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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday September 23, 2018 @ 04:05:08 AM mt

2018 Days of 47 Parade Entries Embody Pioneer Stories: Foundations for the Future Theme




Jack Thomas (9), front, Henry Thomas (12), left, and Ethan Thomas (17) ride with an entry sponsored by the Sons of Utah Pioneers in the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by James Wooldridge, Deseret News. Juan Cruz, right, Enrique Ortega, Christopher Ortega (7), and Ariel Ortega (10) dance as a float playing music passes in the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by James Wooldridge, Deseret News.Each year he and his wife stake out a prime viewing spot, dress up the kids in pioneer outfits, and celebrate the arrival of Brigham Young and the first group of pioneers entering the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Alex Saville, center, and others with Utah Healing Field wave American flags the during the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by James Wooldridge, Deseret News. The Murray Utah North Stake wins the Outstanding Animation Award in the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. The Bountiful Val Verda Stake float wins the Hilda Erickson Award in the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.The theme Pioneer Stories: Foundations for the Future served as the inspiration for this years annual parade in downtown Salt Lake City on Pioneer Day, July 24.Its important to remember our history and how privileged we are right now, Kellen Golightly, a 17-year-old Scout who marched with Edelman, said. Dawn Dodson, left, Shanon Penman, and Jenna Dodson walk with the Bountiful Val Verda Stakes float, which won the Hilda Erickson Award in the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by James Wooldridge, Deseret News.

A boy holds an American flag as he walks under the Follow the Flag, the largest free-flying American flag in the world, during the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by James Wooldridge, Deseret News.

Buhls family always looks forward to the displays from the Salt Lake Police Motor Squad, while 6-year-old Olivia Buhl particularly enjoys seeing the princesses, or city royalties.The Days of 47 royalties and several other city royalties represented different parts of the state. Floats were also present from Utah universities, including the University of Utah and Brigham Young University, both founded by Brigham Young.Adam Buhl and his family are no strangers to the Days of 47 Parade. Joshua Born plays clarinet in the Viewmont Viking Band during the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by James Wooldridge, Deseret News. Peyton Featherstone and Tess VanBibber watch the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, represented the Church and waved happily to the crowds near the beginning of the parade from the seat of a white Ford Mustang convertible. Milo Peterson cheers at the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.
Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.Deborah Hoffa and her family arrived early in the morning to support family members participating in the marathon preceding the parade. Although she has only lived in the state for the last eight to 10 years, Hoffa recognizes the importance of remembering the pioneers, even 171 years after their arrival. Civil Air Patrol Utah Wing cadets march the colors in the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by James Wooldridge, Deseret News. Jeanette Herbert, First Lady of Utah, and Utah Governor Gary Herbert ride in the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. Army Sgt. Ben Winn helps carry Follow the Flag, the largest free-flying American flag in the world, during the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by James Wooldridge, Deseret News.If we dont do this and remember, then well forget, he said. Nelly Barrera dances with other Ballet Folklorico dancers in the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. Jan Eye walks with the West Jordan Mountain Shadows Stake float, which won the Spirit of Faith Award, during the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by James Wooldridge, Deseret News. The Woods Cross North Stake float wins the Peoples Choice Award in the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.For Buhl, whose great-grandmother was one of the pioneers who pulled a handcart into the valley, the day is about more than just fun and celebration. Its about remembering the dedication and faith of those early members who laid the foundations of what Utah is now.We come out here every year religiously, Buhl said. Its fun to teach [the children] about pioneers and what they did. They get to be pioneers for a day.Other state officials, including Utah Governor Gary Herbert, also greeted crowds as the parade continued. Spectators stand for the passing of Utah Healing Fields American flags during the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by James Wooldridge, Deseret News.They paved the way for a lot of us, she said. Regardless if it was the LDS pioneers or the people who came out this way just trying to make a better life for themselves, theyre the examples and theyre the reason why we make it where we are. KSLs float passes during the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.
Photo by James Wooldridge, Deseret News.Other memorable parts of the parade included a display of vintage cars, performances from several marching bands, and a float from the city of Cottonwood Heights that featured a working snow machine, adding a small taste of winter in the middle of a day that reached over 90 degrees.The Scouts were dressed the part, with long sleeves, vests, and full-length pants. Wearing all that clothing and walking five miles in the summer heat made 13-year-old Turner Edelman appreciate the hard work it was for those early members crossing the country.The celebration of the Utah pioneers was evident throughout the procession. Floats featured men and women in pioneer outfits and performances of popular hymns and childrens songs about pioneers, such as Pioneer Children Sang as They Walked.Other notes of pioneer and Church history were echoed in the parade through the representation of the Sons of Utah Pioneers and a group of men representing the Mormon Battalion.Kurtis Edelman and his Scout troop from Corinne, Utah, marched in the re-creation of the Mormon Battalion. Edelman said its important to recognize the sacrifice that those men and women made and to remember the sacrifices that are made today to keep that spirit alive.

Alyih Young, 6, leans past the line in the street to get a look at the horses passing during the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by James Wooldridge, Deseret News.

The Sil Lum Kung Fu Kwoon lion head dancers perform during the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by James Wooldridge, Deseret News. The Sunset Ridge Stakes float won the Utah Award in the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by James Wooldridge, Deseret News. The Woods Cross North Stakes float won the Peoples Choice Award in the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by James Wooldridge, Deseret News. People carry Follow the Flag, the worlds largest free-flying American flag, in the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.Dozens of Latter-day Saint stakes from around Utah, including the Cottonwood, South Jordan, Hunter Central, Sandy Cottonwood Creek, and Farmington West Stakes, created floats interpreting the theme. Displays included a futuristic, space-themed take and a float displaying a pioneer reading stories to children, honoring the culture, strength, and fortitude early Utah settlers created for later generations. The BYU Foundations for Our Future float passes during the Days of 47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by James Wooldridge, Deseret News.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday September 23, 2018 @ 04:05:00 AM mt

Outpouring of Support Follows Horrific Meetinghouse Shooting in Nevada




Witnesses reported hearing four to eight shots from a powerful handgun, according to the Deseret News. Bert Millers brother, Duane, 64, was wounded in the leg during the shooting. He was treated and released at a local hospital.He also enjoyed fishing and serving his family and others, without looking for fanfare or attention.Investigators have not determined a motive behind the slaying.But the family of slain shooting victim Charles E. Bert Milleralong with his fellow ward members and neighborsare not alone, said the Area Seventy who presides over the western Nevada region.Relatives remember Bert Miller always making time to ride four-wheelers with his five grandchildren. He was a great dad, but he was a better Papa.Its what keeps us going, he said, our understanding of the plan of salvation and knowledge that families are eternal and that well see him again.Almost immediately after the shooting, Elder Johnson was in contact with members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the Presidency of the Seventy, and other General Authorities. Each of the Brethren asked the same question: How can the Church help?Funeral services are scheduled for Friday, July 27, at 10 a.m., with a viewing at 9 a.m. at the Church meetinghouse at 450 N. Taylor Street in Fallon. Burial will follow at the Churchill Public Cemetery.He was one of the most selfless, soft-spoken, kind people I know, said Heidi Ayers, the second of Millers three children. We have no way to understand why this happened. My dad shook [OConnors] hand before the meeting.Understandably, the tragedy has left Fallon residents sad and confused. Theres concern for the children and young people who witnessed the shooting in a sacred gathering place where people typically find peace and refuge.Duane Miller said his brother was the sort of man who stepped forward when he was needed. Now his survivors are drawing upon their faith to sustain them as they grieve.Even while grieving her husbands death, LuDene Miller expressed to Elder Johnson her concern for her fellow ward members and any others who might be hesitant to return to worship services.A random, deadly shooting during a ward sacrament meeting in Fallon, Nevada, has staggered the tightly knit farming community.Elder Ren S. Johnson reported that people of all backgrounds in the community and beyond are offering heartfelt support while simultaneously mourning the July 22 death of Miller, 61, a soft-spoken mechanic and volunteer firefighter.A viewing will be held on Thursday, July 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Smith Family Funeral Home, 505 Rio Vista Dr., in Fallon.The Miller family was left astonished and confused over the loss of a man loved and respected for his thoughtfulness, community service, and an endearing overuse of emojis while texting, the Deseret News reported.Support from the greater western Nevada communityincluding municipal and public safety officialsis also helping to sustain the Miller family, said Elder Johnson. You wont find a more stalwart group of people than those in Fallon.

Bert Miller of Fallon, Nevada, was a volunteer firefighter for the highly regarded Fallon/Churchill County Volunteer Fire Department. He was shot and killed during an LDS Church sacrament meeting on Sunday, July 22, 2018. Photo courtesy of the Miller family.

Grief counselors from LDS Family Services were immediately dispatched to Fallon to assist Millers loved ones, along with people of all ages from the Fallon 3rd Ward, Fallon Nevada South Stake, who witnessed the shooting.Kelly OConner, 48, faces multiple criminal charges, including first-degree murder. The alleged gunman and Bert Miller belonged to the same ward.That support will continue as long as it is needed, said Elder Johnson.

Bert and LuDene Miller were married for 37 years. LuDene is undergoing cancer treatments and recovering from a broken ankle, so she stayed home from services on Sunday, July 22, 2018, when Bert was shot to death during an LDS Church sacrament meeting in Fallon, Nevada. Photo courtesy of the Miller family.

The Fallon community, both inside and outside of the Church, is a supportive, ministering type of community, he said.The Area Seventy has also spent time with Millers wife, LuDene Miller, and other relatives. They are doing as well as could be expected.Bert Miller was known as a Fallon boy, born and raised, who left the small Nevada town only to earn a degree in diesel mechanics at the Utah school now known as Utah Valley University. Miller and his wife operated an auto parts store in town. After they sold it, he worked as a mechanic for 20 years at the nearby Navy base for Chugach International.LuDene Miller, who was married to Bert Miller for 37 years and is undergoing cancer treatment, was not at the meeting because her husband had urged her to stay home to rest the ankle she broke in a fall several days ago, the Deseret News reported.Almost 100 people were attending Sunday worship services when a lone gunman allegedly entered the Fallon meetinghouse chapel and shot and killed Miller at point-blank range.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday September 23, 2018 @ 04:04:51 AM mt

Young Men Leader Offers 3 Ways to Avoid Deception Build Confidence




Central to Satans great plan of misery is a focus on selfincluding self-confidence. The great plan of happiness, in contrast, teaches that the only way we actually find ourselves and true happiness is to lose ourselves in the service of others. I invite you to pray daily for and act on opportunities to serve others. Brother Douglas D Holmes of the Young Men General Presidency speaks during graduation at BYUIdaho on July 23, 2018. Photo by Michael Lewis.The best way to both avoid deception and increase a divinely based confidence comes through feasting on and obeying the word of God, he said. It is the iron rod, composed of the scriptures, the words of living prophets, and the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, that enables us to navigate safely through the mists of darkness which permeate our world. Letting go for even a moment makes us vulnerable to the subtle and pervasive deceits of the philosophies of men.Second, Elder Clark said the Lord will be with each person wherever he or she goes.When we always remember Him, we see God as the source of all that is good, the foundation of all righteousness, and we feel gratitude for every blessing, opportunity, challenge, and gift we receive. When we willingly recognize the source of our blessings, our confidence in God increases. Graduates gather for commencement exercises at BYUIdaho on July 23, 2018. Photo by Cami Su. Graduates gather for commencement exercises at BYUIdaho on July 23, 2018. Photo by Cami Su.Rather, the scriptures teach the oppositeto always remember the greatness of God, and your own nothingness (Mosiah 4:11), with warnings against those who putteth his trust in the arm of flesh (2 Nephi 4:34) and encouragement to trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). BYUIdaho graduation ceremonies in the BYUIdaho Center on July 23, 2018. Photo by Michael Lewis.First, he encouraged graduates go to the temples of the Lord as often as possible. In doing so, he promised confidence in the Lord and His love and power.The defining challenge of our day is to discern, obey, and defend truth, said Brother Douglas D. Holmes, First Counselor in the Young Men General Presidency, during commencement exercises at Brigham Young UniversityIdaho on July 23.This is a time of much darkness, but also much greater light, he said.During his remarks, Elder Clark encouraged courage and offered hope to students as they embarked on their next part of life.Joining Brother Holmes on the program, held in the BYUIdaho Center on July 23, was Elder Kim B. Clark, General Authority Seventy and Commissioner of Education for the Church, and BYUIdaho President Henry J. Eyring.1. Feast on and obey the word of God.He offered three pointssuggestions and promises of the Lordto those who are true and faithful.Third, he said, in the coming days, all will stand before Him and see His majesty and power. From left, Sister Kelly Eyring, BYUIdaho President Henry J. Eyring, Brother Douglas D. Holmes of the Young Men General Presidency, and Sister Erin Holmes during BYUIdaho commencement on July 23, 2018. Photo by Michael Lewis.These examples barely scratch the surface of this prominent scriptural theme, he said. Time after time, remarkable accomplishments have been achieved by weak and simple people who trusted Gods power over their own.Brother Holmes shared three lessons to help individuals avoid deception and build their confidence every day.This is not a small thing, for only the trutha pure knowledge of things as they really arewill make us free and lead us to happiness now and in eternity, he said.2. Live in thanksgiving daily.Citing examples such as Nephi and Helaman in the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, Brother Holmes recognized that all of these men had put their confidence in God.Brother Holmes warned of the deceit of self-confidence and spoke of developing a confidence based on trusting in God.This semesters graduating class at BYUIdaho consists of 2,349 students earning 1,909 bachelors degrees and 484 associate degrees. Of the grads, 1,398 are women and 951 are men, and 1,680 of those are campus-based students. Some 667 graduates are online students, and 462 of the graduates started college through the Pathway program.If self-confidence is so critical to a happy life, why dont I find any sermons on it in the scriptures? he asked. Why has God not told us how important self-confidence is and given guidance on how to build our self-confidence?3. Forget yourself and serve others.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday September 23, 2018 @ 04:04:42 AM mt

Elder Arnold Shares Pioneer Values during 2018 Sunrise Service




For example, Elder Arnolds great-great-grandmother Emily Ellen Swain demonstrated courage in adversity by crossing the plains at the age of 10 without any other family members, he said.The service also included the posting of the colors by the Mormon Battalion Association and multiple musical numbers by the Salt Lake Valley Combined Institute Choir, directed by Will Hatch and Rick Decker.Cheryl R. Searle, president of the International Society of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, presented the 2018 Days of 47 royalty, who sat on the stand in matching purple dresses. Queen Lauren Bell, who has received classical training in opera and musical theater, sang an arrangement of Amazing Grace that included a verse in Korean, a nod to her LDS mission in Seoul, South Korea.Bell said the Sunrise Service was extremely spiritual, which differs from the other typically civic events in which the Days of 47 royalty participate; she also said the most important takeaway of the service was the importance of remembering the pioneers contributions.Henry particularly enjoyed the story of Maria Normington and how it showed just how dedicated she was to get to Zion. Ethan said that kind of dedication is what they would represent while walking in the parade. Rick Decker directs the Salt Lake City Institute Combined Choir at the Days of 47 Sunrise Service at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.Elder Arnold also shared a story of a pioneer family not connected to his family tree. Maria Normington traveled with the Martin handcart company, where she suffered starvation and exposure, and where she lost her husband and two of their children on the trail. A woman wipes her eyes during the Days of 47 Sunrise Service at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. People listen to Elder Mervyn B. Arnold of the Seventy speak during the Days of 47 Sunrise Service at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.Carolyn Fleming, who lives in Salt Lake City, attended the service and said she loved coming because its a great way to honor our past and look forward to the future. Val C. Parrish, president of the Salt Lake Pioneer Chapter of the National Society of the Sons of Utah Pioneers, speaks during the Days of 47 Sunrise Service at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.

Days of 47 queen Lauren Bell sings at the Sunrise Service at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.

Discouraged and exhausted, she felt no one would care if she simply lay down and didnt go on; however, thats when she saw an abandoned ox by the side of the trail, and a feeling of friendship and understanding sprang up between them almost immediately. The ox was her companion for the remainder of the journey to the Salt Lake Valley, helping Emily forget her discouragements and even her sore, bare feet. Members of the Salt Lake City Institute Combined Choirs sing at the Days of 47 Sunrise Service at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.Remember their legacy, remember their stories, and keep telling them so that we can gain the strength and the inspiration, she said.Despite this, when her feet were so frozen she could not walk, she crawled on her hands and knees; when her hands were so frozen she could not use them, she crawled on her elbows. Years later, she still had scars from these experiences.Ethan Thomas (17), Henry Thomas (12), and Isaac Birdsall (14), all from Bountiful, also attended the service and came dressed in clothes from their recent pioneer trek to walk in the Pioneer Day parade. Isaac and Ethan both said its important to celebrate Pioneer Day in order to remember pioneers and their sacrifices.We remember those that have gone before us because we cant be who we are without what has taken place before us, she said. As we look back and remember the past hopefully we can build upon that foundation.From another battleship a crowd of men, most of them Mervyns men, watched the lone, white-clad figure lying on the navigation bridge of the ship, Elder Arnold said. The grandeur of this heroic death scene as it unfolded profoundly moved the men of the stricken fleet.Elder Mervyn B. Arnold was named after his ancestor Mervyn Sharp Bennion, who was the captain of the U.S.S. West Virginia in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.The story was part of Elder Arnolds address at the Days of 47 Sunrise Service, which began at 7 a.m. at the Assembly Hall at Temple Square. Despite the early hour, people turned out to enjoy a flag ceremony, musical numbers, and Elder Arnolds Pioneer Day address, in which he shared stories of his ancestors that demonstrated faith in God, devotion to family, loyalty to church and country, hard work, service to others, courage in adversity, personal integrity, and unyielding determination. People leave the Days of 47 Sunrise Service at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.When the ship was attacked by Japanese war planes, Captain Bennion was hit by shrapnel and knew he was dying; despite that, he only allowed his wound to receive minimal care and refused to be attended to further while there was work to be done.This is a sacred moment, Elder Arnold added. Thank you for coming. Thank you for giving your all.The address created a feeling of reverence and gratitude toward pioneer forebears, helping the modern audience recognize ways that pioneer values are applicable today.Elder Arnold, a General Authority Seventy, grew emotional recounting how Captain Bennion eventually told his crew to leave him and save themselves.Elder Arnold closed by expressing love for his pioneer ancestors and the legacy they left him. What a sweet and tender Heavenly Father we have, who hears and answers prayers, he said. He bore his testimony of the Savior, saying, I can never deny that Jesus is the Christ. A boy holds his hat over his heart during the Days of 47 Sunrise Service at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News. First attendant Heidi Farley, left, Days of 47 queen Lauren Bell, center, and second attendant Rachel Roy, right, attend the Days of 47 Sunrise Service at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.However, Maria was never heard to censure anyone for her trials, nor complain because her lot was hard, Elder Arnold said. She was cheerful and faithful throughout her life and felt that the gospel of Jesus Christ, for which she had endured so much, was the most glorious of all blessings.Their journey was hard and it was a spiritual thing for them, so thats what were going to try to convey when we walk, he said.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday September 23, 2018 @ 04:04:34 AM mt

Latter-day Saint Missionary 19 Dies in Accidental Fall in Australia




Elder Gavin Paul Zimmerman, 19, from West Haven, Utah, had been serving in Australia since August 2017.Raymond and Jeanette Zimmerman, Elder Zimmermans parents, issued the following statement in connection with their sons death:

Elder Gavin Paul Zimmerman, 19, from West Haven, Utah, died Monday, July 23, in an accidental fall while serving as a missionary in the Australia Sydney Mission. Photo by David Hales.

A 19-year-old Latter-day Saint missionary serving in the Australia Sydney Mission died Monday, July 23, after slipping and falling from a cliff in a popular sightseeing area.It is with deep sorrow and heavy hearts that we share the news of our sons passing from this earth to return home to his Heavenly Father. Gavin Paul Zimmerman grew up in Roy and West Haven. He attended Fremont High and participated in both track and football. Gavin was called to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Australia Sydney Mission. He began his mission on August 16, 2017. Gavin served in several leadership positions in the mission field. He was a great example to us all, and he loved his mission very much. He enjoyed teaching people and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. He loved the Savior Jesus Christ and his family, and we loved him. Gavin was a bright light in our lives! We are so grateful for our Father in Heavens plan of salvation. We know that we will be with him again one day. Our family will miss him greatly until we meet again.Elder Zimmerman and a group of missionaries were at a popular sightseeing area on Monday when he slipped and fell from a cliff, said Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff. Our sincerest condolences and prayers are with Elder Zimmermans family and loved ones as they remember his life and mourn his passing. We pray they will feel the love of our Heavenly Father at this tragic time.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday September 23, 2018 @ 04:04:27 AM mt

Helping the St. George Tabernacle to Withstand the Test of Time




Within the first year, as settling families continued to live in buckboard wagons and tents, plans were discussed to build a tabernacle on the citys center block. The St. George Tabernacle at night. The tabernacle will be rededicated Saturday, July 28, 2018, following a two-year renovation. Photo taken July 22, 2018. Photo by Scott Taylor.As J. Ralph Atkin stands inside the St. George Tabernacle, memories start flooding backattending Church and Primary meetings as a child in the old brick building in the 1940s and 1950s, sliding on knees or backside on the meeting halls smooth wood-plank floor, enduring southern Utahs stifling heat indoors well before the advent of air conditioning, and hearing stories of his great-great-grandfather William Fawcett working as a stone mason on the construction of the tabernacle.

Examples of the decorative symbolism in the St. George Tabernacle, located high on the wall facing the congregation and above the podium, stand, and choir seats. The images include the all-seeing eye of God, the finger pointing to heaven, and the handclasp of brotherhoodall representative of the Zion community settlers were striving to create upon arriving in the 1860s. Photo by Scott Taylor.

Much of the recent restoration project dealt with seismic reinforcement, strengthening and stabilizing the tabernacle. Efforts included exterior projects such as new mortar, a return to the historic colors for the brickwork as well as doors and trim, a repair of the historic tower clock, and a restoration of the 1870s bell.As a kid attending church here, you felt the presence of that all-seeing eye, said Atkin.An open house currently runs through Thursday, July 26, with Atkin helping lead the public affairs efforts for the open house and rededication. A Church history website features the buildings history and renovations through the years.Interior colors were matched to the original tints as determined by extensive lab analysis of the many layers of paint applied to the walls over nearly a century and a half. Fabrics for carpets and pew covers were matched to vintage patterns and colors, and the sometimes-swaying balconies were stabilized.

Guests visiting the open house of the St. George Tabernacle prior to its July 28, 2018, rededication are in the attic on Monday morning, July 23. The pulley wheel at the top of the photo was used to lower chandeliers in the late 19th century to fill them with oil, while the equipment built onto the support in front of the group is the current electrical winch system used to drop and return the current chandeliers for cleaning. The current chandeliers are replicas based on the original ones installed in the 1880s. Photo by Scott Taylor.

Chandeliers were added in the early 1880s (the current pieces are electric replicas of the original oil-based light fixtures), modifications were made in the 1920s, electricity was a 20th-century supplement, a pipe organ was added and pews replaced in 1940, air conditioning later followed, and folding opera-style seats salvaged from the Salt Lake Temple replaced the wood-slat benches on the balconies more than a half-century ago.ST. GEORGE, UTAHFeatured high above the pulpit, rostrum, and choir seats on the wall facing the congregation are several visual elements that Utt says symbolize the call of the St. George settlers to create and sustain a self-sufficient, Zion-like community.

The St. George Tabernacle at dawn. The tabernacle will be rededicated Saturday, July 28, following a two-year renovation. Photo taken July 23, 2018. Photo by Scott Taylor.

Presiding at the 10 a.m. session will be Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a St. George native who, like Atkin, grew up attending meetings, activities, and events in the historic building.This building has really been the cultural and community heart of this town since it was constructed, Utt said, and we hope that for the next 150 years that story continues. The St. George Tabernacle, under construction, circa January 1872.
Photo is currently part of a display at the St. George Tabernacle.Utt walks through the tabernacle and sees its evolution, starting with the 1863 foundation, the rough-hewn pine serving as attic trusses, and the window glass that survived a cross-country trek from New York, with 80 percent of the original window glass still intact.Grape clusters and cotton blossoms used in trim throughout are visual reminders of settlers agricultural assignment. The St. George Tabernacle, circa 1935. Photo is currently part of a display at the St. George Tabernacle.The floors, the stonework, the eye, and everything else has been renovated, reworked, or refreshed as the St. George Tabernacle emerges from a two-year closure for its rededication Saturday, July 28.Those symbols include an all-seeing eye to remind that God is mindful and watching over the Saints and a thrice-crowned crest containing the 1875 finish date, a finger pointing to heaven, a handclasp of brotherly love, and the phrase Faith & Union.Oh, and theres that eye, situated high on the wall facing the congregational seating.In October 1861, 309 families were called to settle southern Utahthe settlement then named St. Georgeand raise cotton and warm-weather crops such as grapes and figs. Atkins Great-Great-Grandfather Fawcettthe Churchs first convert in York, England, who later emigrated to the United States and worked on the Nauvoo Templewas on the first wagon entering the southern Utah valley after the 30-day trip from Salt Lake City. Visitors walk through the St. George Tabernacle during its open house on Monday, July 23, 2018. After being closed for two years for renovations, the tabernacle will be rededicated on July 28, 2018. Photo by Scott Taylor.It still feels old, said Emily Utt, historical sites curator with the Church History Department, who has worked on the project for four years. I love coming in here and seeing that the wood isnt perfect, that the floors are still a little creaky. It has that old pioneer spirit while being touched up, refreshed, and cleaned.Eight years after the first cornerstone was laid, exterior work on the St. George Tabernacle was finished by the end of 1871, just shortly after the St. George Templelocated four blocks to the southeastwas announced. Many workers and craftsmanincluding Fawcett wielding his stone masons hammertook their talents from tabernacle to temple, as the tabernacles interior work continued for several years. The tabernacle was dedicated in May 1876, the temple in April 1877.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday September 23, 2018 @ 04:04:19 AM mt

Elder Uchtdorf Encourages New Mission Leaders in Their Spiritual Liftoff




Citing an adage that in the Lords work there are rarely final endings but rather everlasting beginnings, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles called the conclusion of the 2018 Mission Leadership Seminar the start of a great adventure in building the kingdom of God here on earth.The souls that mission presidents and companions help bring to the Lord will be those who they and their missionaries find, teach, baptize, and make disciples, said Elder Uchtdorf, noting that such will include less-active members and part-member families.And certainly, he added, the souls you will bring closer to the Lord will be your own missionaries.The excitement has been increasing during this seminar, the countdown for your launch is almost over, and you will soon be on your way to a new adventure of discovery, wonder, awe, and missionary labors.Loving ones neighbor for a mission president and companion means loving their missionaries and never underestimating the power that such love has on them. Look for the good in each one and dont compare them to each other, he said, adding that mission presidents and their wives often serve as the bridge between Gods love and the heart of a missionary.At main engine cut-off, thrust dropped to zero in just a half-second, the pressure on my body vanished, and we were afloat under our straps, in free fall at last, he added. Wed lived to make it to orbit, and to start our mission at last.And taking his trademark aviation analogies to a higher level, the former airline captain likened the pending departure of new mission presidents and their companions to the exhilarating liftoff of a space shuttle.Elder Uchtdorf also encouraged mission presidents and companions to focus on using the scriptures and Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service as the tools provided for missions and missionaries to accomplish their divine purpose. He asked the leaders to refrain from introducing supplementary materials, saying such would dilute the message and power of Preach My Gospel.He also cautioned against competition among missionaries as well as among other missions.

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and his wife, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf, address new mission presidents and their wives during the 2018 Mission Leadership Seminar held in the Provo MTC June 2426.

Elder Uchtdorf encouraged the mission presidents and companions to go forward with faith, hope, joy, and happinessand, as he repeated several times, to look for the reasons to rejoice.

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf addresses new mission presidents and their wives during the 2018 Mission Leadership Seminar held in the Provo MTC June 2426.

As leaders, you need to create a culture of shared success and mutual goals, never of envy or jealousy, he said. Be a mission of high love, but also a mission of high expectations.When the main engines ignited six seconds before liftoff, the entire orbiter rattled and shuddered like a skyscraper in an earthquake, Jones wrote. A deep rumble shook the cabin as the main engines came up to full thrust. At T-minus-zero, the solid rocket boosters ignited, giving me a massive kick in the back as they blasted our ship off the pad. The pounding exhaust from the twin boosters shook us continually as we accelerated at 2.5 Gs, ripping through the lower atmosphere under seven million pounds of thrust. He continued: My dear brothers and sisters, you have been called and set apart to represent Jesus Christ and serve Him in His vineyard for a season, to watch over and care for His beloved missionaries, His royal army of elders and sisters. You are privileged to build up His Church, to assist in His great work, and help to bring to pass the eternal life of man. Arent these amazing reasons to rejoice?As chairman of the Missionary Executive Council, Elder Uchtdorf provided the closing messageand his second of the seminaron June 26 at the three-day event held at the Provo Missionary Training Center. This years seminar provided training for the 112 couples of incoming mission presidents and their wives just prior to their beginning three-year service, with the messages also available for currently serving mission leaders and subsequent training.Wherever you have been assigned to labor, I testify and promise that Jesus Christ has the divine power to lift you to great heights from what might appear at times to be too hard or too challenging, he said.In Preach My Gospel and the scriptures, there is more than enough material regarding the principles, policies, and doctrines that will instruct and inspire you and your missionaries to fulfill the mission purpose to the fullest, Elder Uchtdorf said. Every time you invite the missionaries to study secondary self-created material, you reduce their opportunities to learn from prophets, apostles, and the scriptures.To illustrate a shuttle launch, he quoted a description by American astronaut Tom Jones, who flew on four shuttle missions.When you think about the years of preparation, including the specific preparation you have received in the past few months and during this seminar, have you not reason to rejoice? he asked.As you will feel the Lords acceptance for your sacrifices to serve Him, and that He is ready to guide you on this great path as mission leaders, have you not reason to rejoice?Elder Uchtdorf asked the new presidents and companions if they were ready for their own spiritual liftoff into a higher orbit as they prepared to preside over their assigned areas.Can you imagine the experience of being on the space shuttle Discovery during its countdown and liftoff? Of course you can, he said, because you are on the missionary training center launch pad right now!Elder Uchtdorf reiterated the theme of his opening-day address at the seminar, reminding the mission presidents and their companions to inspire and lift missionaries and local members and leaders by focusing to act upon the Lords great commissionto teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghostand to be firmly grounded with the two great commandments to love God with all ones heart and mind and to love ones neighbors.Preach My Gospel is the users manual to missionary service, he said, adding that the Holy Spirit will provide as needed any customized help and guidance to be successful.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday September 23, 2018 @ 04:04:11 AM mt

President Nelson Church Leaders Meet with AMAR International Chairman




The Baroness shared a tweet about her experience, remarking that meeting President Nelson was a pleasure and honour and that she wanted to personally thank him for the generosity of the Church.AMAR International, or the AMAR Foundation, is a charitable organization dedicated to helping rebuild lives in Iraq by providing individuals with essential services and economic opportunity.

The Church supports many of the efforts and AMAR projects in Iraq, the foundation stated in their social media post.The Church and the foundation have partnered for many projects through the years. Both organizations believe in utilizing practical solutions in helping individuals rebuild their lives. A post from the AMAR International Twitter account shared a photo from a meeting between the organizations chairman and Church leaders on July 26 in Salt Lake City. Image is a Twitter screenshot.Baroness Nicholson is a British politician, the president of IBBC London, and the British Prime Ministers trade envoy to Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan.The organization called the meeting with Church leaders a very special day and shared pictures from the occasion.A tweet from AMAR International indicates that the meeting took place between the charitys chairman and President Russell M. Nelson, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Sister Sharon Eubank, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency and the director of LDS Charities.According to its website, the foundation helps more than 600,000 people from remote and under-served areas in the country receive mobile health consultations, job skills training, clean water in schools, and pyscho-social support.A meeting between AMAR International chairman Baroness Emma Harriet Nicholson and Church leaders took place on July 26 in Salt Lake City.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday September 23, 2018 @ 04:04:05 AM mt

Houston Ward Assists Refugee with Service Project




A few days after the familys arrival in Houston, Asher and Dawood Faris, who is a year younger, were invited to join Boy Scout Troop 1881, sponsored by the Hermann Park Ward. Less than three years later, Asher had advanced in the Scouting program to the point that he was ready for his Eagle project.About 80 volunteers led by Asher transformed the once-neglected resting place of many members of the citys post-emancipation community. They mowed grass, chopped away heavy overgrowth, hauled debris, and planted flowers.On a far smaller scale, the same story is revealed in the Eagle project of Asher, a 16-year-old Pakistani refugee who is a member of Troop 1881, Sam Houston Area Council, Boy Scouts of America.Asher Joseph considered the standard criteria when selecting his Eagle Scout project: the project should benefit the community, involve other Scouts, and enable him to demonstrate leadership.A new life in Houston Members of the Hermann Park Ward join with others to clean up the historic Olivewood Cemetery in Houston, Texas. Photo by Thora Qaddumi. Johnson Joseph, left, and his son Asher, right, participate in a service project at the historic Olivewood Cemetery in Houston, Texas. Photo by Thora Qaddumi.HOUSTON, TEXASAshers parents had always struggled to provide every opportunity they could for their children. Ashers father, who is from a Christian Pakistani family, puts it simply: Its just being a parent.Little children picked up sticks. Young boys eagerly filled carts with rubbish and took them to the dumpster. High school students joined them with loaded wheelbarrows. Some in the group changed a dry plant bed under the Olivewood sign into a garden of native Texas plants requiring little water.The workers demonstrated the same spirit of Houston that was dramatically shown in 2017 when floodwaters devastated the city. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the world witnessed the heartwarming story of neighbors helping neighbors without concern for the common points of divisionrace, religion, ethnicity, or economic status.The deeper significance of the project Asher chose became clear after the activity took placea cleanup at Olivewood, one of Houstons oldest African American cemeteries. Ashers Eagle project encapsulates the spirit of Houstona welcoming city that takes pride in its diversity. Johnson Joseph, left, and his son Asher stand in the historic Olivewood Cemetery, where they organized a service project. Photo by Thora Qaddumi.

Shannon Molina, 14, participates in a service project at the historic Olivewood Cemetery in Houston, Texas. Photo by Thora Qaddumi.

Members of his troop, sponsored by the Hermann Park Ward in the Houston Texas Stake, helped make it happen.Asher and his team were relieved to find they had enough equipment onsite to do the job. Many people brought their own tools. Olivewood provided three lawnmowers, and several people brought others. By noon, when the work ended, the entire cemetery had a manicured look.Asher came to the United States less than three years ago with his father, Johnson Joseph; mother, Fouzia Kanwal; and two younger brothers, Dawood Faris and Ryan. The family had managed to leave Pakistan for Malaysia when Asher was 9 years old. They had survived under difficult circumstances for three years, as refugees in Malaysia, waiting for a chance to begin a new life.His success at school also was remarkable. Asher is now a sophomore at one of Houstons leading public high schoolsDeBakey High School for Health Professionals. From left, Holly Furgason, Lisa George, Ahlene Shong, Thora Qaddumi, Ginny Simmons, and Andrea Slack participate in the service project. Photo by Thora Qaddumi.They took advantage of every opportunity. In Pakistan, Asher and his brother were the only young boys among their friends who learned to swim. During the one month a year when there was a chance they could get lessons, their father drove 30 miles daily and, as he put it, begged until they were allowed to participate.

Historic Olivewood Cemetery Texas Historical Maker. Photo by Thora Qaddumi.

To the relief of Ashers main team of supporters and at the scheduled time, families, teenagers, young children, men and women, boys and girlsSpanish-speaking and English-speakingarrived ready to work, with smiles on their faces.Getting the work done Members of the Hermann Park Ward help with a service project at the historic Olivewood Cemetery in Houston, Texas. Photo by Thora Qaddumi. Paul Shupe and his son, Ryan, 13, sign up to work during a service project sponsored by the Hermann Park Ward in Houston, Texas. Photo by Thora Qaddumi.Burials took place at Olivewood for nearly 100 years, beginning in 1875. In recent years, the descendants of Olivewood have struggled to restore the overgrown oasis, where tombstones had toppled and some graves are in danger of falling into the White Oak Bayou.He said he made a concerted effort to ensure English would be his childrens first language. Even when the children attended schools for refugees, he and his wife worked to prepare them to do well academically.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Sunday September 23, 2018 @ 04:03:57 AM mt

Utah Community Continues to Minister to Missionary Shot 21 Years Ago




Orin Voorheis accompanies Kyler Francom to collect fast offerings on a recent Sunday afternoon. Photo courtesy of Chartina Voorheis.Wendy Clark, a ward member whose son grew up with Orin, said she and others wondered if Chartina realized what she was getting into when she married Orin, but has come to see her as an angel.

Orin and Chartina Voorheis practice sign language. More than 20 years after being shot in the head on his mission, Voorheis is living a happy life surrounded by family and friends. Photo by Trent Toone, Deseret News.

During their morning hour of greeting, a woman approached the couple and asked if she could take a photo with Orin. She explained that nine years earlier she had come to the D.I. with her son who was then dealing with some personal challenges. Orin Voorheis welcomed the family. His upbeat friendliness lifted the 12-year-old boys spirits and left a positive lasting impression.Nearly a decade later, the woman thanked Voorheis and walked away eager to tell her now 21-year-old son about their encounter.Dixie Oveson, President Ovesons wife, remembers the doctors grim prognosis when they were told the bullet went through Voorheiss brain stem. Hes not going to live through this, and you probably wouldnt want him to, she recalled. But that wasnt the prognosis the Lord had impressed upon my husband. His survival has resulted in many blessings for many lives, she said.Orin and ChartinaAlready ministering

Orin Voorheis and his father like to go for rides in a Polaris. More than 20 years after being shot in the head on his mission, Voorheis is living a happy life surrounded by family and friends. Photo courtesy of Chartina Voorheis.

Chartina Voorheis greets her husband, Orin, after she returned home from work in Pleasant Grove, Utah, on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret NewsHeavenly Father is very kind to us. We are super blessed, she said. We see tender mercies every day in big ways and small ways. A lot of it comes through other people.Mindy Stailey, who met Orin Voorheis for the first time in February, was impressed by his happy disposition and felt the most incredible feeling in his home, she said.Oveson hopes people look at Orin Voorheis and see unwavering faith in the Lords plan for His children, as well as the power of family and positive thinking.In response to the kindness shown to them, the Voorheises look for ways to give back. Whether its cookies, muffins, flowers, or a humorous birthday card, Orin Voorheis loves to make people happy, his wife said.In the desperate moments that followed, Barry cradled his companions head in his lap and gave him a simple priesthood blessing that proved to be prophetic. He blessed Voorheis that he would live, marry in the temple, and still receive all previously promised blessings.Described by many as a big tease and prankster, Voorheis is still going strong thanks in part to many friends and neighbors who volunteer time each day to help with his physical therapy and other needs. Those who serve him often come away feeling grateful and uplifted by his positive attitude.Friends, family, and fellow Latter-day Saints in the Pleasant Grove community have ministered to the Voorheis family for the last two decades.Chartina Jarrett didnt know Orin Voorheis before his mission, but shes been at his side for nearly all of the 21 years since.

Orin Voorheis takes a rake to work in the garden. More than 20 years after being shot in the head on his mission, Voorheis is living a happy life surrounded by family and friends. Photo courtesy of Chartina Voorheis.

A painting of some horses by Orin Voorheis. More than 20 years after being shot in the head on his mission, Voorheis is living a happy life surrounded by family and friends. Photo by Trent Toone, Deseret News.We had no idea. We were just out in public, doing our thing. Perhaps if we had decided to stay home and not get out, it wouldnt have happened, Chartina Voorheis said. Sometimes we can bless people in ways we dont know.Now happily married more than 15 years later, Chartina Voorheis takes care of Orin while teaching U.S. history and advising the student government at Lone Peak High School, where the two often supervise at dances, sporting events, and other activities.The couple married in the Manti Utah Temple on December 26, 2002. The sealing ceremony was performed by his mission president, Stephen B. Oveson, who also served as a General Authority Seventy for six years before he died in 2013.Speaking of handshakes, one way Voorheis likes to tease people and demonstrate his strength is by holding a persons hand until they say please. He does the same with hugs. Much to Chartinas dismay, Orin once held a General Authoritys hand for an uncomfortable amount of time in the temple until the leader finally said please, she said.

Carol Harding helps Orin Voorheis paint a watercolor painting of his parents. Harding holds his arm up and shows him where to paint, but Voorheis makes the strokes and chooses the colors he wants to use in his paintings. His wife, Chartina Voorheis (at left), watches as he paints. Photo by Stuart Johnson, Deseret News.

Chartina Jarrett was attending Brigham Young University at the time while her aunt was part of the Voorheiss ward. Chartinas aunt suggested she help the recovering missionary.If he can go out and have that happen to him and still be a faithful member that goes every week and has one of the strongest testimonies of anyone I know, then that bears witness to me that a mission, no matter how it ends, can still give you a really strong testimony, Francom said. Orin Voorheis still paints with his art teacher and friend, Carol Harding. More than 20 years after being shot in the head on his mission, Voorheis is living a happy life surrounded by family and friends. Photo courtesy of Chartina Voorheis.Scott Fugal, the Voorheiss bishop, said people sign up the first time out of sense of duty. They go back because they love being there.When asked if what happened to Voorheis on his mission affected Francoms decision to serve, the teenager said it actually made him more eager to go. Orin Voorheis waters plants outside his home in Pleasant Grove, Utah, on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret News.Sporting a white shirt, tie, and name tag, Orin Vooheis sat in his electronic wheelchair smiling at people as they entered the American Fork Deseret Industries on July 11. As always, his wife, Chartina, was by his side.Hes always trying to make a connection with people, Bishop Fugal said. He shook every one of their hands, joked with them, smiled, and laughed with them. Those kids have remembered that all year.Although the anniversary comes and goes each April without much fanfare, it serves to remind family members how grateful they are to have Orin and appreciate all hes accomplished, said his mother, Florence Voorheis.I knew pretty early on that I would marry him someday, sometime within the first month, said Chartina Voorheis, who served a mission in Russia. I could just tell hes amazing, resilient, and fabulous.Over the next five years, Orin and Chartina developed a special bond and fell in love.Orin Voorheis now serves as an adviser to the young men of his ward. He faithfully shows up to activities and regularly helps 15-year-old Kyler Francom with his fast offering route. Its something Francom looks forward to each month.She can see the long-term, eternal perspective, Clark said. She saw him as who he was and fell in love with the Orin thats in there. Shes amazing. Orin Voorheis rests his hand on that of his wife, Chartina, at their home in Pleasant Grove, Utah, on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Orin A. Voorheis with his parents, Wayne and Florence, just before leaving for Argentina for an LDS mission. He was later shot in the head while serving in Buenos Aires. Photo by Stuart Johnson, Deseret News.

Orin Voorheis with family members at the Jordan River Utah Temple open house. More than 20 years after being shot in the head on his mission, Voorheis is living a happy life surrounded by family and friends. Photo courtesy of Chartina Voorheis.

We are just normal people with a unique situation. Orin has challenges and could be so mad at the world, but hes not, Chartina Voorheis said. Hes never been bitter about it, never wanted to trade places with anyone, never been angry at the guy who shot him. Its just part of life.On the evening of April 9, 1997, Elder Armondo Barry and his companion, Elder Orin Voorheis, were serving together as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission. Walking home under a drizzling rain, the two young elders were within a block of their apartment when three figures emerged from the shadows. One thief demanded Barrys money while the other twoone with a knife and the other holding a gun grabbed at Voorheiss backpack. Barry heard the gunshot and saw his companion fall to the ground. Chartina Jarrett holds the hand of her then fiancee Orin Voorheis at his home in Pleasant Grove Monday, December 9, 2002. Jarrett became acquainted with Voorheis after volunteering her time to help in his rehabilitation. Voorheis proposed to her using hand signals and sign language. The two were married in the Manti Utah Temple on December 26, 2002. Photo by Jason Olson, Deseret NewsIt started near the end of 1997 when Orin Voorheis came home. People donated materials and labor for a home renovation project that catered to his special needs. Since then, each ward in his stake has taken a monthly turn signing up to help with his physical therapy for two hours a day while his wife is at school. Orin Vooheis with his friend Addie McClure, the daughter of one his aides. More than 20 years after being shot in the head on his mission, Voorheis is living a happy life surrounded by family and friends. Photo courtesy of Chartina Voorheis.Another time, Brandon Edgecomb, who worked as an aide to Voorheis and became a friend for life, decided he was going to pull his hand away without saying the magic word. Elder Orin Voorheis and his new companion, Elder Shumway, with former Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission President Stephen B. Oveson and his wife, Sister Dixie Oveson. Photo courtesy of Dixie Oveson.It was honestly a true introspection for me, Stailey said. He helped me to see what is really important. I can be so thankful for so many things that I take for granted. Beauty is all around us, and happiness is always available to anyone in any circumstance. I cant wait to visit with Orin again.We know the anniversary. It isnt anything special, she said. But hes a special part of our lives and hes special to a lot of different people.

Orin Vooheis holds a baby. His wife, Chartina Voorheis, says her husband loves to hold babies. More than 20 years after being shot in the head on his mission, Voorheis is living a happy life surrounded by family and friends. Photo courtesy of Chartina Voorheis.

Today Orin Voorheis has some upper body control and spends most of his time in a wheelchair. The bullet affected his motor functions but he can still see, hear, and understand people. Orin Voorheis works as a greeter at the Deseret Industries in American Fork, Utah, on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret News.

About five minutes later I had to admit that I was not as strong as him. I had to ask for permission to get my hand back, Edgecomb said. He has a super strong handshake. Everybody knows that Orin can beat you in an arm wrestle.Bishop Fugal, a seminary teacher, once took 17 students to meet the Voorheises and said it was one of the highlights of the year.He lives a beautiful, wonderful life that he finds a lot of joy in, Edgecomb said. Orin has had some circumstances in his life that would seem to dictate a life of sadness or a life that most people would say wouldnt offer much joy. But he is such a positive, happy guy. Its a huge example to me that we dont have to choose to let the things that happen to us define us.Clark agrees.PLEASANT GROVE, UTAHWith his parents helping him to get down on his knee, Orin Voorheis finger-spelled Will you marry, then pointed to himself and her to indicate you and me. She accepted.He inspires me, Francom said. He teaches me without words how to live life. Hes always happy. Ive never seen him sad. No matter what you do he makes it fun. After you serve him, he usually tries to do his best to serve you.Only a few months after he was flown from Argentina to Utah on Jon Huntsman Sr.s private jet, Orin Voorheis was moved to Provo for physical therapy and rehabilitation.Despite low expectations that he would survive the shooting, its all come to pass. Voorheis is still here, more than 21 years later, living a quiet, happy life with his wife and family in his hometown.Unwavering faithBecause of his experiences, Edgecomb is considering a career in the medical field. He says Voorheis has taught him a great deal about the joy that comes from service.After returning to Utah in April 1997, Orins mother requested that he be permitted to continue wearing his missionary name tag because many people pray for the missionaries and she hoped those prayers would help her son. He was released in November 2002 so he could get married, Chartina Voorheis said.She does her best to accommodate his loves: sci-fi/fantasy audiobooks, listening to his scriptures in Spanish, artwork, classic rock, gardening, motorcycles, going for rides, and holding babies. He has earned the nickname Uncle Cookie for spoiling his many nephews and nieces with treats, and he draws pleasure from handing out fruit snacks to other children who come to visit. One of the Voorheiss favorite activities is going to the Mount Timpanogos Temple each Thursday afternoon to do sealings.I come away feeling Ive been served, Clark said. He does so much more for my soul. I always feel better after Ive been with him. I see the world differently. I feel differently about myself, my life, and my problems. I see how he handles his situation with a big smile on his face, and I know I get more out of it than he does.Whether its struggling to communicate with her husband, getting his equipment to work, or waking up in the night to find him choking on his mouth guard, Chartina Voorheis is quick to acknowledge divine help, answered prayers, and many helping hands. She is happy and has no regrets.Its incredible. A lot of people in wheelchairs dont live very long. Their lungs have a hard time because they dont get the exercise they need. Its kept him alive. It really has helped immensely, said Chartina Voorheis, Orins wife. Hes quite a guy. It shows that everybody has a reason to be here.While some may feel a little timid at first, all come away with a new friend and a better outlook on life.I think it all depends on your outlook, your attitude, and which way you turn when you feel like the disasters of life are closing in, Oveson said. You can become bitter, questioning, doubtful, or you can turn to the Lord and let Him help you through it.You realize just how special those two are, and you want to be around them, Bishop Fugal said. Its been a unifying thing for our ward and stake to be able to serve him. You realize its not for him, its more for us.Orin Voorheis has been a blessing in many lives, thanks to his survival 21 years ago.His parents idea was to go to Argentina and pick up their dead son. Thats what they were expecting to do. He wasnt expected to live by pretty much anyone, Barry said. But everything in that blessing has come true. Orin Voorheis, with his wife, Chartina Voorheis, by his side, works as a greeter at the Deseret Industries in American Fork, Utah, on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret News.

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