Sunday, 26 October 2008

District Conference

Our district meeting Saturday was in Russian, but we had a missionary sit behind us to translate into English. Sunday our meeting was televised from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City with Elder Quentin L. Cook conducting; and the speakers were President Paul B. Pieper, Member of the Seventy and Area President of the Europe East Area; Sister Vicki Matsumori, 2nd Counselor in the General Relief Society; Elder Cook, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; and President Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

President Thomas S. Monson

President Pieper, having lived a number of years in Russia, gave his talk in Russian; but he had dubbed over the talk in English for those listening to the English translation. He said the Church was in Stage 2 in the area. The first stage was getting the Church officially recognized and members allowed to worship together. Now there is one stake in the area, one temple being built, and branches are small. Full-time missionaries will continue to be called, but more members will need to be active in being member missionaries if the Church is to grow here. He presented four parts being important for this second stage. First, the Lord requires a willing heart and mind. When we tell the Lord we are ready, He will help us find someone to teach. Second, we should go about doing good. Share kindness. Lend help in times of need. Third, invite others to come and see - Family Home Evening, branch activities, youth conferences, Sunday meetings. Once they see, they can use free agency to see more. Fourth, pray to find the elect.

Sister Matsumori spoke about the eternal nature of families.

We should place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the center of our lives, said Elder Cook, and not stand on borrowed light; and he compared the Celestial Kingdom to the sun, which has its own light, while the Telestial Kingdom is like the moon with only reflective light. He quoted President Harold B. Lee, "Create Zion in our hearts and homes." President Lee admonished to not get near the cliff of sin and said it is better to build fences around the cliff than to have an ambulance at the bottom.

President Monson's talk was centered around Doctrine & Covenants 88:119: "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God; . . ." Where could you find a better blueprint for the temple in which we reside than following this counsel, he asked. It is a blueprint for life.

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