“Just as we must look to God to live well, so we must look to God to serve well.”

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Which Way Are You Facing?” New Era, Mar. 2002, 8.

The Church in USA—California

Latter-day Saint immigrants first arrived in San Francisco in 1846. One year later the Mormon Battalion arrived in San Diego. Six Battalion members were at Sutter’s Mill in January 1848, when gold was discovered.

The Church colony of New Hope was founded in 1850, and the first Church building was completed that same year. The land boom of the 1920s attracted many members to California. Today California has more missions than any other state in the U.S.

Here are a few more facts about the Church today in California:

Membership

755,747

Missions

17

Temples

7

Wards & Branches

1,356

Family History Centers

198

Photograph by Charles Baird

Could You Quilt That, Please?

Recently the Young Women of the Leavenworth Second Ward in Kansas came up with a super service activity. They decided to make children-size quilts to donate to Humanitarian Services. The girls spent several nights working on their quilts. They learned to cut fabric and batting, how to pin them together, how to stitch around the perimeter, and finally how to finish it off using a quilting machine.

Hannah Fowles, a Beehive, said, “I learned how much fun it can be to help other people. Not only did I learn to quilt, but it was spiritual and beneficial as well as being fun.”

Photograph courtesy of the Leavenworth Second Ward

Everybody Clean Up

Taking to heart the theme of their youth conference, Be Thou an Example—Strength through Service, youth from the Reno Nevada North Stake showed a lot of strength. One day of the conference was spent on a spring cleanup project at the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. More than 134 youth were grouped in “families” and worked a total of 670 hours and filled 225 large garden bags with leaves and debris.

That evening youth-conference “families” performed cultural presentations from various countries or regions around the world to reflect the theme of being an example to all the world. The conference concluded with a testimony meeting.

Photograph courtesy of the Reno Nevada North Stake

BeSmart Firesides

Wondering about what high-school classes you should be taking this year to get ready for college? Would you like some tips on getting higher test scores? What if you’ve just graduated and now you want to know about college admissions or scholarship opportunities? Find answers to these questions and a whole lot more, mixed in with a dash of fun at the next BeSmart fireside.

There could be a BeSmart fireside coming to a stake center near you this fall. They will be held in 19 states at 37 different locations. So why should you attend? It will be fun to meet with a couple hundred other youth, there will be valuable information, and you’ll learn that there are opportunities for everyone. You may even come away from the fireside with a new T-shirt.

Go online to BeSmart.com to find the date and location of your nearest BeSmart fireside. While you’re there, check out all the great information on preparing youth for higher education.

In a Word

Amen

Why do we say “amen” at the end of our prayers, talks, and testimonies? Amen is a Hebrew word that means “may it be so” or “so it is.” We say it to show that we accept or agree with what has been said.

In Old Testament times, people said “amen” when they took an oath. And in the New Testament, Jesus Christ is called “the Amen, the faithful and true witness” (Revelation 3:14).

The next time you say “amen,” say it with meaning—now that you know what it means.

D&C 93:36 Sudoku

The objective of a regular Sudoku is to fill the 9×9 grid so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3×3 boxes (also called blocks or regions) contains the digits from 1 to 9 only one time. For this puzzle, instead of numbers, use the scripture reference and the eight words in bold to complete the puzzle.

D&C 93:36

The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.

If you’d like to do an online version of this puzzle visit our Web site at newera.lds.org.

Sudoku game(click to view larger)

Illustration by Neil Brown

My Favorite Scripture

JS—H 1:16–17 is my favorite scripture because Joseph Smith really did see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and I know that I too have a Heavenly Father.

Zama M., 14, Johannesburg, South Africa

Tell us about your favorite scripture in one or two sentences. Go to newera.lds.org and click on Submit Your Material.

Photograph courtesy of Zama M.

By the Numbers

1,306

Number of subscribers who have joined the New Era e-mail group.

If you’d like to join our e-mail list and get regular NEmail newsletters, just say so in an e-mail to newera@ldschurch.org.