The following is excerpted from the Church Newsroom. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Genesis Group on Saturday night in the Tabernacle on Temple Square.
Under the direction of the First Presidency in October 1971, Elders Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), Thomas S. Monson (1927–2018) and Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015) established the Genesis Group as a dependent branch of the Church. This move was a response to a request from three Black Latter-day Saints—Ruffin Bridgeforth, Darius Gray and Eugene Orr—to better serve the needs of African American Latter-day Saints in Utah.
The Genesis Group is currently a multi-stake activities group in the Church’s Utah Area. It helps Black members of the faith and their families, friends and others build faith in Jesus Christ, foster unity and strengthen their membership in the Church. The group hosts meetings on the first Sunday of every month, as well as other activities.
Saturday evening’s program featured remarks from President M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Genesis Group President Davis Stovall, Church Historian and Recorder Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr., Darius Gray, Natalie Sheppard, Jerri Harwell (wife of former group president Don Harwell, who died earlier this year) and Eddie Gist (a counselor in Harwell’s presidency). The Debra Bonner Unity Gospel Choir provided the music.
“We are grateful for your example of inviting all to come unto the Savior,” President Ballard said in a prerecorded message. “You have been especially effective in including those who may feel marginalized in some way and in creating understanding among many not of our faith. You’ve helped others look forward in faith to a day when the people of the Lord truly will be of one heart and one mind. … The gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to unite us. We are ultimately more alike than we are different. As members of God’s family, we are truly brothers and sisters.”
To read the full article, CLICK HERE.