President Eyring Provides Lift to Helping Hands in Florida

President Eyring Provides Lift to Helping Hands in Florida

Church leaders visit Naples and Jacksonville

News Release

Completing three days of ministering in areas struck by Hurricane Irma, President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, visited Florida Saturday and Sunday, September 16–17 2017. Approximately 7,500 Mormon Helping Hands were in force throughout the state this weekend to clean up damage caused by the destructive hurricane, which hit the region a week ago.

 

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On the heels of stops Friday in Puerto Rico and St. Thomas in the Caribbean, President Eyring was joined by Bishop Dean M. Davies of the Presiding Bishopric and General Authority Seventy Elder Jörg Klebingat as they visited Naples, Florida. Naples was hit especially hard as the eye of Hurricane Irma passed by and unleashed peak wind gusts of 140 miles per hour. The destructive winds caused widespread damage to homes, property and businesses in the area.

While visiting residents Saturday morning in Naples, where around 1,000 Mormon Helping Hands volunteered to clean up, President Eyring said, “Instead of worrying about their own problems, they are working for others. That man on the roof was taking care of his house and yet his sons are off taking care of other people. Thank you from the prophet, President Monson, if he were here. He’s always talked about [going] to the rescue, and here we really see everything he’s been asking for. Thank you.”

At a mid-day devotional held at a Latter-day Saint meetinghouse in Naples, President Eyring told a large gathering of Helping Hands volunteers, “Each of you have individual problems — you’re not all in the same boat; you’re in all very different boats. For some of you the hurricane is the biggest thing in your life. [To a] lot of you it’s something else. I don’t know what it is. Just remember the Lord does, and He loves you. And He has gone before your face to prepare you to do, even under the pressures that you’re under, the things that He would do, and you will feel His help. I bless you with that.”

 

In the afternoon, Church leaders stopped at cleanup sites in Jacksonville, Florida, where more Mormon Helping Hands volunteers cleared out flooded homes impacted by heavy rainfall and a record storm surge.

The leaders concluded their visit to Florida September 17, 2017, by speaking to congregants at a worship service in Jacksonville.

“Oh my, you’re wonderful,” President Eyring told the audience. “What you’ve done during this time of difficulty of others around you, a lot of you have forgotten yourselves and gone to work. In doing what the Lord would do, you were the Lord’s servants. I want you to know that I admire all that you’ve done and the Lord admires you.”

“We’ve learned much over these past several days as we have traveled from place to place and been with and embraced and hugged and even cried with those who have reason to mourn,” Bishop Davies added. “[I’m] so grateful for the resources of our Savior’s Church that they can be brought together.”

Though Hurricane Irma affected several states in the southern United States, Florida’s damage was by far the most extensive. According to reports, more than 30 people died and damages are estimated at $18 billion in Florida alone.

To date, the Church has sent 29 semitrailers to Florida loaded with food, water, emergency response equipment and cleaning and hygiene kits to provide relief.

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