ANNAPOLIS, Maryland — Few buildings in the United States can match the centuries-old Maryland State House for historical significance.
For starters, it’s the country’s oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use and housed the Continental Congress when George Washington came before Congress to resign his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.
And it was here, in this red-brick-wooden-domed building where the Treaty of Paris was ratified, marking the official end of the Revolutionary War.
The three Church leaders presented Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan with his personal family history that included photos and other genealogical documents.
The governor was thrilled with the gift, which included details about his ancestors of whom he was unaware. Prepared by FamilySearch, Gov. Hogan’s family history stretched back several generations and included the account of several relatives — including his great-grandfather, William Hogan, who immigrated to the United States from Newfoundland, Canada.
“This is very special,” said the governor, studying his family history. “I can’t thank you enough. This is absolutely amazing, and I’m so grateful you took the time to do this research.”
Being with Gov. Hogan in the historic State House “was wonderful,” said President Eyring. “The governor was eager to speak with us about how we also try to help other people.”
The visit also included a discussion about how Maryland and other states and cities can utilize JustServe, the Church-sponsored website where the volunteer needs of organizations are posted — and volunteers search for places to serve in their communities.
Elder Stevenson sat knee-to-knee with the governor and pulled up the many JustServe opportunities available in the Annapolis and Baltimore areas. Hundreds were listed. The possibilities of utilizing JustServe in the Old Line State energized the governor.
“The Church has been a great partner with us,” said Gov. Hogan. “Not only on food drives, but with so many other things in the community.”
Gov. Hogan also accepted President Eyring’s invitation to attend the future open house of the Washington D.C. Temple, which is currently being renovated.
“I would love to have that opportunity,” he said.
The governor acknowledged he’s still learning about the Church, but he was quick to identify the many Latter-day Saints he considers friends — including Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Elder Jack M. Gerard, a General Authority Seventy.
“We understand that the way people come to know the Church is coming to know members of the Church,” Elder Stevenson told the Church News.
Traveling Church leaders often schedule time to meet with local civic and religious leaders. They relish opportunities to find common ground, harvest service opportunities and make new friends.
“We want to cooperate with anybody who is trying to do something for people,” said President Eyring. “The whole purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Church is to try to lift people. We would love to meet as many of the lifters as we can and offer to work with them when it’s appropriate.”