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Mormon church sends Utah couple on Georgia mission
Michelle and Steven King

Today Steven King is in his second year of serving as president of the North Atlanta mission and he says that he's still working hard helping local missionaries spread the Mormon faith.

"You always hope to increase the efficiency of what we are trying to do here, King said. "We want to make as many contacts as we can so that people are exposed to our message. I think our success comes from our ability to communicate with the spirit and receive the revelation that this is the truth."

King and wife Michelle, a former news anchor in Salt Lake City, were assigned to Georgia by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for a 36-month placement in the mission presidency; he now has 10 months left of the assignment. King is one of three mission presidents in Georgia.

Many responsibilities go along with encouraging and managing 153 missionaries in the North Atlanta area, but King remains the constant leader.

"As a mission president I have a responsibility to missionaries who are working in this area," he said. "... they are mostly 19-21-year-old young men but we also have 14 young women and 16 senior couples, people who have retired from their jobs and are now willing to serve voluntarily. They go out and do things to support the church."

George Wangemann, Gainesville city councilman and first counselor to president King, said King has been a blessing to North Georgia.

"He's working hard through the missionaries and getting out the message of the restored truth," he said. "He set the bar high; he's requiring that they work hard and long and talk to as many people as they can. He's promoting the gospel through public affairs ... and she's (Michelle) almost like a mother to these young men and women."

Wife Michelle's principle role is health care for all the missionaries.

"I deal with most of their welfare issues as far how they are doing, spiritually and physically and she handles all the medical concerns," King said. "So if a missionary gets ill or has a sprained ankle or some other kind of issue, she will spend the time getting them to doctors (for a) diagnosis."

King regularly trains the missionaries and reminds them of their purpose through encouragement and scripture. In King's short time in Georgia he has seen growth in the church, which has been exciting for him.

"I think our mission baptizes about 300 people each year and that's in 52 different congregations," he said.

King said his favorite part of his position with the Mormon church is the interaction with the volunteers who are ministering daily.

"They're convicted that this is the truth, and so when they go out they want to share that with other people," he said. "So it's really fun to see their enthusiasm. There are no incentive programs or rewards, it comes from their heart."


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