Prominent members share deep feelings at satellite fireside

A dozen well-known members of the Church shared their deep feelings about the Savior, their families and the Book of Mormon at the annual Missionary Satellite Fireside Feb. 25.

The fireside consisted of taped interviews of members who have reached the pinnacle of success in such fields as professional sports, opera, industry, business, entertainment and government. Their successes were highlighted by footage of them in their careers, and various awards they have received.They were interviewed by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve, who added his own testimony.

The satellite broadcast was part of locally organized open houses that included such things as displays, short presentations on gospel subjects, and refreshments.

Elder Ballard captured the essence of the testimonies of the Savior:

"As we focus on Him and strive to live His commandments, Christ becomes the center of our lives and we

obtain His promised peace and happiness. It is hard to have a negative attitude inside when your life is focused on the Lord."

Elder Ballard explained that challenges will remain, but through the inner peace and strength that come through the Savior, problems can be faced and overcome.

Former baseball player Dale Murphy said, "The Book of Mormon testifies of the Savior - almost on every page it testifies of the Savior and the reality of His love. I know it is the word of God."

That theme was echoed over and over by those interviewed. Regardless of their backgrounds, these members were united in their testimonies of the Savior and the Book of Mormon.

Participating were Ariel Bybee of the New York Metropolitan Opera; Stephen Covey, author, founder and chairman of Covey Leadership Center; Sharlene Wells Hawkes, former Miss America and sports commentator on ESPN; Jon M. Huntsman, chairman of Huntsman Chemical Corp.; J. Willard Marriott Jr., chairman and president of Marriott International Inc.; Dale Murphy, retired professional baseball player; the Osmonds - Jay, Merrill, Wayne and Alan Osmond, professional entertainers; Catherine M. Stokes, a health care administrator in the Illinois Department of Public Health; and Steve Young, professional football player.

"It was extremely well-received," said Pres. Joel W. Warner of the Jacksonville Florida East Stake. "People just loved it. We had full open houses and mini-classes afterward. Most of our wards printed invitations and handed them out."

Sister Jennifer Shewmaker of the Rapid City South Dakota Mission, serving in Sisseton, S.D., said the friend she brought to the fireside enjoyed the experience.

"I also really enjoyed the fireside," Sister Shewmaker said. "It showed us that members of the Church are there in the public eye and are good examples to us."

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