Friday , February 02, 2018 - 5:15 AM3 comments
OGDEN — A number of major changes are coming to the Northern Utah missionary force of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
But the changes are welcome ones, said Ogden Mission President Jeremy Jaggi.
The church’s missions are administrative units that oversee its full-time missionaries and their proselytizing efforts in a geographic area.
The church announced some of the changes Thursday, Feb. 1, as part of a broader announcement that it is opening five new missions and closing 19 others this July. The church also released a list of new mission presidents that will begin service in July.
Locally, the Logan Mission will merge back into the Ogden Mission, where it was until two and a half years ago, and some areas will move from the Ogden Mission to join the Salt Lake City Mission, which will be renamed the Layton Mission.
“It’s great, great news,” Jaggi said. “It’s kind of a coming back together of the former Ogden Mission.”
The new boundaries for the Ogden Mission will include areas surrounding and including Ogden, Eden, Huntsville, North Ogden, Brigham City, Tremonton and Logan, Jaggi said.
The new Layton mission will include areas surrounding and including Layton, Clearfield, Roy, Syracuse, South Weber, Morgan, Clearfield, Farmington, Centerville and North Salt Lake, he said.
“The church is cognizant of the future growth in the Layton area,” Jaggi said.
Jaggi, who will leave his post in five months, also voiced his approval of new mission presidents coming to Ogden and Layton.
“We’ve spoken to the new presidents,” Jaggi said. “They are both good men.”
President Mark A. Hobbins and his wife, Diana T. Hobbins, will take over the Ogden mission with its new boundaries.
Jaggi said Hobbins “is a delightful man from Santa Margarita, California.”
With Hobbins leaving a post as the chief operating officer of a behavioral health company that specializes in addictions, Jaggi said, his background will be well appreciated. “You can see how that will be a blessing to the people of Ogden, who also sometimes struggle with addictions.”
New Layton Mission President Robert M. Call, who will serve with his wife, Heather A. Call, is from the Northwest and has been a Seventy for the church for the past five years.
“He’s 65 years old, very wise and been around in every calling imaginable in the church,” Jaggi said. “He will be a blessing to the people there.”
Having come from Thousand Oaks, California, himself, Jaggi said that area of the country well prepares a mission president for Northern Utah.
“The diversity of California and the diversity of Ogden — both the economic diversity, cultural and religious diversity — is a natural fit for someone coming from California like President Hobbins and President Call,” Jaggi said.
Story continues below photo.
“Changes to mission boundaries are common,” the Thursday news release from the LDS Church said. “Since President Thomas S. Monson announced in 2012 the change in the ages for missionary service, the church has created 76 new missions to accommodate a surge of growth in only a few years, from 58,000 to 88,000 missionaries. The initial wave of missionaries has since receded to about 68,000 missionaries, as anticipated.”
With fewer missionaries, fewer missions are needed, the release said.
“We want missionaries to be in the best possible place and position to help people, whether through sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ or community service,” said General Authority Seventy Elder Brent H. Nielson, executive director of the church’s missionary department. “The pattern established by the Savior is to make a difference in individual lives, one by one, all over the world, which requires continuous planning and organizing.”
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