“I hope that we welcome and love all of God’s children, including those who might dress, look, speak, or just do things differently.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency “You Are My Hands,” Ensign, May 2010, 68.

Moving Mountains of Mud

This was not your typical Sunday morning. On this particular February Sunday, members were encouraged to gather after sacrament meeting, and some leaders even ended services early, sending volunteers to help their neighbors.

Over 150 youth and adults from the La Crescenta California Stake gathered with shovels, wheelbarrows, and their bright yellow Mormon Helping Hands vests to help move mud. Torrential rains, combined with mountains of earth exposed because of burned-off vegetation, had sent rivers of mud down residential neighborhoods in their area. Homes had three to four feet of mud surrounding them and several feet of mud inside as well.

Volunteers cleared pathways though the mud so that homeowners could get to their belongings and salvage what had not been destroyed. Katie Callister, a Mia Maid in the La Canada Second Ward, said, “I really wanted to help shovel the mud out of the damaged homes, but when I got there I saw the terrible destruction. Seeing the residents’ faces turn from devastation to gratitude was such an amazing experience. It made me feel so happy to know that I was helping someone so much and at the same time serving the Lord.”

Tons of mud, rock, debris, and people’s belongings were moved that day by the youth and adults wearing those yellow vests. Many residents commented that they were touched that teenagers would give up their Sunday afternoon to help strangers.

My Favorite Scripture

2 Nephi 2:13 This scripture says that there really is a God. It says that if there were no sin, then there would be no righteousness. There must be opposition. It is a scripture that testifies of God.

Maria H., 15, Hesse, Germany

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

Photograph by David A. Edwards

By the Numbers

700,400

Number of students enrolled in seminary and institute worldwide. Are you one of them?

Mutual Theme: Joshua 1:9 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.

Joshua 1:9

Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

courage

           

Joshua 1:9

afraid

afraid

Lord

 

Joshua 1:9

courage

     

strong

Joshua 1:9

 

good

   

Lord

 

dismayed

with thee

   

Joshua 1:9

 

Lord

dismayed

 

afraid

God

Lord

 

God

         

good

strong

 

with thee

   

God

Joshua 1:9

 

Lord

God

Joshua 1:9

afraid

       

Lord

dismayed

 

good

Lord

God

dismayed

Joshua 1:9

     

dismayed

strong

courage

Lord

with thee

afraid

 

good

Joshua 1:9

The Church in Colombia

The first 45 members in Colombia were mostly North Americans who met in congregations in Cali and Bogotá. In May 1966, the first missionaries arrived. Five years later, 27 congregations were established in 10 cities.

Church education for youth began in 1972. By 1976, 900 students were enrolled in educational programs to prepare them for future leadership positions. Colombia’s first chapel was built in Cali in 1975. In 1983, Church members united to help those affected by the earthquake in Popayán. Today, Church membership is nearly 19 times that of 20 years ago.

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

Membership

168,514

Missions

4

Temples

1

Wards & Branches

271

Family History Centers

41

Youth Conference and My Testimony

When I went to youth conference one year, I had no idea of the impact it would have on me. We had three days packed full of fun activities, and I was excited to see old friends, meet new ones, and get involved. But my favorite part was the testimony meeting. The Spirit was strong as we bore our testimonies of the gospel, and many of us were moved to tears. For me this beautiful feeling lasted for days after the conference, and I wanted it to stay. I didn’t even watch TV or listen to non-Church music. This experience truly strengthened my testimony of the Church.

The Spirit is the only way for us to know the Church is true. We must do things to allow the Holy Ghost to be with us, like studying the scriptures, praying sincerely every day, and thinking of times when we have felt the Spirit. When we live with the Spirit, we can feel His warmth and know the Church is true. I love the gospel; it has answers and direction. I wish that everyone in the world could know what we know.

Tahnee H., 20, South Australia

Photographs by Lori Collyer, © Ivan Prtiz Ponce, and © NASA/courtesy of nasaimages.org