Area Authority Seventy in the Philippines
October 2000

“Area Authority Seventy in the Philippines,” Ensign, Oct. 2000, 68

Area Authority Seventy in the Philippines

Elder Henry Ferrer Acebedo has been administering to the needs of people for more than 25 years both as a Church leader and medical doctor. He graduated from medical school in 1963 and married Lucita Ojeda Custodio-Acebedo, who is also a physician.

In May 1975 he received a visit at his clinic from two missionaries, who gave him a short introduction to the Church and made a return appointment. “My wife and I took the lessons religiously, asking questions along the way about principles and doctrines which were not clear to us,” Elder Acebedo says. “We took the challenge of praying and reading the scriptures. I wanted to find out if Joseph Smith was really a prophet, so I asked for books about him.” Elder Acebedo read many books, including The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother and Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, all before his baptism. He and his wife were baptized in August 1975.

“When my parents found out about our baptism, they got mad at us. But I reminded my father, an attorney and justice of the peace, what he told me as a boy: ‘Son, before I make any judgment, I get all the facts from both sides. I listen to all the arguments presented in court. Then, I pray to our Heavenly Father for guidance. And putting aside all personal and material considerations, I pen my final decision.’” Elder Acebedo then challenged his parents to take the lessons. Three months later, they were baptized. And within a year Elder Acebedo was called as president of the Surigao Branch.

Elder Acebedo attributes the strength of his testimony to reading the scriptures and other good books, holding family home evening, and joining the ward choir. Doctrine and Covenants 4:2–7 has been a guide and inspiration to him. “In my personal and family life,” he says, “I have submitted myself to the will of God. I have always said yes to the Lord because I know He will help me succeed. Magnifying my callings and keeping the Lord’s commandments has strengthened my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”