Area Presidency Messages

    It was a very cold winter day, there had not been much snow that year in Idaho. I remember entering the Idaho Falls temple early that morning thinking, I am about to enter into a covenant with God and with the woman that I love and adore, which is eternal and that will bind us together forever.
    One of the most compelling reasons to pay a full tithe is to invite God to prove Himself, to experience how He will “open the windows of heaven” on our behalf and “pour [us] out a blessing” that will exceed our capacity to receive. That is a promised blessing worth claiming from a loving Heavenly Father who also happens to be the creator and ruler of all things.
    I still recall an event and a conversation that occurred shortly after my 12th birthday. It shaped the direction of my life. After Sacrament Meeting on the Sunday following my birthday, my family gathered in the Bishop’s office. The Bishop said a few words concerning the importance of the Aaronic Priesthood, and then invited me to sit on a chair while several men in the ward surrounded me and placed their hands on my head. My father, acting under the direction of the Bishop, conferred upon me the Aaronic Priesthood and ordained me to the office of Deacon.
    As an Area Presidency, we too have strong feelings about the importance of the temple and of the great privilege of becoming worthy to receive a temple recommend. Elder Haynie counsels members of the church in the Philippines to make the necessary change and sacrifice to make themselves worthy of a temple recommend.
    The Atonement of Jesus Christ is available to each of us. His Atonement is infinite. It applies to everyone, even you. It can clean, reclaim, and sanctify even you. That is what infinite means—total, complete, all, forever. Elder Bowen shares how the Atonement can make us clean again if we accept this gift that Jesus offers us.
    In January 2016, the Philippines Area Presidency introduced the Philippines Area Plan.  The Area Plan sets forth an inspired Vision Statement for all members of the Church: “By exercising faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, members will obey the commandments, make, honor and renew sacred covenants and more fully establish the Kingdom of God in the Philippines.”  
    The more we understand who Jesus Christ is, the greater will be our desire to keep His holy day sacred. He is the Lord of the Sabbath.
    It is never too late to return and receive the blessings of the restored gospel. Through the atoning power of Jesus Christ, all wounds can be healed. However, it is of great importance that we hasten the work of the rescue. 
    The Lord has made it clear that every worthy young man is under priesthood obligation to serve a full-time mission and that sisters may choose to do likewise. Preparation, in its many facets, for this period of faithful service begins well before one’s eighteenth or nineteenth birthday. 
    We should desire the promised protection from the adversary that comes from our yielding to the influence of the Spirit of Elijah, which is the Holy Ghost’s ability to focus us on the eternal principles associated with the family and in turn family history work.  
    What if there were a way to overcome any bad habit, addiction or burden that you have? What if there were a way to gain such confidence in the Lord that you could call down the powers of Heaven and know that He is there guiding your footsteps?  There is a way.
    Marriage is an important and an essential step in our eternal progression. It is one of the most important decisions of your mortal life. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has taught us that, 'Marriage is the most trusting step in any human relationship. It is a real act of faith. The very nature of the endeavor requires that you hold onto each other as tightly as you can and jump.'