News of the Church

By Jennifer Williams

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    Going Beyond the Help-Wanted Ads

    LDS Employment Resource Services is helping people all over the world obtain the blessings of work.

    In many ways, Roger and LaSonja could not have been more different. Yet they had one very important thing in common—they both desperately needed work. Roger was a talented and highly educated engineer with experience in both the automotive and aerospace industries. LaSonja had been homeless for most of her life and was the mother of two young children, with one more on the way. Both were blessed when they turned to LDS Employment Resource Services.

    Roger had been a valuable employee throughout his successful career. But company ownership changed, the workforce was reduced by 25 percent, and Roger’s position was eventually eliminated. Though he had not anticipated losing his job, he never dreamed he’d have a difficult time finding work as an engineer.

    Roger’s former employer provided the assistance of a professional outplacement firm. The firm assured him that with his expert skills and valuable experience, unemployment wouldn’t last long. Although Roger dutifully searched the job market and distributed copies of his résumé, days turned into weeks and weeks into months, and Roger became discouraged. “I felt extremely frustrated, knowing I was capable and experienced enough to provide for my family, yet being unable to find an opportunity to do so,” he remembered. After more than seven months of unemployment, funds from Roger’s severance package were gone and the family’s savings were nearly exhausted.

    LaSonja had been homeless nearly all of her life, but she had recently been selected to receive her own subsidized apartment. Although she was overjoyed to finally have her own home for her children, she was just weeks away from giving birth. Her husband had left her, and she needed work to be able to provide for her children. She worried that as a pregnant woman she would have great difficulty finding a job. To make matters worse, she did not know anyone who could help care for her two children when the time came for her to deliver her baby. She had no family nearby to offer support. “I was in a desperate situation. I was constantly worried about how I would feed my family and care for my children. I felt my burden was unbearable, and I became depressed,” she said.

    The Doctrine of Work

    Work is a fundamental principle of the gospel. Adam was told, “By the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread” (Moses 4:25), a commandment that was given for Adam’s benefit. President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) confirmed, “Work is a spiritual necessity as well as an economic necessity.” 1

    Though working to provide for ourselves and our families is necessary, from time to time it can be difficult to obtain adequate employment. No matter where you live, the job market is becoming more competitive and more fluid. President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) observed: “You are moving into the most competitive age the world has ever known. All around you there is competition.” 2 In a world of increasing competition and economic uncertainty, we all need to be prepared for the possibility of unemployment or the need to make career adjustments.

    To assist members in preparing for and obtaining adequate employment, the Church has established LDS Employment Resource Services. In approximately 300 employment centers operating worldwide, services are available to assist those who are unemployed, underemployed, or planning to further develop their careers. It was through these centers that both Roger and LaSonja found the solutions to their employment problems.

    Professional Placement Program

    The professional placement program is designed to help professionals, managers, and executives find or upgrade employment. The program includes a career workshop, regular networking group meetings, and one-on-one coaching. Resources are also available for professionals, employers, and recruiters. Facilities and equipment are also made available for job searching.

    After learning of Roger’s struggle, his ward employment specialist encouraged him to participate in the professional placement program at the Michigan Detroit LDS Employment Resource Center. A woman in attendance at the next weekly networking meeting was looking for employees to work in her manufacturing company. She was impressed by Roger’s valuable skills and experience. A job interview followed shortly thereafter and a job description was written specifically to fit Roger’s skills.

    Career Workshop

    The career workshop helps develop the skills needed to achieve career objectives. The workshop takes about 12 hours to complete and is taught in four units. During the workshop participants are taught to search hidden job markets and to network during their job searches. They craft short, powerful statements that relay talents, skills, and experience with confidence. Participants also learn about résumé writing, interviewing techniques, career planning, and even salary and benefit negotiation.

    LaSonja’s life changed for the better when she participated in the career workshop offered at the Illinois Chicago LDS Employment Resource Center. Her journey there began with two eight-year-old girls. LaSonja’s daughter Tatyana told Emily, a Church-member classmate, that her mom would need help babysitting while she was at the hospital with their new baby. Emily asked her mother, Pam, if their family could help, and it wasn’t long before Pam and LaSonja became close friends and LaSonja learned about the Church’s Employment Resource Services.

    In the career workshop, LaSonja received career coaching from employment specialists who helped her identify her talents, interests, employment needs, and career goals. Together they completed a strategic job search, created multiple résumés tailored to highlight LaSonja’s various skills, and prepared her for job interviews.

    “I had always worked in order to pay the bills, but LDS Employment Services taught me to search for employment opportunities that used my talents and interests. When I later got a job that I enjoyed, I found I was happier, more confident, and a better mother at home with my children,” she recalled.

    It only took LaSonja a matter of days to secure a job in a medical office that brought her great satisfaction in addition to providing for her family. “I am so thankful to Pam for being a wonderful friend,” LaSonja said. “Because of her kindness in my time of need, I was introduced to LDS Employment Resource Services. Her kindness has changed my life and my children’s lives forever.”


    The self-employment workshop is a series of courses designed to help individuals formulate ideas and transform those ideas into successful businesses both large and small. The courses can even help those with established businesses to enhance their business by developing a business plan. The workshop is divided into four courses: business ideas, market analysis, market strategies, and financial analysis. And the principles can be applied anywhere.

    In Nairobi, Kenya, one couple had long struggled to find stable employment. The challenge to provide the necessities of life for their children was wearing on them both. There seemed to be nowhere to turn, as most of their friends and family members found themselves in the same predicament.

    A recent convert to the Church, the husband learned about the free employment services available at the LDS Employment Center in Nairobi while he was at church one Sunday. He visited the center the following Monday. After attending several career and small-business workshops over the next few weeks, he felt confident he could be successful as an entrepreneur marketing his wife’s cooking. With the assistance of an employment specialist, they completed a detailed business plan and went to work.

    In her small kitchen, the wife prepared delicious samosas and mandazis, local dishes that they sold outside a nearby office building for the morning meal. Their baskets were soon emptied and the morning’s earnings were used to purchase ingredients for the noonday meal.

    Before long their business flourished and became so popular they were able to obtain a contract to provide meals for employees at a large office building. They were slowly able to save enough to purchase a refrigerator, a food-warming table, and other equipment to improve their business. This couple now find great satisfaction in being able to provide for their family. With the increased profits and demands, they have been able to hire others to help them, creating employment opportunities for others in their ward.

    It Works

    In 2007, LDS Employment Resource Centers provided services to help more than 225,000 people through career training, education, improved employment, and self-employment training. But more than improved employment, LDS Employment Resource Services has helped to restore hope, peace, and confidence to individuals and families in more than 50 countries. “For some, a new job brings increased self-confidence and direction that has a far-reaching impact on an entire family. We are truly involved in changing people’s lives,” said Gloria Purcell, manager of the Florida Orlando LDS Employment Resource Center.

    To learn about volunteer opportunities at an employment resource center, contact or visit the center nearest you. To serve in an employment resource center as a full-or part-time Church-service missionary, speak to your bishop or branch president.


  •   1.

    “Follow the Fundamentals,” Ensign, May 1981, 79.

  •   2.

    “A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” Liahona, Apr. 2001, 30.

  • Letters of Success

    “It was difficult to support a family and attend college on my previous income. I was able to enroll in the Perpetual Education Fund to help fund my studies but was later dismissed from my job. It turned out to be a real blessing. I visited the employment center the next day and an employment specialist helped me create a plan of action. The Career Workshop taught me how to make contacts and network effectively. The very week after I finished the Career Workshop courses, I secured an interview with an international company. With the help of my Heavenly Father and the techniques I learned in the workshops, I was able to respond to the employer’s questions in a satisfactory manner and was offered the job. My new salary is now four times greater than my previous salary. I am able to provide a much better life for my family and serve more faithfully in my Church callings.”

    Marcos, Brazil

    “Thank you for letting me attend the Career Workshop. I learned many things which helped me secure a good job. Before the workshop I only received a few job offers for which I was overqualified, offering very little salary. I took the Career Workshop courses and my confidence grew. I was able to secure an interview for a wonderful job. The one who interviewed me was so impressed. I was offered a generous salary with opportunities for promotions in the future. This program is inspired. I pray that many will make use of this opportunity and reach greater heights.”

    Jaya, India

    “I am happy to find that I am still employable despite my age, marital status, and large gap in employment history. The Career Workshop taught me how to handle interviewers’ questions about my background disadvantages. I just passed a whole day of interview screening and I’m hired! I was even able to negotiate Sundays off.”

    Arlene, Philippines

    “I took the self-employment and small business workshops, which helped me to improve my business. I learned about micro-credit and small loan opportunities and was able to buy equipment that helped me add another line of products to my business. Now I am able to better manage my expenditures, earnings, and production. I have also learned how to better price my products. Because of these workshops my business is beginning to grow and progress anew. My life isn’t the same. I feel important and successful, and my family also feels more confident.”

    Miriam, Argentina

    LDS Employment Resource Services is helping members around the world find solutions to employment needs, from preparing them for the application and interview process to exploring self-employment opportunities.

    © 2008 Robert Casey

    LDS Employment Resource Services and its career workshop help participants develop important skills.

    © 2008 Robert Casey

    LDS Employment Resource Services helps improve participants’ chances of finding employment by helping them improve themselves.

    © 2008 Robert Casey

    Church Adds Value of Virtue to Personal Progress Program

    The Church released information on in February with additional instructions on how to incorporate virtue as a value in the Young Women Personal Progress program. The First Presidency announced the addition of the new value in a letter dated November 28, 2008.

    An eight-page insert for young women to add to their Personal Progress books contains a scripture, motto, value experiences and value project instructions, the color of the value, and more.

    The scripture chosen to represent virtue is “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10). The chosen motto is “I will prepare to enter the temple and remain pure and worthy. My thoughts and actions will be based on high moral standards.” The color that represents virtue is gold.

    Four value experiences are outlined that help young women to understand the meaning and importance of chastity and virtue and the blessings that come from being virtuous. They also help young women, their mothers, and their leaders understand how the quality of virtue enables a young woman to enjoy the constant companionship and guidance of the Holy Ghost and prepares her to worthily enter the temple to make and keep sacred covenants.

    The value experiences encourage young women to study the selected doctrines in the scriptures and then write in a journal about the things they learn and the commitments they will make to live a virtuous life. The importance of repentance and the sacrament are also emphasized as a means to be virtuous and pure. The Young Women general presidency said, “These experiences are an important foundation for a young woman’s understanding of the meaning of virtue and its application in her life.” 1

    After the young women complete the four virtue value experiences, they complete a virtue value project. The project is to read the entire Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ and apply its teachings to their lives and circumstances. The project includes the young women recording their thoughts regularly in a journal. Upon completing the reading, the young women write their testimonies on the pages provided in the insert.

    “We desire that all young women will make the reading of the Book of Mormon a daily habit,” says a statement by the Young Women general presidency on the Web site. “Her testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, will be strengthened as she reads. Developing this testimony is vital to a young woman’s ability to face the challenges of life and to prepare for her future.”

    The insert should be available in more than 28 languages by August 2009. It will eventually be available in 55 languages and will be incorporated into the next printing of the Personal Progress booklet. Instructions are being sent to priesthood leaders that will explain how to order inserts from distribution centers for all of their young women.

    In a letter dated March 6, 2009, the Young Women general presidency stated that young women who have not completed Personal Progress should add the experiences and project for virtue to the other requirements for earning the Young Womanhood Recognition award and certificate.

    On the Young Women Web site, the Young Women general presidency states that through 2009, a young woman may choose to earn her recognition under the old requirements or with the new virtue experiences and project. It is hoped that all will want to complete the new requirements, but leaders are encouraged to make the program work for each young woman.

    The letter states that young women who have already earned their Young Womanhood Recognition are invited to complete the requirements for the value of virtue if they choose. Mothers and leaders are also invited to participate.

    A printable pdf document in English may be downloaded by visiting and selecting the feature Personal Progress Insert for Young Women Value of Virtue. Implementation instructions, frequently asked questions, a revised Personal Progress record sheet, and an achievement certificate are also available at the site.


  •   1.

    Go to, select implementation instructions under “Personal Progress Insert for Young Women Value of Virtue” and see “Frequently Asked Questions.”

  • New Mission Presidents Begin Service

    The majority of the following new mission presidents and their wives began serving on or around July 1, 2009, as assigned by the First Presidency. The missions and their respective new presidents are:


    New President

    Argentina Bahía Blanca

    Jorge Esteban Detlefsen

    Argentina Neuquén

    Darwin Franz Peterson

    Australia Adelaide

    Craig Kidd Poulton

    Australia Sydney South

    Jeffrey Ted Simmons

    Belgium Brussels/Netherlands

    Scott Mcdonald Brubaker

    Brazil Belém

    José Claudio Furtado Campos

    Brazil Belo Horizonte

    Adilson de Paula Parrella

    Brazil Cuiabá

    Cleto Pinheiro De Oliveira

    Brazil Porto Alegre North

    Edison Pavan

    Brazil Porto Alegre South

    Curtis Floyd Swenson

    Brazil Salvador South

    Helton Carlos Pimenta Vecchi

    Brazil São Paulo East

    Joaquim Jorge Oliveira Moreira

    Brazil Teresina

    Mario Aparecido Dias

    Bulgaria Sofia

    Gerold Roth

    California Oakland

    David Gary Wade

    California San Fernando

    Jerald Lynn Martin

    California Santa Rosa

    Jonathon Wayne Bunker

    Cambodia Phnom Penh

    Scott Brunson Smedley

    Canada Calgary

    Alan Lee Archibald

    Canada Halifax

    Craig Winger Simpson

    Chile Santiago East

    Larry Roberts Laycock

    Chile Viña del Mar

    Richard William Gillespie

    China Hong Kong

    Simon Yue-Sang Chan

    Colombia Bogota North

    Joseph Grant Hacking

    Colombia Bogota South

    Justo Pausides Casablanca

    Costa Rica San José

    Sam Minó Gálvez Orellana

    Democratic Republic of Congo Kinshasa

    Michael Steven Headlee

    Dominican Republic Santiago

    Miguel Alfredo Lee Bruno

    England Birmingham

    John Charles Ogden

    England London

    Renn Matthew Patch

    England London South

    Lyle Eric Shamo

    Georgia Atlanta

    Steven Homer Satterfield

    Germany Berlin

    Jay Douglas Pimentel

    Greece Athens

    Christopher Charles

    Haiti Port-au-Prince

    Hardwarson Kerving Joseph

    Honduras Comayagüela

    Manuel Antonio Flores Batres

    Hungary Budapest

    Gary Scott Baughman

    Idaho Pocatello

    Scott W Colton

    Illinois Chicago North

    Sherman Leroy Doll

    India New Delhi

    William King Jackson

    Jamaica Kingston

    Rick Graff

    Japan Fukuoka

    Sherman Kay Margetts

    Japan Tokyo

    William Steve Albrecht

    Korea Seoul

    Yong Hwan Lee

    Madagascar Antananarivo

    Sean Edmund Russell Donnelly

    Marshall Islands Majuro

    Bradley Jay Smith

    Maryland Baltimore

    Alma Brent Belliston

    Massachusetts Boston

    William Thornley Evans

    Mexico Cuernavaca

    Alin Spannaus

    Mexico Guadalajara

    Lazaro Saucedo Sosa

    Mexico Guadalajara South

    John Douglas Jesperson

    Mexico Hermosillo

    Sergio Velez Chavez

    Mexico Mexico City South

    Aaron Chavez Carpio

    Mexico Monterrey West

    Brent Wayne Romney

    Mexico Tampico

    Stanton Lynn Call

    Montana Billings

    Larry Higbee Gardner

    Mozambique Maputo

    Loren Blake Spendlove

    Nebraska Omaha

    Milan Foster Kunz

    New York New York North

    Richard Fred Smith

    New York New York South

    William Henrick Nelson

    North Carolina Raleigh

    To be announced

    Norway Oslo

    Armand Duane Johansen

    Ohio Cleveland

    Darwin Dean Sorensen

    Oklahoma Tulsa

    Richard Edgar Merkley

    Papua New Guinea Port Moresby

    Meliula Meafou Fata

    Paraguay Asunción

    Mark James Callan

    Pennsylvania Harrisburg

    To be announced

    Peru Lima Central

    Stephen Hunter Tyler

    Peru Lima South

    Roger Christensen Manning

    Peru Piura

    John Jensen Chipman

    Philippines Bacolod

    George Javier Tobias

    Philippines Baguio

    Thomas Henry Jensen

    Philippines Laoag

    Allistair Bruce Odgers

    Portugal Lisbon

    Moroni Bing Torgan

    Portugal Porto

    Charles Wesley Walton

    Russia Moscow West

    Kenneth Musser Woolley

    Russia Novosibirsk

    Jon Charles Trejo

    Russia Rostov-na-Donu

    Vladimir Aleksandrovich Nechiporov

    Russia Vladivostok

    Michael Stephen Pratt

    Russia Yekaterinburg

    Bruce Howard Allcott

    Scotland Edinburgh

    Gary King Griffiths


    Terrence Andrew Clark

    South Dakota Rapid City

    Jay Glen Layton

    Spain Barcelona

    Clark Bryant Hinckley

    Spain Bilbao

    Richard Reed Clegg

    Spain Madrid

    James Stanford Watkins

    Switzerland Geneva

    Kent Hyrum Murdock

    Taiwan Taipei

    Terence Elial Grimley

    Texas Houston South

    Gregory Mark Saylin

    Thailand Bangkok

    Michael Sherrod Smith

    Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk

    Dale Edwin Nielsen

    Uruguay Montevideo

    Ernesto Antonio Da Silva Bornholdt

    Utah Ogden

    Richard Brent Olson

    Utah Provo

    Neil Edward Pitts

    Venezuela Barcelona

    Edgar Lopez Delgado

    Venezuela Maracaibo

    Sergio Luis Krasnoselsky

    Washington DC South

    George Mark Albright

    Washington Spokane

    Stanley Mark Palmer

    West Indies

    Claude Remy Gamiette

    Zimbabwe Harare

    Edward Dube

    Missionaries in more than 100 missions around the world received new presidents this month.

    © 2007 Hyun-Gyu Lee

    Additional Sharing Time Ideas, July 2009

    The following are additional ideas Primary leaders may use with the Sharing Time printed in the July 2009 Liahona. For the lesson, instructions, and activity that correspond with these ideas, see “Our Family Will Be Strong” on pages F4 and F5 of the children’s section in this issue.

    1. 1.

      Family home evening strengthens my family. Hold a bundle of sticks in your hand. Break one of the sticks in half. Tie all the sticks together with string. Show how difficult it is to break the sticks when they are tied together. Tell the children that the sticks represent members of a family. Emphasize that when we are alone we are not as strong as when we are with our family. Explain that family home evening can be like the string that unites and strengthens the family. Teach the children that they can help their family home evenings be successful by helping plan them and willingly participating. Tell the children you are going to help them prepare a story about Joseph Smith’s First Vision that they could share during a family home evening. Help them make a simple visual aid they could use to tell the story of the First Vision. (For example: drawings, cutouts, or finger puppets. See resources below.) Using the same visual aid the children have prepared, briefly tell the story of the First Vision (see Joseph Smith—History 1:5–20). Then invite one or two children to tell the story using their visual aids. Bear testimony of the importance of family home evening in strengthening our families. Encourage the children to tell the story in an upcoming family home evening (with their parents’ permission).

      For older children: See the second activity under “Learning and Living the Gospel” in the Faith in God booklet, page 6.

      Resources for visuals of Joseph Smith’s First Vision: Behold Your Little Ones (nursery manual), lesson 21; “Joseph Smith’s First Vision,” Liahona, Feb. 2001, F2–F3.

    2. 2.

      Reverence and keeping the Sabbath day holy strengthen my family. Beforehand, write on small pieces of paper different activities we could do to keep the Sabbath day holy. Put the papers in a container. To begin sharing time, have the children read out loud Exodus 20:8. Explain that the Lord has promised great blessings when we keep the Sabbath day holy. Have the children listen for one of those blessings while you read Doctrine and Covenants 59:9. Ask: “What does the Lord promise if we keep the Sabbath day holy?” (We will be able to keep ourselves “unspotted from the world.”) Emphasize that if we keep the Sabbath day holy, we are promised the strength to keep ourselves clean and unspotted from the world. Show the container with the pieces of paper, and explain that on each paper is an activity we could do on the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Have the children count off by saying the days of the week. When a child says, “Sunday,” have him or her choose a paper from the container and act out the activity for the others to guess. Continue as time allows. Sing a song or hymn about the Sabbath day. Bear testimony that by keeping the Sabbath day holy, we will draw closer to the Lord and to our family.