Summarized by Kent Larsen
New Stake Presidency Leads To Newspaper Articles
(New era in leadership begins for local stake)
Midland TX Reporter-Telegram 13May00 D1
ODESSA, TEXAS -- The Midland Reporter-Telegram carried three articles
Saturday about local LDS Church members and the reorganization of the
Odessa Stake. In the first of the three articles, the newspaper
covered the stake's leadership change, announcing that David Powers
had been called as stake president. Steven J. Vore and Bruce Williams
are his counselors.
The stake covers a 45,000-square-mile area of west Texas, including
Snyder, Texas to the east, Lamesa/Seminole to the North, Van Horn to
the west, Alpine/Marfa on the south and Big Lake to the southeast.
The presidency told the Reporter-Telegram that they didn't expect any
radical restructuring of the Stake.
Powers says that he expects that the area will grow, "As president, I
will do what the Lord impresses on us to do," Powers said. "I'd like
to see the church grow in this area so that one day there's a temple
here. But I'm not anticipating or setting a time table for that."
The newspaper also notes that the positions in the stake presidency
are not paid, and amount to at least 30 hours a week.
According to President Powers, he joined the LDS Church after meeting
a girl, "I was a senior in high school and I knew nothing about the
church whatsoever, not even the name. I met a girl through ROTC who
was a member of the church, and as I got to know their family through
visits, I knew that I wanted a family like theirs. I had a great
family of my own, but they had something that we didn't have."
Powers says that he then went to college and began searching. He was
baptized on the same day as a friend at college who was also
searching. He then decided to go on an LDS mission, serving in China
after learning Mandarin. Now, 28 years later, he has a son and a
daughter serving in the mission field.
Powers is a contract geologist for Unocal and majority owner of a
miniature golf course.
Vore, a partner in Mesa Engineering of Odessa, is also a convert,
having joined the LDS Church while a student at Texas Tech. "I
contacted the missionaries and met with them, and they began to teach
me the principles of the Gospel. I was attracted to the principles
and the doctrine of the plan of salvation and knowing where we came
from and what we can become, with the focus on Jesus Christ." He says
he was especially impressed with the Church's teaching that families
can be sealed for eternity."You ask a lot of people if they and their
family are going to be together forever, and they'll say yes, but
when you ask where the doctrine says that in their church, it isn't
there. But in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it's
The article also gives background information on LDS Church practices
and on its doctrine regarding the priesthood, the role of women, and
the history of blacks and the priesthood. The paper pays particular
attention to the Church's disaster preparedness efforts and
assistance following disasters. According to Powers, the LDS Church
helps in relief efforts nearly everywhere, "We were there after the
tornadoes in Oklahoma City and Fort Worth; the Women's Relief Society
sent thousands of handmade quilts to Kosovo; our missionaries clean
up after hurricanes and earthquakes. We work with other agencies such
as the Red Cross and Catholic Charities. We're always in the midst of
the communities in times of trouble."
Mormon-News will summarize the two other articles in the May 13th
Midland Reporter-Telegram in the next few days. One of the articles
covers the LDS Church's missionary program, while the other covers
the early-morning seminary program.