Thursday, January 28, 2016

Malta Branch Conference - Talk

Sorella Waddoups
Wife of Italy Rome Mission President

Feed My Sheep
Malta Branch Conference
January 24, 2016

I would like to talk to you today about sheep.  Let me begin by talking about shepherds.  A shepherd takes care of his sheep.  The sheep know his voice and follow where he leads them.  A good shepherd does not herd the sheep from behind but walks in front of them to show them where they should go.  A good shepherd leads his sheep to green pastures where they find good grass to eat and water to drink.  At night he leads them back to the sheepfold where the sheep are safe from wild animals and thieves.  A good shepherd stands guard at the entrance to the sheepfold and protects his sheep.  He counts his sheep to make sure that not one is lost.  In the morning he calls to his sheep.  They recognize his voice and follow him.

John 10:14-15

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. …

I lay down my life for my sheep.

How do we become the Savior’s sheep?  The Lord said,

Mosiah 26:21

“He that will hear my voice shall be my sheep.”

A few months ago we were driving down the road in Sardegna.  I saw a flock of sheep in a pasture along the side of the road.  They were spread all over the field with a shepherd nearby.  I asked President Waddoups to stop the car so I could take a picture.  He pulled to the side of the road and I jumped out of the car ready to snap a picture.  As soon as I jumped out of the car, the shepherd must have thought I presented some sort of danger because he suddenly issued a one word command and every lamb in that field immediately stopped grazing and lined up in a single file line next to the shepherd.  It was amazing.  I have never seen anything like it.  Realizing I was responsible for the commotion, I called to the shepherd and asked if I could take a photo.  He must have sensed I was no threat at that point and told me I could take a picture.  Every lamb in that field had recognized the call of the shepherd, and every lamb followed the command to get in line so they could be protected by their shepherd.  The shepherd wasted no time calling them to safety.  He was protecting his sheep.

After Christ was crucified, he reappeared to his disciples who were fishing and having no luck at all.  He instructed them to cast their net on the other side of the boat.  When they did as he instructed, the net was full of fish.  Jesus then sat down and had a meal of fish with the disciples.  When they were through eating, Jesus had a very poignant conversation with Peter.

John 21:15-17

15  So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

16  He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Christ told Peter to feed his sheep, specifically those who would hear his voice.  The missionaries are always talking about finding the” golden contact” or  “the person who is so prepared to receive the gospel”.   I believe there are many of those individuals who are waiting to be found.  We just aren’t looking hard enough for them.  Many of them are our friends and neighbors, our co-workers, or even family members who are not members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or those who joined the church but are no longer active.

We need to follow the example of the Good Shepherd.  We need to go in search of the lost lambs. 

In a speech given during the October 1999 General Conference, Elder Ben B. Banks Of the Presidency of the Seventy said the following:

I believe that every active member of the Church knows a lost sheep that needs the attention and love of a caring shepherd.  Several years ago my wife, Susan, and I had the opportunity to tour the New Zealand Christchurch Mission with President and Sister Melvin Tagg. President Tagg suggested as part of the mission tour we include a preparation day and take a bus trip to see the beautiful Milford Sound. Part of the trip involved stopping at several beautiful scenic sites along the way. At one of those stops, as we walked back to the bus, I became curious about a group of passengers standing in a circle on the road taking photographs. As I peered over the people, I saw in the circle a frightened little baby lamb on wobbly legs. It appeared to be no more than a few hours old. I have seen a lot of sheep in my life since my father-in-law was in the sheep business. Consequently, I had no interest in taking a photograph of a solitary lamb, so I boarded the bus and waited. 

After all the passengers finally boarded the bus, the driver picked up the frightened little lamb in his arms, held it tenderly against his chest, and brought it on the bus. He sat down, closed the door, picked up his microphone, and said to us: "Undoubtedly a band of sheep has gone through here this morning, and this little lamb has strayed. Perhaps if we take it with us, we might find the band of sheep farther up the road and return this baby lamb to its mother." 

We drove through several kilometers of beautiful forests and finally came to a beautiful meadow of tall, flowing grass. Sure enough, there in the meadow was a band of sheep feeding. The bus driver stopped the bus and excused himself. We all thought he would put the lamb down on the side of the road and come back, but he didn't. With the lamb in his arms, he carefully and quietly walked out through the grass toward the band of sheep. When he got as close as he could without disturbing them, he gently put the lamb down and then remained in the field to make sure the baby lamb returned to the fold.  As he returned to the bus, he once again picked up his microphone and said, "Oh, can't you hear that mother sheep saying, 'Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing my lost lamb back home to me!'" 

As I think of this wonderful teaching moment provided by the bus driver, my thoughts turn to the parable the Lord gave us of the lost sheep: 

Luke 15:1-7

1  Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.

2  And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.

3  ¶ And he spake this parable unto them, saying,

4  What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

5  And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

6  And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

7  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Elder Banks continued, “Our prophet today, President Gordon B. Hinckley, likewise shares with us his concern about lost sheep:

 "There are so many young people who wander aimlessly and walk the tragic trail of drugs, gangs, immorality, and the whole brood of ills that accompany these things. There are widows who long for friendly voices and that spirit of anxious concern which speaks of love. There are those who were once warm in the faith, but whose faith has grown cold. Many of them wish to come back but do not know quite how to do it. They need friendly hands reaching out to them. With a little effort, many of them can be brought back to feast again at the table of the Lord.  "My brethren and sisters, I would hope, I would pray, that each of us . . . would resolve to seek those who need help, who are in desperate and difficult circumstances, and lift them in the spirit of love into the embrace of the Church, where strong hands and loving hearts will warm them, comfort them, sustain them, and put them on the way of happy and productive lives" ("Reach with a Rescuing Hand," ENSIGN, Nov. 1996, 86). 1999 October General Conference, "Feed My Sheep"

Who is there that would not leave his flock to search after the one?

Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught:

 “Anyone serving in any capacity in the Church in which he {or she} is responsible for the spiritual or temporal well-being of any of the Lord’s children is a shepherd to those sheep.  The Lord holds his shepherds accountable for the safety {salvation} of his sheep”  (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., [1966], 710).

When the lamb was found, Christ carried it on His shoulders back to the flock.  He rejoiced because it was found.  That is still true today.  Christ rejoices when his sheep are found whether they are those who are not of the fold or those who have been part of the flock and have gone astray.

Ezekiel 34:12

As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

Once Christ’s sheep are safe and recognize His voice, there is still more to do.  We are told in the scriptures that “blessed is he that endureth to the end”.   Part of that enduring to the end is going to the temple and being sealed not just for time but also for all eternity.

In Malta it is difficult to go to the temple because you have to travel long distances, but it is important to have a current recommend at all times whether you are able to use it or not.

My prayer is that you will follow the Good Shepherd, that you will help Feed His Sheep, that you will seek out the lost lambs, and that you will always be found safe in the sheepfold where you will recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd and He will lead you to safe pastures.

Mosta Branch Conference

January 24, 2013

Martin J. de Carlo
Branch President
Mosta, Malta Branch
 January 24, 2015

Today, I felt the need to review with you some highlights from the history of our branch for these last six months since we had our last branch conference in July of last year.
1.   In the month of July, two weeks after our last conference, our Youth attended the international FSY in Germany together with Elder and Sister Hancock; It was a wonderful opportunity for the youth to be able to meet others their age, especially when we consider that here in Malta they are so far away from other youths of the Church. I would like to thank the Mission President for supporting our youth and giving them this wonderful opportunity and also thank Elder and Sister Hancock for all their dedication.

2.   In the month of October, we increased our local membership with one with the arrival of Sister Joyce Shaw who decided to leave behind the rainy weather of England for a little more sunshine in Malta. Sister Shaw surely is a blessing to the Relief Society and to the whole branch in general. I surely encourage other faithful members from other counties to follow in the footsteps of Sister Shaw and come here.

3.   Many wonderful things happened in the month of November. I would like to mention some of them in the order that they happen.

During the month of October we had the news that a large number of Latter-day Saints were going to visit the island on a cruise ship on the 1st Sunday of November. We were told that they were going to be around 45.
We discussed various ways how we could accomodate that large number of Saints in the old building together with our regular members. We agreed that if we open the door of the chapel and place the chairs in the corridor we probably would be fine.

But about a week before they were suppose to arrive here, Elder Hancock got a phone call from a lady incharge of the group and we were told that we should expect not 45 but .... 85.

We were also told that a very renowned Mormon singer and musician was going to be part of this group. His name was Michael Ballam. I remember telling Elder Hancock to ask the person in charge of the group if brother Ballam can sing for us; Later we were told that Michael Ballam would be happy to do so.

We were surely very excited to have such a large group of Saints among us but 85 more in the old building!! No way!!

We were very much hoping and praying that this new place will be ready on time;

After all it was nearly ready! Or at least hopefully we will be allowed to use it even though it wasn’t completly ready.

But only few days before the cruise ship saints were about to arrive, we were told that as the new place was not completly ready, we are not allowed to use it!

Now we really had a problem, A very good problem.

Because we assumed that we were going to hold the meeting in this building, the people coming from the cruise ship were already given this address.

It took us a while to accept reality; When we did, we decided to better start looking for a place close by to this building.

Brother Assuero and Elder Hancock went to look for something, maybe a small hotel in the centre of Mosta but they were told that there was nothing here in Mosta.
I remember I was at work and was completly confused what we were suppose to do;

I remember that I went to a room in the back of our offices and sat down on my own to try to prayfully contemplate about the situation.
All of a sudden, I felt like a ray of light illuminating my mind and a voice telling me,
“Go to the Mosta local concil”.

I must admit that I had a difficult decision to make;
It was one of those moments when I had to chose between faith in God and reason;

The voice of reason was telling me: “No way! The Mayor is a staunch Catholic and they are not going to help us find a place, even if they know about one”

Then there was faith: The Lord spoke to me in my mind and the voice was clear:
“Go to the Mosta Local Council!”

I decided to go by faith;

I went back to my Office and I called Elder Hancock and asked him if he and Assuero could go to the Mosta Local Council and asked them if they know where there is a hall in Mosta that we could use;

I got a phone call from Elder Hancock some time later and he told me that the people of the Mosta council knows very well were there was a hall that we could use.
And this hall, was their hall, the town hall; Elder Hancock told me that him and Brother Vassallo went to see the hall and it was perfect for us;

I really thought the reason I sent them To the Mosta Council was to enquire about a wedding hall in Mosta.
I didn’t know that the Lord had in mind their hall!!
I didn’t know it but the Lord knew it!

Those of us who attended that meeting, we know very well what a spiritual and beautiful meeting that was. Michael Ballam indeed sang and played the piano for us. He gave us his beautiful rendition of How Great Thou Art.

I also remember that the people of the council were kind enough that they even prepared the chairs for us and left the place ready to use. If I am not mistaken they prepared about 100 chairs.

I remember that when I went inside the hall on Sunday and I looked at the back of the hall, I felt impressed to tell some of the members to keep filling the rest of the hall with the rest of the chairs that were stacked up against the wall.

I am glad we did that, as even these additional chairs were taken by the members.
What happened was that even more people than it was expected came to our meeting.
Some of them were members who, even though they were part of the same cruise ship, were not part of the two large groups.

And we also had even more members and friends visiting from the UK and other countries.

If only our prayer was answered the way we were hoping, and we were allowed to use this building, we were never going to be able to fit all those people in here;

We didn’t know it, but the Lord knew it!

One of the things that we surely remember from that meeting was the words spoken by a sister who shared her testimony with us and in a very emotional way she told the members of the congregation how her great-great grand father found the Church here in Malta in the 1850s and was baptised here and afterwards emigrated to America.
It was her first time ever in Malta.
Let’s not forget that also that morning, Elder Fullmer and Brother Ballam discovered that they were cousins!
4.   Now while that morning we were all thinking about the large gathering in the hall, the Lord was preparing two people to meet infront of the Council Hall.
Sis. Carmela Azzopardi was going inside the council hall for our meeting when she saw bro. Oreste wandering in the street. They didn’t know each other but she invited him to come for that large meeting and he has been coming to Church ever since. What a good and faithful man Oreste is!

5.   A week after the meeting in the town Hall, our branch was once again blessed with the arrival of the wonderful Miller Family. What a blessing to the branch they really are!
Not only the Elders Quorum and the Relief Society were blessed with the Miller family but also our Primary, with the addition of Brooklyn and Holly. How grateful we are to the Lord for sending this family to our branch.

6.   A few days after the arrival of the Millers,  we all gathered around the pool of the villa of Mr. Gatt to witness the baptism of sister Lorena Martinez. Sister Martinez came all the way from Columbia to Malta to study.
At least that’s what she thought; that she came here just to study!
But the Lord had other plans for her.
She didn’t know it, but the Lord knew it!
Now sister Lorena left Malta, and she left from here as a member of the Lord’s Church.

7.   After months and months of anticipation, in the very last week of November, we finally were allowed to move into this new building. Even on that very first meeting, we can say that we all felt that this is our home.
That first meeting was also the very first meeting where sacrament meeting was once again the first meeting of the three hour block;

Also we completly changed the times of our meetings. Now we are starting our meetings at 10.30 instead of 9.30;
Therefore the members will finish their meetings at 1.30pm instead of 12.30.
It’s a challenge, but we’re getting there!

8.   We started the month of December by celebrating a marriage between two members of the branch; Brother King and Sister Melanie; A number of friends came all the way from Scotland to celebrate with us this union. We are happy to say that since then, Brother and Sister King got sealed into the House of the Lord, in the Philippines Manila Temple.
Brother King came to Malta all the way from Scotland for warmer weather and Sister Melanie came to Malta all the way from the Philippines to work here;
At least that’s what they thought when they came here;
But the Lord had other plans for them;
They didn’t know it, but the Lord knew it!

9.   On the very last week of the year, our Young Single Adults were invited to go to the YSA New Years Conference in the north of Italy. Even though they knew the weather was going to be probably freezing, they still went; We are very proud of our Youth! We thank once again the Mission President for supporting our Youth!

10.                 Now we started this new year by following the coucil of the Brethren and as a branch presidency we were glad to have the Priesthood and the Auxiliary groups participating in the organization of the sacrament meeting programme;

So far this month we had the Youth Sacrament meeting and the Relief Society Sacrament meeting and next week we will have the Elders Quorum sacrament meeting. I do not have a doubt that this was indeed an inspired decision by the Brethren.

11.                 Now yesterday it’s still too fresh in your memories for me to say much about it;
Now we can say that from today we started having our meetings in a dedicated new building. We recognize that for the first time ever in Malta, leaders of differenti faiths and members of the local community were present for an LDS meeting and we can proudly say that on the island of Malta, many more are now aware of the presence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Yesterday I was invited by the Times of Malta if I can go and give them some comments about our new chapel; me and Brother Vassallo went to the Office of the newspaper yesterday and we discovered that the journalist was an honest person who really wanted to enquire about our faith with a sincere heart;
I expected that we were going to stay there for about 5 minutes;
What was suppose to be just a comment turned into an interview that lasted for nearly an hour.

12.                 This week I also got a reply from the Eden Cinemas in St Julians that they are interested in showing the Meet the Mormon movie in one of their theatres.

Brothers and sisters, the Lord is indeed blessing this branch here in Malta. Let us be grateful for all the blessings we recieved so far;
The Lord has still many more blessings in store for us;
Now it all depends on us; as individuals, and as a branch;
We all have our own unique characters and ideas, but, even with all our differences, we can still be of “one heart and one mind”.
Let us continue to be faithful servants of the Lord so that He will continue to bless His Church and his children here.
Let us remember, that the future is as bright as our faith.
That we always remember our blessings and always stay faithful to be worthy to recieve even more, is my humble prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.  

Dedication of New Mosta Church Building in Malta

January 23, 2016

Martin J. de Carlo
Branch President

We are gathered here today to dedicate this new meeting place for the members of the Malta Mosta branch of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
What was once a computer school is now a place where we, the members of this Church, can meet together often to worship God the Almighty, renew our covenants, serve one another and learn from each other.
The first time that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent missionaries to the island of Malta was in February of the year 1852. Only 22 years after the Church was organized and just eight years after the death of Joseph Smith, the first prophet and president of this Church.
The first missionary who came to Malta was actually one of the Apostles of the Church. His name was Lorenzo Snow who at the time was serving in the Italy Mission. He later also served as the fifth President of the Church.
Following the visit of President Snow, a branch was organized here on the island. Most of the converts were British military personnel. However, many of those converts left this country to serve in the Crimean War. Others immigrated to the United States and in 1856 the branch was dissolved.
One hundred and twenty eight years later, in January of 1980, 36 years ago this month, the government of Malta granted permission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to have missionaries on the island.
Ten years later, in the year 1990, the Church rented its first building here in Mosta and we have been here in this beautiful town ever since.
Today, we are happy that we are celebrating the Dedication of this new meeting house of the Church together with some of you who belong to a different faith. We feel honoured with your presence.
I acknowledge that while we may have theological and doctrinal differences we also have much in common.
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that each one of us – including anyone who is not a member of our Church – is a literal son or daughter of our Father in Heaven and therefore we are all heavenly siblings.
We believe that we all share a bond that transcends this life. Think about it, if we truly think of our neighbours as our brother or our sister, regardless of their religion, creed, race or circumstances, would we treat them any differently?
One of the hallmarks of Mormonism is the respect for the diverse belief and contribution of all the world’s faiths. Our current Church leader, President Thomas S. Monson made a plea during a general conference of the Church, a meeting which is held twice a year in Salt Lake City.
He said, and I quote,
“I would encourage members of the Church wherever they may be to show kindness and respect for all people everywhere. The world in which we live is filled with diversity. We can and should demonstrate respect toward all those whose beliefs differ from ours.”
The members of the Church accept all sincere believers as equals in the pursuit of faith and in the great work of serving humanity.    
In the Book of Mormon, we read:
“And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”
I am sure that we can all learn much from the late Krister Stendahl, emeritus Lutheran Bishop, who established three rules for religious understanding:
1.   When we are trying to understand another religion, we should ask the followers of that religion and not its enemies.

2.   We should never compare our best to their worst

3.   We should find elements in other faiths that we can emulate.

These principles foster relationships between different faiths that build trust and lay the groundwork for charitable efforts.
Every Year in Brussels, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Europe gives an award to individuals or organizations whose work and influence with the institutions of the European Union have a significant impact on family life within European Societies.
This award is called the “European Union Family Values Award.”
Last October the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presented this award to the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe.
As a Church, we believe that the family is ordained by God and that marriage between a man and a woman is essential to His eternal plan.
We call upon responsible citizens and officers of this country to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.
We believe that we should build our families and our own lives on the principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, compassion and love.
Two years before he died, the prophet Joseph Smith was asked by a newspaper editor regarding some information about the Church. He replied by writing a letter to the editor. Today, we as members, refer to the content of his letter as the Articles of Faith.
Ever since the Articles of Faith were published, they’ve inspired and directed us in the basic principles of the Gospel.
I would like to close by quoting to you the last three Articles of Faith:
1.   We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and we allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

2.   We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, and in obeying, honouring, and sustaining the law.

3.   We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men ….. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
That the members of this Church here in Malta will use this building as part of the process of capitalizing on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and becoming sanctified individuals and families and that all men of good will put aside all their differences and join our forces in a combined effort to combat together the powers of darkness and elevate all God’s children is my humble prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.  

 *  *  *  *  *

Malta Branch New Church
Dedicatory Speech
c/w Triq il-kostituzzjoni
Mosta Mst 1176
President Michael G. Waddoups
Italy Rome Mission
January 23, 2016
6:00 pm

Brothers and Sisters,

It is a real honor to be with you tonight.  We are gathered here as friends, neighbors, civic leaders, religious leaders, people of various nations.  I understand there are five or six different languages represented here tonight.  I hope you can understand me.  I understand perhaps English is the principle language spoken by most, but most that speak it, speak it as the English speak.  Those of us from America speak it a little different so I hope you can understand. 

As was explained by President Martin de Carlo, we believe that you are our brothers and sisters, each one of you.  Children of God.  We offer a sincere welcome to each of you for being here tonight--members of the church and to the community of Mosta, members of the nation of Malta.  

I thought it would be appropriate to explain a little bit about why we do a dedication of our meeting house.  What is a meeting house?  For us a meeting house is a place where we worship God.   God has said that we can worship Him wherever--even in our homes,  on the mountainside--but we gather together as saints in a meeting house to share the teachings of Christ, to understand better our Father in Heaven and what he would have us do.  It’s a place where we should show reverence.  By reverence  I mean that we think of Him.  We try to show respect for those next to us.  We should speak in hushed tones when we are speaking around others.  It’s a place of teaching, a place of learning.  It’s a place to study the scriptures and the holy word of God.   It’s a place of fasting and prayer.  It’s a place of music.  It’s a place for children and for young adults.  As indicated by President de Carlo, it’s a place for families.  We have activities for primary, the children.  For young men and young women.  For the priesthood, holders of the authority of God.  For the Relief Society.   A place where we hold Sacrament Meeting, a place where we can partake of the symbols, the emblems of the last supper of our Savior, Jesus Christ.   Here we will hold a series of meetings on the Sabbath Day, a day which we traditionally call our day of worship.  We hold other meetings throughout the week.  Perhaps social events, perhaps cultural events,  sometimes even religious meetings.  The chapel which we will dedicate is a place where we will hold religious ordinances such as confirmations, such as blessings of babies.  A place where we will share God’s message and a place where we will participate in the teachings of Jesus Christ.  It’s a place where we welcome friends, families, fellow saints in the household of God. 

In that regard I would like to share with you a scripture.  A scripture written by Paul in the New Testament.  We find the scripture in the book of Ephesians 2:19-21.  Paul wrote, speaking to the other saints, (I think it is appropriate.  Paul visited here in Malta.) 

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

Paul described the fellowship of the church as a temple, a way in which we can become closer to God.  The church is a place where we study God and where we worship God.

I would like to conclude today by bearing you my testimony of the divinity of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  We speak of Jesus Christ.  We teach of Jesus Christ.  We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to earth, atoned for the sins of all mankind, and made it possible that one day, if we will repent and follow Him, we can return to live with our Father in Heaven.

I bear you testimony that it is available to each and every son of God, every daughter of God, every child.

Jesus Christ, indeed rose from the dead after three days.  He lives.  He leads and guides this church today.  This is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

I bear you testimony that a prophet of God lives and shares the word of God with us today.

Tomorrow in this building a religious service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be held.  The sacrament will be blessed, administered, and passed to the members of the church.  You are all welcome.  This will be a place for this holy ordinance.  It is administered weekly in the church.

I bear you testimony that this is the work of the Lord.  In His holy name, even Jesus Christ.  Amen.

*  *  *  *  *

Malta Branch Dedicatory Prayer

c/w Triq il-kostituzzjoni

Mosta Mst 1176


Michael G. Waddoups, Italy Rome Mission President

January 23, 2016

6:00 pm

Our Beloved Father in Heaven,

We are gathered together this evening as members of Thy family, as saints in Malta, as friends and neighbors, and as religious leaders in the community. 

Father in Heaven, we offer this prayer of gratitude and thankfulness for the opportunity of meeting together on this occasion.  We are grateful for the bounties of life that allow us to have this privilege.  We are grateful for those who have sacrificed  that this building  might be made available.  We are grateful for the beautiful surroundings that we have.  We are grateful for this earth.  We are grateful for the sunshine.  We are grateful for the moon and stars.  We are grateful for the plants and for all that Thou has provided for us to enjoy life here.  

This evening we are gathered to dedicate this building unto Thee.   We dedicate it as a building  in which saints, members, friends, and associates can gather together to worship Thee and give thanks for the sacrifice of the Savior, Jesus Christ.  A place for children.  A place for  adults.   A place for learning and a place for teaching. 

We dedicate this building now unto Thee and unto Thy service.  We dedicate it as a holy place, a place of peace, a place of gathering.  We dedicate it as a place for the meetings of the Church of Jesus Christ to be held and pray that it will be protected, that there will be reverence here, that the gospel will be taught in a way pleasing unto thee.   We pray, Heavenly Father, that  our neighbors and friends will feel welcome here, that they will experience good things from the members as they share love, happiness, and faith.   We dedicate this  building as a place where people can meet together to learn about the gospel.  A place where Thy children can bring others to be taught the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We dedicate this as a house where missionary work can share the gospel of Jesus Christ and where scriptures can be read, where an understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ can be shared.

We dedicate this building unto Thee, Heavenly Father and to Thy service.  We pray for strength, for humility.  We pray for the leaders who will direct the work here.  For the teachers who will teach and the missionaries who will share  teachings  and for the children who will sing and learn.   We pray for all those who enter herein that they might have the spirit of the Holy Ghost in their lives.   We pray that the spirit will accompany us always and we leave this blessing upon this building and dedicate it unto thee in the holy name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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Mormons move to new, larger chapel
Mormons in Malta·Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Sarah Carabott, The Sunday Times, 24th January, 2016

If we do not accept that people have different beliefs but still have good intentions, then we will never learn to live together, according to the leader of the Mormons in Malta. Martin de Carlo was speaking to this newspaper as the growing local congregation yesterday moved into larger premises.

Last night, the Mormons dedicated a new chapel and meeting place on Constitution Street in Mosta and leaders of other faiths were also invited for the service. “Several are committing the mistake of not accepting the inevitable growing diversity.
“It is painful to see a person preaching love but behaving in exactly the opposite way the very first time he meets someone who is different from him,” Mr de Carlo told this newspaper, flanked by one of his counsellors Assuero Vassallo.

Mormons are members of the ever-growing Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Restorationist Christian movement founded in Upstate New York in 1830.
In 1852, Malta hosted its first Mormon congregation, formed largely by English servicemen who had to leave the island to serve in the Crimean War. The remaining Maltese Mormons left for the US. Then, in 1980, the Maltese government granted permission to Mormon missionaries to settle here, and the community has kept growing ever since.

The dedication of the new chapel comes at a time of religious and cultural clashes, but the Mormons in Malta feel largely accepted, despite scepticism from a few. Worldwide, Mormons also have a good relationship with the Catholic Church and work hand in hand with Catholics in central Europe to provide aid for Syrian refugees, Mr de Carlo noted.

Moreover, last year’s winner of the Mormons’ yearly EU Family Values Award was handed to the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe. Despite theological differences with the Catholic Church, Mr de Carlo prefers to focus on the similarities, mainly Jesus Christ’s role as a saviour.

The Bible is also one of the Mormons’ standard works, along with the Book of Mormon.

Those unfamiliar with the religion have probably heard of the successful satire Broadway musical The Book of Mormon penned by the creators of South Park, which takes a dig at Mormon missionaries. Asked about the impact of this musical, Mr de Carlo said that while the church did not encourage its followers to go and watch it, it did not stop them either. Its missionaries in London were often found next to the ticket booth and instead of complaining, the church even bought space in the musical’s brochure with an advert reading: “You’ve seen the play, now read the book.”