Tuesday, August 19, 2008

President Monson Puts Into Action Missionary Principles in Panama

Photo by Jason Swenson©Church News

On Sunday, 10 August 2008 President Thomas S. Monson dedicated the Panama City Panama Temple calling on the Lord to "provide a spirit of peace to all who observe its majesty." Throughout the world Latter-day Saint members in our temples often pray for the Prophet and that missionaries may be lead to the honest in heart and that the leaders of the world would open their doors to missionary work.

It is refreshing to see that President Monson is making strides to keep open offical channels as he and his daughter Ann Gibbs, Elder Dieter Uchtdorf and his wife Harriet, Elder Richard G. Scott, and Elder Don Clark and his wife Mary Anne, all met with Panama's President Martin Torrijos and his wife, First Lady Vivian Fernandez de Torrijos, at Panama's Presidential Palace on Monday, 11 August 2008 to discuss what the church was doing for the Panamanian people. During the meeting President Torrijos commended the church for its humanitarian efforts and discussed ways of improving literacy with President Monson. President Monson and Elder Uchtdorf discussed the value of the temple for the Panamanian people. The First Lady Vivian Fernandez de Torrijos had actually attended the open house before the temples dedication.

Jason Swenson of the Church News reported :
President Monson presented the President and Mrs. Torrijos with a small statue of a child taking her first steps.

President Monson and his fellow Church leaders also offered direction and encouragement to missionaries in the Panama City Panama Mission.

President Monson and President Uchtdorf both testified of the divine inspiration that can be found behind each missionary assignment. In his remarks, the Church president spoke of the importance of missionaries working closely with local members to find people to teach the gospel.

In his remarks to the missionaries, President Uchtdorf said Sister Uchtdorf's family had been taught and baptized into the Church by missionaries who persisted in knocking on every door in the apartment complex where her family lived. The missionaries experienced rejection at each door until finally finding Sister Uchtdorf's receptive family in the last apartment on the last floor.

A fluent Spanish-speaker, Elder Scott said it was important that the missionaries broaden their language skills while taking advantage of the unique opportunity a mission affords to study the gospel in depth and to better know the Savior.

It has always impressed me that prayer needs to be followed up with action on the part of our leaders. It is great to have such a missionary-minded President like Thomas S. Monson forging ties with leaders throughout the world.

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