Thursday, May 27, 2010

B7 Graduates Announced

Congratulations to Sterling Scholar Elizabeth Bown, daughter of Jim and Paula Bown, who graduated this week from Dixie High School. Elizabeth will attend BYU in the fall, rooming with her sister Sarah who is in her second year on the Provo campus.

Kudos, too, to Tawni Schall, daughter of Jason and Lori Schall, who also graduated and plans to attend hair school where she will train for a cosmetology license. Both Elizabeth and Tawni have also completed four years in seminary and graduated on Sunday, May 23.

Leah Graham recently earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English Education from Dixie State College. She is now qualified to teach 7-12th grade English and hopes to be doing so soon. "It has been difficult to balance everything in my life, but it has been a good lesson for my girls. They now know, smart women complete their education before they get married and have a family!" In the meantime, Leah - a busy wife and mother of three - has set a goal to earn a Masters Degree in English and Administration within the next five years.

Monday, May 24, 2010

B7 Enjoys FHE in the Park

It was an unseasonably cool afternoon at Christensen Park in Bloomington, but spirits were warmed by good food and good conversation as ward members gathered for a Family Home Evening / Pot Luck Dinner on Monday, May 24. The food was plentiful, assorted and tasty and the conversation lively as ward members got better acquainted relaxing around the picnic tables while children enjoyed noisy fun nearby.

Because it was FHE, there of course had to be a lesson . . . so special guests were invited to share a little local history. George A. Smith (a barefooted Aaron Larson) told of his life in southern Utah where he helped establish Cedar City and Parowan - though he was the namesake for the City of St. George. Jacob Hamblin (Doug Schaerrer) and his son Dwaine (Chase Evans) spoke of their lives among local Indian tribes and Brigham Young (Ed Sappington) shared his recollections associated with the building of the first temple in the West in swamp land outside of the pioneer settlement of St. George.

The tables and chairs were put away too soon, but hangers-on remained to enjoy the swings and few more minutes of conversation with neighbors and friends in the ward before heading home.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Elder Smith Heads for His Homeland

Elder Martin Thayne Smith, second of five children of Eric and Karin Smith, entered the Provo MTC on Wednesday, May 12 anticipating a two month stay, but because he speaks German fluently, he was placed into an international zone where he will study with other German speaking missionaries for three weeks before traveling to his service in the Berlin Mission, soon to be consolidated with the Hamburg Mission - where Elder Smith was born. His call to Germany (where he will be surrounded by Karin’s immediate family, including her parents and her oldest brother who is a bishop in Hamburg), came as a big surprise! Because his oldest brother also spoke fluent German, but was called to serve in Portugal, Elder Smith says it never entered his mind he would be called to Germany, but he is very pleased.

The first congregation of Latter-day Saints in Germany was organized in Darmstadt in 1843. Elder John Taylor of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles preached in Hamburg in 1851 and supervised the translation of Church literature into German, but due to strong persecution, many early members emigrated to Utah.

Despite problems associated with two world wars, the Church continued to grow gradually. During the 1920s, there were three congregations in Chemnitz with more than 600 members - the highest concentration of members outside of the United States.

The Church continued to exist in the former GDR after WWII while faithful members continued to maintain contact with the Church in the West. These ongoing efforts made it possible to dedicate the Freiberg Temple (Saxony) in 1985, the first temple on German soil and the first in a (then) Communist country. Two years later, a second temple was dedicated in Friedrichsdorf.

Today, Latter-day Saints in Germany total approximately 36,000, many of them second, third, and fourth generation members. Church members in Germany - representing every age and socioeconomic segment of the general population - are organized in 183 congregations meeting in 161 meetinghouses.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fathers and Sons Gather in Honeycomb Rocks

A small, but enthusiastic band of Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthood holders from the Bloomington 7th Ward, enjoyed the opportunity to share a beautiful evening at the Honeycomb Rocks campground at Enterprise Reservoir on Friday, May 7. This eagerly awaited "boys night out" included plenty of good food prepared by the High Priests, a special "bon-fireside" on the subject of hands; and, on Saturday morning fishing, hiking, searching for arrowheads, snakes and horny toads - all in celebration of the restoration of the priesthood to the earth in May 1829.

Joseph Smith, while translating the Book of Mormon from the Gold Plates, read about the need for baptism by water and felt he should pray to God about the necessary authority to baptize. In response, John the Baptist appeared and laid his hands upon their head to confer the priesthood of Aaron which included the authority to baptize, administer the sacrament, and the blessing of the ministering of angels.

At a later date, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were visited by Peter, James and John who conferred the keys of the Melchizedek priesthood, giving worthy male members the authority to baptize with fire which is the gift of the Holy Ghost, to give blessings to the sick and to administer in the ordinances and covenants of the Temple.

This fun break from the regular routine of life gave about two dozen fathers and sons the opportunity to socialize with one another while enjoying the beauty of nature in the southern Utah desert.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ward's Newest Baptized Member

Taisley Ann Foote, youngest daughter of Stacy Foote, little sister of Kendi Hansen, and granddaughter of Ed and Linda Sappington, was the second child baptized in the Bloomington 7th Ward in 2010. Taisley, a second grader at Bloomington Elementary School, reached the age of accountability on March 12. On Saturday, May 8, she chose to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her grandfather held her hand as she descended into the font, then - following the pattern set by Jesus Christ - she entered into the gate through which all come into the Church “by baptism of water and of the Spirit.”