"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
February 14, 2014
LDS Travelers Can Now Connect with LDS Guides Around the World
by Dian Thomas

For more than six years, I traveled with BYU Education Weeks all over the United States and Canada. One of the nicest benefits of this was that we were met by our hosts and often had the most wonderful tours of their city.

If there happened to be a temple in the city, the tour would include the temple. There would be stories about the temple, and the host guides would share a great deal about the growth of the Church in their area.

When I went to Calgary, Alberta, more than 30 years ago, my tour guide was Barbara Benson Walker, who was President Ezra Taft Benson’s daughter. We learned about her time in Washington, D.C., when her father was Secretary of Agriculture under President Eisenhower.

Her husband was the stake president and she shared many insights with us about the growth of the church in Calgary, Canada.

Dick Jensen, who got me into the travel business, caught the vision of providing local LDS guides for LDS travelers. When he asked me what I thought about starting a business, I told him it sounded just like what we did during Education Week for so many years.

Dick created a website that offers guides in more than 20 cities across the globe, but he plans to add many more guides in additional cities.

In addition to providing tours of traditional sites and offering historical and cultural background, guides booked through www.ldscityguides.com can give information about the local history of the LDS church, schedule temple excursions, or even arrange attendance at a meeting of a local church congregation.

Henry Shi is a guide who gives tours of his home in China

Henry Shi has been a guide for Dick in China for more than a decade. On a trip to the United States a year ago, he took the lessons and joined the Church.

Dick tells a story of a guide that they had in South America. Dick asked him to guide him on Sunday to take him to church meetings because the guide was already a member. The guide said that his tour schedule was so busy that he did not have time to go very often.

Dick insisted that the guide take him to church, and when the two of them went to their church meetings. Everyone recognized the guide and welcomed him. Then the bishop called the guide aside and did something quite interesting. He called the guide on a mission. The former guide is now serving on that mission.

Serving as an LDS guide can be a great opportunity for church members to share their love of the gospel with tourists, and being a tourist who is guided by LDS guides can be a great opportunity for you to share your love of the Church while learning more about the culture and the country you are visiting.

Information about the guides and the cities available can be found at www.ldscityguides.com or by calling 801-917-1131.

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About Dian Thomas

Dian Thomas was blessed with the good fortune to be born near and raised in the remote, breathtaking Manti-La Sal National Forest in southeastern Utah, where her father was the forest ranger. She took the skills she learned in the outdoors and turned them into a New York Times best-selling book, Roughing It Easy. Her appearance on the NBC's "Tonight" show with Johnny Carson boosted her into the national media scene, where she became a regular on NBC's "Today" show for eight years and then ABC's "Home Show" for six years. After more than 25 years of media exposure and 19 books, she now shares her practical insights and wisdom with audiences who want to savor life.

A former Relief Society president, Dian is currently serving as a visiting teacher. Visit her website at www.DianThomas.com

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