Gov. Dannel P. Malloy met recently with Connecticut leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints. The four stake presidents, representing local congregations from all over the state, visited the governor at the state capital to present him with a photo book containing highlights of Church service activity in 2011 and to discuss plans for a Mormon temple on Route 4 in Farmington.
President David W. Checketts of the Yorktown Stake, which includes southwest Connecticut, offered a prayer inviting a heavenly spirit to be present and beseeching blessings on behalf of the governor, his family and the people of the state, according to a release about the meeting. Checketts noted that, as a resident of Stamford prior to taking office, the Governor was a member of his stake; and gave him a handsome edition of the Book of Mormon, explaining the significance of this valued scripture. Malloy thanked him and commented that he was brought up to respect all faiths and that his actions while in office are consistent with his belief in religious freedom, the release said.
President Richard S. Hutchins of the Providence Stake, including the eastern part of Connecticut, related the history of the Church in Connecticut and showed stake boundaries in the state. President Hutchins explained that missionaries came to Connecticut in 1832 and now has about 15,000 members.
President Wayne S. Taylor of the Hartford Stake, covering the greater Hartford area, then discussed the announced building of a Mormon temple in Connecticut. The Governor asked how temples differ from the chapels that Church members attend for Sunday services. President Taylor briefly explained some of the differences, including that temples are used for marriage ceremonies, which the Church teaches can last beyond this life. President Taylor invited Malloy to attend the public open house and tour the temple after it is built and before it is dedicated, and the governor accepted, the release said.
President Bruce B. Stratford who leads the New Haven Stake, covering the greater New Haven area, thanked the Governor for his support in issuing a proclamation in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Church Welfare program. President Stratford, turning the pages of the photo book, summarized the many instances of service within the state—on an ongoing basis and during crisis situations such as post Hurricane Irene—conveying knowledge of specific details that could only come from someone who had hands-on participation in the many of the projects highlighted.