A 24-year old full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, died Thursday, November 8, of a sudden illness.Elder Spencer Owusu, 24, from Ghana, had been serving in the Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan West Mission since September 2018.“We sincerely pray for his parents and loved ones as they mourn his passing and remember his life and service,” according to a Church statement.Church leaders announced the death of the young missionary “with profound sadness.”Before his death, Elder Owusu reported not feeling well and was taken to an emergency room, according to Church spokeman Daniel Woodruff. However, the exact cause of his death is still not known.
Of the more than 100 paintings in the exhibit, the subject matters vary—sometimes highlighting his wife and children, sometimes a memory of a place he has been during his Church service, and sometimes the painting captures a moment in his own family history. President Henry B. Eyring discusses the different pieces of his art on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.A painting of Paris again turned his thoughts to his wife. Watercolor paintings by President Henry B. Eyring on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.These small-scale watercolor paintings capture memories and feelings of important people and moments in his life, creating a “visual journal.”A painting of his two daughters as young girls got him talking about his family. Another image of horses sparked a comment about his father, who grew up in the Church colonies in Mexico. President Henry B. Eyring discusses the different pieces of his art on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.“Sweet Kathy,” he said as he looked at a painting he had done depicting his wife as a young girl in a green rowboat at a favorite family vacation spot. “It is not a great painting, but oh, it really gets me.”“I hurt my back surfing,” he recalled. So he pulled out his paints and began painting. President Henry B. Eyring discusses the different pieces of his art on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Watercolor paintings by President Henry B. Eyring on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.During the time he was president of Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) in Rexburg, Idaho, in the mid-1970s, President Henry B. Eyring received an invitation to paint in the outdoors with one of the college’s faculty members, Richard Bird. President Henry B. Eyring discusses one of his watercolor paintings on display for a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.And a new exhibit on the second floor of the Church History Museum—open November 8 through January 21, 2019—highlights a fraction of those paintings.“Not bad when you never had a lesson,” he joked. A watercolor painting by President Henry B. Eyring on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.
The painting ”Bark Diana—Bremerhaven, Germany“ by President Henry B. Eyring, is one of the paintings on display at a special exhibit in the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.President Henry B. Eyring discusses the different pieces of his art on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.“I’ve learned to do it quickly,” he said.“I don’t consider myself an artist,” President Eyring said. “I am a fellow who likes art and who likes memories. … I can’t resist capturing a memory.” President Henry B. Eyring discusses the different pieces of his art on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.Alan Johnson, director of the Church History Museum said, “We are just thrilled that he agreed to let us show his work. … He was not wanting to be the focus or center of attention because he is so humble. But in talking with him, the show became about gratitude, remembering, creativity, and love, so once we entered those things into the conversation he was more open to letting us do a show. … It’s really meaningful to him and now it will be meaningful to a lot of other people.”“I have feelings while I paint certain kinds of things,” President Eyring said in a video accompanying the exhibit. “I can’t do it unless I have something I care about. So I pray to know; I can’t just go do a picture to do a nice picture.”Prior to the exhibit’s official opening, President Eyring took a walk through the new gallery. With each picture he approached, he smiled, pointed at the image and, with emotion in his voice, shared a snippet of what the image in front of him was depicting.The exhibit’s title, “A Visual Journal: Artwork of Henry B. Eyring” is exactly that—a journal of his family, friends and important places in his life.When asked why he does watercolor, he replied: “it’s faster.” Watercolor paintings by President Henry B. Eyring are on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.That day in the outdoors sparked an interest that has continued as President Eyring has raised his family and served in the Presiding Bishopric, as Commissioner of the Church Educational System, as a General Authority Seventy, as an Apostle, and as a counselor in the First Presidency to three prophets. President Henry B. Eyring discusses the different pieces of his art on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. President Henry B. Eyring discusses the different pieces of his art on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Sketches by President Henry B. Eyring are part of the many different pieces of his art on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.
President Henry B. Eyring discusses the different pieces of his art on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.Sketches by President Henry B. Eyring are part of the many different pieces of his art on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Watercolor supplies and sketching pencils along with a few sketches by President Henry B. Eyring are among the different pieces on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. A watercolor painting by President Henry B. Eyring on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. President Henry B. Eyring discusses the different pieces of his art on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.“I painted this for a family home evening,” he said, pointing to the painting “Bark Diana—Bremerhaven, Germany.” The painting depicts a ship crossing choppy waters. Although it wasn’t a memory from his own life, it was the ship on which his ancestors, siblings Henry and Bertha Eyring, traveled to America in about 1840. President Henry B. Eyring discusses the different pieces of his art on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. A watercolor painting by President Henry B. Eyring is on display in a special exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.“We found seven categories or reoccurring moments,” said Laura Allred Hurtado, global acquisitions art curator for the Church History Museum. “One of the things I tried to do is get to the core meaning of his paintings, to do more than just recognize the art as worthwhile, but to look at the memories and people.”For President Eyring, the images are more than just paint on paper—they are “memories I want to preserve.”He continued through the exhibit, commenting here and there.“Kathy—oh!”A glance at another painting of his children playing on a beach sparked another memory.His motivation behind the art—feelings.To date, President Eyring has produced more than 1,000 paintings—and continues to do more. He keeps a set of paints both at home and at his office, and often packs them with him as he travels.“I would have told you [there were only] a few,” he said, surprised at the number of paintings. “I get an idea and then sketch a little bit.”After meeting only once or twice, President Eyring, who now serves as the Second Counselor in the First Presidency, picked up a new way of journaling—through watercolor.
“We feel that Saroo’s message will be a perfect fit for the conference as RootsTech continues to showcase how connecting with others deepens our own sense of belonging,” said Jen Allen, event director. “Saroo’s desire to connect with his biological family came at a time when emerging technology barely made it possible. Now, there are hundreds of tools and technologies to facilitate connection with others, but Saroo’s determination led him there anyway. His story is a perfect fit for RootsTech.”When he finally arrived in Khandwa, he asked the taxi driver to take him to the railway station. From there, his feet knew the way. When he knew he was close to home he began showing photos of himself as a child to the locals and saying the names of his biological siblings. This soon led him to an emotional reunion with his biological mother, and just hours later he was reunited with his siblings.“I’m thrilled to be a part of the 2019 RootsTech as a guest speaker! I hope my story will resonate with many attendees evoking all sorts of attributes of identity, hope, determination, and chance,” said Brierley. “I’m super excited—can’t wait to see you all!”Eventually, Brierley met a teenager who took him to a police station. From there he was placed in a government care center for abandoned children and later moved to the Indian Society for Sponsorship and Adoption. At five years, Brierley couldn’t provide enough information for the society to locate his mother. In time, he was adopted by a family from Hobart, Tasmania, in Australia, where he was raised to adulthood.Brierley, now a successful businessman in Australia, regularly visits and video chats with his biological family in India and travels the world sharing his miraculous reunification story.RootsTech has announced that Saroo Brierley will be the keynote speaker at RootsTech on Friday, March 1, 2019. Brierley is well known for his remarkable family reunification story as depicted in the 2016 film Lion, which is an adaptation of Brierley’s autobiography, A Long Way Home. (Find out more at RootsTech.org.)Brierley was born in Ganesh, Talai, a suburb within Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, India. In 1986, at five years old, he was accidentally separated from his older brother, Guddu, at a train station in Burhanpur. Lost and alone, Brierley boarded a train he supposed his brother to be on and ended up nearly 1,500 kilometers from his village. He survived for weeks by scavenging food, spent time in a prison for children, and narrowly missed what he now believes may have led to a life of being trafficked.Though Brierley was raised in a loving home by his adoptive parents, he was haunted by the unknowns of his birth, his biological family, and where he’d come from. He spent many late evenings in his early twenties working relentlessly to pair his vague childhood memories of India with what he could see on Google Earth. Late one night he finally found familiar landmarks that matched the places he remembered. Through Facebook and YouTube he was able to verify the likelihood that what he was seeing was indeed his childhood home. It provided enough confirmation to make the trip to India.
President Russell M. Nelson and Sister Wendy Nelson tour through the Rome Italy Temple during an early construction phase. Photo courtesy of the Nelson family.The dates for the free public open house remain the same next year, running from Monday, January 28, to Saturday, February 16, excluding Sundays.When the dates for the Rome temple's open house and dedication were originally announced in March 2018, an eight-day period in 2019—from Sunday, March 10, to Sunday, March 17—was set aside for possible dedication services. The recent announcement shortens the dedication days to three. The Rome Italy Temple nears completion in Rome, Italy on April 15, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News. A display model shows the Rome Italy Temple and grounds. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.Located near the Grande Raccordo Anulare in northeast Rome, the temple will be the first in Italy and will serve more than 23,000 Church members in Italy and neighboring countries. It will be the 13th temple in Europe.Following a November 5 letter sent to Church leaders, the Church announced the new dates for dedication are Sunday, March 10, 2019, through Tuesday, March 12, 2019. The Rome Italy Temple nears completion in Rome, Italy on April 15, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.
Julie M. and Craig N. Pacini have been called to serve as the matron and temple president for the Rome Italy Temple.Craig Neil Pacini and his wife, Julie Anne Metcalfe Pacini, were announced earlier this year, in July, as the future temple president and matron for the Rome Italy Temple. They will begin their service following the formal dedication in March.The temple was announced in October 2008 and construction began in October 2010. President Thomas S. Monson presided over the groundbreaking ceremony on October 23, 2010, joined by Church and community leaders.Reservations for attending the open house can be made at templeopenhouse.lds.org beginning a few week prior to the open house.“The sacred ordinances performed in this holy temple will unite families for eternity,”said Church President Russell M. Nelson in a Newsroom release. “God loves all His children equally and has provided a way for them to be linked in love, generation to generation. We are thrilled to be able to dedicate a temple in this city replete with historical importance throughout the ages.” The sun sets behind the Rome Italy Temple nearing completion in Rome, Italy on April 15, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.The temple is a three-story, 40,000-square-foot building with an exterior constructed from granite and an interior which includes marble, woodwork and decorative painting. The temple stands as part of a 15-acre religious and cultural complex, which will include a visitors’ center, a family history center, a multi-purpose meetinghouse and some housing for temple patrons.The dates of dedication for the Rome Italy Temple have been amended, as announced Wednesday, November 7, by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Missionary work in Ivory Coast began just three decades ago, and the first meetinghouses in late 1990s. In his April 2015 general conference address (the same conference as the aforementioned temple announcements), Elder Andersen highlighted a pair of the Church’s “pioneer” couples in the country—Lucien and Agathe Affoue and Philippe and Annelies Assard—who separately had joined the Church in Europe before relocating in Ivory Coast in the 1980s and meeting and forming a Sunday School.“Each time I enter in the temple, I am touched by the fact that the Lord permits us to enter in His holy house to receive the blessings that we cannot receive in any other place on earth,” said Sister Andersen.An Apostle’s message and prayer and testimonies from a three-generation Latter-day Saint family highlighted the Thursday, November 8, groundbreaking ceremonies for the Abidjan Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) Temple. Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, with his wife, Sister Kathy Andersen, is joined by Elder Marcus B. Nash, Africa West Area President, and Ivory Coast leaders and dignitaries in breaking grounds for the construction of the Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Temple on November 8, 2018.The Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple will be the sixth on the African continent. Three temples are currently operating—in Aba, Nigeria; Accra, Ghana; and Johannesburg, South Africa. The Abidjan temple will join ones in Durban, South Africa, and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo as the three temples under construction.From Annelies Assard: “With a grateful heart, I testify to you, dear brothers and sisters, that Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Messiah and that our Heavenly Father listens to the prayers of His Saints. We are in His true and living Church.” Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Sister Kathy Andersen help Primary children at the groundbreaking ceremonies of the Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Temple on November 8, 2018.Another four temples have been announced but not yet started—in Harare, Zimbabwe; Nairobi, Kenya; Lagos, Nigeria; and Praia, Cape Verde.“Today is a sacred day, a holy day, a day that will long be remembered in the records kept in heaven and by the Saints of God here in the Ivory Coast,” said Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who presided at the ceremony and offered his remarks and a dedicatory prayer in French, the official language of the West African nation of more than 24 million people.“The building of this temple means that the restored kingdom of God will be established here in Abidjan and throughout the Ivory Coast until the Savior returns to the earth, and that there will be covenant people here to receive Him when he returns.” The exterior rendering of the Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire Temple, which was released in October 2018. Sisters take over the shovels in the ceremonial groundbreaking the Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Temple on November 8, 2018.The temple was one of three new temples—along with ones for Bangkok, Thailand, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti—announced by the late President Thomas S. Monson on April 5, 2015, during the Sunday morning session of general conference. The temple is being built near the Cocody Côte d'Ivoire Stake center, and a rendering of the temple’s exterior was released last month. Two of the Church's pioneering couples in Ivory Coast—the Assards and the Affixes—were featured in Elder Neil L. Andersen's April 2015 general conference talk. From left, Annelies Assard, Philippe Assard, Lucien Affoue, and Agathe Affoue.Elder Andersen was joined by his wife, Sister Kathy Andersen, who also spoke in French during the ceremony, as well as Elder Marcus B. Nash, General Authority Seventy and Africa West Area President, and his wife, Sister Shelley Nash; and Elder Edward Dube, General Authority Seventy and First Counselor in the Africa West Area, and his wife, Sister Naume Dube.She added: “My dear brothers and sisters, you have made so many sacrifices to go to the temple and to return year after year. We are greatly strengthened by your faith and your devotion.”From Dorothée Anzoua, a daughter of the Assards: “When I think of the Lord Jesus Christ and the wonderful gift He gave me by sacrificing himself for me, I am infinitely grateful to Him. This feeling of love and gratitude strengthens and motivates me every day to make the right choice and to consult the Holy Spirit to guide and lead in my daily journey. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ that teaches me the truths about the plan of salvation and the eternal life promised to those who follow His way.”The Assards were married in her native Germany, where they joined the Church and were sealed in the Swiss Temple, later moving to his native Ivory Coast. In his remarks at the groundbreaking, Elder Andersen shared the testimonies of three generations of the Assard family.“Let this be an example for us in our own lives. Let us devote ourselves during these months of construction to better shaping our character and souls to be ready to enter the dedicated temple. Let us be better husbands and wives, better children; let us be more true to following the Savior. … Let us be honest in our tithes and offerings. Let us be kind and generous to those around us. Let us pray with humility and real intent.” Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Sister Kathy Andersen, and Elders Marcus B. Nash and Edward Dube of the Africa West Area Presidency join Primary children at the groundbreaking ceremonies of the Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Temple on November 8, 2018.Elder Andersen explained that the construction of the Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple—estimated to take two years—will involve the best materials and best work of craftsmen and construction crews. In short, he said, “We will ask for near perfection in materials and labor.”While the 10 a.m. groundbreaking was an invitation-only event, the proceedings were broadcast to local meetinghouses. Also attending and speaking were Daniel Kablan Duncan, the nation’s vice-president, and M. Mattias N’Gouan, major of Cocody.And from Marie-Emmanuelle Anzoua, a granddaughter almost 13 years old: “The gospel and the Church are very important in my life because without them, I would not know our good Savior who made so many sacrifices for us to become just and right. I am very [grateful] to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ because we have the restored truth. Our Eternal Father and His Son Jesus Christ have done so much for us that we cannot count it. So, obey His commandments, glorify Him, and sanctify Him.” Invited by Elder Neil L. Andersen to come closer to the ceremonial groundbreaking, missionaries gather at the future site of the the Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Temple on November 8, 2018.Citing teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle challenged the local Latter-day Saints to a similar task in their personal preparations.Ivory Coast is home to nearly 44,000 Latter-day Saints, 14 stakes, 211 congregations, and two missions. Church members in Abidjan, the country’s largest urban center on the southern Atlantic coast, currently attend the Accra Ghana Temple, which requires a 12-hour one-way trip by car to reach.
In many allied nations, Armistice Day is a national holiday coinciding with Veterans Day and Remembrance Day to celebrate the endings of both World War I and World War II. In the warring nations of World War I, millions registered for war and millions served. Twenty-one million were wounded and 20 million died.As countries pause to remember, families seek to document their ancestors’ wartime stories. The stories from WWI are no longer first-person memories, but they do exist on documents, in pictures, and as memorabilia. The era’s records supply rich ancestral details including physical characteristics, vital information, service details, and more.Among World War I records are draft cards, cemetery records, and statement of service cards. The armed services kept military records that name the names and describe the work of those who served in any capacity.On Veterans Day 2018 this Sunday, the world will look back a century to the victory of Allied forces and the signing of the Armistice that marked the end of World War I. With that signing, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the world rejoiced.Some records are unexpected today. For example, American women married to non-American men lost citizenship. Many created citizenship papers to be renaturalized. Nearly everyone who had a male ancestor aged 21–30 that lived in the U.S. during WWI can find a record of that ancestor.In memory of those who served, FamilySearch has added millions of new, free historical records to help families discover more about their WWI veteran ancestors. Search the WWI collections at FamilySearch.org.FamilySearch has a large, constantly expanding, free collection of World War I records to help remember World War I soldiers. Governments on both sides of the conflict, Allied nations (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Belgium, Serbia, and Italy) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire) created a treasure trove of documents useful to genealogists.Jennifer Davis, a family historian, found all four of her great-grandfathers in the WWI Draft Records online—even though none of them served active duty. “The only picture I have of my great-grandpa Figgins is in black and white from a copy of a newspaper clipping,” said Davis. “In his draft record, it gives a physical description of him and says his eyes are brown. That’s a cool discovery, because I never would have known his eye color.”
William Earl Potts from Juab County, Utah, served in France in WWI.The draft records can be the perfect springboard to searching other records, because they often give hints about the registered individual, such as clues to family members listed in the “closest living relative” section or employment clues.
President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, wave to attendees after a devotional in Lima, Peru, on October 20, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.Speaking from Chile—the final stop of a five-country, nine-day tour through South America—Sister Nelson said her husband’s focus on shifting to a home-centered, Church-supported curriculum; using the full and inspired name of the Church; ministering; simplifying and reducing; and emphasizing a covenant path comes from the Lord.Sister Nelson said President Nelson’s innovative approach has prepared him for some of responsibilities as President of the Church. “He’s not afraid to do something different. …Sister Nelson said she sees the Lord strengthening her husband. Being among the membership of the Church is energizing to him, she added. “If he is at home he’ll say, ‘It’s wonderful to be home, but I need to be with the people.’” President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, greet missionaries in Asuncion, Paraguay, on Monday, October 22, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.“He is not playing to the crowds with this at all,” she said. “He is only reporting to the Lord, and he is fearless with that focus.”“He is saying, ‘What really is needful?’ If we’re really preparing the Church and the world for the Second Coming of the Savior, he is sincere about that. He doesn’t want us spending money, time, energy on anything that isn’t really focused on that.”“I’ve never been to South America with the President of the Church,” she said.“He has seen the faith of the people. He’s seen the love of the people for the Lord. Now he’s seen the love of the people for the temple.”“What’s caught my attention about that is to see how much the people love the Lord, and therefore they’re so drawn to the prophet.”Sister Nelson said she has also changed during the last 10 months.In addition, when President Nelson was born in 1924 there were no Latter-day Saints in South America; today, membership in the Church there exceeds 4 million.“They feel very safe with him. They feel they can trust him.”In the 10 months since President Nelson has been prophet, he has found great happiness, said Sister Nelson. “He’s doing what he came to earth to do, so why wouldn’t he be happy?” she said. “He was foreordained to be the prophet of God on the earth today, and when you’re doing what you said you would do, of course you’re going to be happy.”President Russell M. Nelson is “fearless” in his focus as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson.The historic trip to Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chile followed President Nelson’s 94th birthday. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been officially organized for 188 years—exactly double President Nelson’s age.“He loves South America,” said Sister Nelson of President Nelson, who visited Uruguay and Chile as a cardiac surgeon before becoming an Apostle. President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, walk near the temple in Concepcion, Chile, on Saturday, October 27, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.“The reality of the Lord is more real,” she explained. “The reality of the truthfulness of the gospel is more real. The reality of … the previous 16 prophets of this dispensation is more real. The fact of Joseph Smith is more real. It is like everything that I have known is now on steroids and put in a beautiful gold frame.”And when he has the chance to worry, what does President Nelson worry about? “He worries about what is needful,” said Sister Nelson. “What does the Lord really want him to put in place? What does the Lord want him to get people doing?”
President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, hug near the temple in Concepcion, Chile, on Saturday, October 27, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.Sister Nelson has been to South America with President Nelson many times. But this trip felt different, she said.CONCEPCION, CHILE President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, and Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles look over a few items given to them by Church members after the dedication of the Concepcion Chile Temple on Sunday, October 28, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.During the trip, President Nelson asked parents in every country to teach their children what it means to be a child of God. His sentiment is deep, Sister Nelson said.She spoke of being with the children in South America, who are “drawn to … the Savior’s love that my husband exudes.”
“I have found the gospel to be very simple but also very profound,” he said in his final conference address. “Once we have sufficient faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that we believe He has paid for our sins, then we will repent. And no one truly repents until they believe in Christ” (“Endure to the End in Charity,” Oct. 1994 general conference).During his time as a General Authority, Elder Rector completed various assignments including: interim president of the Florida Italy Rome Mission in 1969, the first mission president to preside over the Alabama Florida Mission from 1971-1972, mission president of the California San Diego Mission from 1977-1979; counselor in the Young Men General Presidency from 1986-1988; First Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency from 1991-1992; and in the area presidencies of the North America Southwest Area, South America North Area, and North America Central Area. From October 1991 to August 1994, Elder Rector served as Assistant Executive Director of the Family History Department. He was also the managing director of the Genealogical Department from 1979-1988. He spoke in general conference seven times. (Browse his conference talks.) He married Constance Daniel on October 12, 1947, and together they have nine children. He studied at Murray State Teachers College and at the University of Southern California, and enlisted in the Naval Reserve Aviation Cadet program in 1942 and became a naval aviator and was commissioned an ensign in 1945. Although he was released from active duty in 1947, just three years later, in 1950, Elder Rector returned to being a Navy pilot with the outbreak of the Korean War and he remained on active duty until 1958.“I knew the book was true before I had finished 2 Nephi—Nephi had converted one more—and began to attend church in the old Valencia Park Ward in San Diego,” he said in his last general conference address in October 1994. “Because of my preparation for deployment, I was not able to study and attend church as I wanted to and longed for the time when I could.”At the time of his return to the Navy, he and his wife and two young children moved to San Diego, California. While he was away on a 14-week training course in Hawaii, missionaries knocked on the door of his home and his wife began learning about the Church. After he returned from Hawaii she gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he began to read.Hartman Rector Jr. was born on August 20, 1924, in Moberly, Missouri, to Hartman Rector and Vivian Fay Garvin. Preceding him in death is his wife, Connie, who passed away in February 2015.Nearly two decades after his baptism, he was called by President David O. McKay to be a member of the First Council of the Seventy. At the time, he was the first convert to be called as a General Authority since John Morgan, who had been called 86 years previously.Elder Hartman Rector Jr., convert to the Church, emeritus General Authority Seventy, and former member of the Presidency of the Seventy, passed away on November 6, 2018, in Orem, Utah. He was 94.While on an aircraft carrier headed to Japan, he read the standard works of the Church, and said he “was like a starving man who had found food and drink for the first time. I loved it.”At the time of his call, he was the only General Authority who had been baptized as an adult.Sustained to the First Council of the Seventy on April 6, 1968, at age 43, he served in that position until 1975. From October 3, 1975, to October 1, 1976, he served in the Presidency of the Seventy, at which point he was called to be a General Authority Seventy. He served in that calling until he was given emeritus status on October 1, 1994.While traveling he was able to study with other Church members and upon his arrival in Japan, he received permission to be baptized—despite not meeting the requirement of the time to investigate the Church for one-year's time—after much persisting. He was baptized a member of the Church on February 26, 1952. His wife was baptized that same year on March 1, and upon his return the couple was sealed in the Mesa Arizona Temple in May 1953.Funeral arrangements are pending.
Elder Hartman Rector Jr.
The November 5 roundtable was hosted by Andrzej Grzyb, Polish member of the European Parliament, and gathered EU officials with representatives of various churches and faith communities as well as humanist organizations. Those in attendance were invited to share their recommendations regarding a recent report by Mr. Grzyb on the mandate of the special envoy and their views on religious freedom throughout the world.“As a global Church, and because of its history, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a special commitment to religious freedom,” said Di Lillo during his remarks.He also shared recommendations regarding a mandate of the European Commission’s special envoy on the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU, which was created on behalf of the European Platform against Religious Intolerance and Discrimination, an organization of which the Church is an active member.The EU office of the Church opened in Brussels in September 2013, and, according to a recent video posted to their Facebook page, their mission is to “advise Church leaders on EU policy, focusing on the three pillars of faith, family, and freedom of religion and belief.”In discussing the status of religious freedom worldwide, Di Lillo said, “The general picture is quite grim. Vulnerable groups are still targeted and persecuted, harassed, and deprived of their most basic rights and freedoms.”According to a Facebook post by the EU office of the Church that detailed the event, among the EU officials in attendance at the roundtable were Mairead McGuinness, first vice president of the European Parliament; Jan Figel, special envoy on the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU; Peter van Dalen MEP, cochair of the European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance; Waheed Kahn MEP; and Jan Olbrycht MEP.Regarding his recommendations for Mr. Grzyb’s report on the mandate, Di Lillo extended an invitation for the European Council to establish an EU special representative of freedom of religion or belief. He also recommended extending the mandate from one to five years and improving institutional coordination among EU institutions and the mandate holders. He noted that more financial and human resources will also be a key part of ensuring the work of the mandate is accomplished.In his closing remarks, Di Lillo explained that Latter-day Saint leaders have taught the importance of religious freedom for as long as the Church has been established. “I am sure we will all continue to embrace these principles, protect religious freedom for all, and work together towards a more tolerant society,” he said.He continued: “We feel it important to reaffirm that freedom of religion or belief protects not only individuals but also religious organizations that make faith communities possible, and also nonbelievers.”In a recent roundtable discussion at the European Parliament in Brussels, Francesco Di Lillo, director of the European Union Office of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke to EU officials regarding the Church’s commitment to religious freedom.
Through that “happy educational experience,” as well as many others, President Eyring has learned that the Holy Ghost is sent to individuals as each obeys God’s laws.Obedience is the first law of heaven, and as a person obeys they are promised an increase in faith, knowledge, wisdom, testimony, protection, and freedom.“That gave me the confidence to keep trying harder even when the learning was difficult.”“I know school can be a grind,” he said. “I know it seems difficult. I know you get discouraged at times. I know you wonder why you are attending school at all. But keep on. Keep on hammering away. Keep on learning. You will never regret learning—neither in this life, nor in the world to come. Indeed, you will treasure forever what you learn and what you learn about how to keep on learning.”When a person prays with faith in Jesus Christ, the Spirit comes to him or her. As a person prays less often and with less faith in the Savior, his or her desire to pray diminishes.“Less than an hour later, the chairman of the examining committee announced, without any discussion with the members of the committee, that I had passed the exam,” he said. “They all stood to shake my hand. While they were thanking me for my performance, I was silently thanking heaven for another verification of the promise of the Lord.”“I can remember it as if it had just happened,” he said. “Help came as a voice, an actual voice, in my mind. It was not my voice. It was a soft and loving voice—but firm. The words voiced were these: ‘When you realize who you really are, you will be sorry that you didn’t try harder.’”3. Keep the commandmentsPresident Eyring shared four ways in which a person might be diligent and obedient and receive the blessing of having the Holy Ghost upon them so that He can help in one’s efforts to learn.It was through that understanding—that he was a spirit child of God with inherent potential to learn what God knows and that he had the ability to utilize the Atonement of the Lord and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost—that President Eyring was able to “know the truth of all things.”“Obedience to God’s commandments invites the influence of the Holy Ghost,” President Eyring said. “Disobedience brings a feeling of darkness and discouragement as a certain result.” Audience members listen as President Henry B. Eyring speaks to LDS Business College students during a devotional in the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.“Now—you are smiling—you may reasonably ask, ‘Well, once you knew who you really were and had the Holy Ghost as your companion, could you solve every physics problem and resolve every mathematical puzzle?”From his experience, President Eyring invited students to look at educational struggles as a great blessing.He was able to think clearly and complete the tasks in half the time allotted.Speaking to a capacity crowd of students in the Conference Center Theater, President Eyring remembered looking at the first question on an exam and determining to move to the next question when he didn’t know exactly how to proceed.As an undergraduate student struggling to learn something that seemed “was beyond me,” Henry B. Eyring felt he couldn’t sustain his efforts to keep trying.“I have learned that service brings inspiration,” he said.“I found that reading the Book of Mormon was the best part of my preparation for every examination in which I needed power to remember what I had tried hard to learn,” he said.The Book of Mormon is scripture filled with testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ and the reality of His Atonement, President Eyring said. As individuals read the Book of Mormon, they are inviting the Holy Ghost to come to them.“This first happened long ago as I sought to learn physics and mathematics in my college years,” President Eyring, who now serves as Second Counselor in the First Presidency, told LDS Business College students on Tuesday, November 6. “I felt overwhelmed. It seemed to me that the other students could work the problems and master the material more quickly than I could.”Not knowing then exactly what that meant, President Eyring knew what he needed to do—he went to work.2. Feast on the word of God1. Pray alwaysOne night, during that time of discouragement, President Eyring received help that made all the difference for him.4. Serve others for the Lord Choir members sing prior to President Henry B. Eyring speaking to LDS Business College students during a devotional on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.“You know from your experience that when you become casual in your prayers, you feel less inspiration,” he said.The answer: “Of course not. But with the help of the Holy Ghost, I did learn how to learn things that were beyond my natural ability.” Audience members exit the Conference Center Theater after listening to President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency speak to LDS Business College students on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.“So, I give this counsel to you, as I do to myself,” he said. The organist plays the opening hymn prior to a devotional in the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. President Henry B. Eyring smiles at the audience as he takes his seat prior to speaking to LDS Business College students during a devotional in the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.Closing counsel President Henry B. Eyring acknowledges the crowd as he exits after speaking to LDS Business College students at a devotional in the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. President Henry B. Eyring waves to the crowd as he and Elder Kim B. Clark, General Authority Seventy and Commissioner of Church Education, exit the Conference Center Theater on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.“I still remember the feeling of fear when I got to the last question and realized that I didn’t know how to answer any of them,” he said. “As time wore on, my discouragement led me to feel that it was useless to study. I began to … think of quitting, of doing something easier.”“I felt that I must have more ability to learn than I could see in myself,” he said. “That knowledge kept me hard at work through my college years, in graduate school, and then as a teacher when it seemed still that everyone was smarter than I was and that they could do things I couldn’t do.”“So don’t wait for a desire to pray to come to you,” he said. “Decide to pray, even when it is hard—especially when it is hard and the windows of heaven seem closed to you. If you keep trying, those windows will open.”Sharing the experience he had in his final oral exam for his doctorate degree, President Eyring said that after ministering to the little branches of New England on a Saturday and Sunday before his Monday exam, he was able to find a clear and complete solution to the main exam question.“President Russell M. Nelson’s challenge to the women of the Church to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year is precious educational advice—for you men too, and for me,” President Eyring said.Just as missionaries and mission presidents see the connection between obedience and the companionship of the Holy Ghost, individuals also experience a “heart open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit” as they are obedient to the commandments.“With the influence of the Holy Ghost, we can learn things, know things, and do things beyond our personal powers.”“Believe that we have a divine mandate to go on learning for as long as we live and then into eternity. Believe that the Father can send us the Holy Ghost, who is the Spirit of Truth. Be patient and persistent in learning. With the help of the Holy Ghost, and by learning line upon line as we are diligent in our efforts and full of faith in Jesus Christ, we will be able to accomplish much more than we thought possible.”“That Monday morning, I felt perfect peace and calm,” he said.“When we disobey, we weaken our faith, we forget our knowledge, and we cloud our wisdom,” he said.President Eyring learned two things: the Lord knows all truth—in physics and in everything else—and that if he lives worthy of the Holy Ghost, he can learn “true things beyond my human ability.”
“When we love God and put Him first in our lives, everything else falls into place,” he said. “When we extend that love to those around us, we find joy and fulfillment.”Sharing a short fable about a bird, Elder Teixeira explained the importance of faith and the small things that help build a spiritual foundation. In the fable, a bird met with a traveling man each day and would trade one of his precious feathers—necessary to help him fly—for the delight of an easy meal of fresh worms.3. Don’t jeopardize your capacity“Your priorities of today will be your joy and fulfillment of tomorrow,” he said.The changes for Sister Teixeira’s family may have felt like a loss at the time, but the blessings they received from the knowledge of the gospel changed their lives for the better, he explained.Accompanied by his wife, Sister Filomena Teles Grilo Teixeira, Elder Teixeira underscored three lessons and principles that can help individuals find joy and fulfillment in their lives, make inspired decisions, and set wise priorities.Sharing a second story of how his own family came to find the gospel when he was 16 years old, Elder Teixeira explained that despite heavy opposition from friends and neighbors, his family decided to listen to the missionaries and subsequently join the Church and be sealed as a family in the temple.As students, Elder Teixeira said, their particular stage of life is an important time to make inspired decisions and set wise priorities. Elder José A. Teixeira spoke to BYU students on ways to find joy and fulfillment in a devotional on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Photo by Aislynn Edwards, BYU Photo.Pulling out his cell phone to show his audience in the Marriott Center on the BYU campus, Elder José A. Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy began his devotional address with a quote from his April 2015 general conference address: “Life is not confined to a four-inch screen.”2. Don’t be deterred from doing what’s rightElder Teixeira likened the feathers—essential to fly—to one’s faith and spiritual beliefs—essential to reach one’s divine potential.On Tuesday, November 6, as he held up his newly upgraded phone with its 6.5-inch screen, Elder Teixeira laughed with students at the small change and said, “Nonetheless, the statement remains true: ‘Life is not confined to a screen, no matter the size.’”Thinking that one feather at a time couldn’t possibly do much damage, the bird soon discovered that he had traded all his feathers to the traveling man and, unable to fly, he became prisoner to the young traveler.1. Remember your most important priorityThe way each individual spends their time is a reflection of their priorities, Elder Teixeira said. “Remember, where your heart is, there is your treasure also.”Setting Christ and His teachings as a central priority of one’s life is key to finding joy and fulfillment, he explained.Elder Teixeira shared a story from his wife’s youth, when her family was forced to leave their home and possessions in Angola and return to Portugal due to an outbreak of war. Although the family lost a great deal, their return to Portugal brought them the knowledge of the gospel as they were taught by the missionaries there.“Popular views or the conduct of others should not deter or constrain us from doing what we know is right,” he said.“Our most important priority will always be to do those things that will enable us to return to our Heavenly Father,” he said.“If we trade our beliefs for worldly pleasures,” he said, “we jeopardize our capacity to fly.”Finding joySpeaking of the many decisions and changes he has experienced throughout his life and career, Elder Teixeira told students: “The same will be true for each of you. In your own unique way, you will undoubtedly have to make decisions and choices and set priorities that will shape your lives.”
It is one of several Joseph Smith Papers volumes presented as a “facsimile edition”—with the volume featuring full-color photographs of all documents and typographic facsimiles.Found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ scriptural Pearl of Great Price, the book of Abraham follows the ancient Israel prophet Abraham and details his journey from Ur to Egypt and his activities in Egypt. It also shares an account of the Creation and doctrinal teachings on the plan of salvation, the premortal existence of spirits, and their eternal nature. This facsimile from the book of Abraham is among the images found in Revelations and Translations: Volume 4 of the Joseph Smith Papers. Photo courtesy of the Joseph Smith Papers.“This latest volume offers readers an unprecedented look at the manuscripts and earliest publications of the book of Abraham,” said Robin Scott Jensen, one of the volume’s coeditors, in a news release. “But it also takes readers inside Joseph Smith’s study of the Egyptian papyri before he dictated the book of Abraham—which is a history with which few Latter-day Saints are familiar.” This printing plate was used for publishing a facsimile from the book of Abraham in the Times and Seasons in 1842. The image is among many found in Revelations and Translations: Volume 4 of the Joseph Smith Papers. Photo courtesy of the Joseph Smith Papers.The publication looks at the book of Abraham and its development from the purchase of Egyptian papyri by Joseph Smith and others in 1835 through the publication of its text and related illustrations in 1842 in the Times and Seasons, a Church newspaper.Wilford Woodruff, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, wrote in his journal in February 1842 that “the Lord is Blessing Joseph with Power to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom of God; to translate through the urim & Thummim Ancient records & Hyeroglyphics as old as Abraham or Adam, which causes our hearts to burn within us while we behold their glorious truths opened unto us.”Revelations and Translations, Volume 4: Book of Abraham and Related Manuscripts was edited by Jensen and Brian M. Hauglid and published by the Church Historian’s Press. More information is available at josephsmithpapers.org.Volume 4 of the Joseph Smith Papers Project’s Revelations and Translations series—which focuses on the book of Abraham and related documents—has been published and was officially released Monday, November 5.A conference celebrating the volume’s publication was held October 26 in the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. The conference included presentation themes on methods and reception of translation and insights into Joseph Smith’s Egyptian-language efforts in general and specifically in the book of Abraham.The book of Abraham was first published in 1842. While Joseph Smith did not know Egyptian or related ancient languages, the book of Abraham—like the Book of Mormon—is the product of divinely inspired translation.
The newest addition to the Joseph Smith Papers series is Revelations and Translations: Volume 4. Photo courtesy of the Joseph Smith Papers.The volume consists of three groups of documents—surviving fragments of the purchased Egyptian papyri, the “Egyptian-language documents” created as Joseph Smith and others tried to compile grammar and alphabet tools to assist them, and the manuscripts and first publication of the book of Abraham.
The newly completed temple is the Church’s second in the country in nearly 20 years—the first being the Bogotá Colombia Temple, which was completed in 1999. This will be the 161st operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the world and the 19th in South America.Additionally, the interior of the temple “features original art glass, custom rugs with Colombian motifs in blue and gold, wrought iron and bronze railings, and a grand staircase,” Newsroom stated. The official flower of Barranquilla City, the rose hibiscus, or “cayena” as it is called there, is featured in carved wood and glass in the temple.Highlighting the neoclassic architecture of the Republic period in Colombia, the Barranquilla Colombia Temple stands at 24,000 square feet and is 107 feet tall, according to Newsroom. The exterior is covered in limestone and has carved parapets, a dome, and a cupola. The Barranquilla Colombia Temple highlights the neoclassic architecture of the Republic period in Colombia.Learn more details about the Barranquilla Colombia temple here. The words “Holiness to the Lord—House of the Lord” are inscribed in Spanish on the Barranquilla Colombia Temple.Just days after the dedication of the Concepción Chile Temple, the public open house is set to begin for the Barranquilla Colombia Temple.For free reservations to attend the open house, click here. The open house for the Barranquilla Colombia Temple will run November 3 through November 24, 2018.The open house runs from Saturday, November 3, to Saturday, November 24, with the exception of Sundays. A youth devotional will be held on December 8, the evening before the temple’s dedication on December 9.
The statue of the angel Moroni sits atop the Barranquilla Colombia Temple.
The hurricane made landfall on October 23 with 120 mph winds toppling homes, ripping off roofs, and knocking out power to more than 100,000 homes in the Mexican state of Sinaloa.“One chapel was flooded and was quickly taken care of,” reported Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff.Emergency workers and federal troops initially struggled to reach beach towns left incommunicado even as the storm continued to force evacuations due to fear of flooding.Thousands of Mexican soldiers and sailors were being dispatched to affected communities to offer help.The 2018 hurricane season has exacted a heavy price on legions of Latter-day Saints—severely damaging hundreds of member homes and several meetinghouses in the southeastern United States.Now, finally, some good news.Despite making landfall on Mexico’s central Pacific coast as a category 3 storm, Hurricane Willa did not significantly affect members or Church properties. No members or missionaries were injured. Meanwhile, damage to member homes was limited to leaks and minor flooding.
Kristyne Torruella, Caserta Ward, Rome Italy West Stake“When President Nelson issued his 10-day media challenge, I felt burdened by my calling and was pondering how to proceed. I read in Saints that Joseph Smith could only translate the Book of Mormon after repenting and being in harmony with God and others. I realized that President Nelson’s invitation was to sanctify myself so God could give me power.Mindy Booth Baxter, Relief Society general board member, Olympus Hills Ward, Salt Lake Mount Olympus Stake“I am so grateful for a prophet who is extending specific invitations to act—invitations that come with promised blessings. The invitation to take a 10-day fast from social media, or any other media that has a negative influence, was a blessing. This was one invitation from a prophet that I was able to complete with exactness—and that felt good. I am not saying that social media has no merit, and we were asked to refrain for only 10 days—not a long period of time, but long enough to experience what it felt like to go without something that might not always influence us for good. I am grateful for this chance I had to sustain President Nelson, not only with my hands, but with the way I responded to a specific invitation.”In the women’s session of general conference held on October 6, 2018, President Russell M. Nelson issued a four-part challenge to the women of the Church. One element of his call to action included a 10-day social media fast. Here is what three women learned from heeding the prophet’s counsel.“I refrained from social media, television, and talk radio, as political news triggers negative emotions in me. I spent more time reading scriptures instead.Sister Michelle D. Craig, First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency“The result was greater peace, answers to prayers, and inspiration for my calling, family, and work. Following the prophet has blessed my life!”“I’ve been reading the Book of Mormon daily, marking the scriptures related to Jesus Christ, and I’ve learned that Jesus Christ is kind, loving, committed to helping us, compassionate, forgiving, merciful, and a host of other things. So, by not spending so much time scrolling, I am spending my time doing other better things. Both things are good, but one is definitely better than the other. It’s one of those good, better, or best things.”
O God, our Eternal Father, prayerfully and humbly we come before Thee in the name of Thy Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. In this holy house, we bow in reverent prayer to praise and honor Thee and to dedicate this edifice unto Thee for its sacred purposes.We acknowledge those Chilean pioneers of faith and devotion who established the foundation of Thy work in this beautiful country. May their names be remembered and their legacy revered by all succeeding generations.Following is the text of the dedicatory prayer of the Concepción Chile Temple offered by President Russell M. Nelson on Sunday, October 28.We are most grateful that Thou hast blessed us with resources necessary to construct this house of the Lord. We thank Thee for faithful Saints who, in their prosperity or in their poverty, have made sacred offerings for this holy edifice. We thank Thee for every sacrifice of time and effort made to construct this beautiful building.Dear Father, wilt Thou bless the temple presidents and matrons who will serve here, that they may do so with Thine approbation. Bless all who serve here that exactness and love will prevail in their efforts. Bless those who come to worship and perform work for their departed ancestors and others. May Thy Holy Spirit bring inspiration, comfort, and joy to all who labor in this sacred edifice.We are grateful for the Prophet Joseph Smith and for the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in these latter days. We thank Thee for the ministration of heavenly messengers who have restored priesthood keys that make possible the salvation and exaltation of Thy children.Wilt Thou bless those who depart this temple for missionary service, that they may go forth with power and determination to help in the gathering of Israel in preparation for the Second Coming of Thy Beloved Son.
President Russell M. Nelson dedicated the Concepción Chile Temple on Sunday, October 28, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.Holy Father, we praise and honor Thee and Thy Beloved Son. May Thy Saints here and throughout the world fulfill their responsibilities in the gathering of Israel, preparing a Zion people, and doing a work worthy of all acceptation.We pray for the government leaders of this great nation of Chile. Dear Father, soften their hearts and inspire their minds that this country may prosper under their direction. We pray for the citizens of Chile. Bless them according to Thy will for them. Strengthen those who will help to secure freedom and security for all. Bless the members of Thy Church who reside here that they may be exemplary citizens, with integrity and charity in all their labors.We express unto Thee our abiding love and sincere gratitude as we dedicate unto Thee this the Concepción Chile Temple, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.We pray for the families and individual members of the Church who reside in this choice land. As they are faithful and true to the covenants they have made and will make in this holy temple, wilt Thou prosper them and grant them the desires of their hearts. We pray for the youth, that they may be drawn to these sacred precincts. We pray for the children that their hearts may be turned to their fathers. May the ordinances and covenants of salvation and exaltation be provided to all on both sides of the veil who yearn for them.
A close-up of the steeple of the Concepción Chile Temple, photographed here the day before its dedication on Sunday, October 28, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.Now, Beloved Father, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ and in the authority of the holy Melchizedek Priesthood, we dedicate unto Thee this the Concepción Chile Temple. We dedicate the structure from the depth of its foundation to the height of its steeple, that it may withstand the forces of nature and the ravages of time. We dedicate each room for its sacred purpose. We dedicate the furnishings and fixtures that they may serve their function well and give comfort and utility to those who use them. We dedicate the grounds upon which this temple stands, with their flowers, trees, shrubs, and grass. Thwart the hand of any who would approach these premises with evil intent.We pray for members of the Church who direct Thy work here on earth. We pray for the general officers, local leaders, and faithful members of Thy Church. We pray that Thy love may sustain them according to Thy holy will for them.
The conference was immediately canceled, and Church leaders searched out a boat and food to make the 24-hour journey to the accident.“The people are just wonderful,” he told the Church News. “There are not a friendlier people in all the earth than the people here in Tahiti. The ones that came [to the rededication] came reverently this morning. I think it was a very spiritual experience for all of them.”The Papeete Tahiti Temple was the fifth dedicated in Polynesia, the fifth of six temples dedicated that year, and the 25th in operation at the time.Twenty years before, he had dedicated a meetinghouse on Maupiti Island, north of Tahiti. Afterward, as he was conducting a conference on Huahine Island, a telegram from a nurse named Clair arrived. A boat carrying members home from the meetinghouse dedication had hit a reef and 18 people—15 of them Relief Society sisters—had drowned.Clair survived the wreck by holding onto a pole for three hours. During that time, she prayed for rescue. She also prayed that God would show her the true Church so she could work for Him. Soon, Andre Manea, a fisherman, pulled her and eight others out of the sea. Rhett and Jolene Ogden from Lehi, Utah, standing in front of the Papeete Tahiti Temple. Photo courtesy of the Ogden family.At the dedication of the temple, President Hinckley called it a “great crowning day of 140 years of dedicated service.”After 203 days at sea, the Timoleon stopped at Tubuai on April 30, 1844. The missionaries received such a warm welcome from the islanders that Elder Pratt decided to stay there while Elder Grouard and Elder Rogers went on to Tahiti.Elder Perry's wife, Sister Barbara D. Perry, is a descendant of Thomas William Whitaker, a missionary who served in Tahiti in 1850. She accompanied Elder Perry to the original dedication of the Tahiti Temple.The dedication of the temple on the Pacific island of Tahiti was “a fulfillment of the dreams of thousands who have looked forward to this glorious day,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley, who was then serving as Second Counselor in the First Presidency.Over the course of three days—exactly 35 years ago—October 27–29, 1983, President Hinckley dedicated the long-awaited temple with about 2,500 Latter-day Saints attending the sessions. Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles accompanied him on the trip.Twenty-three years later, Elder Perry returned to Tahiti in 2006 for the rededication of the temple. At the rededication, he expressed love for the country.He met Clair, who was injured and emotionally distraught. After asking if she would like a blessing, then explaining what a blessing was, President Hinckley encouraged her to join the Church and serve the Lord.“I count it a great privilege to be here with you. It is a wonderful thing to come back to Tahiti. I don't know of a more beautiful place,” President Hinckley said.In 1843, the Prophet Joseph Smith called four men—Addison Pratt, Benjamin F. Grouard, Knowlton F. Hanks, and Noah Rogers—to open a mission in Hawaii, then known as the Sandwich Islands. They were unable to find a ship going there after three months, so they boarded a ship called the Timoleon, which was headed for Tahiti, then known as the Society Islands. Elder Hanks died of tuberculosis during that voyage and was buried at sea.
Church members in Tahiti gather on the temple grounds Sunday, November 12, 2006, for the rededication of the Papeete Tahiti Temple. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News.Between dedicatory sessions of the Papeete Tahiti Temple, President Hinckley met Clair again. Shortly after receiving that blessing, Clair had joined the Church, believing it an answer to her prayer. She’d also married Manea, the fisherman who rescued her. He too had joined the Church and was serving as first counselor to President C. Jay Larson, president of the Papeete Tahiti Temple.
Elder L. Tom Perry and his wife, Sister Barbara Perry, leave the Papeete Tahiti Temple grounds after rededicating the Papeete Tahiti Temple on Sunday, November 12, 2006. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News.Other missionaries to the Church’s first foreign-language mission soon followed, and some of their descendants attended the Papeete Tahiti Temple dedication in 1983.President Hinckley arrived a day later and described the scene. “Everywhere people were crying. We walked up and down the streets, holding the children whose mothers had been killed, trying to comfort the fathers.”
“We don’t have a lot of experience to be qualified for this call,” President Perrin said. “But we are willing to serve, and the instruction provided here has been extremely helpful for us to engage in our new calling.”“I think it was an indication to me that the Lord was tapping me on the shoulder as if to say, ‘Get ready, get prepared.’”“We’ve seen the importance of the temples now more than ever,” said President Dávila. “We’ve seen the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve all present. They’re speaking to us, directing us, clarifying what it truly means—the mission, the vision, and, at the end of the day, the exaltation.”The return to Tahiti inches closer as President and Sister Perrin prepare to begin their three-year temple assignment on November 1. Key to that preparation was attending the 2018 Seminar for New Temple Presidents and Matrons, held October 16–18 in the Salt Lake Temple—an appropriate site given the sacred topics of the three-day instruction and discussion.For the Dávilas, they are returning once again to their second home city, after Bogota, the capital of Colombia. Shortly after his work as an architect with the design and building of the Bogota Temple in the late 1990s, the Dávilas were called soon thereafter to preside over the Colombia Barranquilla Mission. They were back in Barranquilla for the past several years while he was a project manager for the new temple.The Pilzes were married in that same temple in 1978, but the Frankfurt Germany Temple—which opened in 1987—soon became “our temple” for them and their children.Of the 69 president/matron couples, eight were training to preside in temples not yet dedicated or fully completed, including temples in Barranquilla, Colombia; Concepción, Chile; Durban, South Africa; Fortaleza, Brazil; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Lisbon, Portugal; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; and Rome, Italy.At new temples
President Yves R. Perrin and Sister Kathleen Perrin, president and matron of the Papeete Tahiti Temple. Photo by Scott Taylor, Church News.With the Frankfurt Temple closed, members in Germany have gone not only to the country’s other operating temple in Freiberg but, if closer, to temples in Copenhagen, Denmark; The Hague, Netherlands; or Bern, Switzerland.With many of their returned missionaries serving in Tahiti in various callings, “it’s gratifying to be able to go back and see how they have progressed in the gospel,” Sister Perrin said.“To sit at the feet of the prophets, we learned the most important thing we can do is to love the people and to create an atmosphere of caring and kindness,” President Perrin said. “And even though we feel overwhelmed with all of our responsibilities, we feel like we can love and care for the people. We love them already.”Following the three-day seminar, participating president-and-matron couples felt more ready to begin their new assignments, most with the traditional starting of November 1 at the currently operating temples.Sister Pilz retains only fleeting recollections of that sealing that first time, soon after the temple’s 1955 dedication, with her family regularly traveling the three days each way from northern Germany. A highlight for the children was when they became old enough to participate in proxy baptisms for deceased relatives.Mixed emotions washed over them, ranging from the thrill of returning to where he had taken his young family to preside over the Tahiti Papeete Mission nearly three decades earlier to the overwhelming uncertainties of whether they could measure up and fulfill such a sacred call.With that temple all but complete, the Dávilas were packing their bags and ready to return to Bogota when they received their call from President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency. “He asked how we were doing, if we were healthy, and if we were ready to work,” Sister Dávila said. “We said, ‘Si, Señor’—yes, sir!”Members assigned to the districts of both new and recently closed temples will welcome the proximity of an operating temple, forgoing the great distances and time demands to travel in order to participate in sessions and ordinances.“Get ready, get prepared”Leading many sessions were members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, with the First Presidency attending the morning sessions each day.“Being taught at the feet of the First Presidency in the temple has been so special,” said President Wolfgang Pilz, who with his wife, Sister Karin Pilz, has been assigned to the Frankfurt Germany Temple.Both President and Sister Pilz recalled their own initial temple experiences as young children dressed in white and brought into a room in the Swiss Temple—now the Bern Switzerland Temple—to be sealed to their respective parents.Back to Barranquilla
President César A. Dávila and Sister Miryam Hernández de Dávila, president and matron of the Barranquilla Colombia Temple. Photo by Scott Taylor, Church News.Those in northern Colombia in and around Barranquilla have traveled as much as 20 hours to reach the temple in Bogota. “We know, because we had that blessing to see them arriving at the temple by bus, and then staying for three or four days before returning,” said President Dávila, who with his wife had served previously in the Bogota Temple.“Among the most touching comments we received from all the acknowledgements of our call was a few of them that said, ‘Welcome home,’” said President Perrin.Everything leads to God’s promise of exaltation for His children, Sister Dávila added. “Everybody must go through that process. That’s our homework on earth.”Also, 12 are assigned to temples in South America, eight in Europe, four in the Oceania/Pacific area, and three each in Asia and Africa. Two of the 69 couples had been serving already, with the 2018 seminar the first opportunity for them to attend such a training. Couples attending the 2018 Seminar for New Temple Presidents and Matrons walk through Temple Square between seminar instruction inside the Salt Lake Temple and a photo session at the Salt Lake Tabernacle. Photo by Scott Taylor, Church News.Many of the president/matron couples are well accustomed with the area of the temple and its assigned membership, such as the Pilzes, who are from the Frankfurt area. Others are returning to familiar ground, such as the Dávilas and the Perrins, who presided over missions headquartered in the same cities where their assigned temples are located—the Dávilas over the Colombia Barranquilla Mission and the Perrins, the Tahiti Papeete Mission.“The Lord has a special way of blessing and aligning things so that things will work out,” said President Dávila of their Barranquilla connection.
Sister Karin Pilz and President Wolfgang Pilz, matron and president of the Frankfurt Germany Temple. Photo by Scott Taylor, Church News.Often, Barranquilla members were leaving the coastal city at the time of the weeklong “carnival” festivities. “While everyone else was partying, they were traveling to the temple and making major economic sacrifices to attend the temple,” she said.And with the benefit of a half-century’s hindsight, he begins his three-year temple service, mindful that his call came on the 50th-year anniversary of his baptism.President César A. Dávila, who will serve with his wife, Sister Miryam Hernández de Dávila in the Barranquilla Colombia Temple, spoke of how seminar participants felt valued, loved, and needed as they interacted with the prophets.Own temple experiences“I think the members have learned to appreciate the temple even more because they have had to travel much further, and they’re spending several days at a time at the temple,” said President Pilz, adding, “They’re all waiting for the day when they will come together into one temple.”Familiar territoryAnd when reopened, the Frankfurt Temple will convey both a sense of familiarity as well as considerable newness. “It will be completely different from what we know it to be,” Sister Pilz said. “While the outer walls are the same, everything inside will be different.”This year’s seminar for new temple presidents and matrons was the largest ever conducted—nearly two dozen more than the previous largest number attending.Another three will be over temples at the final stages of renovation in Asunción, Paraguay; Frankfurt, Germany; and Oakland, California.Fifty years to the day—in fact, nearly to the hour—of his convert baptism as a young man in his native France, Yves R. Perrin joined his wife, Kathleen, in receiving a call to serve as temple president and matron of the Papeete Tahiti Temple.Taught by prophetsNot only that, but it’s a chance for the Perrins’ children to return to sacred ground—their three children were preteens and younger when the couple served as mission president and wife. “So it’s a blessing for us to go back and hopefully have our children bring their children to see where they grew up,” Sister Perrin said.The Perrins were one of 69 couples involved in the training provided by Church and Temple Department leaders prior to starting their assignments across the globe.Largest-ever seminar
The 69 couples attending the 2018 Seminar for New Temple Presidents and Matrons gather for a group photo in the Salt Lake Tabernacle after seminar instruction held in the Salt Lake Temple. Photo by Scott Taylor, Church News.Returning after renovationOf that number, 39 couples are assigned to temples in North America—eight in Utah and another 18 throughout the rest of the United States with another six for temples in Mexico and three in Canada.Temple presidents and matrons often reflect on their own temple experiences as they prepare for their three-year service to assist others in temple work and worship. For the Perrins, it was attending the seminar in the temple of their 1974 marriage. And for the Dávilas, it was the mid-1990s trips from Colombia to the Jordan River Utah Temple, first for their own sealing as a couple, followed by being sealed as parents with their son and daughter.
DATE / TIME
CLASS (SKILL LEVEL)
WEBINAR | ROOM
Thursday, 1 November, 10:00 a.m.
Reviewing an Indexed Batch (1.5 hours) (Beginner)
Thursday, 1 November, 1:00 p.m.
Hamburg Passenger Lists (Beginner)
Friday, 2 November, 1:00 p.m.
Buscando a los olvidados (Beginner)
Saturday, 3 November, 1:00 p.m.
Paleogra-what: Deciphering Spanish Handwriting (Beginner)
Tuesday, 6 November, 10:00 a.m.
Tips and Tricks for Using the FamilySearch Historical Record Collection (Beginner)
Thursday, 8 November, 1:00 p.m.
United States Research: Plains States Region (Beginner)
Tuesday, 13 November, 10:00 a.m.
Starting Family Tree: Attaching Sources (Beginner)
Thursday, 15 November, 10:00 a.m.
Spanish Language Indexing (1.5 hours) (Beginner)
Thursday, 15 November, 1:00 p.m.
Irish Census Records at the National Archives of Ireland (Beginner)
Saturday, 17 November, 1:00 p.m.
Recursos genealógicos de la emigración Hispanoamericana, parte 2 (Beginner)
Tuesday, 20 November, 10:00 a.m.
Overview of FamilySearch Memories (Beginner)
Tuesday, 27 November, 10:00 a.m.
Submitting Names for Temple Ordinances (Beginner)
Thursday, 29 November, 10:00 a.m.
Italian Language Indexing (1.5 hours) (Beginner)
Thursday, 29 November, 1:00 p.m.
Finding People in Early Census Records Using Digitalarkivet of Norway (Beginner)Family History Library classes and webinars. Online classes are noted on the schedule as webinars. Webinar attendees need to click the link next to the class title at the scheduled date and time to attend the class online. Those attending in person simply go to the room noted. Invite your family and friends.Thursdays—Research Classes at 1:00 p.m. MDTThe following webinars will be offered weekly on a track schedule throughout the month:Mondays—FamilySearch Catalog at 10:00 a.m. MDT See the calendar below for the complete list of classes. No registration is required.The FamilySearch Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, has announced its free family history classes and webinars for November 2018.Research classes will focus on records from Germany, Ireland, Norway, and the United States, and classes in Spanish. Beginning classes in how to use FamilySearch, such as the Family Tree and the new Memories app, and how to review and index Spanish and Italian records will be offered. Participants can attend in person or online.Tuesdays—FamilySearch.org and Family Tree Classes at 10:00 a.m. MDT
“When we understand the doctrine that explains our relationship to God, we also understand our relationship to one another,” he said. “All men and women on the earth are the offspring of God—spirit brothers and sisters. What a powerful idea! No wonder God’s Only Begotten Son commanded us to love one another. If only we would do so. What a different world it would be if brotherly and sisterly love and unselfish assistance could transcend all boundaries of nation, creed, and color.The balance between love and law in one’s personal life needs to be an “inspired balance.”“Such love would not erase all differences of opinion and action, but it would encourage each of us to focus our opposition on inappropriate actions rather than on actors. By doing so, we will follow Jesus Christ’s example of loving all people while also teaching and upholding the commandments of God.”President Oaks spoke of balancing the competing demands of love and law. He encouraged students to follow the gospel law in their personal lives while simultaneously showing love for those who do not. The audience listens as President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency speaks at a BYU–Idaho campus devotional on October 30. Photo by Michael Lewis, BYU–Idaho.President Oaks encouraged listeners to study what the Savior taught about a balance between love and law. While every person is expected to love others as Christ has loved them—including the poor, the downtrodden, those who suffer from addiction, prisoners, adversaries, and sinners of all degrees—President Oaks reminded listeners that they are also required to obey the commandments and laws the Lord has set. President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency speaks at a BYU–Idaho campus devotional on October 30. Photo by Cami Su, BYU–Idaho. BYU–Idaho students gather to hear the words of President Dallin H. Oaks on love and the law during a BYU–Idaho campus devotional on October 30. Photo by Sarah Jones, BYU–Idaho. President Dallin H. Oaks and his wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks, greet students at a BYU–Idaho campus devotional on October 30. Photo by Michael Lewis, BYU–Idaho. President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency speaks at a BYU–Idaho campus devotional on October 30. Photo by Michael Lewis, BYU–Idaho.Living with mutual respect for one another’s differences is difficult enough, but loving those who deliberately violate or even mock the commandments and laws of God is a challenge for a lifetime, he said. President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency speaks at a BYU–Idaho campus devotional on October 30. Photo by Michael Lewis, BYU–Idaho.“But the Lord has taught us not to fear it.”“Difficult though it is, that is what the gospel of Jesus Christ requires,” he said. “Those who seek to keep all the commandments of God are almost always a minority among those who don’t.”That is when it is important to seek the inspiration of the Lord, President Oaks taught.“I have been helped by thinking of the dual obligations of love and law as a two-sided coin: keeping the commandments is one side of the coin and loving others is the other side,” he said. “We should keep each side in mind and not pursue or teach either side in a way that displaces or ignores the other.”It is important to see, recognize, and honor the good in all people, even those whose ideas and practices differ from one’s own.Many make the mistake of doing or teaching only one of the dual commandments of love and law at a time. For example, some fall short when trying to keep all the commandments but fail to show love toward those whom they consider to be breaking gospel laws.President Oaks asked, “How do we members practice a balance between two great directions: keep the commandments and love even those who don’t?”“At the most serious level, some even withhold love and relationships from members of their own families and friends,” he said. “To balance our commitments to love and law we must continually show love even as we continually honor and keep the commandments. We must strive to preserve precious relationships and at the same time not compromise our responsibilities to be obedient to and supportive of gospel law. …“The balancing I have described is not easy,” he said. “Experience teaches that when we seek to keep all the commandments in our personal lives, we are sometimes accused of having no love for those who don’t. When we show personal love and support loving causes, we are sometimes misunderstood as implying support for results that contradict our other commitments.”As a person attempts to apply that balance, they can expect opposition, he said.“Those teachings concerned love and law as separate principles, but what is taught about balancing between them?” President Oaks asked. “To understand the teachings and examples of our Savior, we must understand the nature of God’s love and the eternal purpose of His laws and commandments. One does not replace or diminish the other, and when we find the right balance between them we understand that there is no paradox in our Creator’s love and law. It is His plan and direction that we too should do both of these.”A follower of Christ must not only keep the commandments but also should be an example of civility and seek to live peaceably and lovingly with others who do not share similar values or have covenant obligations Church members have assumed.“How do we draw the line in showing love without seeming to abandon our commitment to the truths we understand about God’s law and the covenants we have made?”“There is no part of parental action that is more needful of heavenly guidance or more likely to receive it than the decisions of parents in raising their children and governing their families. That is the work of eternity.” President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency waves to BYU–Idaho students who attended his BYU–Idaho campus devotional address on October 30. Photo by Cami Su, BYU–Idaho.“God’s love is so perfect that He lovingly requires us to obey His commandments because He knows that only through obedience to those laws can we become perfect and qualify for His choicest blessings,” he said.“However, these seemingly contradictory ideals are in fact a paradox,” added the First Counselor in the First Presidency. “Not only can we follow both directives of the Lord, but in finding an appropriate balance we can live both principles in a deeper, more complete way.”Like two sides of a coin, love and law are able to coexist, President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency told Brigham Young University–Idaho students during a devotional on Tuesday, October 30.Speaking in the BYU–Idaho Center on the Rexburg, Idaho, campus, President Oaks referred to a talk he gave nine years ago titled “Love and Law.”“Those who honor God’s commandments may be seen as not having love for those who do not follow His laws,” he said. “Conversely, reaching out in love and kindness can at times be seen as condoning choices that are contrary to God’s laws.“I believe many in this audience are not familiar with that teaching,” he joked. “How old were you nine years ago?”