Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stake Conference in Manhattan

New York, New York Stake Conference                   24-0ct-2010

Well today was stake conference here in Manhattan.
In every respect it was like conference in Richfield with a few twists.
1st of all we walked in and found a few rows of seats on the side that were marked reserved for Chinese.   (There is a Chinese branch in the stake.) The overflow in the multipurpose room was almost full and there was a monitor set up in another room for mothers to take there children to.  The chapel is on the 3rd floor, (the temple is on the 4th, 5th and 6th Floor) so all the strollers with kids in them had to come up the elevators too.  Most members don’t own cars and use public transportation to come to church.  That means families come with backpacks and strollers on the subway and buses to attend church.  (A few weeks ago I was late leaving for Stake High Priest meeting, in another building, and I had to take a taxi in order to get there on time. )
After the meeting started they explained that the conference was being broadcast in other buildings in the stake by way of the Internet. There are at least 3 ward houses here in Manhattan.  Isn’t technology wonderful.  They also handed out earphones for those who need to hear it in another language.  They are similar to those used at the Conference Center in SL.  Hymn numbers are announced for English, Spanish, and Chinese.  One other difference is that there is someone in the front doing the signing for the deaf for the whole session including the songs.
By now you are getting the picture that things are just a bit different here in NY. The feeling was the same the spirit was the same.  We felt at home.  It was with all this in mind, the mixture of so many nationalities, that we sang the opening hymn “Now Let Us Rejoice”.  The spirit was really strong for me and I couldn’t even sing I was so choked up.  I’ll type some of the words here.

“Now let us rejoice in the day of salvation. No longer as strangers on earth need we roam.  Good tidings are sounding to us and each nation.  And shortly the hour of redemption will come”.  2nd verse. “We’ll love one another and never dissemble, but cease to do evil and ever be one. And when the ungodly are fearing and tremble, we’ll watch for the day when the Savior will come”.  3rd verse  “In Faith we’ll rely on the arm of Jehovah to guide thru these last days of trouble and gloom, and after the scourges and harvest are over,
 We’ll rise with the just when the Saviors doth come.  Then all that was promised the Saints will be given, and they will be crown’d with the angels of heaven, and earth will appear as the Garden of Eden and Christ and his people will ever be one.”

The theme of conference was on missionary work.  We had wonderful talks.  I will only mention one here.  The Branch President of the Chinese Branch spoke about his conversion and how his life has changed since becoming a member 7 years ago.  It was difficult for him to speak in English but I could understand him well.  He is so humble and thankful for his family’s blessings.  When he joined the church he and his family were living in an apartment of about 150 square feet and worked 13 hrs a day 6 days a week.  They now have a bigger apartment and a new job that lets him serve in the church, and he has Sat. and Sun. off.
The Gospel is True, The Lord lives and he blesses our lives when we obey His commandments.
The Stake is having a special Thanksgiving worship on the 21st of November.  They are calling it “Come and See”.  We are asked to invite someone to come with us to church this day. 
One of the ways we can share the Gospel is by contributing to  In fact I just found out that the Church has special missionaries that find and teach over the Internet only.
Check out this profile on from one of the members of our ward.

I will close for now,  we miss all of you
Love Elder and Sister Hansen

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