One Sunday morning, several months ago, the Relief Society teacher in the ward we were visiting read a quote that astonished me. She quoted a General Conference address in 1946, where President Smith prophesied: "It will not be long until, from this pulpit and other places that will be provided, the servants of the Lord will be able to deliver messages to isolated groups who are so far away they cannot be reached. In that way and other ways, the gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord, the only power of God unto salvation in preparation for the celestial kingdom, will be heard in all parts of the world, and many of you who are here will live to see that day." (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, Chapter 15: Advancing the Work of the Lord)
My astonishment was that I have lived to see the literal fulfillment of that prophecy! I have heard since I was a child that the gospel would spread to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. I have always wondered how that would happen. President Smith had already seen this day and spoke of it over 65 years ago, before I was born. Many who heard President Smith that day are still alive to see it's fulfillment. Through the miracle of technology, the gospel is now being taught in nearly every corner of the world. That's amazing!
During our mission here in England, we have watched this miracle unfold. On June 23rd, this year, a worldwide missionary fireside was broadcast from the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah. It was held in conjunction with the Mission Presidents' Training at the MTC. Most English speaking members of the church throughout the world have had a chance to view the fireside online, either at home or during regularly scheduled Sunday church meetings. Elder L. Tom Parry. an apostle, announced that missionaries will now be using computers and IPads to teach lessons and gospel principles using Mormon.org, Facebook, blogs, email and text messages. Our sister missionaries have already been doing that!
For many months, our mission had already been part of a pilot program where the visitors' centre sisters (as part of the ELSM media zone) were encouraged to develop missionary Facebook pages and blogs, along with the Chat and email teaching they were already doing. They have also been teaching the gospel by Skype to people in many different parts of the world. The results have been exciting! This year, our missionaries have seen about fifteen of the people that they are teaching online join the Church in various parts of the world. Three more have made the decision to be baptized later this month. It is privilege and a joy to see how peoples' lives change for the better as they come to know their Savior, Jesus Christ.
|Sister Cardona, Sister Stewart teaching online|
with Elder Carpenter in the background in our makeshift office.
|Elder Carpenter got the first look at the new desk.|
|The first piece is wheeled into the visitors' centre.|
|Unwrapping the pieces.|
|Assembling the new reception desk.|
|Our temple engineers came to help.|
|Mic, Wayne, Neal, and Neal's cute wife Nora |
are always available to help us with anything we need.
|Sister Cardona and Sister Stewart are the first to check it out.|
|Sister Berati and Sister Walmsley|
|Sisters Ylisaari, Watt, Berati and Walmsley checking out the new space.|
|Ready to go to work.|