Some 1,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the greater Chattanooga area gathered for a conference on Christ. Held every May and November, the conference is held at the Stake Center (meetinghouse) at 3067 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road. The conference is always open to the public. Ester Helton of the East Ridge City Council, Tennessee State Senator Bo Watson, and Chancery Court Judge Pam Fleener attended Sunday services.
The conference was conducted by John Griffey, president of the Chattanooga Stake. Talks centered on the Divinity of Jesus Christ, that Christ is The Lord, the true and living Son of the true and living God, and “there is no other name given under heaven save it be Jesus Christ…whereby man can be saved” (2 Nephi 25:20).
President Jim Barrott, second counselor in the Stake Presidency, spoke about how a “marvelous work and wonder” would go forth to all mankind to proclaim these glad tidings of great joy, as foretold by the prophet Isaiah (29:14). The good news includes the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, complete with prophets and apostles, and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon – which is another testament of Jesus Christ and a companion to the Holy Bible. “Because of the restoration,” President Barrott said, “we have living prophets today. President Russell M. Nelson is a true prophet of God in our day.” If we follow the prophet, he will lead us to Christ.
President Brian Silvenis, first counselor in the Stake Presidency, spoke about the Savior waiting at the door. All we have to do is knock and invite Him into our lives. Our Redeemer will make all that is unfair in our lives whole again. President Silvenis referred to John 5 and the healing of a certain man at the waters of Bethesda.
“A certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.”
“Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up they bed, and walk.”
“And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked.”
Jesus beckons, “Come unto me all that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). In 2nd Corinthians 5:17, we are taught, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” In Isaiah 1:18, The Lord says, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” And, in Mark 5:25-34, we learn of the healing of a woman with an “issue of blood.” She had faith that Jesus could make her whole. She reached out and touched His garment. “And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that virtue had gone out of Him, turned about…and said…Who touched my clothes?” Of course, the Savior already knew who had touched Him but this question “created an opportunity for the woman to acknowledge her act of faith and the miracle of her healing. The Savior’s response – ‘Daughter, thy faithhath made thee whole” – helped the woman and others present avoid the misconception that the miracle had resulted from any miraculous power in His garment itself” (lds.org New Testament manual). The miracle came because the woman had faith in Christ, and followed Him. In turn, the Redeemer provided healing that only He can provide.
Sister Tricia Haymore, whose husband serves in the Atlanta Temple Presidency, encouraged everyone to live worthy of the blessings of the temple. President Henry B. Eyring of The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said, “Temples are a witness of our faith.” Temples are sacred places, not secret places. In temples, families can be sealed together for time and all eternity, not just “til death do us part.” God has made it possible for us to be together forever. President Haymore re-emphasized this message by encouraging everyone to be a Christ-centered family.
President Griffey reminded everyone of the upcoming Christmas devotional to be held on Dec. 8, at 7 p.m., also at 3067 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road. The public is invited to attend this special celebration of Christ. President Griffey told the congregation that The Lord knows what you are going through. “If we follow The Lord,” President Griffey said, “The Lord will give us relief, blot out our transgressions and make us whole and complete.” “Lasting relief,” as the late Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught, “is available on conditions established by The Lord.” “Remember, the Savior is the center of everything,” President Griffey said. “Write the doctrine in the fleshy tablets of your heart because you love the Savior. Doctrine changes behavior more than the study of behavior changes behavior.” President Griffey also encouraged the congregation to share the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone. “As followers of Christ,” “we are obligated to extend refuge and hope to others,” he said. “Do your part to bring others to the Savior…This great gathering in the last days will be the defining moment of the Latter-day Saints.” President Griffey concluded the conference saying, “I add my testimony that you have heard the truth.”