The Utah Story

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He was in a carload of people when his friend drove into a light pole. He spent the rest of the night at a hospital. So when a detective contacted him weeks later, he thought it was about the car crash. But she was investigating something much more serious: The year-old girl had accused Wickham and another man, Robert Daniel Pliego, of holding her down as they took turns having sex with her.

I said I was at the hospital. But he was arrested weeks later, handcuffed by the police as he was walking to the store with his young daughter perched on his shoulders. But Wickham had faith in the justice system. He knew this was just a misunderstanding. But then came his trial, where the teen girl testified in graphic detail about how Wickham and Pliego had assaulted her.

Wickham remembers being somewhat confused as he listened to her testimony. He wondered if maybe she had been abused at his home by two men, but she was mistaken that it was him. After deliberating for an hour or so, the jury found him guilty. He later was sentenced to a year-to-life prison term. When he first went to prison, Wickham just felt numb. He missed his daughter, who was his world.

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But as the years stretched on, he went to school and learned carpentry. He went to church, and tried to keep a positive outlook. And during all of this, Wickham maintained his innocence and fought for his release.

It would take nearly 15 years before an attorney helped him get the parole board to look at his case and grant him a special hearing. A month after that review, he was let out. But his battle to prove his innocence continued. And in , the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center took his case. I heard a story of a wife and mother who left the family room where her family members were sitting with their eyes glued to their smartphones, laptop computers, and notebooks, not talking with one another.

From the other room she sent them all a message on her smartphone suggesting that they turn them off and talk with one another face to face.

Recently, one of my colleagues in the Twelve attended a Shabbat service with a Jewish family in their home. He reported that he was impressed because during the Shabbat dinner, everyone in the family had turned off their electronic devices so they could give their full attention to each other. I think we could be more like this faithful Jewish family in choosing to spend time with our family without distraction.

A word about our friends, neighbors, and associates at school and work who are not members of the Church. Our history is full of stories where we were in the minority and suffered various forms of discrimination and persecution. We finally came to these valleys to build a covenant community of caring where we could live in peace.

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If a neighbor, work colleague, or schoolmate is not interested in investigating the gospel, we must always continue to extend the hand of friendship. I invite every parent listening today to talk with your children about how they should treat others not of our faith on the school playground and in our neighborhoods. Our children learn best by the example of parents and leaders.

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Let us be careful regarding what we say about others and how we treat our fellowmen. Let us join hands with all people of goodwill in every good cause and include them in our circles of friends and associates. Let us truly welcome them into our chapels and ward activities. Now a warning particularly applicable today because of the unprecedented access to educational opportunities, especially in the Utah South Area.


O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men [and I add women]! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.

Too often, Facebook and blog posts mock and ridicule humble members who are doing their best in teaching and speaking at Church. I testify that if you will carefully consider this counsel and direction you have received from each one of us today, you will find your feeder roots connected to the "well of water springing up into everlasting life.

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My beloved brothers and sisters, it is a deep honor for us to be able to speak to you today. We love you. We love you students who are here in the Marriott Center. It is my privilege to invite our Heavenly Father to bless you. May you have peace. May you have joy in your hearts.

May you have the courage to repent if you need to. If there is something going on in your lives, wherever you may be hearing this broadcast, may you have the courage to deal with it today. May the Lord give you the strength to turn to Him, to love Him, and to serve Him, that you may find yourselves safely moving through this process of mortality prepared to one day be held in the arms of our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son.

I testify to you that I know that Jesus is the Christ. He is the Son of God. These things that we have spoken to you today I hope you will receive in the spirit in which we have given them. If we need to do better, may God bless us to so do. This is the Church of Jesus Christ. He is the head of it. We know His will; we fight His battles. May God bless you, my beloved brothers and sisters, to join the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and other Church leaders as we fight the battle preparing for that day when the Savior and Redeemer of the world will come once again is my humble prayer, testimony, and blessing, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Home ChurchofJesusChrist. Additionally, your dedication to the Lord is revealed in the religious landscape of the Utah South Area, with: Three missions Six temples, with two under construction the largest religious university in America vibrant institutes of religion programs associated with the great colleges and universities in the area an expanding missionary training center in Provo Numerous ward, stake, and seminary buildings from Mesquite, Nevada, and St.

A Utah man tells his story of serving 15 years in prison for a sex crime he didn’t commit

George, Utah, in the south to Moab and Vernal in the east and to Alpine and Heber City in the north In terms of tithes and offerings, missionary service, temple work, good deeds, and leadership, the Utah South Area provides the Church a generous resource to help build the kingdom of God and to establish Zion throughout the world. How was that possible inasmuch as the tree had flourished there for more than five decades?

In the distinctive cultural and geographic landscape of Utah, refugees are greeted by a caseworker, taken to housing, and immediately submerged in fast-paced society far removed from their homeland. Even the smallest tasks, from turning on a light to experiencing running water in their own homes, can be mystifying. Initially surrounded by well-intentioned hosts and mentors, the refugee is endlessly briefed on a new world. The door of welcome leads to an arduous set of stairs. Ascent is difficult and the process of becoming a citizen of the United States is long and daunting.

And yet each year hundreds of these once-desperate refugees raise their hands in the oath of citizenship.

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Career accreditation in their homelands is often unaccepted against our national standards. Language barriers endure. Many of refugees find themselves working low-income jobs, living in poverty, exposed to an elusive American dream on a daily, even hourly basis. Her journalism experiences there gave her an appreciation of the documentary format, as she chronicled the impact people can have on their communities. Paige has traveled and filmed in places such as Costa Rica, Kenya, and all along the Wasatch front.

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