The Communist dictatorship that operated in Albania from 1967 to 1991 declared Albania as the world’s first and only “Atheist state.” Harsh punishments were leveled at believers, clergymen were killed, and it was not a time for religious yearnings. So, how did anyone keep that spiritual glimmer alive during that oppression, and even more compelling, how would a 14-year-old boy find the Church in 1993, only two years after the Communists left?
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Though Giovanni Dicarolo had been serving as a counselor in the mission presidency, in 1997, he was surprised and overwhelmed to be called to be the first stake president in Puglia, Italy. Yet, there was something more than a sense of inadequacy that troubled Giovanni when he first was called. He didn’t have a permanent job and things were not going well financially. How would he serve with the resources he had?
My husband passed peacefully to the other side, just two months short of our 60th wedding anniversary and my 80th birthday. I felt happiness for him knowing he was in a better place, and the love of family and friends carried me through his funeral and burial. But on the first Sunday when I was alone, I didn’t feel emotionally strong enough to go to church and I realized I needed time to grieve alone and face my altered future.
This new video from the Church's "Now You Know" series on YouTube is a great way to introduce people to the basic beliefs as they are laid out in the Articles of Faith. See the video and learn how you can share it with your friends, here.
I woke with high hopes for some sunshine, but by noon it was snowing. Big fluffy snowflakes continued to fall until they bent my bright yellow daffodils almost to the ground. I hadn’t paid much attention to them until then and regretted that fact. Whenever snow bends our bright moments it has a tendency to wake us up a bit. The unexpected, the ironic, the contradictory can motivate us to look more carefully at the way we are spending the moments of our lives.
Some years ago, I had a falling out with a family member. I don’t remember the issue now. We said things to each other that were hurtful, so hurtful, in fact, that the relationship seemed irreparably broken with few pieces left to pick up and start over. We stomped out of each other’s lives forever. I wouldn’t forgive him; I couldn’t forgive him…but I had to forgive him.