Share the Light, Light the World!

By Camille Kerr, Writing Specialist on the Woodbridge Stake Public Affairs Council

In October a friend, a Woodbridge Stake member, gave an open invitation on Facebook to join her in reading the Book of Mormon before Christmas.  She said, “I’ve decided to read the entire Book of Mormon by Christmas Day. I like the idea of focusing on Jesus Christ as we head into the holidays.”

What an amazing eye-opening experience this has been for me personally.  As I have been reading the Book of Mormon this time I’ve been able to see a grand perspective of our Heavenly Father’s plan for all His children and the role of His son, Jesus Christ in that plan for each of us.  Our Father in Heaven simply wants every one of His children to feel of Christ’s Light and then stay close to our Savior so that we can return to Him and our Heavenly Father someday.

Every prophet in the Book of Mormon testifies of the Savior and His saving power.  Coming unto the Savior brings His light into our lives now and eternally.  And reading the Book of Mormon daily brings His light into our lives each day because it testifies and teaches of Him. No wonder than that President Thomas S. Monson in April 2017 General Conference pleaded with “each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day.”

Have you felt the light of Jesus Christ as you read the Book of Mormon?  Have you felt the Light of Jesus Christ in your daily life? Have you felt His love? This feeling of His love and of staying close to the Savior is what He wants for all of us.  When we feel His love, we try even harder to be like Him and help others feel it too. We want to share His Light.

The world needs the light of Christ desperately.  It won’t necessarily be in huge ways that the His Light will spread across the world.  It will be through us, in many little and simple ways, as we share it each day.  In October General Conference Sister Bonnie Oscarson said, “I believe that most members consider service to be at the heart of their covenants and discipleship. But I also think that sometimes it’s easy to miss some of the greatest opportunities to serve others because we are distracted or because we are looking for ambitious ways to change the world and we don’t see that some of the most significant needs we can meet are within our own families, among our friends, in our wards, and in our communities. We are touched when we see the suffering and great needs of those halfway around the world, but we may fail to see there is a person who needs our friendship sitting right next to us in class.”

She adds, “Brothers and sisters, and especially the youth, as you strive to become more like the Savior Jesus Christ and live your covenants, you will continue to be blessed with desires to relieve suffering and to help those who are less fortunate. Remember that some of the greatest needs may be those right in front of you. Begin your service in your own homes and within your own families. These are the relationships that can be eternal….”

It’s that time of year to refocus on the Savior and His light.  It’s that time of year to share His light with the world and with those closest to us.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints launched an initiative today with a new “Light the World” video and an invitation to Light the World through service during this Christmas season.

I awoke to a surprise this morning.  I knew that the video would be available to see and share, but what I wasn’t expecting was that the entire 25 days of the “Light the World” initiative was automatically imported into Gospel Library. Right on the main page of Gospel Library where you see all the categories, you’ll find one called “Light the World.”   In that category you’ll find the main “Light the World” video and 25 days, each with a scripture, video, and ideas for Lighting the World.  You can also access a calendar on Mormon.org with the daily scriptures and ideas.

We, as the Public Affairs Council of the Woodbridge Stake, hope that you and your family will find joy in Lighting the World the Christmas season.  We would love to post photos, videos, and stories of the ways you are serving and how others are serving you.  Please share by emailing woodbridgestakeblog@gmail.com

Can you be an instrument to spread Christ’s light and love to others this Christmas season?

Please Share the Light and in so doing Light the World.

 

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Special Journey for Woodbridge Stake Youth to Historic Kirtland

by Ian M. Houston 
Woodbridge Stake Director of Public Affairs
Youth of the Woodbridge Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Lattter-day Saints journeyed to historic Kirtland, Ohio for Youth Conference the week of July 28-30.
Woodbridge Stake Youth at the Kirtland temple

Woodbridge Stake Youth at the Kirtland Temple

Speaking from inside the Kirtland Temple to the youth on Thursday evening, Woodbridge Stake President Clark Price said, “The Lord wanted each of you here.” Stake First Counselor Val Hilton reflected in his remarks on how inspired it was for the Woodbridge Stake to have made this journey and that it came from inspiration that President Price received. Evening speakers included stake youth leaders and Latter-day Saint author and long-time Ohio resident Karl Ricks Anderson. Brother Anderson brought to light with humor and a deep understanding the unparalleled events and divine manifestations that were given during those early years of church history. Construction on the first Mormon temple was started on June 6, 1833 and the building was dedicated on March 27, 1836. In his dedicatory prayer, President Joseph Smith asked “that all people who shall enter upon the threshold of the Lord’s house may feel thy power.” 
 
Audrey Scott, 17, of the Lake Ridge I Ward said of the trip: “It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to broaden my perceptive on the hardships of the early pioneers.”
Youth Conference 2016
“The stone quarry was a very cool system of engineering and science,” said Dallin Gulick, 14, of the Quantico Ward after the group toured the quarry where marks in the stone can still be seen. The youth also toured sights sacred to Mormon history including the Isaac Morley Farm, the Johnson Home, and the Newel K. and Ann Whitney home and store.
Saturday held a special opportunity for the youth to bear testimony of the experience and express what it meant to them. Many youth mentioned the evening temple experience as particularly moving.
Kirtland
 
Planning for the Youth Conference commenced over a year ago. The Young Women’s and Young Men’s Stake Leadership spent countless hours refining and revising details. Stake Young Women’s President Debbie Roderick said on the journey home on Saturday evening, “It was amazing to be in Kirtland with the youth and to feel their excitement and awe as we walked where the Prophet Joseph walked and visited rooms where God the Father and his son, Jesus Christ stood.” She added, “they are the future leaders in our church and they are strong!”

Woodbridge Stake Engages with Local Muslim Leaders

Representatives of the Woodbridge Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attended a Ramadan dinner at the Dar Alnoor Islamic Community Center in Manassas on June 14, 2016.

The gathering brought together a number of different religious faiths, faith based coalitions, community leaders, and government officials during the sacred month for Muslims of Ramadan.

Ian Houston, Woodbridge Stake Director of Public Affairs said, “It was an honor to participate and be so graciously welcomed by our Muslim neighbors and friends and we look forward to continuing to deepen the partnership.”

Mormons and Muslims regularly work together to support family and religious freedom issues. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a long-time partner with Muslim charitable organizations like International Islamic Relief Organization.

Ian Houston and Imam Jemal

Ian Houston and Imam Jemal

A New Pathway to Higher Learning by Emma Young

Graduates outlines

Prince William Living magazine recently published an article about Woodbridge Stake’s Pathway, a one-year program designed by Brigham Young University-Idaho, a private, four year university associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The article features quotes and experiences from local leaders and participants with the innovative Pathway program. Please follow the link to read the article and make sure you “like” the article from the site to encourage the local press to continue publishing positive stories about the church programs.

A New Pathway to Higher Learning by Emma Young

 

Savior of the World

Celebrate Easter by attending the Easter Musical Drama at the Washington, D.C. Temple Visitors Center.  Many members of our stake and the Centreville Stake are participating in this production.