BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
Stake and district presidents, along with their wives, from across this Argentine capital city supplemented their temple rededication weekend with wise counsel from a trio of apostles.
The local stake leaders gathered on Sept. 8, the day before the rededication of the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple, for a special meeting that included direction from President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, and Elder M. Russell Ballard and Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve.
The Church, said President Eyring, is built by faithful priesthood leaders, fathers and mothers who utilize the gospel of Christ to care for others.
"Do whatever you can to help as many as you can come to Jesus Christ by serving," he taught.
The veteran Church leader spoke of spending time as a boy and as a young man in branches in New Jersey, New Mexico and Massachusetts. Each unit at the time was tiny and the Church was populated in the areas with just a few members. Now the boundaries in each of those former branches include wards, stakes and even temples.
How did the Lord do it? President Eyring said he did not know – but the Lord utilized the faith and service of a few who turned something small into something strong.
He taught that each member and priesthood leader needs to rise higher even as they build upon of the sure foundation of Christ's gospel. He also spoke of the special faith found in women and paid tribute to the example of his mother, Mildred Bennion Eyring, and wife, Kathleen Johnson Eyring.
He challenged the stake presidents and their wives, "to do anything for the Lord, his disciples and his missionaries."
Elder Ballard said it is essential that stake presidents prepare young men for missionary service and do all they can to support the missionaries serving in their units.
Stake presidents, he said, should never pass a missionary without stopping "to shake his hand and encourage him and teach him."
Each missionary, he added, must feel loved and appreciated. And each elder or sister missionary should receive the support they need from the wards they serve in to be able to find, teach, baptize and retain converts.
Elder Ballard said it's vital that all who are called "be in a hurry" because they are laboring in the last dispensation. Temples must be filled and future missionaries must be prepared.
Elder Christofferson, citing Doctrine and Covenants sections 107 and 124, spoke of two groups of priesthood leaders in the Church: those who travel the world to maintain the purity of the Church and preserve the purity of its doctrine – and those who remain at home to shepherd the Lord's flock where they live.
The Apostles and Seventies can be counted among those who travel. Meanwhile, stake presidents and bishops serve in their own congregations. "Both are of equal importance," he said.
Elder Christofferson said he and his fellow Brethren know of the service provided by the stake presidents. He expressed gratitude for their sacrifices. He also gave thanks to the faithful wives who provide their husbands with needed support.