“As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.” “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles,” Ensign, Apr. 2000, 2

Serving in South Africa

Earlier this year, the youth of the Roodepoort South Africa Stake showed their love and compassion for their community with acts of service. The Krugersdorp Second Ward visited an old-age home, handing out packets of sweets; the Roodepoort Ward cleaned up an area next to a main road; the Munsieville Branch played games and gave out food and cold drinks to the needy children in their community; the Randfontein Branch held a car wash; and the Rustenburg Ward visited the pediatric ward of a local hospital.

In a Word: Zion

The Lord commands us to “establish the cause of Zion” (D&C 6:6). What is Zion? One definition is “the pure in heart” (D&C 97:21). The word Zion is often used in this way to refer to the Lord’s people or to the Church and its stakes (see D&C 82:14). We are encouraged to build up Zion wherever we live.

Zion can also refer to specific locations:

  • The city of Enoch (see Moses 7:18–21).

  • The ancient city of Jerusalem (see 1 Kings 8:1).

  • The New Jerusalem, which will be built in Jackson County, Missouri (see D&C 57:1–3).

Write Away!

They say this is the most wonderful time of the year. Part of the reason it’s so wonderful is all the giving and receiving that go on during the holidays. Sometimes the gifts are much more than mere presents. We’d like to hear about the best gift you’ve ever given or received. What was the gift, and why was it so special? Write to us at:

New Era,
Best Christmas Gift
50 E. North Temple St., Rm. 2420
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3220, USA

Or e-mail: newera@ldschurch.org

Give It Up

Since December is a special month for giving, think about giving quorum or class members a personal note letting them know that you love and appreciate them and that you value the things they contribute to your group. Write things to each of them that are sincere and specific. Then you could ask them if they have any suggestions to help you become a better listener and leader.

4,480 Chapters

Accepting President Hinckley’s challenge to read the Book of Mormon by the end of last year, the young women of the Fayetteville First Ward in Arkansas decided to mark their progress with quilting squares. The young women sewed the squares together and created quilts to give away to a home for neglected and abused children.

Each square on every quilt represented 40 chapters read from the Book of Mormon. So with just a little math—7 quilts, each with 16 squares, each square representing 40 chapters—we have 4,480 chapters. “Not only were our testimonies increased,” says Linda Connor, the ward Young Women president, “we were able to serve others through this project.”

[illustration] Illustrated by Paul Mann

[photos] Photographs courtesy of the Roodepoort South Africa Stake

[illustration] “O Jerusalem,” by Greg Olsen

[illustration] Illustration by Shauna Mooney Kawasaki

[photo] Photograph courtesy of the Fayetteville First Ward