Family standing in the door of their home
Food vendor
expand

Sumalee Tudkeaw

2014
Sisaket, Thailand
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Cody Bell

Patcharint Kaenjak and Orapha Thongiam find time to visit Sumalee. Ministering can happen anytime, anywhere—even on the busy streets of Sisaket.

Missionaries in street
expand

Elder Casas and Elder Sabunod

2014
Manila, Philippines
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Cody Bell

Elder Casas spends the last day of his two-year missionary service walking the narrow streets and reaching out to people he has come to love.

Family at dinner
expand

Bayardelger, Oyunchimeg Damdin, Tanan, Monkhbayar, Monkhdelger, and Jugder

2013
Bayanzürkh, Mongolia
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Cody Bell

Tanan looks at Grandma while Monkhdelger offers the prayer before lunch.

A man baptizing his son
expand

Rahandrisoa Nirina Jonah and Timothy Maluleka

2016
Antananarivo, Madagascar
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Cody Bell

On December 10, 2016, three new members were baptized in the Antananarivo 67th Hectares Ward.


Senior Missionary hugging a crying woman
expand

Sister Thurston

2017
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

Though Sister Thurston does not speak Khmer, she reaches out to everyone as if they can understand her. She came upon and offered comfort to a young woman whose mother had passed away the night before.

Boys chopping wood
expand

Elder Villaruel and Elder Mera

2017
Puerto Montt, Chile
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Cody Bell

When firewood is delivered for wood stoves, it needs to be split. Missionaries go door to door volunteering their service.

woman siting on the floor by her bed
expand

Zhuljeta Cela

2015
Tirana, Albania
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Cody Bell

Zhuljeta’s daughter decided to move to Germany to be near her father.

Parents playing with their kids on the floor
expand

Zheng Jin Tai

2015
New Taipei City, Taiwan
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Cody Bell

Grandpa gets to babysit while mom and dad are away.


Older couple in their living room
expand

Donika and Banish Kashari

2015
Tirana, Albania
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Cody Bell

Donika is active in the Church even though her husband is not a member.

A boy holding an old picture of an ancestor
expand

Guiermo M.

2016
Montevideo, Uruguay
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

While cleaning their apartment, nine-year-old Guiermo found a photograph of his grandfather. He looked in the mirror and discovered the family resemblance.

A young couple walking and smiling
expand

Rakotomalala Alphonse and Razafindravaonasolo Sidonie

2016
Sarodroa, Madagascar
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Cody Bell

Rakotomalala and Razafindravaonasolo stand in front of the chapel the members built in Sarodroa. They have remained good friends since the days they had to ride a bicycle for two hours to church every Sunday.

A boy pets a horse
expand

Gavin S.

2013
Centerfield, Utah, USA
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

Gavin shows love for his horse Kerby.


A mother watering the yard with her daughter and husband
expand

Derlys, Silvia, and Clarisa Ortiz

2016
Asunción, Paraguay
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Cody Bell

After Derlys arrives home from work, he and his family enjoy the fresh air and sip tereré in front of their home.

A woman teaching a group of youth the scriptures
expand

Munganga Doudou

2014
Mont Ngafula, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

Munganga follows the counsel to hold a family home evening each week. Because she views her friends and neighbors as family, they are included in family night.

An older couple hugging
expand

Irena and Josef Herduś

2016
Gdańsk, Poland
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

Irena and Josef expected to raise a family after they got married. They decorated a room and waited, but a child never came.

A woman helps a man shave
expand

Genoveva and Ionut Siminiuc

2014
Iași, Romania
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

Ionut suffered brain damage from a difficult birth. His mother, Genoveva, has given him constant care for 29 years.


A family walking in a market
expand

Luis Omar Cardozo

2017
Salta, Argentina
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

Luis and his wife, Liliana, received a devastating call about their son from his mission president.

Sergio was our only son, and he was the first of our children to serve a full-time mission. My wife, Liliana, and I were proud of him and the example he set for his two sisters.

"We didn’t worry about Sergio. We thought that the mission field was the safest place he could be. His mission president called us on October 7, 2014.

"He told us that Sergio and his companion had been teaching investigators about the temple and eternal families. Afterward, as Sergio offered the closing prayer, he paused, suddenly lost consciousness, and fell to the floor. He received a blessing and was rushed to a medical center. Doctors tried in vain to revive him. He had suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm.

"The news filled us with deep sorrow. Despite our grief, we never felt alone. It is difficult to find gratitude in tragedy, but I am grateful for the Lord’s tender mercies that followed Sergio’s death. I will always be thankful that Heavenly Father took him when we were strong in the faith.

"I am also grateful that He took our son in such a sweet manner. Sergio didn’t suffer. The Holy Ghost gave me a small glimpse of what Heavenly Father must have endured when His Only Begotten died for us. I realized that I didn’t have any right to be angry with God. My Father in Heaven knew what I was going through. A peace came over me that allowed me to accept His will and the timing of Sergio’s death.”

—LUIS


A woman standing in her doorway
expand

Josephine Scere

2016
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

The temple in Philadelphia brings peace and strength to Josephine.

"I was born into hardship. My mother was an immigrant from Liberia, we were poor, and I was abused as a child while left in the care of people my mother thought she could trust. When your trials start before the age of accountability, I think there’s a depth of a relationship with the Savior that can come. The African culture instills a love for the Lord inside of you from an early age. I remember my grandmother teaching me the Lord’s Prayer when I was four. She ingrained in me just how important it is to have a personal relationship with the Savior. It was such a tangible thing for me. The gospel came into my life at an opportune time. I was 14. I was baptized on May 21, 2000.

"Life is hard whether you’re a Latter-day Saint or not. My strength comes from my relationship with my Savior and with my son, Enoch. I know that keeping the covenants I have made in the temple also gives me strength. I know that healing comes as I attend the temple. I go weekly.”

— JOSEPHINE


Older woman sitting in a chair in front of a open window reading her scriptures
expand

Skaidrīte Bokuma

2016
Liepāja, Latvia
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

Skaidrīte’s mother was an alcoholic and was unable to care for the family.

"I was holding my sister’s hand when she died of starvation. We were in such a poor situation that my mother sent me to the countryside to become a shepherd.”

Skaidrīte was beaten regularly while working on the sheep farm and later went to a foster home for vocational education. She worked in a clothing factory as a seamstress. After she married, her husband and only child slipped into alcoholism. Skaidrīte felt discouraged and contemplated suicide.

In 1999, Skaidrīte decided to visit churches in search of peace. On a Thursday, she saw a sign for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She went inside.

"There was a sister missionary. When I walked in, she was smiling—a very open smile. I thought there was somebody behind me. Then I realized the smile was for me, and I smiled back. I felt like I was meeting a best friend, long not seen. I had never met anyone like the missionaries. I felt like they were angels, literally come from heaven to earth. Since that day all the thoughts of suicide were gone. There were no thoughts of life being dark. In spite of everything, I am positive. Life is beautiful to me.”

—SKAIDRĪTE


Kids playing soccer
expand

Sango N.

2016
Cape Town, South Africa
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Cody Bell

To provide for his family, Sango’s father (Zebulon) started several businesses; he works as an undertaker, busses children to school, and rents apartments. In this photo, Sango and his friends are waiting for Zebulon to pick them up.

"I am grateful that all my kids are members of the Church. They have been so good thus far, and I can attest that they are lovely kids. I think it is because of the gospel that they received in their early age. I just wish that everyone’s kids can be taught of the gospel at a very young age so that they can grow up and be good people.”

—ZEBULON (SANGO’S FATHER)


Woman holds a child while a girl reads scriptures to another child
expand

Maria de Los Angeles Fuentes Borda and Angélica Diaz

2014
Cochabamba, Bolivia
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

Maria gave birth to twins out of wedlock, an unexpected blessing for her Aunt Angélica.

"I have two baby daughters named Luciana and Valentina. I have a strong testimony that families can be forever. I hope to give this to my daughters, even if it’s not with their biological father. It’s very difficult. Perhaps had I made better decisions, I wouldn’t be in this position. I hope to give them an eternal family.”

—MARIA

"There are a lot of children in this family, and when we found out that two more children were coming to our family, I was particularly thankful to my Father in Heaven. My husband always wanted to have twin girls, but they never arrived. But when we found out we were going to have two new nieces, my husband and I loved them as if they were our own. When I look at them, I hope that someday their mother and her two daughters will be sealed to each other in a temple for all eternity. That’s what I want most. I don’t want a car. I don’t want an education. I just want an eternal family.”

—ANGÉLICA


A young family cooking together
expand

Mickael, Jacqueline, and Spencer Monga

2015
Paris, France
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

Mickael and Jacqueline met while the two were attending college. Mickael was preparing to leave on a mission and Jacqueline had recently arrived from Uganda to study French.

"I decided to serve a mission when I was 23. Just a few months before I left, a new girl came into my life, with a beautiful smile. And, I was like, ‘No, no girl.’ But this one touched my heart with her testimony. I really felt that she was special. So I started to date, just to know her. She was a very good support for me on my mission. And we learned a lot of things even if we were away. When I came back I decided to marry her.”

—MICKAEL

"I came to France for studies, basically to learn French. And then I met my husband while at the institute. He was preparing to go on a mission. And he was not interested in dating. But we started dating and he went on his mission four months later. And then, well, I had to wait for him to come back. He came back in 2006 and then we got married the next year. And now here we are with a child and with another child on the way. And we’re happy.”

—JACQUELINE


A young man in the snow laughing in front of a home
expand

Victor Barbinyagra

2016
Kharkiv, Ukraine
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

Although his life has had many challenges, Victor hasn’t lost faith in God. He feels that happiness is a decision he makes.

"I wasn’t able to physically walk until I was seven years old.

"I was born three months premature.

"Sometimes I get upset about my disabilities, but I try not to show this. Usually I’m a happy person, and I just don’t show my frustrations to others.

"When I was a teenager, however, there was a time when I was depressed. I didn’t want to go to church. I asked God, ‘Why am I this way? Why can’t you make me better? Why don’t I have good relationships with others?’ I didn’t know how I could change my situation, so I thought that maybe ending my life was the answer.

"But then I thought about my mother and how she would react. I thought that she would probably feel really sorry and feel that she did something wrong or did not do enough to help me. That’s when I decided that I was going to live and keep going.

"In the end, I feel that I’m a pretty happy person. I have problems, just like everyone else does. I know we can cope with our problems, and we can move forward. I know that God has a plan for every person in this life no matter who they are. I believe that happiness is something that is inside us, not outside.”

—VICTOR


A woman standing in her kitchen with her son
expand

Debbie Cole

2016
Mullingar, Ireland
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

During the 28 years since she was raped, priesthood blessings and prayer have sustained Debbie Cole. Recently, a new bill was introduced in Ireland resulting in stricter sentencing for serial sex offenders. They call it Debbie’s Law.

"When I was 19, I was raped. Within a few days, I had the clear mentality to decide that this was going to be a moment in my life; it wasn’t going to define my life. So I just kind of put it to the back of my mind and got on with life, went through the court case, and, thankfully, the guy was sent to prison. I moved on, got married, had children.

"Some years later I got a phone call saying the guy was back up in the paper because he had raped three women. And that brought everything back. Thankfully I had the gospel at the time; I was a strong member of the Church. I got a blessing from my husband and got through it.

"Then the guy that raped me was back up in the news again. He had raped somebody else. I thought, ‘No, this can’t keep going on. I need to try and change the law.’

"So I came up with a proposal for our minister for justice. There’s been times during the campaign where I’ve had to get priesthood blessings because I could feel the weight of the whole thing coming in on me. I knew that the people who were put in my path—the journalists, the media, the politicians—they were all genuine people. I knew that they were put in my path by Heavenly Father. I have such a strong testimony that prayer works. I know that if it wasn’t for prayer, I wouldn’t have the strength to do this.”

—DEBBIE


Missionaries teach a man and boy on the street
expand

Fabian H.

2017
Antofagasta, Chile
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

Twelve-year-old Fabian enjoys sharing the gospel with others.

"I told three of my friends that I was getting baptized. They were excited. Two of them even came. They’ve also attended Mutual. I’ve explained to them what happens during sacrament meeting. They’re interested. At school, they ask me how things are going at church, what we do and when. Sometimes they come with me and enjoy learning more about Jesus Christ and His gospel.

"I like to share the gospel so that my friends understand what we believe and what we do at church. I would be very happy if one of my friends got baptized and became one of my quorum members.

"I go out with the missionaries to get to know people and to share the gospel. Sometimes bad things happen at school. But in the evening, the missionaries come knocking on my door and ask if I would be willing to help them teach. After going out with them and sharing the gospel with others, I feel as if I don’t have any problems.

"One of my biggest goals is to become a missionary so that I can share the gospel full-time for two years. I want to share the truth with those who don’t know it. I want to teach them how they can be an eternal family. I want to invite them to be happy now and to live in a state of never-ending happiness after this life.”

—FABIAN


Family Karaoke
expand

Murilo Vicente Leite Ribeiro

2014
Goiânia, Brazil
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Cody Bell

Murilo was baptized as a teenager. As he prepared to serve a mission, his parents forbade him to go.

"I told my parents I was going to Recife to represent Jesus Christ as a missionary. My father fought with me, and my mother went so far as to burn my church clothes and throw my books away.

"I did not go on a mission. This was the hardest time in my life. I felt inferior to my friends who had already left on missions, and I felt alone at church. Some people thought I did not go because I was unworthy. But I did my best to remain firm in the faith. During this time I met Kelly, who would become my wife. When I met her, my depression lifted and I was able to see myself as a child of God.

"After our first child was born, my parents attended the blessing. It was the first time they ever went to church. From then on they started to hear the missionary lessons in their home. I eventually had the privilege to baptize my brothers and my parents.

"Years later I met with a member of the Seventy. He asked me about my mission.

"I did not serve a mission,’ I said, starting to cry.

"'Brother Murilo,’ he said, ‘Do not look back; look forward. You are clean.’ It felt like a six-ton backpack was lifted off my back.

"He told me to return with my wife and called me to serve as stake president! ‘You will be able to help young people who have difficulties or who do not have the support of their parents,’ he said. ‘You did not have the opportunity to serve a mission, but this is your mission now. You will help send young people on missions.’”

—MURILO


A mother feeding her toddler
expand

Bettina Monni

2015
Rome, Italy
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Cody Bell

When Bettina was expecting her first child, she didn’t expect what would come after.

"Following the birth of my first child, Aaron, I experienced postpartum depression. This was very challenging for me. It was a wonderful time in my life because I had a son, yet I could not experience this joy because of depression. At that time, I prayed a lot to receive Heavenly Father’s help. It was around general conference time, and I prayed for an answer to this great trial and for comfort. I hoped to receive some answer from a talk. While listening to general conference, I heard Elder Holland’s talk ‘Like a Broken Vessel,’ which spoke of depression. For me this was a very special moment because I understood that Heavenly Father loves me and that He was aware of what I was experiencing and wanted to help me.”

—BETTINA


A man baptizing his son
expand

Ilir Dobaj

2015
Durrës, Albania
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Cody Bell

An older woman, bedridden with a stomach tumor, asked Bishop Dobaj to be the only one to visit her because she felt comfortable having him help her.

"I had an operation on my heart, and I was unable to visit her for a short time. When I went back to see her, she said, ‘Bishop, how can you come help me if you’ve just had an operation?’ I told her, ‘My calling is to serve others.’

"Her death was coming soon and her body was starting to waste away. It was hard to see her that way, but she was not afraid to die. She loved God and knew the plan of salvation. ‘I know that God has a wonderful plan for me,’ she said. ‘I know where I will be going; I know God is waiting for me.’

"When she passed away, I reflected on the experiences I had with her and how good my calling as bishop is. I am grateful to serve others, love others, and help them. I love the gospel.”

—ILIR


Family standing in their doorway smiling
expand

Walter Flores

2016
Comunidad Tovacón, Paraguay
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Cody Bell

Walter and his wife were the first indigenous people to be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Paraguay. They became ambassadors of the Church to other indigenous colonies.

"Before he left the country at the end of his mission, President Quinn came into my business and made a large purchase. He left me his card, which I saved in my drawer. I didn’t sleep well that night because I was interested in the person who left me that card. I left early for work the next day and opened my office. I grabbed the phone and immediately called to see if he was available. ‘As soon as you arrive, Brother, we will see you,’ he told me. I got baptized along with my wife on August 24, 1982.

"A little while later, the missionaries came, inspired that the people in the campo needed them. ‘OK,’ I told them. ‘We can go. I’ll accompany you.’ We journeyed to Mistolar. During our first encounter with them, I told them in my dialect, ‘I have come with these missionaries to help you.’ That same night, they all got together, more than 300 people. That was a surprise for me. The first testimony I gave as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, I bore to them. It was also a surprise for them too. They knew how my life was before. For me to turn my life around 180 degrees was a lot for them. They couldn’t believe it. But they listened.

"The missionaries returned to Mistolar. They stayed there for a week. They returned with the news that we had 160 people ready to get baptized. It was totally unbelievable. Baptisms and confirmations took from 8:00 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon. We quickly had about 300 members there.”

—WALTER


A man and woman hug in front of their home
expand

Rodrigo Bordon, Mariana Gonzalez, and Nataly

2016
Treinta y Tres, Uruguay
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

Rodrigo met Mariana and her daughter, Nataly, two years after Mariana was baptized. They married six months later. After their son, Yoracio, was born, they learned that Nataly has autism.

"I remember kneeling that day and praying and asking God to help me understand why we had to face this trial. Sometimes we ask why this or that had to happen. Sometimes an answer doesn’t come, but this time it did. I received an answer as to why Nataly had autism and that it would be a blessing for us as a family. It has been, but it has also been a challenge. Our days are difficult because she has a brother who is normal. They fight a lot, but they also protect each other and love each other. It’s wonderful to see Nataly’s progress because in her progress, we see our own progress. We can see how we have progressed and how we will continue to progress. It’s difficult at times when we don’t know how to communicate certain things to her. But like our son, she is an enormous blessing.”

—RODRIGO


A man standing on his balcony
expand

Sevak Vardanyan

2015
Gyumri, Armenia
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

Elders quorum president Sevak makes his living creating Christian art for local churches.

"I first heard about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 50 years ago from my grandmother. She had met the missionaries in Aparan in 1915, before the Soviet Union was organized. Those were hard times in Armenia, and the missionaries were there to help.

"My grandmother told me that once the Soviet Union collapsed, the missionaries would come and find me so I wouldn’t be alone. I always knew there was a true church of Jesus Christ on the earth. I was looking for the missionaries in Yerevan, and I found them one day teaching my sister in her home. The missionaries in Yerevan told me about the Church in Gyumri, where I live, and I was baptized.

"The Church has brought me happiness. I serve as the elders quorum president and I love to serve others. The biggest challenge we face, as a quorum, is a poor economy. There are some who cannot find work and those who do have jobs have to work hard without any days off. Many of the brothers have to miss church because they have to work on Sundays, because if they don’t go, they will be fired and it will be hard to find another job. We try to do the best we can to attend church and keep the commandments.

"The gospel is a wonderful blessing in my life. I felt alone before I joined the Church, but now I have friends in the gospel. Now that I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I am no longer lonely.”

—SEVAK


Man sitting on the couch in his living room
expand

John O’Connell

2016
Limerick, Ireland
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

John has been a widower for two months.

"I was in the Church 12 months when I met Winifred, and we got married fairly quickly because my wife was 45 years of age at that time and I was 44. We were married for 25 years. I think that my two greatest decisions were to join the Church and to get married.”

—JOHN


Family around a table
expand

Harmin Toledo Gonzalez

2017
Ancud, Chile
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Cody Bell

Harmin and his family visit with his mother-in-law after Sunday Church services. He serves as a counselor in the branch presidency. However, Harmin was not always fully active in the Church.

"Two years after my wife, Madeline, and I were baptized I quit going to church. So Madeline would get up and head to the chapel with our son. She never lost faith in me. About a year after I quit attending church, I had a dream. I dreamed that I was walking hand in hand in a beautiful countryside with my wife and son. We were very happy. But it began to grow dark. It became so dark that I couldn’t see anything. Suddenly I noticed that I was no longer holding hands with my wife and son. Then I experienced what it means to be truly miserable. When I awoke the next morning, I told my wife: ‘Tomorrow, I go to church.’”

—HARMIN


Looking through the a door you can see a couple sitting on a couch each holding a baby.
expand

Carlos Feriera, Alexa Silvera, Benjamin, and Jacob

2016
Treinta y Tres, Uruguay
Digital print, 24 x 36 in.
Leslie Nilsson

Carlos returned to the church of his childhood when he began a family of his own. His wife, Alexa, was baptized when she was pregnant with their first child.

"Until I was 12, I was raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. My parents were members, but when I was 12, they went inactive. We children became inactive too. I kept my testimony of Joseph Smith and the principles of the gospel, but from 14 to 19 years old, I became worldly. I tried lots of things, including drugs. I found my way back to God through lots of prayer.

"Alexa and I have two children. Jacob is only 11 days old. I love being a father. When we began to return to church, I had to get baptized a second time because my records were lost. I feel like the Lord gave me another chance.”

—CARLOS

"When I began to feel a mother’s love for Benjamin while I was pregnant with him, I also began to feel and understand the love Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven have for us. The missionaries said a mother’s love is closest to the love the Father has for His Son. So, I imagine the love the Father and Jesus Christ have for us must be enormous. I want to have an eternal family.”

—ALEXA