Visit to Central America adds 'oil to lamps'
It's easy. Send a link to the story you were just reading to a friend. Just fill out the form on this page and we'll send it along.
GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA
The recent visit of Church leaders here will be remembered as an event of profound spiritual significance for Central American members. Elder M. Russell Ballard and Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve added "oil to the lamps" of thousands of Central Americans with their inspiring messages and counsel.
Elder Ballard and Elder Christofferson were joined by the Presiding Bishop, Bishop H. David Burton, and Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Presidency of the Seventy. Sister Katherine Christofferson, Sister Barbara Burton and Sister Lona Lee Jensen accompanied their husbands.
Members from El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua also had the opportunity to receive inspired counsel from the visiting authorities. Their visit marked the first time that two members of the Twelve, the Presiding Bishop and a member of the Presidency of the Seventy were in Central America at the same time.
The Brethren conducted separate firesides for the youth, young single adults, parents and married couples and for local priesthood leaders. During their 10-day visit, they also presided over special conferences in several stakes. It's estimated that some 31,000 members participated in one of the 30 meetings that were held during the visit. In each of the meetings, the leaders invoked blessings on the people while offering counsel and guidance to strengthen the members and their families.
During his visit, Elder Ballard also met with Alvaro Colom, the president of Guatemala. Meanwhile, Bishop Burton paid a visit to the mayor of the Guatemalan city of Quetzaltenango, Mayor Jorge R. Barrientos. Elder Christofferson traveled to Nicaragua where he met with civic leader Mario Valle and shared a message to students at the University of Managua.
Central America Area President Don R. Clarke of the Seventy spoke of the importance of the historic visit:
"To borrow a phrase from Oliver Cowdery, 'These were days never to be forgotten.' The visit of these Brethren from Salt Lake was a historic and marvelous blessing for our area. We and all of Central America will be better for what we learned and felt from all four [visiting authorities]."
Elder Clarke's first counselor, Elder Enrique R. Falabella of the Seventy, added, "Our lives have been changed and our testimonies have been strengthened as we listened to the wisdom and inspired counsel of these servants of the Lord. The lives of the members in the area will improve as they have been touched by the Spirit."
The second counselor in the Central America Area, Elder James B. Martino of the Seventy, said it was a joy to hear the testimonies of the visiting Brethren. "Hearts were changed because people felt the Spirit so strongly. What a blessing to have them here."
In each of the messages, the Brethren spoke of the importance of each person building a deep faith in Christ. They counseled the members to strengthen their families through prayer, scripture study, temple service, regular family home evening and by keeping the Sabbath day holy and obeying the commandments.