Primary & Young Women Gen. Pres. Visit the Phils.
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Philippine Area February 2009   Church members in the Philippines were given a rare treat when the general presidents of the Primary and Young Women organizations visited various areas in the country and conducted a series of firesides and training meetings. Cheryl Lant, Primary general president, and Elaine Dalton, Young Women general president, were in the country from January 31 to February 9, 2009.

Sister Lant conducted meetings in Tarlac, Dagupan, Baguio, Manila, Cagayan, Bohol and Cebu. In one of these firesides she admonished the leaders to look at how they can better magnify their callings.


Sister Dalton visited the areas of Ilocos, Manila, Cagayan de Oro, Olongapo, Davao, Aklan, Capiz and Iloilo. She conducted training meetings, focus group discussions, and devotionals.


Cheryl Lant Speaks to Leaders in Cebu


Cheryl Lant, Primary general president, spoke to leaders of five stakes in leadership training firesides on February 7, 2009, at the Cebu Philippines Stake center, accompanied by her husband, John Lant, and Elder Michael John U. Teh, Second Counselor in the Area Presidency. Sister Lant offered insightful thoughts and a fresh look at how Filipino Church leaders should view their callings and how they should magnify them. “Satan knows he has no more time. That is why he is doing double time to destroy the work of the Lord. You stake and ward leaders have an important role in building up the kingdom of God in this part of the vineyard,.” Sister Lant said.


Know the Work, Do the Work


“Understanding the work helps strengthen the worker,” explained Sister Lant. She then listed five roles stake leaders must perform: serving the ward and branch leaders, teaching them, providing and lending resources to the ward, becoming excellent examples and providing spiritual leadership. She told the leaders, “We should be more than just program planners; we should be builders of people and of the kingdom of God.” She emphasized that stake leaders who are magnifying their callings to the best of their efforts are entitled to the Lord’s help. “You have the right to revelations for you to know how to fulfill your duty,” she said.


Elder Michel Teh also addressed the stake leaders and summarized his message with these words: “You are a conduit for leadership trainings to reach the ward and branch levels. We are not here to build and strengthen programs, but to build and strengthen people, our members.”


Recognizing the Power of the Spirit in Magnifying our Callings


Speaking to the ward and branch auxiliary leaders during the fireside, Sister Lant began by indicating the role of the Spirit in a successful effort to magnify callings. She said, “Strive to allow the Spirit to teach and guide and direct you in learning what you need to know beyond what teachers or speakers say.” She added that ward and branch leaders have important lives in their hands, and preparation to magnify their callings must begin before the call is ever extended.  She counseled leaders to live worthy lives and put their hearts in the right place. Serving in a calling requires on-going, consistent, spiritual preparation, she said. She also shared other principles of divine leadership which include participating in council meetings, ministering to members of the auxiliary and consistently teaching the gospel.  Sister Lant also shared a message from Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who described the best leaders as not the ones who do things single-handedly but the ones who counsel together and work with other council members.


General Members’ Fireside - Power of Righteous Choices


“Choose to obey. Righteous choices strengthen us,” Sister Lant explained as she addressed members during the fireside. She further explained that in order to go where we want to go we have to make choices. She also emphasized that right choices offer us freedom and help us feel of the Savior’s love for us. “There is a price to all of our choices,” she said. “Every time we make a wrong choice, it weakens us. Every time we make a right choice, it strengthens us.” She then encouraged the members to be strong and to never fail to seek the help of Heavenly Father in making right choices.


Sister Lant emphasized that we must always make choices that allow us to feel the effects of the Savior’s Atonement on us. She shared her testimony of the divine love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for all of us.  “May the fire of faith burn within you so that you will always choose to obey the Spirit and choose to be obedient”, she said as the fireside concluded.             


Elaine Dalton Speaks in Bacolod


Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president, spoke in a devotional attended by more than 600 members from Escalante, Sagay, Cadiz, Bacolod North, Bacolod South, Bacolod, Bago, Lacarlota and Binalbagan stakes at the Galo meetinghouse in Bacolod City on February 8, 2009.


Sister Dalton began by sharing Proverbs 3:5-6, her favorite scripture: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” She said it was the Lord that allowed her to be in their midst and acknowledged Him as the source of her strength in serving the young women.


She stressed the importance of virtue, the new value recently added to the Personal Progress program for the young women. “Virtue is purity and chastity,” she said. “When you save a young woman, you save a generation. You [young women] are the links of our generation.” She shared how the Personal Progress program became a tool that helped her develop the Young Women values. She counseled the Young Women leaders to do a value project themselves.


She encouraged the young women and their leaders to do three things: (1) Pray every day; (2) Read the Book of Mormon every day, for at least five minutes; and (3) Smile every day.


She concluded by emphasizing what leaders need to do for the Young Women of the Church: “Love them, love them, love them.”


Elder Won Yong Ko, First Counselor in the Area Presidency, also shared a message during the devotional. He stressed the importance of having a set of scriptures. He said that having their own set of scriptures will allow members of the Church to fulfill their commitment to read the Lord’s words.