South Florida Church members from three stakes handed out more than 1,000 copies of the Book of Mormon at the Miami International Book Fair Nov. 12-14.

More than 100 members from the Miami, Homestead and Hialeah Gardens stakes manned three booths at the Book Fair.  They handed out hundreds of pass-along cards in addition to copies of the Book of Mormon in English, Spanish, French, Haitian Creole and Portuguese.

The three booths emphasized different themes:  strengthening the family, the Book of Mormon as one of the most important books in American history and family history.  Church members volunteering their time at the booths gathered more than 300 referrals to be passed on to area missionaries.

“You could see how the people passing by were drawn to the booth,” said Jose Renteria, a high councilor from the Miami Spanish stake, who was one of the principal organizers of the event.  “Some of the people just walked by without looking, but you could see the hand of the Lord bringing people to the booth.”

Renteria told of one Chilean man who immediately asked to speak to the missionaries.   Another young woman stood “entranced” at the booth and asked to know more.  Another person talked to one of the stake presidents and asked to be baptized.

“There were several inactive brethren who said they wanted to come back to the Church after seeing the booths,” Renteria said.

The Book Fair is one of the largest intellectual events in the southeastern United States.  Hundreds of authors come to discuss their new books or comment on books by other writers.  There are hundreds of booths lining the streets of downtown Miami during the fair.

This is the second year in a row that South Florida stakes take an active role in the Book Fair.  Last year, Church public affairs paid for two booths, but decided to increase the number to three this year.   Miami is one of the key cities for Church public affairs.

Renteria and others involved in South Florida public affairs are already discussing how to improve the event even more next year.

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