“Make the best investment of your life by spending more of your time now to study and learn for yourself the ways of the Lord.”

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Making of a Missionary,” Ensign, Nov. 1976, 87.

The Church in USA—Georgia

Missionaries for the Church arrived in Georgia in 1843 to preach and later to campaign for the Prophet Joseph Smith’s United States presidential bid. One early convert to the Church donated land and built a chapel at Mormon Springs in Haralson County.

By 1908, Church membership in Georgia was approximately 6,800. The first temple to be built in the Southern states was completed in 1983 in Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta Latter-day Saints gave disaster relief to the community after the 1992 Hurricane Andrew in Albany; the flooding in 1994, when some 6,000 Church volunteers assisted homeowners; and to the Gulf Coast after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

Here are a few facts about the Church today in Georgia:

Membership

71,268

Missions

3

Temples

1

Congregations

137

Family History Centers

44

Information from Newsroom at www.lds.org.

Photograph by Jed Clark

My Favorite Scripture

Alma 37:37 When I am having a bad night, I read this scripture and it reassures me that the Spirit is with me and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are watching over me.

Taylor A., 12, Illinois, USA

Tell us about your favorite scripture in one or two sentences. Send it to newera@ldschurch.org.

Photograph courtesy of Taylor A.

Sermon on the Mount

This crossword puzzle will help test your knowledge of the Savior’s Sermon on the Mount as recorded in Matthew, chapters 5–7.

crossword puzzle

ACROSS

5. Jesus taught not as the scribes, but “as one having ___.” (7:29)

6. “Blessed are the ___ ___ ___: for they shall see God.” (5:8)

10. “Lay not up for yourselves ___ upon earth.” (6:19)

13. “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be ___.” (5:4)

14. No man can serve two of these. (6:24)

15. We should not hide our light under this. (5:15)

16. “Blessed are the meek: for they shall ___ the earth.” (5:5)

17. “Blessed are they which are ___ for righteousness’ sake:” (5:10)

DOWN

1. We should not cast these before swine. (7:6)

2. “Blessed are the ___: for they shall obtain mercy.” (5:7)

3. “Judge not, that ye be not ___.” (7:1)

4. “When ye pray, use not vain ___, as the heathen do:” (6:7)

6. “Blessed are the ___: for they shall be called the children of God.” (5:9)

7. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after ___: for they shall be filled.” (5:6)

8. “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the ___ of heaven.” (5:3)

9. We should love not only our neighbours, but also our ___. (5:44)

11. What are we if we do not first cast out the beam in our own eye rather than worrying about others’ problems? (7:5)

12. “Ye are the ___ of the world.” (5:14)

The Sermon on the Mount, by Harry Anderson

Answers: Across: 5. authority 6. pure in heart 10. treasures 13. comforted 14. masters 15. bushel 16. inherit 17. persecuted

Down: 1. pearls 2. merciful 3. judged 4. repetitions 6. peacemakers 7. righteousness 8. kingdom 9. enemies 11. hypocrite 12. light

Raise the Torch

Some 650 young men and women from the greater Atlanta, Georgia, area took part in a two-night dance festival themed Raise the Torch. It was a reminder for the youth to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all places. The youth from 24 wards and branches performed 13 dance numbers to a cheering, packed house of 1,500 people on each night. Attendees were encouraged to do the “can-can” by bringing a can of food to help “stomp” out hunger. Nearly five barrels were filled with donations for the local food bank.

Many of the teens talk about the close bonds they forged with the youth from their own ward and also from the other units and stakes. Beehive Elizabeth Hall recently moved to Roswell, Georgia, when dance rehearsals were under way and was excited to take part. “Getting involved in the dance festival enabled me to get to know a lot more of the youth quickly,” she says. Others, like Michael Reid, 16, of the Webb Bridge Ward says he learned not only how to line dance, but he “met some great new friends.” One of the most amazing occurrences, however, was that 12- and 13-year-old boys actually danced!

Prior to the performances, the youth were able to raise their torches by taking part in service projects throughout the community. All told, the youth provided more than 4,500 hours of service. Upcoming Beehives and deacons have already started asking when the next dance festival will be held so they can participate.

Photographs courtesy of Todd Westberg

By the Numbers

107 Number of languages in which the Book of Mormon is published (includes both full edition and selections).

Focusing on Values

To promote modesty and values, the young women of the Torrance Second Ward in California had a modest “fashion shoot” for a recent Mutual activity. Each girl chose a value to portray in her clothing choice. The room where the young women meet was then transformed into a working photo studio, complete with studio lights and backdrop. Each girl had her own photo shoot with her value poster and then the photographer took group shots. Not only did the young women learn about the values, but they also realized modesty can be easy, fun, and fashionable. And it never goes out of style.

Photograph by Getty Images

Photograph courtesy of Cindi Pickett