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President Johnson Ministers to Relief Society Sisters in Guatemala

Relief Society General President visits four countries in Central America

Relief Society General President Camille N. Johnson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is traveling in Central America this week to visit locations of humanitarian projects and minister to women and children.

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“Jesus Christ is relief, and you are members of the Relief Society,” said President Johnson, who began her ministry in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on Saturday, June 1, 2024. She gathered with local Relief Society leaders for a training broadcast to all Guatemala congregations.

“It has really been a treat to be with the Guatemalan Saints over the last couple of days,” she said. “This is a beautiful place. It is so very green. And the people are even more beautiful than the land.”

During the meeting, she offered many of her remarks in Spanish, a skill she learned while serving with her husband as a mission leader in Arequipa, Peru.

“It is wonderful to have the opportunity to use my Spanish again and share my feelings in my mission language,” President Johnson added.

“Sisters, the work of Relief Society is joyful. We should be the happiest women on earth,” she told the local leaders.

All Relief Society sisters in Guatemala were invited to attend a meeting to hear President Johnson on Sunday evening. 

President Johnson is traveling with her husband, Doug, during her 10-day ministry to four countries: Guatemala, Panama, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

The Relief Society is one of the world’s largest women’s organizations.

“I felt so happy. I feel joy. I feel grateful for this beautiful opportunity I had to meet her,” said Ehiby Paola, 27, who attended the Saturday night meeting. “I feel the love of President Nelson and Jesus Christ through President Johnson.”

Sara del Cid is serving as a local leader in Guatemala City. “I’m really grateful for this opportunity of being taught and counseled by someone who has been called by revelation, by inspiration, who comes with a message for us from directly from President Nelson. It is both a privilege and a blessing,” del Cid said. “We’ve been taught that as long as we share, we will be joyful. And that’s what I’ve experienced. When you serve, you feel the joy that comes from the Spirit.”

The Guatemala City Guatemala Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Image taken on Monday, June 3, 2024. 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Temples in Guatemala

“My message to the Saints in both the devotional and in our leadership instruction has been to prepare for the blessings of the temple,” said President Johnson.

“Well, I feel that it’s time for me. I’m feeling ready,” said local Relief Society leader Mariaceleste Colón, 24, who attended the training. “I learned about the importance of making covenants. I felt inspired to improve my way of ministering [to] others and to bring to them the love of our Savior Jesus Christ and seek their unique spiritual experiences.”

Guatemala currently has two operating temples. The Guatemala City Guatemala Temple, dedicated in December 1984, was the first temple built in Central America. The Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple was dedicated in December 2011. A third house of the Lord in Cobán will be dedicated on Sunday, June 9, 2024, by Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

The Miraflores Guatemala City Guatemala Temple is under construction, and the Huehuetenango Guatemala and the Retalhuleu Guatemala Temples have been announced.

Guatemala is home to over 290,000 Latter-day Saints in around 440 congregations.

Outreach Meetings

President Johnson will participate in events for the Church to donate life-saving mammography equipment to hospitals in Panama and Nicaragua. She will conclude her ministry in Costa Rica, where she will help distribute lunches to those in need.

“We’re motivated by the love of God and love of our neighbor, and we consider all these people in Guatemala our brothers and sisters,” she said.

The Relief Society leader will be joined by Sister Tamara W. Runia of the Young Women General Presidency for the outreach event in Costa Rica. Sister Runia is traveling in the same countries as President Johnson to minister to the Church’s young women.

“I hope I bring the love of our Savior as I travel,” said President Johnson. “Traveling gives me perspective on the work that we’re doing from Salt Lake City. And a better vision, perhaps, for what our sisters all over the world –– what their needs are, what their desires are, what challenges they’re facing –– and how we might help them address them always with the focus on Jesus Christ.”

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