The Fullness of the Gospel

“I don’t know how many more “rushes” we can handle this weekend. Some of us have weak hearts.” -Elder Holland

What a great month it’s been!  It finally feels like spring has arrived.  To start with General Conference and to hear the inspired words of a living prophet was wonderful… but more on that in a moment.

The Young Men and Young Women had the opportunity on the 15th to attend Music and the Spoken Word at the Tabernacle on Temple Square.  It was beautiful!  Our Ward Game Night on the 18th was great as well.  Special Thanks to all who made it such a fun night.

We’re excited to begin with the changes in the Priesthood organization, and the new Ministering program which President Nelson called: “a newer, holier approach”.  We hope that the spirit of love will fill our ward as we do so.  It’s easy to feel the love that our Prophet has for all of us.

The topic for the month of May is The Restoration.  I really like L. Tom Perry’s talk from the April 2007 Conference.  I leave you with his words, adding my testimony to his:

“Our message is unique. We declare to the world that the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth. We declare with boldness that the keys of the priesthood have been restored to man, with the power to seal on earth and in the heavens. The saving ordinances pronounced by the Lord as requirements for entering into eternal life with Him can now be performed with binding authority by those who worthily exercise the power of His holy priesthood. We declare to the world that this is the day referred to by biblical prophets as the latter days. It is the final time, before the coming of Jesus Christ to rule and reign over the earth.

We invite all to listen to the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ from us. Then you can compare the glorious message with what you may hear from others, and you can determine which is from God and which is from man.

My witness to you is that this is the Church of Jesus Christ, established in the latter days. In the name of our Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ, amen.” – L. Tom Perry

Brother Walker 2nd Counselor

The Blessings of the Restoration

The restoration of the church and the true gospel of Jesus Christ has brought many gifts into my life, everything from Relief Society sisters to Priesthood blessings to a Patriarchal blessing to the temple. By far, the greatest gift I received was the sealing of my parents (both deceased) to each other and my sealing to them in the Manti Temple in 2017. That was easily one of the most profound spiritual experiences I’ve ever had. An immeasurable amount of light poured through me, through my two friends who served as proxies for my parents on that day in the sealing room, and through all the people who were present as witnesses–it was a palpable, awe-inspiring experience. Many tears of joy were shed, and Jesus infused all of us with an immense, remarkable amount of love.

In addition, the restoration has allowed me, a Jewish woman, to partake of the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ while continuing to embrace my genetic and cultural heritage. I see the gospel as an expansion of my spiritual path, not an “either-or.” I still celebrate Passover and other Jewish holidays–often with my LDS friends–as those holy days align with the gospel, I also can now fully embrace Christmas and the glory of Easter. I have learned that, through the restoration, there is room in this gospel and this church for everyone.

Alyssa Wolf

Elder Applegarth – May 2018

Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Freetown Sierra Leone

Spencer hit his 18 month mark in April. He is excited to be serving the good people of Sierra Leone and is looking forward to his next 6 months of service. We are really looking forward to Mother’s Day when we will enjoy the last skype with Spencer on his mission. Time is short and Spencer is working hard to make sure he accomplishes everything he can as a full-time missionary. Spencer is still serving in Kontollah, which is in Freetown. He has really enjoyed working in this area. He trained a missionary that was from Sierra Leone, Elder Newton. Elder Newton waited for about four months, before he finally got his visa to serve in Mozambique. Elder Newton came to the Provo MTC to learn Portuguese and to prepare for his mission. Kathryn was able to meet Elder Newton at the Provo Temple. Many members of our ward kindly donated clothes and money to Elder Newton. He recently left Provo and is now in Mozambique. He was excited about his new pants, shirts, and ties. He is well equipped and looks every bit as good as Spencer or any other missionary from the Mount Pleasant fourth ward. Elder Newton called Kathryn from the airport to let her know he is on his way. It sounds like Kathryn has another African son, we are expecting a call from Elder Newton for mother’s day.

Spencer is hoping to serve the last 6 months of his mission in the rural areas of Sierra Leone. He is ready to be out of the big city, but has really enjoyed the Freetown area. He is planning on several baptisms on May 4th.  The work in Africa keeps going forward. In Spencer’s last letter he said “we have been preparing 5 people for baptism. All of them are doing well with an exception of 1 named brother Prince. He is the one who has the problem smoking. He is getting better but still has a little bit of a problem so he won’t be able to be baptized on the 5th but maybe the next baptism. I love trying to help the man out. He is slowly starting to overcome the habit. We have also been expanding our teaching pool. It was a blessing to see most of them at church yesterday!” Spencer celebrated his 20th birthday this past month. He described his birthday as follows: “I was able to baptize 6 people this week!!! Every time I put them under the water the spirit filled my heart. It was so amazing to be able to do that for them. After they came out of the water each one of them looked me in the eyes and said thank you. That is when tears started to roll down my face because all I could think about is my saying the same thing to our Savior one day. It was truly a humbling experience. What better birthday present is there? Then I got to spend some time with my converts and they made my day special for me, we had a lot of fun! Sunday was also an amazing day as I stood in the circles for their confirmations the spirit filled the room.  After the blessings the recent converts that I baptized a while ago all got callings!!! It has truly been amazing to see everyone’s progress!!”

Other exciting news for Spencer is that his companion for the past four months finally got his visa, so he is attending the MTC in Provo where he is learning Portuguese.  He will be preparing to serve in Mozambique.  The final elections happen this week in Sierra Leone.  Hopefully democracy continues as a peaceful event there.

Bishop Applegarth

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Elder Jessee – May 2018

Mission Office 29 Wiryeseong-daero 22-gil (Ogeum-dong) Songpa-gu Seoul-teukbyeolsi 05655 South Korea  

Well, our little investigator Jo Yeon Woo is now a member! He was baptized and confirmed yesterday! What another great baptismal service. I am so happy to have a small part in bringing another soul closer to the Savior, and help him make the first step in his journey back to God and Jesus Christ! He has such a great spirit about him! During these last two months as we have been teaching him, I was amazed with his willingness to keep the commitments we gave him and how his knowledge and testimony and understanding of the gospel grew as he came closer to God and Jesus Christ. He understood more, and quicker, than most of the older and smarter men I have taught on my mission. This testified to me that in growing a testimony and coming closer to God humility, willingness, and a desire are the most important things. Through humility, willingness, and desire we can come closer to God, know what His plan for us is, and become more than we ever could by ourselves. God will mold and shape our lives into something we can’t even imagine! I’m Grateful for all these experiences I have had on my mission.

We have also been meeting with a less active for the last few weeks. He wasn’t coming to church because he worked on Sunday, but has recently quit his job and is now able to come back to church. He is a 28ish year old guy named, Gwon Hyo Moon and was baptized only 2 years ago. He is a really great guy and this week we went and ate at a meat buffet with him!

Elder Jessee

Sister Ison – May 2018

Vancouver Washington Mission Office Address 2223 NW 99th St. Vancouver WA 98665

She has been transferred to Battle Ground Washington and has a new companion Sister Perry.  She LOVES Sister Perry and the new area.  They are white washing the area and are having some great success finding new people to teach and reaching out to those that are inactive and just are having an amazing time.  They have wonderful member missionaries who feed them and help them find new investigators.  Their mission has been given a commission to baptize 50 people each month and Sister Ison and Sister Perry are working hard to help that goal be met.  Here’s a little tidbit from her last email….

“I know that the commission that this mission has to baptize 50 each month is totally possible! As we have that day of decision and give our will to the Lord he will make a lot more out of us than we ever thought we could! I know as we are obedient and act on promptings we receive we will be blessed for it and we will bless others. Each of you has a divine purpose and you are all children of our loving Heavenly Father! I know our Savior Jesus Christ lives and is walking with us always along this journey through life! He suffered for our sins so that we can BECOME AS HE IS! Our Savior Jesus Christ and our loving Heavenly Father want us to return to them! So keep going, keep working hard and remember to serve others! Always remember to do what our Savior would. Yes we all make mistakes but use the atonement and strive to become better, he only asks that you try your best and you exercise your faith. I know that families can be together forever and that we can all help someone know this for themselves! I know that prayers are answered I have seen it! I love you all with all I have and I say these things in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ amen!”

3 Nephi 5:13 “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among his people, that they might have everlasting life”

Kristie Ison

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Lesson Schedule – May 2018

May 6th – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 16: I Cannot Go Beyond the Word of the Lord, Relief Society & Priesthood: Council Meeting

May 13th – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 17: Beware Lest Thou Forget, Relief Society & Priesthood: April General Conference Message

May 20th – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 18: Be Strong and of a Good Courage, Relief Society & Priesthood: April General Conference Message

May 27th – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 19: The Reign of the Judges, Relief Society & Priesthood: Ministering to Others –  What does it mean to minister?

Bishopric – Resurrection and Atonement

Spring is finally here.  I’m sure most of us are glad to see winter in our rear view mirror.  We saw a significant amount of moisture in our mountains and here in the valley this last month which will benefit us all.  Maybe there’s enough to put a garden in this year.  Watch the Staker and Allen families.  If they start to till their back yards, then we all can!

Our theme for April is the Resurrection and Atonement. In fact, Our General Conference this year will be on the Saturday before and Easter Sunday. Listening to General Conference gives us an opportunity to hear the voice of the Lord.  Along with the messages from the General Authorities and Auxiliary Presidencies, we’ll have the opportunity to sustain Russell M. Nelson as our newly ordained Prophet and President of the Church, along with President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring as his counselors. Their message to the members of the church from our First Presidency is to be “endowed with power in a House of the Lord, sealed as families, faithful to covenants made in a temple,” which are key to “strengthening your life, your marriage and family, and your ability to resist the attacks of the adversary. Your worship in the temple and your service there for your ancestors will bless you with increased personal revelation and peace and will fortify your commitment to stay on the covenant path.”

We also need to remember the new 2018 materials “Come Follow Me” for Relief Society and Melchizedek Priesthood meetings will be taken from our General conference messages which will include both Saturday, Sunday, and Priesthood sessions.

We as a Bishopric wish to express our love for all of you and are grateful for your selfless service in the Ward and our community. May the Lord bless you and your families in the coming month and may we all remember “Because of Him, Death is not the end.”

Brother Gunderson 1st Counselor

What the Atonement means to me

When I think of the Atonement I think of my personal conversion. I was raised in the church, but as many teenagers do, I stopped going to church at age 14. During the next 5 years my life went seriously downhill. But at one point I felt something missing in my life. As I started looking into friend’s churches, taking yoga classes, etc. someone close to me had an emotional crisis. He was an emotional wreck, and nothing anyone could say would console him. I remember the conversation that night well. Even though he was the one with the problem, I felt so lost. I wanted to help him, tell him it was going to be alright; but who was I to tell him something like that? What right did I have to comfort someone else when I wasn’t living up to my potential? As I pondered these questions I felt an overwhelming urge to tell my friend that the only way he would find peace was to bring his problem to the Lord.

I never found out whether my friend took my comment to heart, but I felt that was a turning point in my life. My feelings of inadequacy deepened as I went home, but I felt awe as well. It boggled my mind that with my life in shambles God could still use me to try and touch someone else’s, that I could still receive promptings from the Holy Ghost. That night I got on my knees and prayed the most heartfelt prayer I have ever said. The Spirit witnessed to me that The Church of Jesus Christ is true, and directed me how to cleanup my life. It wasn’t easy, but I got my life on track because I knew how much Jesus loved me. That is what the Atonement means to me. That Jesus loved me enough to die for me. That even though I am a sinner He still loves me, and has provided me a way to change – repent.

Calvin Zundel

Atonement and the Resurrection

Thomas S. Monson – I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Easter Resurrection Video

We all depend on the Savior; none of us can be saved without Him. Christ’s Atonement is infinite and eternal. Forgiveness for our sins comes with conditions. We must repent, and we must be willing to forgive others … Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in common: They are forgiven. And they forgive. Lay your burden at the Savior’s feet. Let go of judgment. Allow Christ’s Atonement to change and heal your heart. Love one another. Forgive one another. The merciful will obtain mercy.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Elder Applegarth – April 2018

Mission Office Address PO Box 263 Freetown Sierra Leone

Spencer celebrated his 20th birthday this past month.  Spencer describes his birthday as follows: “I was able to baptize 6 people this week!!! Every time I put them under the water the spirit filled my heart.  It was so amazing to be able to do that for them.  After they came out of the water each one of them looked me in the eyes and said thank you. That is when tears started to roll down my face because all I could think about is my doing the same thing to our Savior one day.  It was truly a humbling experience.  What better birthday present is there?  Then I got to spend some time with my converts and they made my day special for my birthday we had a lot of fun! On Sunday it was also an amazing day as I stood in the circle the spirit filled the room.  After the confirmations the recent converts that I baptized a while ago all got callings!!! It has truly been amazing to see everyone’s progress!!”

Other exciting news for Spencer is that his companion for the past four months finally got his visa, so he is attending the MTC in Provo where he is learning Portuguese.  He will be preparing to serve in Mozambique.  The final elections happen this week in Sierra Leone.  Hopefully democracy continues as a peaceful event there.

Bishop Applegarth

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Sister Ison – April 2018

Vancouver Washington Mission Office Address 2223 NW 99th St. Vancouver WA 98665

She has now been out for 6 months!  She is down to 1 year left and it’s crazy how fast the time is flying.  She has grown so much these past 6 months and we are excited to see what happens in the next year for her while serving in Washington.  She will be getting transfer news this coming Sunday and she knows that she will be leaving the Mountain View area after meeting with President Mcateer.  She has absolutely loved her first area and found it difficult knowing Sunday will be her last in that area because she has had so many wonderful experiences and met so many wonderful people there, but she also knows she has work to do and people to find in another area and is excited for the next chapter.  Here is a little bit from her email this week that I wanted to share.

“With Easter coming up it has been weird and cool to see how emotional I have gotten from thinking back on Easter and what our Savior has done for us. It definitely hits you a lot harder and deeper when you’re on your mission and I love it! Before I didn’t think about what the Savior did for us until Easter but I should be thinking about it always and as a missionary you do and that’s why it becomes so important to us.

Sunday was absolutely amazing!! Sister Davidson spoke about hope through the resurrection and it was amazing! And then Brother Thomas spoke about the last week of the Savior’s life and I wish we would’ve had an investigator there but I had never heard our sacrament meeting so quiet and the spirit was so strong!  But when you are a missionary at least for me anyways Easter has hit me harder than it ever has! I have been getting super emotional because I realize everyday what the Savior has done for me! I want to invite you all to study the final week of the Savior’s life because it is absolutely amazing! As we approach general conference weekend and Easter Sunday I invite you all to pray to have questions come to your mind because I know that each of us have questions that we can and will receive answers to! We will be sustaining our new prophet and two new apostles so pray for questions because you will receive answers! I love you all and I know that this gospel is true! I hit 6 months tomorrow and time is flying but I will see you all in one year! I love you all tons!!”

Kristie Ison

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Lesson Schedule – April 2018

April 8th – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 12: Fruitful in the Land of My Affliction, Relief Society:  The Plan and the Proclamation, Dallin H. Oaks– Priesthood: October General Conference Message

April 15th – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 13: Bondage, Passover, and Exodus, Relief Society: The Living Bread, D. Todd Christofferson– Priesthood: October General Conference Message

April 22nd – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 14: Ye Shall Be a Peculiar Treasure unto Me, Relief Society, High Priests, & Elder’s Quorum: Sabbath Day The Sabbath is a day to worship

April 29th – Gospel Doctrine: Lesson 15: Look to God and Live, Relief Society, High Priests, & Elder’s Quorum: Combined under the direction of the Bishopric.

Spirit of Spring

March is a great month, what is the old saying, in like a lion and out like a lamb.  I’m not sure that always works out for March, but we will see.  I’m excited that we are finally getting some snow.  I believe that the fast that we will participate in on Fast Sunday with several other stakes in Central and Southern Utah will make a difference.  I know that our Heavenly Father is aware of our circumstances and will bless us with the water that we need.  What a great opportunity to unite in faith and humble ourselves before our Heavenly Father.  I’m grateful for Fast Sundays and the spirit that attends Fast and Testimony meeting.

This month we will participate in Ward Conference.  We are excited to host our stake leadership.  We all know and love President Jorgensen and are grateful for his love and support.  President Walker, President Hansen, and all of the other stake leaders that will visit add a great deal of support to our ward family.  I love the inspired structure that the Lord has revealed to our prophets.  Each ward auxiliary will have an opportunity to meet with and be supported by the stake auxiliary.  I’m excited about the visits that will be made, the love that will be felt, and the opportunities that we will have in connection with Ward Conference.

Early spring is a great time of year as we prepare to send several new missionaries out into the mission field.  We are excited that several young men and women are submitting their papers to serve full time missions.  The young men and women organizations are also planning their summer activities, including girl’s camp, our priest quorum planning a trip to Yellowstone and other fun adventures.  Also at the end of the month we will have a chance to prepare for Easter.  Palm Sunday is the last Sunday of the month.  One tradition that I enjoy is following the savior’s activities each day from Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday.  I’m excited to enjoy the month of March with members of the Mount Pleasant fourth ward.

Bishop Applegarth