‘Spirituality powerful source of hope,’ clergy told

The source of hope for all mankind is spirituality, according to Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, who spoke at the first annual Charter Clergy Conference.

Elder Featherstone, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and president of the Utah South Area, was the keynote speaker at the Dec. 9 conference, which was aimed at helping clergy understand the needs of families in crisis."(Spirituality) is like tapping into an outlet with 10,000 times more voltage than we would ever suppose," Elder Featherstone said. "Spirituality provides guidance, wisdom, solutions, inspiration and a way to draw upon the powers of heaven."

Elder Featherstone emphasized the fact that everyone is on earth for a purpose. "We have come from somewhere and we are going somewhere," he said. "We are here for a reason, a season, and there is a higher power that has a personal, caring, loving influence on us. He is a personal God – our Heavenly Father – and we are His spiritual children. He would not abandon us in our time of need."

Elder Featherstone used the story of the prodigal son from the Bible to illustrate the fact that Heavenly Father will always welcome his children back and bless them with help and strength.

The General Authority also used the scriptures to prove that no crisis, no problem, is too difficult for the Lord.

"If we could inquire of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego about a burning fiery furnace, or David in a lion's den, or the widow of Nain, . . . we would find that there is nothing too hard for the Lord.

"There are religionists who care, volunteers who help, organizations with skills and trained people, and a God who watches over His people," Elder Featherstone concluded. "We can all pull together and help those who need it because nothing is too hard for the Lord."

The conference, which was sponsored by Charter Summit Hospital, was open to all members of Utah's religious community, including stake and area presidents, bishops and counselors, ministers, reverends, rabbis, priests, and others who were interested. About 40 religious leaders attended, reported community education manager Diane Gardiner.

In addition to Elder Featherstone, Rev. John Bolton, an Episcopal priest from Atlanta, Ga., addressed the audience. He spoke on "Taking the initiative with families and confronting the problem."