LDS Church News

Elder Holland in Fort Lauderdale, visits with area youth

By Ryan Morgenegg

LDS Church News

Published: Wednesday, April 30 2014 5:15 p.m. MDT

Youth from six surrounding South Florida Stakes in the temple district look on as Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks to them.

Mitzi Capote

A surprise visit from an Apostle added to the excitement felt by some 1,200 youth in the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple District as they gathered for the first time to rehearse for the cultural program they will present on May 3, the eve of the temple's dedication.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who had just finished a mission presidents seminar in the area, dropped by to watch the rehearsal and speak with the youth, whose ages range from 12-18.

After watching and listening a little while, Elder Holland spoke to the youth seated on the floor and wearing different colors representing their stakes.

“This temple is a chance of a lifetime and, in a sense, in a very real way, this event is the chance of a lifetime,” he told the youth.

Elder Hollands said that participating in the cultural program is something they will tell their children and grandchildren about in years to come. He told them they will remember the cultural event and dedication of the temple and the songs that they sang, the dances they did and the feelings they had.

“You can ever underestimate and understate the blessing you are to us [Church leaders]. We’re in this together, this passing of batons to generations. We’re in this shoulder to shoulder and we’re going to do it until the Savior comes.”

Before leaving, Elder Holland blessed the youth and leaders. He said that apostles testify and bless as the Savior has asked them to do. As he left, Elder Holland told the youth he loved them.

The youth cultural event will take place on Saturday, May, 3, at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida. Through narration, song and dance, the performance will focus on the rich cultural heritage and history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in South Florida. There will be two performances, one at 3 p.m. and another at 7 p.m. Since there is limited seating at the venue, the 7 p.m. show will be broadcast to meetinghouses throughout Florida and available to view on the Internet at lds.org/broadcasts/languages/florida-cultural-celebration/2014/04.

rmorgenegg@desnews.com