Reflections of faith from a year gone by

It was a year that saw three beloved apostles transition to their next calling and a trio of temples announced in areas of the world where members of the LDS Church had previously traveled to neighboring nations to visit a House of the Lord.

Not since 1906 had the Church faced so many vacancies on the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as Elder L. Tom Perry, President Boyd K. Packer and Elder Richard G. Scott each passed away in 2015 following remarkable tenures as general authorities.

Elder Perry departed in May after 41 years as an apostle. He was 92. President Packer, who was ordained an apostle in 1970 and served as president of the Quorum of the Twelve since 2008, followed in June at the age of 90. In September, Elder Scott passed on at 86 after 27 years as an apostle.

In October, at the 185th Semi-Annual General Conference, President Thomas S. Monson paid tribute to his fellow leaders and cherished friends.

“They have returned to their heavenly home,” Pres. Monson said. “We miss them. How grateful we are for their examples of Christlike love and for the inspired teachings they have left to all of us.”

At the same conference, successors to the late apostles were announced. Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Elder Dale G. Renlund and Elder Gary E. Stevenson will carry the mantle as special witnesses of the Savior.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Elder Dale G. Renlund and Gary E. Stevenson were called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in October, replacing President Boyd K. Packer, Elder L. Tom Perry and Elder Richard G. Scott.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Elder Dale G. Renlund and Gary E. Stevenson were called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in October, replacing President Boyd K. Packer, Elder L. Tom Perry and Elder Richard G. Scott.

“These are men dedicated to the work of the Lord,” Pres. Monson said of the newest additions to the quorum. “They are well qualified to fill the important positions to which they have been called.”

The October gathering in Salt Lake City also included the historic announcement of three new temples in Haiti, Thailand and the Ivory Coast. The news was met with celebration by those in each nation who will now have a temple within their country’s respective boundaries for the first time.

Temples in Cordoba, Argentina, Payson, Utah, Trujillo, Peru, Indianapolis, Indiana and Tijuana, Mexico were dedicated in 2015. There are currently 144 temples in operation with another five being renovated and 13 being built. Another 13 are in various stages of design leading up to construction. In 1990, there were 44 temples in operation worldwide.

The Trujillo Peru Temple was one of five LDS temples dedicated in 2015. At the October General Conference, the Church announced the future construction of temples in Haiti, Thailand and the Ivory Coast, the first LDS temples in those nations.

The Trujillo Peru Temple was one of five LDS temples dedicated in 2015. At the October General Conference, the Church announced the future construction of temples in Haiti, Thailand and the Ivory Coast, the first LDS temples in those nations.

Church membership now numbers nearly 15.4 million, up from 7.7 million in 1990.

Locally, the Spokane Stake underwent some leadership changes of its own as longtime Stake President B. James Lee completed a distinguished term and was succeeded by President Darrell Lee Moseley. Lee’s counselors, President Douglas R. Fredrickson and President Dennis R. Dipo were replaced by President Christopher James Holland and President Matthew Morrison Borders.

In June, the Latter-day Sentinel celebrated its sixth anniversary of publishing good news from throughout the Spokane Temple District. On Aug. 30, the Sentinel bid a fond farewell to publisher Nathan Howard, a member of the Evergreen Ward in the Spokane East Stake, who passed away after a valiant three-year battle with cancer.

Following a tradition in the Sentinel over the past several years, the first issue of this New Year reflects on some of the best quotes from stories over the past 12 months. As 2016 dawns, we look forward to bringing you more gospel-centered content that inspires and enriches.

Click on the story title to read the entire article. All Sentinel stories since June 2009 can be found by clicking on the “Archives” icon on the upper left-hand corner of the home page.

“I’m anticipating a lot of hard work and relying on the Lord. I know it’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve always wanted to serve a mission. If a college wasn’t going to be OK with that, I’d have to rule them out. Everyone at Gonzaga has been totally supportive of my decision to serve a mission. It’s been awesome.”

Jesse Wade averaged 27 points a game as a senior point guard for Davis High School in Kaysville, UT. Following a two-year LDS mission in France, Wade will join the roster at Gonzaga University for the start of the 2017-18 season.

Jesse Wade averaged 27 points a game as a senior point guard for Davis High School in Kaysville, UT. Following a two-year LDS mission in France, Wade will join the roster at Gonzaga University for the start of the 2017-18 season.

“This was historic for us to have something like this happen in one of our chapels in Spokane, Washington. I am overwhelmed with Happy’s recitation and the response. It couldn’t have been better.”

“Whether it is a movie or a concert, all BYU Management Society events serve the purpose of raising scholarship funds for the young people right here in our community. When you attend or sponsor a BYU Management Society event, you are making it possible for more students to receive financial support for their educational pursuits.”

“Kyle is an outstanding student and very representative of the Church and is what you’d hope from someone who is a returned missionary, doing the things they ought to. He is a great example of what we like on our team, someone who is a complete person who has school and the Church as very important parts of his life.”

“It was a great experience, especially working with our neighbors in the community. I think it was also an eye-opener for many who served. They realized that we’re no different than these people who are down on their luck. They are really humbled by their situation and have hope for a brighter future.”

“I often talk to my clients about the idea that my mind is like the ultimate time traveler trying to take me back to the past or jump me forward into the future, but never wanting me to stay in the present moment. I have to train myself to be still and mindful of my present experiences and choices. I don’t want to be on auto-pilot. I was given agency or the ability to act for myself and not to be acted upon, even by my mind. I want to use that ability.”

“It took us nearly a year to plan and organize this event. A lot of thought and prayer went into figuring out where we should have the trek and figuring out the right people to have in place to make it successful.”

Around 300 youth from the East Stake participated in the four-day trek in central Washington near Coulee City. Those who participated in the trek dedicated their journey to an ancestor or inspiring pioneer who made the actual pilgrimage to the West over 150 years ago.

Around 300 youth from the East Stake participated in the four-day trek in central Washington near Coulee City. Those who participated in the trek dedicated their journey to an ancestor or inspiring pioneer who made the actual pilgrimage to the West over 150 years ago.

“It has cemented our marriage and helped us to shoulder many challenges in our lives and in our family. I wish I could explain to people who do not have this blessing what an extraordinary experience and privilege it has been and continues to be for us. The gospel helps me to continue to make personal course corrections which make life better and better.”

“Every positive encounter with the Church brings people one step closer. We are not responsible for how others respond to our invitations but we are responsible for what we choose to do. At times, it has been a little scary to talk to people but I have never once regretted it when I did talk to them and invited them. I only regretted it when I didn’t.”

Don and Melonie Mullen returned to Utah in July after serving three years in the Spokane, Washington Mission.

Don and Melonie Mullen returned to Utah in July after serving three years in the Spokane, Washington Mission.

“I don’t want to complain because I don’t want to be ungrateful for all I’ve been blessed with. Also, I think about others that are worse off than me. If I’m bitter, I’m not making a positive difference.”

“We have the best customers, they are so nice. I work in a great environment with beautiful music and the Spirit, every day. I have the opportunity to share the gospel and help others while I help provide for my family.”

 

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