Guam’s First Patriarch Called
Contributed By Alberto Del Valle, Barrigada Ward, Barrigada-Guam Stake
“There is nothing like this office in all of the Church or in all of the world.” —President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Eligible Saints in the Barrigada-Guam Stake will soon have the unique blessing of receiving personalized “road maps” for their lives.
On Sunday, August 21, 2011, Cyril Christopher Gittens became Guam’s first patriarch in the recently formed Barrigada-Guam Stake.
Stake president Arthur B. Clark ordained Brother Gittens, who is a native of Guyana and a convert to the Church, to the office.
Brother Gittens has made Guam his home since June 1998. He and his wife—the former Elisapeci Salaba of Suva, Fiji—have one son, Brian, age 10.
Patriarchal blessings can only be obtained from duly ordained stake patriarchs in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These blessings include a declaration of a person’s lineage in the house of Israel and contain personal counsel from the Lord.
Concerning patriarchs, President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has said, “There is nothing like this office in all of the Church or in all of the world.”
The First Presidency has counseled stake presidents to prayerfully choose and recommend patriarchs as follows: “[He should be one who has] developed within [him] the spirit of the Patriarchs; in fact, this should be [his] leading characteristic, . . . [a man] of wisdom, possessed of the gift and spirit of blessing as well” (First Presidency letter, June 29, 1903).
Alberto Del Valle, a member of the Barrigada-Guam Stake, affirmed that Brother Gittens is such a man.
“We are blessed to have him and his family in our midst,” he wrote in an e-mail.