News Release

Douglas D. Holmes, first counselor in the Young Men General Presidency and Devin G. Durrant, first counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, visit South Africa.

Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27, brothers Holmes and Durrant counseled with and taught members in three areas of Johannesburg. Saturday morning meetings were held in the Roodepoort South Africa Stake Center beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Priesthood Leadership responsible for the Young Men, met in council with Brother Holmes, while Sunday School presidencies counseled with Brother Durrant. Local leadership responded to questions from Brother Holmes and Brother Durrant and had the opportunity to ask questions which the brethren answered for the leaders. Following the hour-long counseling sessions, Brother Durrant trained Sunday School leaders and Brother Holmes trained Young Men leaders. 

Similar counseling and training sessions were conducted Saturday afternoon at the Bedforview Stake Center for additional stakes in the Northeast areas of the greater Johannesburg area.


Brother Holmes discussed the upcoming change in the Young Men program moving from the scouting program to a new program which will begin in 2020. More details regarding the change will come in the next few months. He said everything in service to the Young Men could be summed up as, “…helping young men become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.” He noted that President Henry B. Eyring has given a mandate to, “…have the gospel deep rooted in their souls.”  Further discussion between Brother Holmes and the Young Men Leaders included: appropriate use of the internet, developing faith, dating, patriarchal blessings, fellowshipping new members and other helpful instructions to develop gospel centered lives within the Young Men. Brother Holmes expressed his love for the Young Men in Africa and through out the world.


Brother Durrant informed Sunday School leaders that the 2019 Sunday School curriculum will be an entirely new format. The Quorum of the Twelve approved the new teaching methods and curriculum. Class members will be asked to participate to a much greater extent during Sunday School lessons. Students will be asked to prepare at home prior to Sunday lessons so that they can contribute to the lesson during Sunday classes. Five videos are available on line to help understand “How to Teach in The Saviors Way,” and four online videos are available which demonstrate teacher’s councils. Brother Durrant expressed his love for those attending and said wherever he travels in the world he feels like the Church is one large family.


Sunday, May 27, Brother Holmes and Brother Durrant attended sacrament meeting and bore testimonies in the Johannesburg 2nd Ward. Sunday afternoon at the Kempton Park Chapel, Brother Durrant conducted a teacher council for Sunday School teachers selected from the stakes and Brother Holmes conducted a devotional meeting for Young Men and their leaders. Members expressed deep feelings of gratitude for the special Spirit, testimonies and counsel expressed by Brother Durrant, Brother Holmes and their wives.

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