Area Leadership Message

My message is for all men everywhere, both young and old. It’s for fathers and husbands present and future in particular, but also for the faithful women of the Church who love and sustain those men and desire to have the blessings of the priesthood in their homes.
When Jesus was on the earth, he “went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (Matt. 9:35) (emphasis added). We would do well to see the connection between the Lord’s teaching, preaching and healing of the people (see Jacob 2:8; James 1:21).
The new star above Bethlehem signalled to the wise men and Judean Shepherds the birth of the promised Messiah, the very hope of Israel. In the western hemisphere this same celestial sign came in fulfilment of Samuel’s prophecies to the Nephite people, providing hope and relief to the desperate prayers of the faithful believers facing certain death. For them the hope of Israel could not wait another day.
Obedience to the laws and commandments of God has been, and ever will be, necessary for those searching to become recipients of promised blessings. It was He who declared: “This is my work and my glory to bring to past the immortality and eternal life of man.”
Over 56,000 strong, the missionaries are a force for good in the world. Through their efforts thousands of new converts come into the church every year. These missionaries provide invaluable service to the Church and to people the world over.  
Too many of us fail to appreciate the power and importance of the sacrament that is offered to us each week in Sacrament Meeting. The sacrament makes available to each of us the cleansing power of the Lord’s redeeming sacrifice. If this were better appreciated, there would be no ocean too large, no desert too hot, no storm too intense – in short, no circumstance too difficult – to keep us from earnestly participating in the sacrament ordinance each week.
“The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing, persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble...”
As Easter approaches, our thoughts turn to Jesus Christ and our hearts are filled with love and gratitude for the great gift of the infinite Atonement. How can the Saviour’s Atonement relieve our personal suffering? Why is it that personal trials and tribulation cause some to become hardened, bitter and disbelieving, while others find peace, solace and increased faith in their suffering?
'if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen; and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain' (1 Cor. 15:13-14). 
The words to a popular primary song read: “Teach me to walk in the light of His love. Teach me to pray to my Father above. Teach me to know of the things that are right. Teach me, teach me, to walk in the light.” Prophetic counsel to parents throughout the ages has been to ‘love and care for their children’, because “children are an heritage of the Lord.”
At Christmas time, we reflect on Christmases past, where we were, who we were with, and what we were doing with our lives. We reflect on the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ and on His life and ministry, which brings hope that as He overcame the world, so may all who exercise faith in Him unto repentance and baptism. Then, with the commencement of the New Year, we resolve to change who we are and be better men and women. All too often, however, our efforts to change fall short of our resolutions. How is enduring change accomplished?
The steps towards personal conversion is not new to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints ; it has been taught through the ages and is as old as the beginning of time, serving as a welding together of how the Lord directs the work through His chosen servants. It is simple in practice, yet when one learns to search, ponder, and pray, it becomes a divine process with Eternal blessings.