BETA

Servicemen's fireside draws 800 members

MC LEAN, VA."Keep this country strong," said Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Council of the Twelve during a servicemen's fireside held in the Washington, D.C., area Jan. 31.

On the first anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, about 800 Church members, who are serving or have served in the military, attended the fireside, along with their families. Church member Gen. Robert Oaks, commander-in-chief of the U.S. Air Force in Europe also spoke to those assembled at the McLean Virginia Stake Center.Elder Ballard said this country "is the Lord's base of operations and we cannot put it in jeopardy. We are seeing a great expansion of the Church throughout Eastern Europe."

He admonished those assembled to meet the challenge of maintaining their standards wisely, saying that he understands the problem of couples being separated for military service from time to time because his daughter is married to a Navy test pilot.