Deacons Quorum President Is Representative of the “Good Fruit”
By Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge of the Seventy
The Punta Arenas Chile Stake is the southernmost stake of the Church in the world. Nicolás Reyes lives there.
Bishop David Oyarce of the Ovejero Ward called Nicolás to be the president of the deacons quorum not only because he was worthy but also because he was the only active deacon in the whole ward. When he was set apart, the bishop helped him understand his responsibility to go in search of those who were not active—which in this case were all of the other quorum members.
Nicolás remembers that when he was set apart he felt a change within him; he felt that it was important that he be active because of his own testimony and not because of his parents or the testimonies of others.
He said that he felt a need to improve both the quality and frequency of his prayers. And so he began to pray. He said that he prayed for each individual member of his quorum as well as for the quorum as a whole. With the help of the Duty to God manual he began to set goals, and then he went to work inviting other young men one by one to participate in the quorum meetings and weekly Mutual activities.
Nicolás said that it was important to work individually with each one, visiting him in his home, calling him by telephone, texting messages, and communicating through Facebook. As a result, he said, he learned the individual needs and concerns of each one and helped each one to find solutions. He helped to encourage one boy whose inactive parents discouraged his participation. He helped another overcome his embarrassment for not having a suit to wear on Sunday, and eventually he was able to get a suit for the boy with the help of his leaders.
One by one they started to come, first two and then five. Soon a quorum presidency was formed with counselors and a secretary. As a quorum they planned activities and service projects. Each Saturday they met to clean the chapel and always ended with food and football. They worked to improve the homes of needy members and cleared their walks when snow fell, along with the walks at the chapel as well.
Quorum members started to bring other friends, several who were not members. On occasion there were as many as 17 young men, members and nonmembers, in quorum meetings on Sunday and activities during the week.
Nicolás said that a key factor in the activation of these young men was to give them responsibilities each Sunday so they would feel it was important to attend. He assigned one to be the bishop’s messenger, another to stand at the door during the sacrament, another to help count the members in attendance and others to arrange the chairs before and after the meetings.
As each young man became involved, Nicolás recruited his help to go to the rescue of others. Together in quorum meeting they discussed how they could help those who were not attending, and together they held a special fast for that purpose.
Nicolás humbly and quickly acknowledges the inspiration, support, and guidance from his bishop, the Young Men president, and his parents throughout his service as deacons quorum president. He said, “They made me feel important and always treated me with respect because of my calling.”
He was taught about the importance of planning and holding presidency meetings and to be accountable for his service.
In September Nicolás turned 14 and was ordained to the office of a teacher. This is a story without an end. As of today seven young men are active as a result of the service of the deacons quorum president, Nicolás Reyes, and now as the teachers quorum president there are more chapters of his story yet to come.
Nicolás Reyes is representative of the good fruit that is appearing in the Church in Chile today. He is evidence “that every man shall hear the fulness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language, through those who are ordained unto this power, by the administration of the Comforter, shed forth upon them” (D&C 90:11) and that God will pour out His Spirit, and our “young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:28).