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The members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were excited to gather in their historic building in Rajahmundry, India. The building was filled with church members from the entire chapel through the cultural hall, including seats placed on the stage. Gratitude was felt and verbally expressed as the Rajahmundry Stake was formed on December 18, 2016.
Gratitude for the “member’s faith and hard work” said A. Narish Kumar.
Rajahmundry is the third stake formed in India followed by the Hyderabad Stake in 2012 and the Bengaluru Stake in 2015 in the Asia Area of the Church.
A stake is an administrative unit composed of several smaller congregations called wards in the organization hierarchy of the Church. A stake is comparable to a Catholic church’s diocese. Members look to the stake for strength in numbers as referred to in Isaiah 54:2 “Enlarge the place of thy tent… and strengthen thy stakes”.
President Randy Funk, the leader of the Asia Area for the Church, was presiding at the meeting. President Funk said, “In March of 2011, the Rajahmundry District was created. We have seen impressive growth and strength of the members in Rajahmundry in the last six years.”
The newly called stake president is President Prasad Badhireddy. His first counselor is Durga Prasad Pinipe. His second counselor is Naveen Kumar Murapaka, The stake executive secretary is Ananth Padmanabha Swami Nelli.
President Badhireddy said, “When we follow the gospel, it gives us strength and wisdom’, which also reflects his favorite scripture from the Book of Mormon. “O be wise; what can I say more?” Jacob 6:12
The Book of Mormon is sacred scripture according the church members along with the Holy Bible, Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.
The choir sang with power. The choir members were from the young single adult organization, YSA. The YSA choir practiced everyday for three weeks. Their melodic voices showed their joy in the stake formation.
The meeting was held in the largest church owned building in India. The building was recently renovated. In fact, the benches arrived six days prior to the dedication. The new stake center was resplendent with the new furniture, paint, carpet, and granite stone.
At the close of the meeting, a dedicatory prayer was offered by President Funk; wherein, gratitude was expressed for the “faithfulness of these [Indian] Saints.” He also blessed the building to be “a place where many may come to learn and serve.”