you can learn to love the Lord, your capacity to love your companion is increased. If you can love the Lord first, then your capacity to teach your children is increased.
“We thought about knitted hats for babies or toys,” said Mirabel, “but I wanted to donate something that patients really need. Sometimes kids come to the hospital unexpectedly and they don’t have a change of clothes or clean underwear. In the hospital, doctors and parents make most of your decisions. You need to find ways to feel normal. Having clean underwear helps you feel like yourself again.”Mirabel said, “We learned that the hospital almost never receives donations of underwear. They have to buy it. We thought we could help fill that need.”Isabel loved reading the notes that were sometimes included in the packages, mostly from people they didn’t know. “It made us feel good about the project,” she said. From the Capitol Hill and Anacostia Wards in Washington, D.C., young women (from left) Mercy Agwu, Mirabel Atkinson, Sofia Atkinson, Isabel Marchena, Rebekah Lahti, and Esra Edwards were presented with Youth Volunteer of the Year awards by Children’s National Medical Center for their service. Photo courtesy of Children’s National Medical Center.Now 13-year-old Beehives in the Capitol Hill Ward in Washington, D.C., Mirabel and Sofia decided they wanted to give back. As part of their Personal Progress requirements for the Young Women program of the Church, they collected more than 7,000 pairs of underwear for Children’s National. They were joined in the project by fellow young women from their ward, Isabel Marchena, 13, and Rebekah Lahti, 13, as well as young women from the nearby Anacostia Ward, Mercy Agwu, 12, and Esra Edwards, 12. Esra is also a former Children’s National patient.Meredith Atkinson also posted messages on neighborhood Listservs and social media support groups.The girls had fun with the project. Mercy called all her friends and family members to ask for donations. “Sometimes I dialed the wrong number,” she said, “and even the people at the wrong numbers wanted to donate underwear.”“Most of the underwear, nearly 6,000 pairs, came from individuals and families who donated 15–20 pairs each,” said Sofia. “That means about 300 individuals and families thought it was important enough to donate.”“I thought that was a bit too ambitious and suggested they lower the goal to 1,000,” said Meredith Atkinson. “But Sofia said, ‘Why wouldn’t people want to donate underwear?’ So we set the goal at 5,000.”The Atkinson girls enjoyed building walls of underwear in their parents’ living room, sorted by size and gender, as the packages poured into their home. But a highlight was when they received the large shipment of Hanes underwear from the Hope Marietta Foundation; it was addressed to “Superstars Mirabel and Sofia Atkinson.”The six girls spent upwards of 80 hours each distributing flyers, making phone calls, and sorting underwear by size and gender as it arrived. On August 16, Children’s National presented the girls with Youth Volunteer of the Year awards for their service.The girls set a goal of collecting 5,000 pairs of underwear.A couple of hours after identical twins Sofia and Mirabel Atkinson were born, Mirabel was rushed to Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where she spent the first two tenuous months of her life. Diagnosed with complex congenital heart disease, Mirabel underwent three major open-heart surgeries and three heart catherization procedures before her seventh birthday.“We reached 144 percent of our goal,” said Sofia. “We made posters and handouts and created an Amazon wish list and told everyone we knew about the drive. Soon underwear started arriving in the mail.” Mirabel Atkinson, left, Isabel Marchena, center, and Sofia Atkinson, right, collected more than 7,000 pairs of underwear—2,000 more than their original goal. Photo courtesy of Meredith Atkinson.“I received a message from the Hope Marietta Foundation,” said Meredith Atkinson. “They wanted to donate about 1,000 pairs of underwear.”The Hope Marietta Foundation supports children and families with congenital heart disease. When they contacted Hanes to buy the underwear, Hanes said they would donate some as well. In addition to the nearly 1,200 pairs donated by Hope Marietta Foundation, Hanes donated 166 pairs.The twins’ mother, Meredith Atkinson, added, “Patients often end up staying longer than they planned. There’s usually not time to go home and pick up clean underwear. Sick children often have accidents. Having clean underwear available at the hospital affords kids some degree of dignity.”
Former Utah resident Marjeli Fonseca has lived in New Bern, North Carolina, for several years. She’s watched as powerful storms came and went, causing little alarm. But Florence is unnerving even many of the lifelong residents in her community.Tropical-storm-force winds are due to reach the coasts of North and South Carolina late Wednesday, and hurricane-force winds may be felt around noon Thursday, ahead of landfall likely Thursday night, CNN meteorologist Chad Meyers said.“Our leaders want to make sure everyone is being cared for,” he said.Local priesthood leaders say effective communication to assess the needs of the members before, during, and after the storm is among their greatest concern.But the Fonsecas are certain they will be fine. They have taken steps to be ready both temporally and spiritually. “And as Church members, we’ve always been counseled to be prepared,” she said.Latter-day Saints living along Florence’s projected path are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. Many living in coastal communities are heeding evacuation orders.Charleston South Carolina Stake President Darren Johnson said many living inside the boundaries of his stake are also accustomed to hurricanes. “But this looks more serious than what we’ve seen in the past.”Water and other provisions are reportedly scarce in grocery and hardware stores, although supply trucks continued Tuesday to deliver high-demand goods. Lines are long at many gas stations, but there have been no reports of outages.Hurricane Florence’s projected path is reminiscent of Hurricane Fran, said Raleigh North Carolina Stake President William Thornton. In 1996, Fran caused extensive inland damage in North Carolina’s capital city of Raleigh.“We've cancelled our of our activities this week so people have time to prepare,” said President Johnson.As of Tuesday, no evacuation orders were in place in the Raleigh stake. But members are identifying member-owned homes that might be vulnerable while making plans to assist if needed.Carolinians are a storm-savvy lot. Almost every year a hurricane or powerful tropical storm threatens their coastlines and even interior communities.But the fast-approaching Hurricane Florence feels different from other storms that have hit the Carolinas in recent decades. “I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything quite like this,” said Kevin Nelson, a lifelong Tar Heel and second counselor in the Kinston North Carolina Stake.“Most of the rest from our stake will likely evacuate and find a hotel room, although I know of one family who is planning to go as far way as Georgia to be with family members,” he said.Some opting not to evacuate worry that they will find themselves isolated by floodwaters or other storm hazards and not be able to return to their homes for an extended period, said President Nelson.The days following Hurricane Florence will surely offer essential opportunities to serve and minister, President Thornton added. “We’ve already started organizing teams to help our friends and fellow members living near the coast.”The next several days will likely require much ministering, said Wilmington North Carolina Stake President David Glew, who is in frequent contact with local Area Seventies and his fellow stake presidents in storm-threatened regions.Not all Church members living in evacuation-ordered communities are taking to the roads. Instead, they plan to stay inside their homes and batten down the proverbial hatches.More than 1 million people face mandatory evacuations Tuesday in coastal areas of North and South Carolina, along with Virginia, in response to one of the strongest hurricanes to threaten the region in decades, according to CNN.Fonseca and her family are waiting a bit longer to decide if they will evacuate. Her husband, Robin, is a Marine Corps officer stationed at the nearby Cherry Point air station. It’s unknown if he will be allowed to leave or ordered to stay on duty.“It looked like World War III had hit,” he said.And usually they, well, weather the winds and rains with trademark aplomb. Enduring an occasional violent storm is simply a part of life in eastern North and South Carolina. Even the Raleigh-based NHL hockey team is aptly named the Hurricanes.A letter from the Charleston stake presidency was read in units throughout the stake during Sunday meetings counseling members to be prepared and follow the direction of civic authorities.While obviously concerned, President Thornton said he is not frightened. “Our spirits are good and we’re putting our trust in God.”
Carlos and María S. Flores García
Carlos Flores García, 66, Dieciseis de Septiembre Ward, Puebla Mexico Arboledas Stake, called as president of the Veracruz Mexico Temple, succeeding President Craig N. Hansen. President Flores’s wife, María de Jesús Soto Llanes de Flores, will serve as temple matron, succeeding Sister Joan B. Hansen. He is a Veracruz Mexico Temple presidency counselor and a former stake presidency counselor, bishop, branch president, and senior missionary. A retired personnel manager, he was born in Atlixco, Puebla, Mexico, to Ruben Flores Torres and Raquel García Sedeño.
Sister Flores is an assistant to the matron of the Veracruz Mexico Temple and Relief Society compassionate service coordinator and a former stake Relief Society president, stake and ward Young Women president, stake Primary president, and senior missionary. She was born in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico, to Eduardo Soto Sevilla and María de la Luz Llanes Ángulo.The following new temple president and matron have been called by the First Presidency. They will begin their service in November.Veracruz Mexico Temple
Significance of the RestorationWith the revelatory approach he used both the Urim and Thummim, which was buried with the plates, and a seer stone—something Joseph found on his own.“I am grateful for the Holy Ghost.”Times of persecutionWhen speaking of the Restoration, Holbrook spoke of applying the gift of the Holy Ghost.“What matters to me is the content of the Book of Mormon,” she said, adding, “The Book of Mormon has shaped who I am and how I see the world.”The instruction Church members have in the Book of Mormon about plural marriage is found in Jacob 2. Monogamy is God’s standard for marriage, and plural marriage is an exception that occurs only when God commands it. Holbrook said Joseph Smith was reluctant to practice plural marriage, but he eventually instituted it because he wanted to obey God’s commandment to him. He began to introduce the practice to others in 1841. “They were shocked,” Holbrook said.
Young adults listen to Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speak during a worldwide Face to Face broadcast focusing on the history of the Church. Also participating in the September 9, 2018, event were Church historians Kate Holbrook and Matt Grow.“I have found that when I study Church history I gain spiritual ancestors,” she said. “Their examples, their experiences, their suffering—all of it is really meaningful to me. It makes me feel rooted. It makes me feel stronger than I did before learning their stories.”In preparation for the event, the Church received thousands of questions from young adults across the globe. Hosts Spencer Heslop, 24, and Maile Mayer, 18, read several questions during the broadcast, which focused on the time period from the First Vision in 1820 until the Saints completed the Nauvoo Temple in 1846. “We will answer as many as we can to give our perspective on the history of the Church,” said Elder Cook.Elder Cook said in the over 22 years he has been a General Authority, the desire of Church leaders “is to be as transparent as possible in terms of Church history and doctrine.”Some people “have even purposely misrepresented stories of the past to sow doubt,” he said.Grow compared the differing versions of Joseph Smith’s First Vision to a story one might tell of meeting his or her spouse when sharing that experience on four different occasions throughout a lifetime. A person might emphasize different details of the account in a journal entry the day it took place than when he or she does in a wedding video, in a letter written to a 12-year-old daughter, or in a recount told at a 50th wedding anniversary party. So it is with the First Vision accounts, he said.Holbrook said that “standing here in Nauvoo” has given her an awareness of how early Latter-day Saints “were able to prioritize faith in God’s will over every other consideration.”It is easy to play “gotcha” with the past, to pull a quotation or incident out of context and make it look alarming, he said.The Church History Department is not trying to hide or censor history but instead trying to make Church history “accessible, available, and understandable,” said Grow.“It reads like a novel, but don’t be fooled by that,” said Elder Cook. “Everything in it is backed up by facts. If it says it was raining, it was raining. If it says that Parley Pratt was angry with the Prophet Joseph, he was.”Grow said Holbrook’s story demonstrates the dynamic nature of the Church, where information has been available but has not been emphasized “sometimes because it feels uncomfortable and sometimes because the main purpose of Church meetings is to preach of the gospel of salvation.”Reliable answers to questions of Church historyWith the historic Nauvoo Illinois Temple as a backdrop, Elder Quentin L. Cook promised young adult members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that studying the history of the Church will deepen their faith and their desire to live the gospel more fully.While Joseph was in Liberty Jail, he received some bad news from Heber C. Kimball, that the justices of the Missouri Supreme Court had made the decision to not release him from jail, recalled Elder Cook.Addressing young adults ages 18 to 30 in a worldwide Face to Face event, Elder Cook answered significant questions about Church history on Sunday evening, September 9.As an Apostle, Elder Cook closed by bearing witness of Jesus Christ. “I am a sure witness of His divinity. I want you to know that He guides and directs the gospel and the Church in a way that will bless all of us. I testify to you that He lives.”“There is a lesson for you in that. Be of good cheer regardless of what you are being challenged with. But if you have things that are tempting you, get away from those.”A global history of the ChurchSpeaking of the Restoration, Elder Cook expressed gratitude for the Book of Mormon. “First of all, just think of having the Book of Mormon. Just think of having another witness of Jesus Christ.”There are still unanswered questions, Elder Cook said. He testified that “we have a loving Heavenly Father who has a perfect plan, that His plan is one of happiness, that we have a Savior who did everything for us. We can trust in Them.” (Learn more.)Elder Cook said it is clear there was a lot of sacrifice—as well as love and unity—in plural marriages, and they taught their children to sacrifice. Those children took the gospel of Jesus Christ across the world through missionary work, he said.Historical compilations such as the recently released Saints: The History of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days, the Joseph Smith Papers, and the Gospel Topics essays directly confront many of these challenging doctrinal and historical questions, he said. “The message to me of this openness is that the history of the Church can withstand scrutiny,” said Grow. “We don’t need to be afraid of it. It is inspiring. Sometimes we will have questions. But there are good answers.”Joined by Church historians Kate Holbrook and Matt Grow in the broadcast, Elder Cook spoke about polygamy, the methods Joseph Smith used to translate the Book of Mormon, the differing accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision, and other issues of historical importance. The Church is not hiding aspects of its 188-year-old history, he promised some 250 young adults on the temple grounds and thousands more gathered in locations across the globe.Elder Cook said he pondered early persecution of Church members as he was preparing spiritually for the Face to Face event. Before arriving in Nauvoo, Elder Cook and his wife, Sister Mary Cook, visited Far West and Liberty Jail and followed the route of the early Saints when they left Missouri. From Liberty Jail, Joseph received the “some of the most beautiful scripture,” found in Doctrine and Covenants 121, 122, and 123, said Elder Cook.“In the senior councils of the Church, there is a feeling that polygamy, as it was practiced, served its purpose and we should honor those Saints, but that purpose has been accomplished.”Following are summaries of some of the topics addressed during the Sunday, September 9, broadcast from the grounds of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple.“Wherever you are in this world, whatever lineage you come from, you are important, you are part of Church history. We very much need you and want you, and you will bless people’s lives.”Grow said Joseph Smith wrote or asked scribes to write four different accounts of the First Vision. “The accounts tell a basically consistent story,” he said.An important aspect of Joseph Smith’s practice of plural marriage was a distinction made between sealings for time and eternity, which involved commitments in this life, and sealings for eternity alone, which only involved commitments in the life to come, Grow said. “We know that some of Joseph Smith’s sealings that appear unusual to us and are difficult to understand fall into the category of sealings for eternity alone and seem to be about creating links between families in the next life,” he said.He encouraged the congregation to seek credible sources, including Saints.In answering questions about the translation of the Book of Mormon, Holbrook held a copy of a first-edition book. “Kate, do you know how valuable a first-edition Book of Mormon is?” quipped Elder Cook.Another area of interest is women’s history, said Grow. “Latter-day Saint women’s history is not just for women. It is for all Latter-day Saints. We are stronger as a people, stronger as a culture, when we hear the voices and learn from the experiences of women in the past.”As a historian, he said, he would worry about “complete uniformity among the accounts” because “that is not the way that memory works.”
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles addresses young adults during a worldwide Face to Face broadcast focusing on the history of the Church. Also participating in the September 9, 2018, event in Nauvoo, Illinois, were Church historians Kate Holbrook and Matt Grow.Speaking of persecution, Holbrook spoke of Emma Smith leaving Missouri across the Mississippi River when it was “a little bit frozen.” A wagon could not travel across the wide river. Emma with her children—an infant in her arms and the other three ages 2, 6, and 8—walked across the river with the transcripts of Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible under her skirt. With courage and faith, “she had to go out on the frozen river with the document and her children and take one step after another,” Holbrook said.Differing versions of Joseph Smith’s First VisionElder Cook shared his testimony of the Book of Mormon as the word of God and of the mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith. (Learn more.) Musicians perform before Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles addresses young adults during a worldwide Face to Face broadcast on September 9, 2018, that focused on the history of the Church. Also participating were Church historians Kate Holbrook and Matt Grow.As plural marriage was practiced officially for about 50 years “it was always something people could choose,” she said.She asked the young adults to take their questions to the Lord in prayer and then to listen.Holbrook said Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God. “Some of us want a little more information than that, but that is what he told us. His translation experiences were sacred and very personal, and he just didn’t give us much detail,” she said.While scholars do not know the exact number of those who practiced plural marriage, those who did were in the minority, she said.Elder Cook spoke of Joseph Smith, who in 1834 in a 14-foot by 14-foot school room addressed all the priesthood leaders in Kirtland. He said they did not have a sense of the destiny of the Church. The Church would fill North America and South America and the entire world, Joseph Smith prophesied. “We are seeing that,” Elder Cook said.Translation of the Book of MormonRather than be troubled by multiple accounts of the First Vision, Grow said Latter-day Saints should celebrate them.In addition, on many topics, Church leaders and historians know more now than they did 30 or 40 years ago, he said. “We do live in a new reality of the information age, when challenging information on Church history can appear on the social media feeds of members all around the world. So we have a heightened responsibility now to help members find good answers to their questions within the household of faith.” Young adults listen to Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as he addresses a worldwide Face to Face broadcast focusing on the history of the Church. The September 9, 2018, event originated in Nauvoo, Illinois.“Church history can be a significant source of faith,” Elder Cook said. But for some, Church history “has been misunderstood or overlooked” or “crowded out by larger concerns of the world.”“It took three months to translate the Book of Mormon,” she said. “It took eight months to print it. It took six years to write Saints, volume one, although that involved a really long approval process.”In 1890, the prophet Wilford Woodruff issued a manifesto that led to the end of plural marriage. “When some people heard this manifesto, they were relieved. It had been hard for them and they rejoiced,” Holbrook said. “And when some people heard this manifesto, they were devastated and they cried. They had sacrificed so much and they had testimonies of this principle.”“The Church did not hide information from me, but the historical information was not emphasized to me,” she said. In Sunday School and seminary she learned “the main work of the Church”—to repent, to bring her life in harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and how to establish a relationship with God. “These are the things in my life that I hold most dear.”Grow said the early Church moved forward with young, faithful leaders and members. “The early Latter-day Saints moment was a movement of the young people,” he said. “That is one of the exciting things about speaking to the young adults of the Church; it was their age group who converted to the Church in the 1830s and the 1840s. It was their age group who built the Church.”Church leaders chose the location for the broadcast—just over the hill from the final resting place of Joseph Smith, his wife Emma, and his brother Hyrum—“because Nauvoo and this temple were so pivotal to the history of the Church,” said Elder Cook. “The temple meant everything to the early Saints, and the ordinances they received there empowered them to do remarkable things in building the kingdom of God.”Elder Cook praised the generation—which has produced 600,000 full-time missionaries. “That is over 40 percent of all the missionaries that have ever served in this dispensation,” said Elder Cook.The example of Joseph in Liberty Jail and the Saints leaving Missouri without him is a wonderful example of strength and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, said Elder Cook.Fortunately, he had scribes and friends who did share some of the translation process, she said. What is known is that he started with a scholarly approach—which did not work—and then turned to a revelatory approach, she added.Church historians feel a great responsibility to write history that is honest and accurate.Church historians are also committed to telling the stories of the global Church, he said.The Church and transparencyGrow said the challenge in the information age is not to find answers but rather to discern between good and bad information. “That is one of the central tasks of a historian.”Missionaries went out almost immediately, said Elder Cook. They went to Canada, Great Britain, the Middle East, and the Pacific. While serving as President of the Church’s Pacific Islands Area from 1998 to 2001, Elder Cook met a seventh-generation Latter-day Saint.Grow said it is important to remember “the vast majority of Latter-day Saints throughout time have lived in monogamous marriages and monogamous families.”He said Joseph told Heber to be of good cheer and then instructed him to “get all the Saints out.”Along with Saints, the Church published 100 essays called Church History Topics. They provide further information on various people, places, and events, he said.Grow said one purpose of polygamy was to raise up “seed or a righteous posterity.” The extensive family history records of the Church reveal that “20 percent of living Church members descend from those who practiced plural marriage,” he said. “We know that throughout time those families have been a strength to the Church.”Elder Cook testified that “Joseph did see God the Father and Jesus Christ, and he was the instrument for the Restoration of the gospel.” (Learn more.)The book includes 71 pages of endnotes that will take the reader to other sources, said Elder Cook. “This is a book that you can use to answer questions. But if you read it, you are going to find that it builds your faith and helps you understand our ancestors and what they accomplished.”Holbrook shared her own experiences with the hard topics of Church history, including plural marriage and seer stones. She learned of Brigham Young’s plural wives when she was just 4 years old when her mother and grandmother worked as volunteer tour guides at the Beehive House on Temple Square. Later, she learned that Joseph Smith had practiced polygamy. However, she didn’t learn about seer stones until she was an adult and gained an interest in Church history, even though the Church had published an article in the Friend magazine on the topic when she was 2 years old.“In learning more, we will bind our hearts together with Saints of yesterday and today,” said Elder Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “We will find examples of imperfect people who went forward with faith and allowed God to work through them to accomplish His work.”NAUVOO, ILLINOIS Young adults listen to Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as he addresses a worldwide Face to Face broadcast focusing on the history of the Church. The September 9, 2018, event originated in Nauvoo, Illinois.Responding to the first question of whether or not the Church has been hiding information, Elder Cook, Holbrook, and Grow each assured the young adults of the Church’s commitment to history.Holbrook said she descends from people who chose to practice plural marriage—one was a seventh wife, one was a first wife. “Their example has taught me to center my life on faith,” she said. “Their example has taught me to keep putting one foot in front of the other and do so prayerfully.”There are so many historical discussions online about the Church’s history, he said. “Most of these discussions produce a lot more heat than light. … Be careful about sources of information that just seek to tear people down. Look instead for sources of information that are based on the records left by the people themselves and that seek to be fair to them.”That is why Church historians “do the work that we do,” she said.Elder Cook has served as a General Authority under three Church Presidents—Presidents Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson, and Russell M. Nelson. He noticed that when each was sustained as prophet, their hearts turned “towards the ordinances of the temple in a very dramatic way.” They each had “a sense of how significant [the temple] is to those of us here on this earth.”[Watch the entire broadcast.]Polygamy in the early days of the ChurchWhen Joseph Smith died, the Nauvoo Temple was still uncompleted, he said. Some months later, it become apparent to Brigham Young that the Saints would be driven from Nauvoo. Brigham Young asked the Lord if they should go or stay and finish the temple. Brigham was instructed to stay. In December 1845 enough of the temple was completed that it could be partially dedicated. The Saints worked “around the clock to prepare everyone spiritually for the journey west.”Grow said it is hard to capture a sacred experience in language. “Joseph Smith himself called language a ‘narrow little prison.’”She said historians do know dictated pages of the Book of Mormon look fluid and clean, where a page from Joseph’s personal journal is full of crossed-out words and incomplete sentences. Holbrook said Emma Smith said Joseph would sit down and begin translation without asking for a reminder about where he had left off.Elder Cook said there are many areas of knowledge where the internet is helpful. But in some areas—including politics and religion—there is “misinformation” and an “effort to distort things.”She acknowledged that it is painful for a person to learn of an aspect of Church history they thought they should have known but did not.Grow said the early Church was really a church of young adults.Broadcast as the sun set along the banks of the Mississippi River, the Face to Face event was held to “inform and answer questions with an emphasis on Church history.” The broadcast followed the recent release of the Church’s new narrative history, Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days. (See related story.)Elder Cook said there has always been a balance to teaching things that are essential, things that will lead to exaltation, and answering questions that are of concern to some in the Church.“Many of you have trials and tribulations; many of you have difficulties,” said Elder Cook, speaking of a loving Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ.
Bride’s room in the Concepción Chile Temple.
Angel Moroni at the top of the Concepción Chile Temple.The baptistry in the Concepción Chile Temple.The neoclassic styled temple stands at 124 feet tall and is typical of other historic Chilean church buildings. The interior features original art glass and stone from Portugal and Spain and includes lapis lazuli—deep blue metamorphic rock that is native to Chile. An angel Moroni statue stands at the top of a domed spire.During the announcement in conference, President Monson said at that time 83 percent of Church members live within 200 miles of a temple.Located near the Biobio River along the Pacific Coast in central Chile, the 23,000-square-foot temple will be the Church’s 160th temple and will serve some 122,000 Church members living in southern Chile and southwest Argentina. Staircase décor in the Concepción Chile Temple.The temple, announced during the Saturday morning session of the October 2009 general conference, will be the second temple in Chile. The first temple, built in Santiago in 1983 and rededicated in 2006, is located more than 300 miles away from the new temple.The dedication is scheduled for Sunday, October 28, and will include three dedicatory sessions. The services will be broadcast for members throughout Chile, and the evening before the dedication, the youth of the temple district will participate in a special devotional. Entryway in the Concepción Chile Temple.The open house for the recently finished temple will run from September 15 to October 13, prior to the dedication on October 28. (See related article.)“We desire that as many members as possible have an opportunity to attend the temple without having to travel inordinate distances,” he said. Grand staircase in the Concepción Chile Temple. Sealing room in the Concepción Chile Temple. The Concepción Chile Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Tickets are required for the temple open house. Guests are invited to tour the temple every day of the week except Sundays (September 16, 23, 30, and October 7). The celestial room in the Concepción Chile Temple. Instruction room in the Concepción Chile Temple.Nine years after President Thomas S. Monson announced there would be a temple in Concepción, Chile, Church and community members will be able to tour the edifice. The Concepción Chile Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Instruction room in the Concepción Chile Temple.
Church resourcesSeptember 7–9, 2018, is the National Weekend of Prayer for Faith, Hope, and Life sponsored by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.In a series of videos released in July, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encourages Latter-day Saints to listen to and love those considering suicide. “Reach out in love and caring for those who have suicidal thoughts, who have attempted suicide, who feel marginalized in any way,” Elder Renlund says. “We need to reach out with love and understanding. And you do that in concert with health care professionals, with ecclesiastical leaders, with friends and family support.”In a September 2 Facebook post, Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles asked those suffering from feelings of self-harm, isolation, or hopelessness to seek help. “Ask for help from your Heavenly Father and the Savior, who understand you and your circumstances completely,” his post read. “Ask for help from family and friends who are keenly interested in your well-being. Ask for help from caring professionals who can use their training to help you. You are loved and needed, and there are many who are eager to assist in time of need.“Other Church leaders have also addressed the topic of suicide recently.Following is a list of some of the helpful resources the Church has created to increase awareness about suicide and encourage communication and support among Latter-day Saints:According to the World Health Organization, suicide is the second-leading cause of death among 15- to 29-year-olds globally, with more than 800,000 deaths due to suicide each year. That’s approximately one person every 40 seconds. Many more attempt suicide.In a September 6 Facebook post, Sister Michelle D. Craig, First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, assured anyone who may be suffering that they are not alone. “Through your faith, the support of others, and effective treatment by trained professionals, you can persevere through the darkness of today and soon experience a rich and rewarding life. You can find peace in Christ.”
In a video, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encourages Latter-day Saints to listen to and love those considering suicide.Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. of the Seventy spoke at the Utah State Capitol Friday, September 7, to help promote the weekend of prayer and continue the Church’s participation in Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert’s Teen Suicide Prevention Task Force.
Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. of the Seventy spoke at the Utah State Capitol Friday, September 7, to help promote the weekend of prayer.Elder Curtis concluded his remarks by listing what he will be praying for this weekend. “My prayer is that we will all recognize things that we can do to help those around us who might be struggling and that we will have the courage to do those things,” he said. “I pray for those who feel marginalized and alone that they will know they are our brothers and sisters. I pray that they will feel loved, valued, and needed in their homes, their congregations, and their communities. I pray they will know of the genuine love and concern we have for them. Their struggle is our struggle.” (Read Elder Curtis’s full remarks.)
The image showcases a boxy three-story temple with the traditional angel Moroni statue atop a center spire.The building will be located in a new subdivision known as Crestview Estates—Division 2, located east of Satterfield Drive and Butte Street in Pocatello.The temple, announced by President Thomas S. Monson on April 2, 2017, during general conference, will be the Gem State’s sixth temple. Other temples are located in Boise, Rexburg, Twin Falls, Idaho Falls, and Meridian.Church and community members now have an idea of what the new Pocatello Idaho Temple will look like after the Church released a rendering on September 6.The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was dedicated in 1945 and rededicated on June 4, 2017. Decades later came the Boise temple in 1984. That was followed by the Twin Falls and the Rexburg Temples, both dedicated in 2008. The Meridian Idaho Temple was dedicated on November 19, 2017.The temple serves some of the nearly half a million members who live in Idaho, and construction is expected to begin in 2019. Construction is expected to take two to three years.
“I knew my wife and I had married in the temple. We were sealed to each other and to our 10 beautiful children. I realized that our temple marriage was more important than any other achievement in my life.”“He did this for you and for me so we could follow His gospel and return to our Heavenly Father,” said Elder Renlund.They marked the beginning of what’s believed to be the first time a Church President delivered an extended message in a language other than English.But then a miracle happened. The speed of the fall extinguished the fire and the plane was able to land safely. President Nelson said he expected to die at that moment. But he was not afraid. He remained calm.SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC“Con su permiso, quisiera hablar en español.”“If you do this, you will always have the Spirit with you,” President Nelson said. “What a blessing.” Dominican Latter-day Saints bid farewell to President Russell M. Nelson following the September 1, 2018, member devotional in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Photo courtesy of the Caribbean Area. President Russell M. Nelson greets a little boy following a September 1, 2018, member devotional in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is at left. Photo courtesy of the Caribbean Area.In his remarks at the September 1 gathering, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared personal insight on traveling with the prophet: “No matter how good you think he is, he’s better.”But when uttered by President Russell M. Nelson on September 1 to a standing-room only audience of Dominican Latter-day Saints, those words assumed unexpected, even historic significance.He wrongly assumed that the cleansing benefits of baptism, along with the gift of the Holy Ghost, was a singular event.Sister Renlund spoke of hiking recently with her husband and their daughter, Ashley. The family was able to arrive safely to their desired destination because others had correctly marked the path.Sister Gonzalez testified of the priceless power that comes from the gospel. President Russell M. Nelson enjoys a lighthearted moment with a baby girl following a September 1, 2018, member devotional in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Photo courtesy of the Caribbean Area.President Nelson counseled the Caribbean members to remain worthy to enter the temple and to remember that the ordinances of the temple are eternal, allowing families to be together forever.Elder Renlund admitted to being a mischievous boy when he was 8 years old. Once, shortly after he was baptized, his father pulled him from the path of an oncoming truck. Young Dale wondered at that moment if maybe it would have been best if he had been killed because he knew he would make mistakes in the future.It’s also essential that parents teach their children and others about Jesus Christ.Like the prophets of old, President Nelson directs people to the Savior. He is supported by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.President Nelson’s gentle opening words prompted an audible response, and many began dabbing their eyes listening to his words: “Mis queridos hermanos y hermanas”—“My dear brothers and sisters.”“It was wonderful listening to the prophet in our language,” said Santo Domingo resident Michel Acosta, who helped with the security team at the event. “I felt such happiness. … I’ll never forget it.”God’s commandments and the words of the prophets are proven “path markers” to spiritual safety, she said.His counsel for the day was simple: keep the commandments.A simple phrase, translated: “With your permission, I would like to speak in Spanish.”“We can be as clean as we were on the day of our baptisms.”Caribbean Area President Walter F. Gonzalez, a General Authority Seventy, joined Sister Ruth Renlund and Sister Zulma Gonzalez in also offering brief remarks at the Santo Domingo member devotional. Sister Wendy Nelson, President Nelson’s wife who has spoken previously at such devotionals this year, did not accompany him on this trip to the Caribbean.“His Atonement is the most important event in world history and is the foundation of our religion,” he said. “All other things concerning our religion are secondary to it.”He shared an experience from traveling on a small plane. One of the engines caught fire and exploded, sending the aircraft into a spiral dive. Many of the passengers began screaming in fear.
President Russell M. Nelson delivers his message and testimony in Spanish at a September 1, 2018, member devotional in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Photo courtesy of the Caribbean Area.“I would like to thank you for your great faith and your devotion and for your tithes and offerings. [Thank you] for your sons and daughters who serve as missionaries for the Church and for your kindness. Thank you very, very much.”The Latter-day Saints gathered inside the Santo Domingo stake center—along with many others across the Caribbean Area watching live via broadcast—were already thrilled to have their prophet present in their corner of the world. President Nelson’s decision to speak in their native tongue made his visit even more meaningful.“That is not the doctrine of Christ,” he said. Instead, Christ’s followers endure to the end “by repeating those steps over and over,” by exercising faith, repenting, listening to the Holy Ghost, and partaking of the sacrament.Elder Gonzalez testified of the Book of Mormon and the sacred call of President Nelson and Elder Renlund. He encouraged all to follow the Church President’s counsel to seek personal revelation.President Nelson concluded his remarks in Spanish by invoking an apostolic blessing on his vast audience, assuring them that they would “prosper in the land and have joy in their posterity” by keeping God’s commandments. Audience members squeeze into a stake center in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, for a September 1, 2018, member devotional presided over by President Russell M. Nelson. Photo courtesy of the Caribbean Area.The Atonement opens the door to eternal opportunities, and through faith and repentance, a person can live with his or her family in the presence of Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, forever.President Nelson began with a few words of gratitude for the Dominican and Caribbean members.He continued: Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy. By doing so, a person signals his or her respect for a Heavenly Father who commanded His children to remain “unspotted from the world” by observing the day of rest. Regularly partake of the sacrament to remember the Son and His atoning sacrifice.Continue on the covenant path, he added. Remember, the Savior made the atoning sacrifice and became the Advocate.The 93-year-old leader said when he and his late wife, Sister Dantzel Nelson, were a young married couple, they once found themselves without enough money to pay their tithing, so Sister Nelson went to the hospital where she traded her blood for money. The Nelsons used that money to pay their tithing “and have continued to do so ever since.”“Remember to pray every morning and every night. Pray with your families. Pray in private. Pray to our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. In doing so, He will guide you for good in everything you do.”
FebruaryJanuaryJust in time for planning and scheduling 2019 stake and ward events, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released the dates for 2019 Churchwide events like general conference and worldwide devotionals for young adults.Saturday, April 6
General sessions of general conferenceSunday, January 13
Worldwide Devotional for Young AdultsSaturday, April 6
General priesthood session of general conferenceJulyDecemberOctoberYou can find more detailed information about individual events on events.lds.org. Be sure to check this web page often as additional details about each event, such as names of speakers and links to the broadcast schedule, will be added as they become available.Thursday-Friday, May 2–3
BYU Women’s Conference (messages from an Apostle and the Relief Society General Presidency)Sunday, October 6
General sessions of general conferenceSunday, May 5
Worldwide Devotional for Young AdultsThe dates were released in an official notice to stake presidents, bishops, and other leaders.AprilSunday, April 7
General sessions of general conferenceMarchSaturday, October 5
General women’s session of general conference
General sessions of general conferenceSeptemberSunday, December 8
First Presidency Christmas DevotionalSaturday, March 2
RootsTech Family Discovery DaySaturday, July 13
Tabernacle Choir Pioneer Day Concert broadcastSunday, September 8
Worldwide Devotional for Young AdultsNovemberFriday, February 8
An Evening with a General Authority (Church Educational System personnel only)MayWednesday, November 20
Face to Face for YouthThe events, listed below, are also included in your ward and stake calendar on LDS.org and in the LDS Tools app.