“The friends we choose to associate with are main contributing factors in the formation of our character.”

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Good Friends,” New Era, Feb. 1993, 4.

By the Numbers

1,750,000

Number of linear feet of paper used to print all copies of this month’s issue of the New Era (that’s about 330 miles [531km] of paper).

Catching Conference

There was a heightened feeling of excitement as members in the Bulawayo Zimbabwe Stake prepared to watch last April’s general conference live for the first time. Two satellite dishes were installed in two of the stake’s four chapels, and there was a big turnout, especially in the Nkulumane chapel.

Nolan Kumbirayi Chigede, a young man from the Nkulumane First Ward, said, “I am very happy to be here.” He later added that he came “with an open heart, because I knew the servants of the Lord would be speaking to me.”

Commenting on the success of this first satellite broadcast, and what it means for the stake to see general conference live, stake president Tasara Makasi said that members have been drawn closer to the Church leaders and hence feel more a part of this one big gospel family.

Photographs courtesy of the Bulawayo Zimbabwe Stake

The Church in Zimbabwe

Missionary work began in what was then Southern Rhodesia in the early 1930s and was mostly being done by missionaries from South Africa making short visits. In 1950, eight missionaries were sent to Salisbury and Bulawayo, and the first convert was baptized in February 1951. The first services were held in a preschool building, and prospective members sat on tiny chairs. Later they met in the cloak room of a primary school.

In 1980 the government changed and the nation of Zimbabwe was formed. Membership was a little more than 1,000, but missionary work increased as local missionaries began serving full-time missions there. In January 1997 there were 6,360 members in Zimbabwe, and in just nine months the Church had grown to 7,100 members.

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

Membership

17,241

Missions

1

Wards & Branches

44

Family History Centers

1

Get a Grip

Hold to the Rod; Get a Grip. That was the theme of this year’s two-day youth conference in the Tupelo Ward in Mississippi. There were great speakers, activities, and some surprises as well. There was an actual “iron rod” constructed in and around much of the meetinghouse. The youth began their journey of Lehi’s dream in the darkened cultural hall. As they followed the rod, there were many distractions including people, a mist of darkness, the filthy river, the great and spacious building, and finally the tree of life with delicious fruit.

“It was really neat to see a life-sized rod of iron and the whole experience really helped me to understand Lehi’s dream and how it applies to me,” said 15-year-old Hannah Murphy.

There was also a “carnival of life,” where the youth not only enjoyed games and activities, but they also learned out of Preach My Gospel. Then they held a service project at a local home for abused, abandoned, and neglected children and spent time with the children as well. Finally, they had lunch in the park, where they also participated in team-building activities to help unify the ward youth.

Photographs courtesy of the Tupelo Ward

My Favorite Scripture

Jacob 6:12 became my favorite scripture the instant I read it. This scripture also brings a peace of mind to me whenever I am in need.

Dawson L., 17, Ontario, Canada

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

Photograph by Janet Thomas

Scriptural Names ABC

Can you list the first name of a person in the scriptures for every letter of the alphabet? There are many correct answers. If you get stuck, look in the Bible Dictionary and the Index. (We’ve helped you with Q, X, and Y.)

A

 

B

 

C

 

D

 

E

 

F

 

G

 

H

 

I

 

J

 

K

 

L

 

M

 

N

 

O

 

P

 

Q

Quartus (see Romans 16:23)

R

 

S

 

T

 

U

 

V

 

W

 

X

Xerxes (a form of Ahasuerus)

Y

Yahweh (a form of Jehovah)

Z

 

Idea by Shauna Wheelwright