Elder Cook Notes Steady Rise in Temple, Family History Work in Central America

Contributed By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News associate editor

  • 2 September 2016

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks to the youth in the Church's Central America Area August 20. The meeting was broadcast via satellite throughout the area.

Article Highlights

  • Elder Cook spoke to the youth about serving missions, attending the temple, growing in the gospel, and caring for the poor and needy.

GUATEMALA CITY

A steady rise in family history research and temple work by Church members in the Central America Area is an indication of the members’ faith, said Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles after a recent visit.

Elder Cook traveled to Guatemala August 18–21, speaking to youth in the area, participating in a seminar for mission presidents, and attending a leadership meeting with the Area Coordinating Council.

Latter-day Saints in the area “love the Lord and appreciate the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Elder Cook, who was accompanied by his wife, Sister Mary G. Cook.

During the last two years, the amount of family history and temple work done by members, youth, and new converts has steadily increased, Elder Cook reported. “The members are faithful,” he said.

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Mary G. Cook, arrive at a meeting August 20 in Guatemala City, where they addressed the youth in the Church's Central America Area via a satellite broadcast.

Youth in the Church's Central America Area attend a meeting August 20 to hear Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speak. The meeting was broadcast via satellite throughout the area.

Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy accompanied Elder Cook to the Central America Area.

Elder Cook was also accompanied to Guatemala by Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife, Sister Debbie J. Christensen, and members of the Church’s Central America Area Presidency: Elder Kevin R. Duncan, Elder Adrián Ochoa, and Elder José L. Alonso, all General Authority Seventies. Sister Nancy S. Duncan, Sister Nancy V. Ochoa, and Sister Rebecca S. Alonso also participated.

During his visit Elder Cook addressed 9,500 youth in a meeting that originated in the Montufar meetinghouse in Guatemala City and was broadcast across the Central America Area.

Referencing principles taught in Doctrine and Covenants 110, Elder Cook spoke to the youth about serving missions, attending the temple, growing in the gospel, and caring for the poor and needy.

With six temples in the area—the Guatemala City Guatemala Temple, the Panama City Panama Temple, the Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple, the San Jose Costa Rica Temple, the San Salvador El Salvador Temple, and the Tequcigalpa Honduras Temple—Latter-day Saints are in position to attend the temple, said Elder Cook. “They are increasing in family history work and submitting those names,” he reported.

He asked members to reflect on their life and prepare for priesthood and Relief Society responsibilities.

As an example of faithfulness, he shared the story of a young woman preparing to serve a mission.

“Each time I have the opportunity to visit with missionaries and members of the Church around the world, I return home with a profound gratitude for the tremendous service the missionaries are rendering in the many countries where the Church is established,” said Elder Cook. “My recent visit to Central America was no different.”

Elder Cook told the youth that during his visit he had learned of a young woman in Guatemala with a great desire to serve a mission. She came from a family of nine children and her father was deceased. The family didn’t have a lot of money and sustained themselves by living off the land.

“In an effort to raise funds to serve a mission, this faithful young woman committed to buy a pig, raise it, then sell it and contribute the money earned to help pay for her mission. She was successful in her venture and was able to sell the pig for three times as much as she originally paid for it.

“This young woman certainly could have used this money in other ways, but her decision to use it to help fund her mission will bless her life and the lives of others in more ways than we can comprehend.”

Elder Cook said this young woman is an example of the many young Latter-day Saints who faithfully serve and contribute in any way they can to spread the gospel.

Regarding missionaries serving in Central America, Elder Cook said he was pleased with the reports of the safety of the missionaries—even in places where there is conflict of various kinds. “The missionaries are treated with great respect.”

In addition to the youth meeting, Elder Cook and Elder Christensen participated in a seminar for mission presidents and a priesthood leadership meeting with the 11 Area Seventies in Central America.

“In a session with the Area Presidency and all of the Area Seventies, Elder Cook reinforced the vision to strengthen priesthood and auxiliary leaders in the area with a special focus on the youth and young single adults,” said Elder Christensen. “He responded to various questions and taught the Seventy in a powerful and meaningful way. We were very impressed with the strength of the leadership we have in this area of the Church.”

The group also met with the 19 mission presidents serving in Central America.

“Missionary work is progressing nicely, and we expressed appreciation to each couple and extended that appreciation to all members and missionaries in the area,” said Elder Christensen.

Elder Cook said the Central America Area has “marvelous leaders” in their Area Presidency. “The unity in the Area Presidency is a marvelous blessing to the area,” he said.

Elder Duncan, President of the Central America Area, said Elder Cook provided both “inspiration and direction” during the visit.

He said it was a “special and unique privilege” to have an Apostle at the mission presidents’ seminar and at the Area Coordinating Council meeting.

“The youth were especially touched as Elder Cook shared his own personal experience as a young man and how he gained a testimony for himself,” Elder Duncan said. “He shared how that testimony has affected every major decision in his life.”

Youth in the Church's Central America Area attend a meeting August 20 to hear Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speak. The meeting was broadcast via satellite throughout the area.

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks to the youth in the Church’s Central America Area on August 20. The meeting was broadcast via satellite throughout the area.

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks to the youth in the Church’s Central America Area on August 20. The meeting was broadcast via satellite throughout the area.

The 19 mission presidents and their wives in the Church’s Central America Area participate in a mission presidents’ seminar with Elder Quentin L. Cook.