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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday May 27, 2018 @ 04:28:55 AM mt

Coverage of the April 2018 General Conference Sunday Afternoon Session




President Russell M. Nelson announces that ministering will replace home and visiting teaching programs during the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.Presiding Bishop Grald Causs also spoke. Elder Weatherford T. Clayton and Elder Valeri V. Cordn, General Authority Seventies, offered the prayers. Sister Michelle D. Craig, First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, hugs Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, after the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, waits for the start of the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings during the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. President Russell M. Nelson and his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, walk onto the stand prior to the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. The Salt Lake Temple during the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. President Russell M. Nelson greets his wife, Sister Wendy Watson Nelson, prior to the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. President Russell M. Nelson announces there will be seven new temples, including one in Layton, Utah, during the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. From left to right, President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency; President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency; his wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks; President Russell M. Nelson; and his wife, Sister Wendy Watson Nelson, exit after the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Sister Neill F. Marriott, former Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, talks with Sister Patricia Holland, wife of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, after the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.While the Church as a whole has made great strides accomplishing the work of the Lord in this dispensation, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles cautioned that, as individuals, we would all do well to evaluate our effort in pursuing missionary work, temple and family history work, and preparations to meet God. Focusing on the importance of righteousness, unity, and equality before the Lord, Elder Cook cautioned members to not lose sight of the expectations and commandments of God. A couple talks prior to the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church, in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. From left to right, President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Watson Nelson, exit after the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles talks about President Russell M. Nelsons announcement that ministering will replace home and visiting teaching programs during the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. Conference goers stand and sing as they attend the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Four-year-old Katrina Christensen plays in the water near the reflecting pond during the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Conference goers stand and sing as they attend the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Conference goers react to President Russell M. Nelsons announcement that there will be seven new temples around the world, including one in Layton, Utah, during the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. Conference goers walk toward the plaza during the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said that in spite of the knowledge of a beloved Savior who provides a way for all to be forgiven, purified, and exalted, there are many in the world today who are either not aware of or do not believe in the gift Christ has given to every person.President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, conducted the session, and Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles expounded on the ministering changes (see related story). President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Watson Nelson, exit following the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.Those who find a way to truly behold the Man find the doorway to lifes greatest joys and the balm to lifes most demanding despairs, he said. He will comfort you. He will heal you and give meaning to your journey. He will pour out His Spirit and fill your heart with exceeding joy. Conference goers wave goodbye to President Russell M. Nelson as he leaves the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. Brother M. Joseph Brough, Second Counselor in the Young Men General Presidency, takes a photo of the Relief Society, Primary, and former Young Women General Presidencies prior to the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Reilly Smith and her mother, Aarin Smith, watch the First Presidency arrive during the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. A man and boy wait for the start of the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. A couple walks to their seats prior to the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks during the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Sister Sharon Eubank, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, takes a photo of the Young Men General Presidency prior to the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President, speaks during the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.Seven new temples to be built around the world and the end to home and visiting teaching were announced by President Russell M. Nelson during the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference.For months, we have been seeking a better way to minister to the spiritual and temporal needs of our people in the Saviors way, President Nelson said. We have made the decision to retire home teaching and visiting teaching as we have known them. Instead, we will implement a newer, holier approach to caring and ministering to others. We will refer to these efforts simply as ministering. Effective ministering efforts are enabled by the innate gifts of the sisters and by the incomparable power of the priesthood. We all need such protection from the cunning wiles of the adversary.President Nelson announced temples will be built in Salta, Argentina; Bengaluru, India; Managua, Nicaragua; Cagayan de Oro, Philippines; Layton, Utah; Richmond, Virginia; and a major city yet to be determined in Russia. Cheryl Reyes reacts to President Russell M. Nelsons announcement that there will be seven new temples around the world, including one in Layton, Utah, during the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. The gates to Temple Square during the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, shakes hands with Elder Kevin Pearson of the Seventy before the start of the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.After an already historic general conference with the calling of two new Apostles, changes to the priesthood quorums, and a new Young Women General Presidency, the announcement described changes to the Churchs structured program to facilitate serving and ministering to one another. The changes are meant to be a better way for Church members to serve and care for each other. Conference goers react to President Russell M. Nelsons announcement that there will be seven new temples around the world, including one in Layton, Utah, during the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. President Russell M. Nelson sits with his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, prior to the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Conference goers wave to friends as they attend the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Peter Compton and Carolina Hashimoto react to President Russell M. Nelsons announcement that there will be seven new temples around the world, including one in Layton, Utah, during the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.During the middle of the meeting, President Nelson announced the end to home and visiting teaching.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday May 27, 2018 @ 04:28:54 AM mt

Coverage of the April 2018 General Conference Sunday Morning Session




Conference goers in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. Brother Brian K. Ashton, Second Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, shakes hands with Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President, after the morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. Conference goers arrive at the Conference Center for the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency expressed a simple hope for listeners to increase your desire and your ability to receive the Holy Ghost. He testified that Heavenly Father is at this moment aware of you, your feelings, and the spiritual and temporal needs of everyone around you and that we can ask for the Holy Ghost to be with us as we seek to be worthy of that gift.The session was conducted by President Nelson and marked the first time he conducted a session of general conference. President Russell M. Nelson leaves the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.Matching the theme of the other speakers, President Nelson expressed his gratitude for the power of revelation available through the Holy Ghost. Conference goers arrive for the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings during the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Lahia Salamon walks toward her mother near Temple Square during the morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.Although speakers covered various topics centered on Christ and the celebration of Easter during their respective addresses, the importance of the Holy Ghost was reiterated by nearly every speaker. (See related article.) Conference goers arrive at the Conference Center for the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. President Russell M. Nelson speaks during the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. President Russell M. Nelson conducts the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Watson Nelson, leave the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. Brothers and sisters sing hymns outside of Temple Square, serenading conference goers on their way to the Conference Center for the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. President Russell M. Nelson conducts the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency talked about the powerful effect over time of the small and simple things we are taught in the scriptures and by living prophets. Though each of these practices may seem to be small and simple, over time they result in powerful spiritual uplift and growth, he said. This occurs because each of these small and simple things invites the companionship of the Holy Ghost, the Testifier who enlightens us and guides us into truth. Conference goers listen to the talks during the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Conference goers arrive at the Conference Center for the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings during Music and the Spoken Word before the morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy shakes hands with Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, after the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. President Russell M. Nelson speaks during the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. Conference goers arrive at the Conference Center for the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. A boy listens to Music and the Spoken Word before the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. Conference goers listen to the talks during the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.Elder S. Mark Palmer, General Authority Seventy, gave the invocation, and Elder Joaquin E. Costa, General Authority Seventy, gave the benediction. Conference goers arrive at the Conference Center for the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings during Music and the Spoken Word before the morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. Brother Stephen W. Owen, Young Men General President, talks with Sister Sharon Eubank, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, after the morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.No new announcements were made during the session. President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Watson Nelson, leave the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. President Russell M. Nelson speaks during the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.As the concluding speaker for the session, President Nelson shared many stories of his personal history and spiritual experiences. He gave an account of the process for selecting his counselors in the First Presidency and declared the guiding hand of the Lord in calling the newly appointed Apostles, Elder Gerrit W. Gong and Elder Ulisses Soares. President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, speaks during the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.During the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference on April 1, President Russell M. Nelson expressed his gratitude for all those who sustained him as the prophet and President of the Church during the conference proceedings the day before. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings during the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Elder Larry Y. Wilson, General Authority Seventy, speaks during the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.Elder Larry Y. Wilson, Elder Massimo De Feo, and Elder Claudio D. Zivic, General Authority Seventies, and Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, also spoke. President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Watson Nelson, leave the morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. Ellie Smith and Emily Barringer take a photo following the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Mormon Tabernacle Choir members and audience members applaud retiring organist Clay Christiansen following the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Conference goers listen to the talks during the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Clay Christiansen, who is retiring, plays the organ during Music and the Spoken Word before the morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. This is the last general conference that Christiansen will be playing. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.Music for the session was provided by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir under the direction of Mack Wilberg, with Clay Christiansen and Richard Elliott as organists. Each musical number matched the Easter theme by focusing on the Resurrection of Christ. Elder Massimo De Feo of the Seventy speaks during the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Ushers during the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings during the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. President Russell M. Nelson speaks during the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Brothers and sisters sing hymns outside of Temple Square, serenading conference goers on their way to the Conference Center for the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. Conference goers listen to Music and the Spoken Word before the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Seventy hugs Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, former Young Women General President, after the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, speaks during the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, speaks during the Sunday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 1, 2018. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.President Nelson concluded by saying, The most important truth the Holy Ghost will ever witness to you is that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. He lives! He is our Advocate with the Father, our Exemplar, and our Redeemer.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday May 27, 2018 @ 04:28:53 AM mt

Saints See New Apostles as Symbol of Church Growth Diversity




It was a complete shock. I had always paid close attention to Elder Gongs conference talks, partly because I could relate to him in so many ways. And here we arean Apostle of God who looks like me. Its just amazing to me.Elder Soares was born in So Paulo, Brazil, on October 2, 1958. He first learned about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when his aunt sent missionaries to his home in 1963.Elder Gerrit W. GongElder Gong becomes the first Asian American LDS Apostle, Elder Soares the first South American Apostle. As senior leaders of the Church, the men will lead a growing Latter-day Saint membership of over 16 million people who speak more than 180 different languages.It is very exciting to hear that a Brazilian was called to serve as an Apostle, said Berg. I dont know him personally, but I know he is a great man and will be an excellent servant of the Lord.Vietnam native Dien Nguyen is thrilled to see a fellow LDS Asian take his seat among the other Apostles.But Ngyuen added he was eager to sustain anyone called to the Twelve by President Russell M. Nelson.Elder Gonga Rhodes Scholar who worked in high-level positions at the U.S. State Department and for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.served the assistant to the president for planning and assessment at Brigham Young University for nine years before being sustained as a General Authority at age 56.His parents began attending branch services with a few others on the upper floor of a bakery, according to an article published in the Church News. Even today, Elder Soares remembers the warmth of the members, mingling with the smell of fresh bread baking at mid-meeting. I still have great memories of that time, he said. His parents were baptized after a few months, and he followed when he turned 8.Brazil is one of the Churchs great success stories. Having a Brazilian serving in the Twelve helps ensure future success in the South American nation, he added.Reflecting the ever-increasing diversity of the Church, members worldwide sustained Elder Gerrit W. Gong and Elder Ulisses Soares to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Saturday morning, March 31.I felt surprisingly emotional upon hearing Elder Gongs name announced as a new member of the Quorum of the Twelve, said Sang Kim, a Yuba City, California, resident who was born in South Korea.Elder Gongs ancestors left south China in the 19th century to find work in the United States. His mother, Jean, was converted to the LDS Church while a teenager living in Hawaii. Her faith was strengthened while attending BYU when she stayed with the family of Gerrit de Jong Jr., the first dean of the schools College of Fine Arts and Elder Gongs namesake. His mother went on to Stanford University, where she met his father as they both furthered their education. Elder Gong was born in Redwood City, California, on December 23, 1953, into his familys foundation of faith and learning. He married Susan Lindsay in January 1980. They are the parents of four children and have three grandchildren.Elder Gong, former President of the Asia Area and member of the Presidency of the Seventy, has served as a General Authority since 2010. Elder Soares, former President of the Brazil Area and also a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, has served as a General Authority since 2005.Elder Ulisses SoaresBergs fellow Brazilian Eduardo Galvao called Elder Soares a great, humble man who will inspire Mormon Brazilians during ongoing political and economic challenges.Its absolutely awesome news, said Nguyen, a convert living in Taylorsville, Utah. Its exciting to see this diversityand the Churchs outreach in a different part of the world.Elder Soares served as the director of temporal affairs in Brazil during the decade before his call as a General Authority at age 46. He also served as a stake president and mission president in Portugal.Elder Soares will be part of this great work and help the Church in Brazil and worldwide. I am very proud and excited to have someone from my home country represent the Church as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.Elder Soares married Rosana Fernandes in October 1982. They are the parents of three children and have three grandchildren. The calling of a man of Asian descent and a South American to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles prompted rejoicing by Latter-day Saints from their respective communities.A native of Santa Catarina, Brazil, Guilherme Berg is a fifth-generation Latter-day Saint. Raising his hand to sustain his compatriot, Elder Soares, was an unforgettable moment.We have a leader that will understand our needs and personally bless the lives of our people, said Galvoa. Gratitude is the word.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday May 27, 2018 @ 04:28:53 AM mt

Looking Back: Memories of 90and CountingGeneral Conferences




The revelation extending priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the Church was accepted during the Saturday afternoon session of the 148th Semiannual General Conference of the Church, held on September 30, 1978. Crowds exit the Salt Lake Tabernacle after the first session of general conference Saturday morning. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.Solemn assembliesThe initial announcement was made to 250 priesthood leaders, including regional representatives, stake presidents, General Authority executive administrators, and others gathered in a meeting on Wednesday before the weekend of the 151st Annual General Conference of the Church, April 4 and 5.With that background, I empathized with a member who called the Church News office from New Zealand during every conference weekend until 1978, when the Church expanded its satellite broadcasts of conference proceedings to many parts of the world, including New Zealand. Edith Maynez leads six of her own children and two nephews around the Tabernacle during the Saturday morning session of general conference on October 3, 1998. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News. Elder N. Eldon Tanner takes a sustaining vote after reading a letter by the First Presidency pertaining to the revelation on the priesthood in 1978.Nine new temples announcedThe member in New Zealand called us to find out who spoke, the topics of the talks, and announcements that might have been made. He said he shared the information with other members in New Zealand. They passed information along until many others in the island nation had the latest news of conference proceedings. Today, conference is carried across the globe through satellite broadcasts and live-stream internet transmissions and is translated into more than 90 languages.Recently, someone asked me about some of my conference memories. Several came to mind. Here are some highlights.Worldwide coverage of conferenceDuring that solemn assembly, President Kimball spoke on prophets and the history and meaning of solemn assemblies. In part, he said: Solemn assemblies have been known among the Saints since the days of Israel. They have been of various kinds, but generally have been associated with the dedication of a temple or a special meeting appointed for the sustaining of a new First Presidency, or a meeting for the priesthood to sustain a revelation, such as the tithing revelation to President Lorenzo Snow.On April 1, 1981, President Spencer W. Kimball announced that nine new temples would be built in various parts of the world: Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Lima, Peru; Frankfurt, Germany; Stockholm, Sweden; Seoul, South Korea; Manila, Philippines; and Johannesburg, South Africa. Up to then, it was the largest number of temples ever proposed at one time and the most international in setting, bringing the total number of temples scheduled or in operation to 37.Participating in that conference session is one of the many times I felt I was a part of Church history in the making.I interviewed several leaders and members from some of the newly announced temple districts. I remember in particular Lee Bum Tae, who was a stake patriarch in South Korea. Tears streamed down his face as he told me of his feelings upon hearing that a temple would be built in his home country. He said he always had been impressed to promise members the blessings of the temple. I knew that a temple in Korea couldnt be too far away because the Spirit has prompted me to name this specific blessing, he said.The first solemn assembly I attended as a Church News reporter was on April 6, 1974, during the Saturday morning session of the 144th Annual General Conference of the Church, when President Spencer W. Kimball was sustained as the 12th President of the Church. President N. Eldon Tanner and President Marion G. Romney were sustained as First and Second Counselors, respectively, in the First Presidency.The revelation appears as Official Declaration 2 and is placed among modern-day scripture at the end of the Doctrine and Covenants.Membership approves revelationI grew up in the Hazlehurst Branch of the Church in the Savannah Georgia District. In the early 1960s, WSAV-TV in Savannah aired only one televised session of conference. Television reception at my house, 100 miles from Savannah, was very poor. I remember sitting in front of the set, trying to see the black and white image of President David O. McKay and listening closely in an effort to hear what he was saying. I saw a lot of snow but little of the conference scene. I heard more static than speech.I was working as a city desk reporter at the Deseret News when President Harold B. Lee was sustained as the 11th President of the Church on October 6, 1972.I arrived in Salt Lake City two days after the announcement about the temples. I went to Temple Square at night. I looked up at angel Moronis trumpet and realized that the sounds of it will now reach my country, from the Paekdoo Mountains in the north to Cheju Island in the south. And because of this my country, which we love, will be blessed.This Aprils general conference is the 91st for me since I began my journalism career 45 years ago.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday May 27, 2018 @ 04:28:53 AM mt

Church Members Feel Power Love during Solemn Assembly




For Jack Richins of the Bountiful 43rd Ward, Bountiful Utah Stone Creek Stake, it was a powerful experience to watch the high leadership of the Church sustaining one another on such a momentous occasion. And more than once, we got to do it, he observed.She attended the session with her mother, Cara, who added, Weve been members for a long time, but this is the first time weve been in the Conference Center during a solemn assembly. It was a huge difference to be there in person, to see the prophet sitting right there, sustaining himself and the other leaders. It was an incredible moment, getting that chance to witness that we do believe in his calling and to follow him. Members rise to sustain President Russell M. Nelson as President of the Church during a solemn assembly, part of the Saturday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret News.Conducting the session and the business of the solemn assembly, President Eyring pronounced it an occasion of great significance for members of the Church throughout the world.His wife remarked, It was amazing to see everyone united. We ended up sitting toward the back, and you just could see the whole congregation. It was really inspiring. I felt the Spirit strongly and just thoroughly enjoyed all of the talks that were given.Dating from October 10, 1880, when John Taylor was sustained to succeed Brigham Young as prophet, seer, and revelator and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, each of these occasions has been designated as a formal solemn assembly of the body of the Church to express the voice of the Church, President Eyring said.Jennifer Richins, wife of the younger Jack Richins, said, I like that President Nelson sat on the edge of his seat during the sustaining. He turned around and made sure he could see the Seventies when they sustained him. He wanted to be actively engaged in the sustaining. I really liked that.When the members Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were presented for sustaining vote, the Church at large learned the identities of the two men who had been called to fill vacancies in that quorum: Elder Gerrit W. Gong and Elder Ulisses Soares. Both were invited to take their places among the quorum members on the rostrum and join with the rest of the Twelve in manifesting their sustaining votes.As part of a capacity congregation gathered in the Conference Center in Salt Lake Cityalong with others at numerous locations around the worldthe Minors raised their hands to sustain for the first time President Russell M. Nelson and his counselors in the First Presidency, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring.It was so powerful, because you were there with so many other people, and you could just be there at that moment of reverence and say to yourself, I sustain the prophet; I sustain this Church, said Charlotte Secrist of the North Ogden 10th Ward, North Ogden Utah Ben Lomond Stake.After every group, the entire membership of the Church was invited to stand and vote as a group.My impression, as I stood and sustained the new 17th prophet of the Church is that I felt loved, Brother Minor commented immediately following the session. In supporting him, I in turn felt supported and loved.His father, also named Jack, said he felt a confirmation that the Lord guides the Church; He sets His path and we have the opportunity to feel that its the right choice.Karley Richins, their wife and mother, said it was the first general conference she has attended live. She said she loved how, over and over again, the leaders of the Church were sustained, specifically as the First Presidency and then as the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I felt it was extra powerful and extra important to do it that way.Daughter Olivia shared that impression. It was overwhelming to see everybody join together and welcome this prophet in his new position and pledge to follow him. Everybody was so willing to support him, and it just showed that everybody was willing to follow the Lord.Under any circumstances, attending general conference live would be a pleasant occasion for Keith and Lisa Minor, who made the trip from their home in Medford, Oregon, to attend the opening session of the 188th Annual General Conference on March 31. But this time, it was extra special for the Minors, who rendezvoused with their daughter, Olivia, a BYU student.We knew the solemn assembly was happening, said Brother Minor, a member of the Medford 6th Ward in the Medford Oregon Stake. We wanted to make sure we would be able to participate live on this momentous occasion.He explained that the members would vote by groups wherever they were located, standing as requested, beginning with the First Presidency.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday May 27, 2018 @ 04:28:52 AM mt

LDS Charities Offers 1 Million Aid to Fight Hunger in DR Congo




Nearly 8 million people in the DRC struggle to find food amidst warring factions. Some of the worst conflicts have raged in the Kasai region for over two years, causing widespread food shortages and displacing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. More than 3 million hungry people are in Kasai, and 300,000 of those are children at risk of dying because of severe acute malnutrition.The food that they will receive through this contribution, in combination with the tools and seeds provided by other partners like the Food and Agricultural Organization, will allow them to resume farming and ultimately help improve the food security situation in the region, he said.Millions of people benefit from LDS Charities initiatives such as emergency response, food, vision care, maternal and newborn care, immunization, community projects, clean water, wheelchairs, and refugee response.Director Jibidar said the livelihood of most families in Kasai is farming. The conflicts have disrupted three consecutive farming seasons and left them virtually starving.LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Churchs Welfare Department, donates $1 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) in its ongoing support to help feed people who are hungry across the globe.Thanks to the continued generosity from members and friends of the Church, said Bishop Causs, we have been able to channel humanitarian aid to thousands of people impacted by the conflict in the Kasai Region of DR Congo.The partnership with WFP that began in 2014 and spans 11 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East reached a significant milestone of feeding those who are hungry.Many humanitarian agencies call it a mega-crisis and list DRC as the most severely impacted area in the world by conflict and displacement.The outstanding work of WFP has enabled us to send critical aid to some of the most challenging places in the worldplaces we may never have reached without their efforts, said Bishop Grald Causs, Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.This contribution means many lives will be saved in Kasai, said Prerana Issar, director of private partnerships at WFP. Since our partnership began, the members and leadership of the LDS Church have now donated more than $10 million to WFP. Thanks to this generosity, we have been able to feed more than 1.26 million people in emergencies across the globe, people whose lives were at risk because of hunger.The guiding principles of LDS Charities follow the teachings of Jesus Christ by caring for and empowering those in need regardless of their race, religion, or nationality. These beliefs inspired over 2,500 projects with more than 1,800 partners in 2017 alone.Read more about the Churchs humanitarian projects in the 2017 LDS Charities Annual Report.WFP is one of dozens of philanthropic organizations that partners with LDS Charities. More than $2 billion in monetary donations, as well as countless hours of volunteer work, have been provided by the Church, its members, and friends in 191 countries and territories since 1985.This donation by the LDS Church will save many peoples lives and will provide them with hope for a better future, said Claude Jibidar, WFPs country director in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.The funds will provide much needed nutritious food staples such as cereals, salt, and cooking oil for the most vulnerable people in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday May 27, 2018 @ 04:28:51 AM mt

Central America Has a Bright Future Says Elder Quentin L. Cook




He hopes the witness of the Savior will bless generations in the country and other Central American nations.At this moment in time when the future is so bright, we need to do everything we can while we can because there is so much opportunity, Elder Cook said.During a recent trip to Central America on March 2 through March 12, Elder Cook and Elder Gongaccompanied by their wives, Sister Mary Cook and Sister Susan Gongvisited Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, Panama, and El Salvador. With members of the Central America Area PresidencyElder Adrian Ochoa, Elder Jorge F. Zeballos, and Elder Valeri V. Cordon, all General Authority Seventies, and their wives, Sister Nancy Villarreal Ochoa, Sister Carmen Gloria Valenzuela Zeballos, and Sister Glenda Zelmira Zea Diaz CordonElder Cook and Elder Gong participated in an area review, member and missionary meetings, and youth devotionals. They also met with religious and government leaders.These are the children of Lehi and the children of the prophets, said Elder Gerrit W. Gong, then of the Presidency of the Seventy, who accompanied Elder Cook. The promises of the Book of Mormon include them. The Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple is the Church's 141st temple and the sixth in operation in Central America. Photo by Jason Swensen.He said much of the Church growth in Central America could be credited to strong multigenerational families.During the past decade the Church has seen important growth in Central America. Today almost twice as many young men are serving missions as there were 10 years ago. And almost twice as many individuals have been sealed to their spouses in the temple.But, Elder Cook said after arriving in Central America, the negative aspects of the area were not the prevalent feeling. The feeling is that it is a wholesome place, that it is a family place. It is a place where people who have religious observance in the home are really very blessed. They stay close together in a multigenerational way. There is a bright future for Central America. I think you go away with the feeling that things are going to get better and better.Central America is an example to other areas of the world, Elder Cook said.Elder Gong said Elder Cook reminded members and leaders in Central America that there is a sense of urgency and opportunity.Remember this special witness all your lives, said Elder Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.The youth had flocked to the meeting in numbers far greater than expected; when the building reached capacity, some were turned away and had to participate in the meeting via technology. Sister Mary Cook, wife of Elder Quentin L. Cook, speaks to missionaries during a meeting in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Photo by Josue A. Pena. May showing locations of Elder Quentin L. Cook's visits to Central America in March 2018. Elder Quentin L. Cook and his wife, Sister Mary Cook, and Elder Gerrit W. Gong pose with Church members on the grounds of the Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple.

A young boy gives Elder Quentin L. Cook a hug. Photo by Josue A. Pena.

During the past 50 years Central America has undergone major social change and has become quite diverse religiously. This has occurred without sectarian violence or significant persecution.The Church has also seen substantial increases in endowed members with a current temple recommend.Central America is known for stunning landscapes and kind people, in addition to economic hardships and crime and violence.The great and spacious building isnt as dominant in Central America, said Elder Cook, making reference to Lehis dream found in the Book of Mormon. Especially when you are with the youth, you just feel the goodness of the rising generation. There is something really powerful here. They are solid.The Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple, for example, is truly a light on the hill, he said.One of the promised blessings is how many youth are coming to the temple, said Elder Gong. They are coming with their families. There is a great strength and love for the temple in Central America. Sister Mary Cook, wife of Elder Quentin L. Cook, speaks with women during a meeting in Nicaragua.They have a belief in God. They have a sense of extended family and ancestors, and they have a great desire to improve their lives through education, he said.

A young woman hugs Sister Mary Cook, wife of Elder Quentin L. Cook, during a meeting in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Photo by Josue A. Pena.

Church members listen to a devotional by Elder Quentin L. Cook in Nicaragua.During the trip, Elder Cook had lunch with Catholic Archbishop Nicolas Henry Marie Denis Thevenin and other faith leaders and participated in a religious freedom conference in Guatemala. Elder Cook said that things in Central America are going to get better and better. Photo by Josue A. Pena.In Honduras and Nicaragua local leaders are focusing not only on growth but also on long-term retention, said Elder Gong.Looking out on a capacity congregation of more than 2,000 youth and their parents in Managua, Nicaragua, Elder Quentin L. Cook shared an apostolic witness of the Savior Jesus Christ. Work in the 18 missions and one missionary training center found in the area is very strong. Missionaries take notes during a devotional with Elder Quentin L. Cook in Panama. Elder Cook traveled throughout Central America March 2 through March 12.In addition, work in the 18 missions and one missionary training center found in the area is very strong.Temples in the area are blessing the lives of the members, Elder Cook said. Elder Quentin L. Cook greets members. Photo by Josue A. Pena.The Central American countries do have a basic legal commitment to religious freedom and other civil liberties in their constitutions and laws, Elder Cook said. Missionaries listen to a devotional by Elder Quentin L. Cook in Panama.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday May 27, 2018 @ 04:28:48 AM mt

Watch the New Videos about Ministering on LDS.org




  • Resources for Ministering. This page lists all the videos with ideas about how they can be used.The videos include clips from the April 2018 general conference and from general conference leadership meetings with General Authorities, Area Seventies, and General Officers.You can also print a PDF of this list to use in a stake or ward council meeting to help you choose the videos to watch.
  • A Vision of Ministering (4:41). Watch this overview video to learn more about ministering. You can watch a shorter (1:19) version or a longer (4:41) version for coordinating, stake, and ward councils.
  • Ministering Interviews (19:17). Watch these videos to learn about counseling together in ministering interviews.
  • Effective Ministering(15:00). This series of videos can be used to guide discussions with coordinating, stake, and ward councils and in elders quorums and Relief Societies. The series contains the following segments, each with a discussion question after the video.
    • Why We Minister(2:44)
      Question:Why do we minister?
    • Simple, Individualized, and Led by the Spirit(2:20)
      Question:How can we keep our efforts simple and led by the Spirit?
    • Overview of Ministering Interviews(3:53)
      Question:How can effective ministering interviews bless individuals and families?
    • One Coordinated Effort(3:49)
      Question:How can one coordinated effort help us care for all of Gods children?
    • Invitation to Act(3:24)
      Question:How can we implement the vision of ministering provided by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles?
  • Additional resources will be added to ministering.lds.org, the Gospel Library app, and the LDS Media Library app.
  • The May issues of the Liahona and Ensign magazines and comefollowme.lds.org contain resources that can be used in fourth-Sunday discussions about ministering in elders quorum and Relief Society meetings.
  • A new feature titled Ministering Principles will be included in the Church magazines beginning in June.
  • Ministering.lds.orgwhich also includes a letter from the First Presidency, a list of frequently asked questions, and resources for leadersis important for helping leaders and members understand the vision, purpose, and mechanics of ministering. The Church has added several instructional videos to ministering.lds.org so members and leaders can learn more about, discuss, and begin implementing this inspired change.An April 13 notice to leaders encourages the use of these instructional videos in area councils, coordinating councils, stake conferences, stake councils, ward councils, and Sunday lessons for members to learn more about, discuss, and begin implementing this inspired program.The Church has added several instructional videos to ministering.lds.org, the website mentioned during general conference on April 1 after President Russell M. Nelson announced the retirement of home and visiting teaching in order to implement a holier, coordinated effort called ministeringa better way to minister to the spiritual and temporal needs of our people in the Saviors way.Additional resourcesAccording to the notice sent to leaders:The following videos provide specific examples of effective ministering, counseling during ministering interviews, and helps for guiding discussions with coordinating, stake, and ward councils and in elders quorums and Relief Societies. The videos are also being added to the Gospel Library app and the LDS Media Library app:

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    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
    Sunday May 27, 2018 @ 04:28:48 AM mt

    Conference Moments: 25 Years Ago President Nelson Called Members to Honor Priesthood




    The Churchs 17th President is only months into his new calling, but hes no neophyte to priesthood instruction. A quarter century ago, Elder Nelson, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, also challenged men of all ages to honor their priesthood and its offices.The titles of the priesthood deserve our utmost care and respect. Members of the First Presidency are addressed as President, as are members in a presidency of a stake, mission, quorum, or branch.The General Authorities are, of course, ordinary people who require haircuts, laundry services, and occasional reminders, just like anyone else. But they are also recognized as instruments in the hand of the Lord, and their official acts are valid on earth and in heaven, Elder Nelson said in his address 25 years ago.On March 31, during an unforgettable priesthood session of the 188th Annual General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson announced modifications to local Melchizedek Priesthood quorums to allow increased fellowship, unity, revelation, and ministering.Elder Nelson said the title Elder is also sacredand shared by all who bear the Melchizedek Priesthood.Priesthood titles are not created by man; neither are they for adornment, nor do they express mastership. They denote appointment to service in the work of the Lord.The Lords Church differs from man-made institutions, he said. It is neither a democracy nor a republic, but rather a kingdom with ultimate authority at the top: the Lord directing His anointed servants who testify to all the world that God has spoken again.Additionally, honoring the priesthood means honoring ones personal call to serve, he said, by taking counsel, not speaking ill of Church leaders, not coveting position, not second-guessing who should or should not have been called, not refusing an opportunity to serve, and not resigning a call.The Savior of the World chose to honor us with His priesthood, so we honor Him by honoring His priesthoodboth its power and those who bear it, he said during the priesthood session of the 163rd Annual General Conference. By doing so, men, women, and children throughout the world will be blessed. Honoring the priesthood fosters respect, respect promotes reverence, and reverence invites revelation (Honoring the Priesthood, April 1993 general conference). The title Apostle, meanwhile, is sacred. The preferred title for one of the Twelve is Elder or Brother.

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    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
    Sunday May 27, 2018 @ 04:28:48 AM mt

    President Nelson Bolsters Faith from London First Stop on Global Tour




    Prior to his remarks, President Nelson told the Deseret News that he chose to begin in London in part because of its diversity. Its a melting pot, and ours is a global ministry, so at least we can get a sample. Most of the nations of the world are here in London.After London and Jerusalem, the delegations final six stops are in Nairobi, Kenya; Harare, Zimbabwe; Bengaluru, India; Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong; and Honolulu, Hawaii. President Russell M, Nelson and Sister Wendy Nelson arrive at the Hyde Park Chapel in London on Thursday, April 12, 2018. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.Elder Holland was among the missionaries in attendance when another prophet of the Lord dedicated the chapel in 1961.Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles knew exactly what it would be like for the missionaries of the England London Mission when President Russell M. Nelson met with them Thursday, April 12, at the Hyde Park Chapel.Jerusalem is next because of its significance. We want to focus on the Lord Jesus Christ, he said. Thats where His mortal ministry was. Thats where He was born, thats where He was killed. We felt that was where we wanted to be rooted.The Church has 185,000 members in the United Kingdom in 333 congregations. Some of those congregations have been in existence since the 1840s. Another 3,800 members live in Ireland. More than 65 million people live in the U.K. Missionaries at the Hyde Park Visitors Center in London on Thursday, April 12, 2018. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.Its humbling to meet someone who communicates with God and is a prophet to all of us, she said. A prophet to me is such a blessing. Prophets help us focus our plan and refine it. President Russell M. Nelson and Sister Wendy Nelson greet the Vargas family at the Hyde Park Visitors Center in London on Thursday, April 12, 2018. The boys are Juan David Vargas Saavedra, right, and Joseph Daniel Vargas Saavedra. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.To have the prophet of God here to deliver a message of strength to these missionaries and members is energizing, England London Mission President Mark Stevens said.The Lords message is for everyone, President Nelson said. This is a global work. Whenever Im comfortably situated in my home, Im in the wrong place. I need to be where the people are. We need to bring them the message of the Savior.President Nelsons first international trip as the new Church President is being called a global ministry tour. In all, he will visit six countries.The England London Mission has 170 missionaries from 67 countries.President Nelson and Elder Holland first met with the 170 members of the England London Mission in the afternoon at the chapel next to Londons historic Hyde Park, then spoke at the chapel that evening in a meeting broadcast throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.The Church is strong here, but gosh, theres a lot of work to do, said Richard West, a patriarch in the Chelmsford 2nd Ward. President Russell M. Nelson greets Juan David Vargas Saavedra, left, and Joseph Daniel Vargas Saavedra at the Hyde Park Visitors Center in London on Thursday, April 12, 2018. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.Sai Stephenson, 21, who is studying fine art at Goldsmiths College, part of the University of London, had a ticket to the Thursday night meeting. The first counselor in the Hyde Park Stake Young Women presidency, Stephenson arrived early with friends to seek a good seat.When I heard he was coming, I started to think about seeing him in person and my heart started to beat so fast in anticipation, said Sister Chang Chiang of Taiwan.Four cities on President Nelsons trip are places where Church leaders have announced temples will be builtNairobi, Harare, Bangkok, andas announced by President Nelson at general conference on April 1Bengaluru, the first temple in India.The message is to invite all of Gods children on both sides of the veil to come unto their Savior and enjoy the blessings of the temple, have enduring joy, and qualify for eternal life. And that will bring hope, help, and lift to all people.Elder Mason Peters of Draper, Utah, said the bishop of the Brittania YSA Ward in downtown London provided a ticket to the April 12 evening devotional meeting for an investigator from Asia. His companion, Elder Patrick Diener of Bonn, Germany, said other investigators and recent converts looked forward to President Nelsons visit with great anticipation.On Friday, April 13, the delegation was to travel to Jerusalem to meet with members, missionaries, and students at Brigham Young Universitys Jerusalem Center over the weekend.To this day I can remember with crystal clarity anticipating the arrival of President David O. McKay, Elder Holland once said, and I can picture him walking into Hyde Park Chapel to dedicate it.LONDON, ENGLANDThe tour concludes on April 23.The April 12 events constituted the first stop on President Nelsons global ministry tour, which includes Sister Wendy Watson Nelson and Sister Patricia Holland. President Russell M. Nelson and Sister Wendy Nelson greet missionaries at the Hyde Park Chapel in London on Thursday, April 12, 2018. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.

    Graphic by Aaron Thorup.

    President Russell M, Nelson and Sister Wendy Nelson greet missionaries at the Hyde Park Visitors Center in London on Thursday, April 12, 2018. At left are Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Sister Patricia Holland. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.

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