Elders Christofferson, Jensen Teach Members in Salta, Argentina
On Saturday, November 12, 2011, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Presidency of the Seventy addressed youth, priesthood leaders, missionaries, and general members in Salta, Argentina.
Also present were Elder Mervyn B. Arnold, President of the South America South Area, and his wife, Devonna, and Elder Ruben Spitale, Area Seventy. Elder Christofferson’s wife, Kathy, and Elder Jensen’s wife, Lona, also attended.
Youth and Parents Fireside
Nearly 1,300 youth and parents attended the fireside where both Elder Christofferson and Elder Jensen spoke. Another 10,000 members in 70 stake centers throughout Argentina watched by broadcast.
Elder Jensen, who previously served as the South America South Area President, said, “If you do not remember anything I said, I would like you to remember a phrase from a prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, whom I testify is a true prophet of God. This is the phrase: ‘Decisions determine destiny.’”
We have agency—the ability and privilege to make decisions—Elder Jensen said, and with them we choose our destinies.
He told the story of a friend who chose one night to drink and drive and caused an accident that killed two people. He contrasted it with the story of his and his wife’s choice to postpone marriage so he could serve a mission as a young man.
“Upon [my return] we married in the temple. We made covenants, which we have renewed every week during all our lives. We made a decision that has determined our destiny,” he said.
Sister Christofferson followed, sharing her testimony about the blessings of keeping covenants, and Elder Christofferson concluded the meeting.
“The only thing you really need is love and faith,” Elder Christofferson said. “It is the faith that helps us in our marriage, family, profession, employment.”
He emphasized that the commandments give direction to our lives and help us obtain what is really important.
He then counseled both the youth and the parents of youth to make a commitment to follow the counsel found in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet.
“This will greatly strengthen your children, even when they find themselves alone—knowing that their parents abide by these same principles,” he said.
Elder Christofferson concluded with an expression of love to the members in Argentina, where he served a mission nearly five decades ago.
Priesthood Leadership Conference
Speaking to leaders from six stakes and six districts from Salta, Tucumán, and Jujuy on the same day, Elder Christofferson defined and emphasized the need for “real growth.” We need to ask ourselves, he said, if the time we invest in our callings produces “fruit”—true conversion, members serving missions and receiving ordinances, etc.
Following Elder Christofferson, Elder Jay E. Jensen spoke on his feelings as he entered the chapel. “The power of divinity is here,” he said.
He then spoke about having our priorities in order. When they are not in order, he said, we lose power.
Elder Jensen explained that he and his family made the Family Guidebook their family constitution, and asked those present to review pages 21–28, which cover the ordinances and blessings of the priesthood.
Elder Spitale took the stand and addressed the topic of ward councils. Leaders should meet at least twice a month to focus on people and their need to obtain eternal life, he said.
The final speaker was Elder Arnold, who spoke about the Church welfare program. He shared the experience of Alex Sanchez, a high priests group leader, and Marcos Avila, from the Nuñez Ward, as they helped a family build a small house.
“Service is the essence of God,” Elder Spitale said.
Following these addresses, priesthood leaders were able to ask direct questions of the Brethren, and Elder Christofferson shook the hand of each person present.
While in Salta, Elders Christofferson and Jensen also met with local missionaries and young single adults, to whom they extended the love of the Brethren.