Saturday, April 2, 2011

Press Releases from the Church

Below are all the press releases from the Church as a result of Conference. I went to the Church news room and grabbed each release and just pasted them here. If you would like to original releases go here.

Here are the highlights. The Church past the 14 million mark in membership, three new temples were announced, several new general authorities were called and in celebration of the 75th year of the Church Welfare program all members will participate in a "day of service" this year.

2010 Statistical Report for 2011 April General Conference

The First Presidency has issued the following statistical report of the Church as of 31 December 2010.
Stakes - 2,896
Missions - 340
Districts - 614
Wards and Branches - 28,660
Total membership - 14,131,467
New children of record - 120,528
Converts baptized - 272,814
Full-time Missionaries - 52,225
Church-service Missionaries - 20,813
Temples dedicated - 4 (Vancouver British Columbia, Gila Valley Arizona, Cebu City Philippines, and Kyiv Ukraine)
Temples rededicated - 1 (Laie Hawaii)
Temples in operation - 134


Church Announces New Temples in Canada, Colorado and Idaho

During his remarks today at the first session of the 181st Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church President Thomas S. Monson announced three new temples in Meridian, Idaho; Fort Collins, Colorado; and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Here are some brief facts about the Church in those areas; additional details on the new temples will be announced as they become available
Meridian, Idaho
Meridian is the third-largest city in Idaho and is located about 11 miles west of the capital of Boise.
The Church has had a presence in Idaho since 1855 and there are over 410,000 members in the state. The temple in Meridian will be the fifth in Idaho. There are also temples in Boise, Idaho Falls, Rexburg and Twin Falls.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Fort Collins is located in northern Colorado, 57 miles north of the capital of Denver. As of October 2010, there were nearly 140,000 members in the state.
The first congregation of the Church in Colorado was organized in January 1897. This will be the second temple in Colorado; a temple in Denver was completed in 1986.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Winnipeg is the capital and largest city in the Canadian province of Manitoba. It is located in southeast Manitoba, north of the North Dakota/Minnesota border.
The temple will serve the needs of members in the Winnipeg area who currently travel for 6 ½ hours and nearly 400 miles (600 kilometers) to the nearest temple in Regina, Saskatchewan.
This will be the ninth temple in Canada. In addition to the Regina temple, there are temples in Cardston, Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta; Toronto, Ontario; Halifax, Nova Scotia and Montreal, Quebec. In May 2010, Church officials dedicated the Vancouver British Columbia Temple and broke ground for the Calgary Temple.
A website has been set up to answer questions about the Winnipeg temple.
About Temples
To members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temples are the “house of the Lord,” the most sacred places on earth. Unlike meetinghouses here Sabbath worship and weekly activities take place, temples are open throughout the week and closed on Sundays.
Temple services bind families together forever, teach the purpose of life and explain God’s plan of salvation. Temple attendance emphasizes personal spiritual growth and strengthens Latter-day Saints’ commitment to following the example of Jesus Christ.
There are currently 134 operating temples worldwide and, with today’s announcement, 26 temples announced or under construction.


New General Authorities and Area Seventies Named at April 2011 Conference

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced 10 new General Authorities and 41 Area Seventies at the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s 181st Annual General Conference being held this weekend.
First Quorum of the Seventy
Elder Don R. Clarke, 65, was serving in the Second Quorum of the Seventy when he was called to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy. Elder Clarke earned an associate degree from Ricks College and a bachelor’s degree in business from Brigham Young University. He completed a master’s degree in business administration from Washington State University. His career included senior executive positions in several retailing companies.

Elder Clarke has served the Church in various capacities, including full-time missionary in the Argentina Mission, president of the Bolivia Santa Cruz Mission (2001-2004), stake president, assistant director of Church Hosting, high councilor, bishop, stake Young Men president, and elders quorum president. He was born in Rexburg, Idaho, on December 11, 1945. He married Mary Anne Jackson in 1970. They are the parents of six children.

Elder Jose L. Alonso, 52, was serving as a member of the Fourth Quorum of the Seventy in the México Area at the time of his call to the First Quorum of the Seventy. He has a medical degree as a homeopathic physician and surgeon, and a degree in pediatric development from the National Institute of Pediatrics in México City, Mexico. In addition to his medical career, he also served as an institute director with the Church Educational System.

Elder Alonso has served the Church as a full-time missionary in the México Hermosillo Mission, bishop’s counselor, bishop, stake mission president, stake president, mission presidents’ counselor, president of the México Tijuana Mission and Area Seventy. Elder Alonso and his wife, Rebeca Salazar, are the parents of two children and reside in México City, México.

Elder Ian S. Ardern, 57, was serving as a member of the Eighth Quorum of the Seventy in the Pacific Area at the time of his call to the First Quorum of the Seventy. He received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education from the University of Waikato, New Zealand. During his career, he has served in many Church Educational System positions, including teacher, director, seminary coordinator in New Zealand, principal of the Church College of New Zealand and Pacific Area Director.

Elder Ardern’s Church service includes full-time missionary in France and Belgium, Stake Young Men president, high counselor, bishop's counselor, bishop, stake president's counselor, president of the Fiji Suva Mission and Area Seventy. He and his wife, Paula Ann Judd, are the parents of four children. Elder and Sister Ardern reside in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Elder Carl B. Cook, 53, was serving as a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in the Utah North Area when he received his call to the First Quorum of the Seventy. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in business marketing from Weber State College and an Master's of Business Administration from Utah State University. In his career he worked for a global document management and technology company and later in real estate development.

Elder Cook has served the Church as a full-time missionary in Hamburg, Germany, bishop, stake president’s counselor, stake president, Area Seventy, president of the New Zealand Auckland mission, and Area Seventy. He and his wife, Lynette Hansen, are the parents of five children. Elder and Sister Cook reside in Liberty, Utah.

Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr., 58, was serving as a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in the Utah Salt Lake City Area at the time of his call to the First Quorum of the Seventy. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brigham Young University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Michigan. His career includes work as an attorney and partner in a major law firm.
Over the years, Elder Curtis has served the Church as a full-time missionary in Italy, bishop, high councilor, stake president’s counselor, stake president, mission president in the Italy Padova Mission and Area Seventy. He and his wife, Jane Cowan, are the parents of five children. Elder and Sister Curtis reside in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Elder W. Christopher Waddell, 51, was serving as a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in the North America West Area when he received his call to the First Quorum of the Seventy. He received a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University and has served in many positions in a global investment services firm.

Elder Waddell has served the Church as a full-time missionary in Spain, bishop, high councilor, mission president’s counselor, stake president, president of the Barcelona Spain Mission and Area Seventy. He and his wife, Carol Stansel, are the parents of four children. Elder and Sister Waddell reside in San Diego, California.

Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita, 57, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education from Saitama University, a master’s degree in sport science from Tsukuba University, and has studied philosophy of physical education at Brigham Young University. His career includes that of instructor and professor at various universities, and he served in numerous scientific, community and sports organizations.

Elder Yamashita’s Church service includes that of bishop, high councilor, stake mission president, stake president and Area Seventy. He and his wife, Tazuko Yamashita, have six children and reside in Fukuoka, Japan.

Second Quorum of the Seventy
Elder Randall K. Bennett, 55, holds a doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of Alberta and a master’s degree in orthodontics from Loma Linda University, and has enjoyed a career in dentistry and orthodontics.

Elder Bennett has served in various Church callings, including full-time missionary in the France Paris and the France Toulouse Missions, ward Young Men president, stake Young Men presidency, Sunday School counselor, bishop’s counselor, stake high councilor, Provo Missionary Training Center branch president and counselor and president of the Russia Samara Mission. Elder Bennett and his wife, Shelley Dianne Watchman, are the parents of four children and grandparents of fourteen grandchildren. He and Sister Bennett reside in North Salt Lake, Utah.

Elder J. Devn Cornish, 59, was serving as a member of the Sixth Quorum of the Seventy in the North America Southeast Area when he was called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy. Elder Cornish holds both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University. He was a professor and vice chair for faculty development in the pediatric department at Emory University School of Medicine.

Elder Cornish has served in numerous Church callings, including full-time missionary in the Guatemala-El Salvador Mission, elders quorum president, ward executive secretary, ward mission leader, ward Young Men president, bishop, high priests group leader, stake president, mission president and Area Seventy. Elder Cornish and his wife Elaine reside in Atlanta, Georgia, and are the parents of six children.

Elder O. Vincent Haleck, 62, was serving as president of the Samoa Apia Mission when he received his call to the Second Quorum of the Seventy. Elder Haleck received a bachelor’s degree in advertising and marketing from Brigham Young University.  He owns a number of businesses in his native Samoa and is involved in philanthropy work.

Elder Haleck has served in numerous Church callings, including full-time missionary in the Apia Samoa Mission, bishop, stake high councilor, patriarch, stake president and president of the Samoa Apia Mission. Elder Haleck and his wife, Peggy Ann Cameron, reside in Pago Pago, American Samoa and are the parents of three children.

Elder Larry Y. Wilson, 61, holds a bachelor's degree in English and American Literature from Harvard University and a master's of business administration degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Elder Wilson has worked in the finance and healthcare industries in several different capacities.

Elder Wilson has served the Church as stake president, bishop, regional welfare committee chairman, Oakland Family History Center chairman, full-time missionary in Brazil and Area Seventy. Elder Wilson and his wife, Lynda Mackey Wilson, reside in Alamo, California, and are the parents of four children.

Members of the Seventy have responsibility for administering the work of the Church throughout the world under the direction of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Some of them also have executive responsibilities in a number of Church departments. Members of the First Quorum of the Seventy usually serve to age 70.

Area Seventies
Also announced today were the callings of ­­­41 new Area Seventies. Area Seventies give part-time voluntary Church service within their assigned geographic areas and support area presidencies in international areas. Called as Area Seventies: Kent J. Allen, 58, Twin Falls, Idaho; Stephen B. Allen, 61, West Jordan, Utah; Winsor Balderrama, 34, Cochabamba, Bolivia; R. Randall Bluth, 53, Prairieville, Louisiana; Hans T. Boom, 47, Tilburg, The Netherlands; Patrick M. Boutoille, 48, Wimereux, France; Marcelo F. Chappe, 43, Montevideo, Uruguay; Eleazer S. Collado, 49, Manila, Philippines; Jeffrey D. Cummings, 55, Springwood, Australia; Nicolas L. Di Giovanni, 52, Asuncion, Paraguay; Jorge S. Dominguez, 44, Santiago, Dominican Republic; Gary B. Doxey, 54, Pleasant Grove, Utah; David G. Fernandes, 46, Fortaleza, Brazil; Hernán D. Ferreira, 43, Concepción, Chile; Ricardo P. Giménez, 39, Antofagasta, Chile; Allen D. Haynie, 52, Escondido, California; Douglas F. Higham, 60, Mission Viejo, California; Robert W. Hymas, 52, Lexington, Kentucky; Lester F. Johnson, 56, Casas Grandes, Mexico; Matti T. Jouttenus, 58, Viala, Finland; Chang Ho Kim, 50, Seoul, South Korea; Alfred Kyungu, 44, Kinshasa, Congo; Remegio E. Meim, 44, Metro-Manila, Philippines; Ismael Mendoza, 55, Pachuca, Mexico; Cesar A. Morales, 50, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Rulon D. Munns, 61, Windermere, Florida; Ramon C. Nobleza, 46, Occidental, Philippines; Abenir V. Pajaro, 47, Cavite, Philippines; Gary B. Porter, 60, Centerville, Utah; José L. Reina, 46, Madrid, Spain; Esteban G. Resek, 45, Mendoza, Argentina; George F. Rhodes Jr., 63, Fort Collins, Colorado; Lynn L. Summerhays, 62, Farmington, Utah; Craig B. Terry, 59, American Fork, Utah; David J. Thomson, 50, Hamilton, New Zealand; Ernesto R. Toris, 48, México City, México; Arnulfo Valenzuela, 51, Chihuahua, Mexico; Ricardo Valladares, 52, Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Fabian I. Vallejo, 43, Quito, Ecuador; Emer Villalobos, 39, Tlalnepantla, Mexico; Terry L. Wade, 55, St. George, Utah.

Releases to be effective on 1 May 2011 were announced for the following 35 Area Seventies: Jose L. Alonso, Nelson L. Altamirano, John S. Anderson, Ian Ardern, Sergio E. Avila, David R. Brown, D. Fraser Bullock, Donald J. Butler, Vladimiro J. Campero, Daniel M. Cañoles, Carl B. Cook, I. Poloski Cordon, J. Devn Cornish, Federico F. Costales, LeGrand R. Curtis Jr., Heber O. Diaz, Andrew M. Ford, Julio G. Gaviola, Manuel Gonzalez, Daniel M. Jones, Donald J. Keyes, Domingos S. Linhares, B. Renato Maldonado, Aleksandr N. Manzhos, Raymundo Morales, J. Michel Paya, Stephen D. Posey, Juan M. Rodriguez, Gerardo L. Rubio, Jay L. Sitterud, Dirk Smibert, Eivind Sterri, Ysrael A. Tolentino, W. Christopher Waddell, and Gary W. Walker.


Church to Commemorate 75th Anniversary of Welfare Program with Day of Service

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are asking members around the world to perform a “Day of Service” to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Church’s welfare program.
President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, made the announcement during his remarks during the Saturday morning session at the 181st Annual General Conference.

The Day of Service should be done on a ward or stake basis sometime during this year. Local Church leaders will decide the details of each project and Latter-day Saints are encouraged to invite neighbors and friends of the Church to participate.

“The feelings of unity will multiply the good effects of the service you give. And those feelings of unity in families, in the Church, and in communities grow and will become a lasting legacy long after the project ends,” President Eyring said.

President Eyring said human beings have a natural desire to reach out and help those who suffer.
“Great temporal needs of the children of Heavenly Father have come again in our time as they have and as they will in all times. The principles at the foundation of the Church Welfare Program are not only for one time or one place. They are for all times and all places," he said.
About the Welfare Program
The Church’s Welfare Program began in 1936 to help Church members suffering from the devastating effects of the Great Depression in the United States. Today, that welfare program has expanded to all corners of the globe and assists people of all faiths.

The objective of the welfare program is to care for the needy while teaching principles that will help people become self-reliant and retain their self-respect. The program also provides all Latter-day Saints opportunities to serve, thus fulfilling the commandment Jesus Christ gave to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked and visit the sick.

Funding for the welfare program is provided by donations from Church members, who go without two meals one Sunday a month and give the money they would have spent on food to the Church.
Needy people are identified by the leader (bishop) of the local congregation, with the assistance of the president of the Relief Society—a woman from the congregation who serves as the leader of the women’s organization. Congregation sizes are kept to within a few hundred people so local leaders can know their members.

Here are some of the key elements of the Mormon welfare program:

Bishops’ Storehouses
Bishops’ storehouses have often been compared to supermarkets without tills. Food and household items are provided to those who cannot afford them and who bring a written requisition signed by their local bishop. Recipients of commodities are given opportunities to work for what they receive, to the extent of their ability. There are 129 bishops’ storehouses located around the world.

Employment Help
Employment resource service centers provide a place where people can receive job training, learn to enhance their résumé and find job opportunities. There are nearly 300 centers around the world. Volunteers at these centers help hundreds of thousands of people find jobs every year, a large percentage of which are not members of the Church.

Deseret Industries
Deseret Industries is a nonprofit organization that serves as an employment training facility and operates thrift stores. The stores provide on-the-job experience for refugees or others who need help qualifying for long-term employment. The stores are stocked by individual donations, which are sorted and stocked by the workers and then offered to the public at inexpensive prices.

LDS Family Services
LDS Family Services is a private, nonprofit organization that provides counseling, adoption services, addiction recovery support groups and resources for social, emotional and spiritual challenges.

All of the various aspect of the Mormon welfare program come together on the Provident Living website. The website is full of information and resources to help anyone improve their financial, emotional and physical well-being.

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