Church leaders in a country where the restored Gospel is struggling to gain a foothold have great challenges helping new members find a way to inculcate the gospel into everyday lives of converts by keeping them involved in helping the Church grow.
Such is the challenge President Boris Leostrin faces daily in leading the St. Petersburg Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But, don’t take my word for it. Ask him.
On February 16, at 7 PM MST, a special Meridian Zoom cast will be held with President Leostrin, and you can join in. His theme is “Finding and Living the Gospel in Russia – the Challenges Facing Latter-day Saints.” He will address how Russian Saints lives and challenges differ from American Saints and those in other lands. He will speak via Zoom from his home in St. Petersburg, Russia, live, for about ten minutes and then answer your questions.
To participate just go to this link:
Meeting ID: 864 2736 9021
Although President Leostrin speaks excellent English, sometimes spontaneous questions are asked in a way that can be a challenge to a non-native speaker. In order to allow President Leostrin a chance to organize his thoughts to make sure he’s answering your question, he has asked you to email your questions to Mark Stoddard at Ma**@He******************.com and Mark will organize them with President Leostrin to be sure your question is answered.
Your questions can also be about Russia and Russians in general.
As President Leostrin discussed in a previous article in Meridian, finding the Gospel of Christ and then living it are two opportunities that have greater challenges depending upon where we live. For those living in countries with totalitarian regimes like the USSR, it can be flat out dangerous to live the Gospel openly. Chapels may be closed, and job promotions thwarted when a person’s faith is discovered, or worse.
President Leostrin’s mother began her journey of faith during the fall of the communist regime and President Leostrin joined his mother. He first met Americans aboard one of the Stoddard’s Russia cruises where he and his mother were joined by other Russians as guests so they could meet Americans. After a required stint in the Russian Army, he served a mission in Rostov, Russia. He worked as a hotel concierge and later started his own travel company in St. Petersburg using the lessons he had learned while on that cruise.
He quickly found that when those restrictions against freedom of religion are lifted, another great challenge is faced: how do I live my religion? As a Stake President he works with members gain their faith, regain it, and return to activity. He’ll share the challenges he and other members of Russia face.
If you are unsure how to access Zoom for this discussion, just email Mark Stoddard at Ma**@He******************.com