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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended May 14, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 16May00

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 there."

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.


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