News Release

Area Presidency Reintroduces Philippines Area Plan to Help Filipinos Set 2024 Goals

On January 28, 2024, all congregations in the Philippines dedicated the second hour of their Church meetings to discuss the effectiveness of their units in implementing the vision and purpose of the Philippines Area Plan in 2023. This was done as per the instructions of the Area Presidency.

In a letter to Bishops and Branch Presidents in the Philippines, the Area Presidency urged all members to help individuals and families align themselves with the “Come Unto Christ: I Will Go, I Will Serve” theme of the Area Plan, which was first introduced in November 2022.

"We invite all members throughout the Philippines to take this opportunity to use the principles taught by the Area Plan as they set individual and family goals for 2024,” the Area Presidency said in their letter dated January 12, 2024.

“Special emphasis should be given to increasing the awareness, understanding, and implementation of the Area Plan in the home," they urged.

Teachers assigned by their Bishops and Branch Presidents were asked to share the growth of the Church in the Philippines. Recent records show over 865,000 Filipinos have been baptized into the Church since 1965.

Filipino members are now part of 128 Stakes and 53 Districts nationwide under 23 Missions. Three missions, the Philippines Dumaguete, Philippines General Santos, and Philippines Tuguegarao Missions, have been recently created and will start under the leadership of newly called Mission Leaders in July this year.

Temples in the Philippines are continuously being announced and built. Apart from the two operating temples – in Manila and Cebu – four are under construction, and seven more are announced.

These national statistics were shared to help members discuss their ward or branch’s local statistics and to come up with ways to support the growth of the Church in their areas and neighborhoods.

Jethro Bellen, a bishop from the Sampaguita Ward, Camarin Philippines Stake, shared that members in his Ward developed a greater determination to increase sacrament meeting attendance in the Ward through doubling ministering efforts – especially to non-participating members.

“The members felt that the exciting growth of the Church, including the heightened focus for temple and missionary work, is too great not to share. We miss our friends we have not seen recently, and we hope to share this news with them soon,” Bellen said.

“For the Church in the Philippines to grow further, we must start within the ward first,” he added.

On the other hand, members from the Pasig 1st Ward, Pasig Philippines Stake, were engaged in planning ways to improve upon the Area Plan. Bishop Elijah Collado said that the members are excited to apply the Area Plan on both the ward and family levels.

“We felt the spirit as we heard how families have been applying the Area Plan in their day-to-day lives and how they are planning to make it an even bigger part moving forward. I think most if not all, left that class with a renewed sense of commitment to apply the principles of the Area Plan,” Collado said.

“We want to go to the temple more, we want to do ministering more, we want to help our youth come unto Christ more, and we want to be an Area Plan loving ward more. We are truly grateful to our Area Presidency for emphasizing this to all members,” he remarked.

Mandaluyong 1st Ward (Mandaluyong Philippines Stake) Bishop Raffy Tumalaytay also shared that the Area Plan introduced almost two years ago, has helped the members in his ward better understand their roles in the Church, particularly in magnifying callings.

“Our discussions during the lesson have catalyzed increased communication and collaboration between all members. This renewed sense of commitment is now driving a collective effort to contribute more effectively to building up His Kingdom in our area,” he said.

After the lessons, each member has been given the Area Plan Commitment Card, a smaller version of the Area Plan poster where members are encouraged to write down their individual and family goals for 2024.

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