Members Celebrate 50 Years of the Church in the Philippines
In commemoration of the 50th year of the rededication of the Philippines for the preaching of the gospel, thousands of Saints recently gathered in Quezon City to participate in a two-day Jubilee cultural show and Area conference.
The festivities centered on Moses 7:18: “And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.”
Nineteen stakes came together in Saturday’s cultural show to celebrate the rich cultural heritage and the growth of the Church in the Philippines through song and dance. More than 3,500 children, youth, young single adults, and adults were involved.
Danel October Beriong of the Quezon City First Ward wrote the Jubilee theme song, “United.”
“We’ve been through a lot of challenges in the past and we will continue to face challenges until He comes again, and the only way to overcome them will always be the same—to become united in the gospel,” Brother Beriong said.
On Sunday, Church members came together for a nationwide conference with local leaders and with General Authorities via satellite feed.
Fifty years ago, in rededicating the Philippines on April 28, 1961 (missionary work had ceased during the years of World War II), President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), then Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, invoked the blessings “upon the people of this land, that they shall be friendly and hospitable, and kind and gracious to those who shall come here.” He also said in his dedicatory prayer, “We pray that there shall be many thousands who shall receive this message and be blessed thereby. . . . We pray that there shall be many men, faithful, good, virtuous, true men who shall join the Church.”1
In the years that have followed, President Hinckley’s prayer has been fulfilled.
In addition to the event held in Quezon City, individual Church units around the country have been organizing and holding other Jubilee celebrations.
During the Parañaque Philippines Stake’s Jubilee program, Elder Miguel Valdez, Area Seventy and chairman of the Jubilee committee, counseled members to remember the past in order to be successful in the future.
Church membership in the Philippines totals more than 645,000. There are 16 missions and two temples, one in Manila and one in Cebu City.