Sunday, November 19, 2017 marked a special time for Jamaican Latter-day Saints as they welcomed Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Mary Cook, to a special stake conference held at the Constant Spring meetinghouse of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the capital city of Kingston. This session was made available via broadcast to other areas in the Kingston Jamaica Stake. After Saturday’s inaugural Priesthood Leadership Conference for English speaking countries of the Caribbean, the Sunday meeting for all members concluded the second part of a two-day visit to the island. This trip to Jamaica was part of Elder Cook’s tour of the Caribbean where he visited the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Guadeloupe.
Accompanying Elder Cook as part of the visiting contingent were Caribbean Area President, Elder Walter F. Gonzalez, and his wife, Sister Gonzalez; Panama Temple President, William H. Wingo, and his wife, Sister Wingo; and Elder Claude Gamiette, Area Authority Seventy. Local leaders on the ground included Jamaica Kingston Mission President, Scott C. Pearson, and Kingston Jamaica Stake President, Andrew George Lue, who all addressed the gathering.
The central theme of their messages was inspired by the prophetic mission of the Church and the talks focused on strengthening individual conversion of the members, helping members live the gospel, Family History and Temple Work, Member Missionary Work and Self-Reliance.
Elder Cook spoke about the harsh world that we live in and distracting influences that could lead us away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He shared that while praying for the countries on this tour, he felt the overwhelming impression that Latter-day Saints need to create Zion in ‘our hearts and homes’, as a protection against evil across the world. Also, that a reliance on coming to church, or encouragement from the bishop and other members would not be enough; that we would need personal religious observance, which includes scripture study, family prayers and Family Home Evenings. He spoke about taking care when correcting our children for mistakes, being kinder and having far less criticism and for Saints to undertake the goal of love and unity in the home.
Elder Cook advised husbands and wives that by working together and relying on the Lord as a couple, they can make all important decisions as a family council. The Saints were also reminded to be visible within their communities, work, and schools, to honour the Sabbath day, and to focus on temple worship. He spoke about his feelings of gratitude and peace as he was called by President Gordon B. Hinckley 10 years earlier to the Apostleship of the church, and bore his special witness of Jesus Christ. He then closed the meeting by leaving an Apostolic blessing with the members.