Santa Margarita Christians

Meet your Presidency! Introducing Brad Cooper

This is part of a three part series introducing our stake to the new stake presidency. We contine with our new first counselor. 

What is your favorite thing about living in this stake?

The people! The Santa Margarita Stake is amazing in so many ways because of the individuals! Elder Kim B. Clark at stake conference captured our stake wonderfully when he said we are "this close to Zion as a a people.” I am so blessed and grateful to raise my children in this stake of Zion. 


How did you feel when you were called into the presidency?

Shocked, humbled and completely surprised!

What are you most looking forward to in this new calling?

Getting to know more members of the stake. I am also so excited to learn form President Hess and President Warnick. They are men whom I love and deeply admire and I know the Lord has called them to lead our stake at this time. I sustain them fully.  

What is your favorite scripture?

D&C 84:88. "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

I know that when I am on the Lord's errand, I am never alone.


What do you like to do for fun?

Skiing - water and snow.  I love to ski with my kids!

Did you serve a mission? Where?

I served in the Italy Milan mission - a long time ago! The first stake in Italy was organized about a year after I returned from the mission field, to give you an idea of just how long ago. I loved my mission. It was a defining period in my life that taught and shaped me significantly.   

What is the one thing you'd like the members of this stake to know about you?

I love the Lord and my greatest desire is to serve Him by serving the members of this stake for whom I have great love, admiration and respect.


What is your favorite food?

UH - ITALIAN - could there be any other answer from someone who lived in Italy?  


A Christmas Message from our very own President Schoessow

To hold my granddaughter and get to know her.  My daughter and son-in-law had the help of doctors, nurses, extended family and a blurry-eyed grandfather to help usher this baby into the world. I am humbled at the stark contrast of another young couple and the birth of a child more than 2000 years ago.

A Message of Thanksgiving from our very own President Brennan

If I understand my history well enough, the tradition of large groups gathering for a meal and giving thanks to God even predates the 1621 celebration we sometimes refer to as the “First Thanksgiving.”  And some of the traditions or practices we now enjoy probably weren’t part of that 1621 gathering.  For example, there is some question as to whether turkey was on the menu, the Pilgrims probably didn’t dress in black and white (black fabric then being exceptionally expensive), and the fork apparently had not yet been invented.  But we do know, without question, that those Pilgrims gathered to express thanks for the Lord’s bounteous blessings and tender mercies.

We might not have had a national Thanksgiving holiday were it not for Sarah Joseph Hale’s persistent pleas to U.S. presidents over the course of many years to set aside a day of thanks.  The fifth president she importuned, Abraham Lincoln, finally declared in 1863 that the last Thursday in November be set aside to remember a feast celebrated now nearly 400 years ago.  (In doing some reading, I learned that Sarah Joseph Hale is also the author of the nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb”).  In 1941, Congress officially declared the fourth day of every November to be Thanksgiving.  Sisters (and brethren), Sarah Joseph Hale’s pattern in persistently seeking a good thing is a pattern for all of us!

As Latter-day Saints we, both individually and collectively, have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving day.  As I think of my own prayers this morning, and what I will tell my family around a bounteous table this afternoon, I am grateful for a loving, kind Heavenly Father.  I am thankful for His plan of happiness and His most earnest desire that we, as His children, return at the appointed time to our Heavenly Home.  I am thankful for his first-born Son, the Lord Jesus Chris, who with the Father wants to help us return home and partake of eternal life.  That will be another day of Thanksgiving—but not until you and I have finished our labors here.  I am thankful to be a free man, able to choose for myself and to live and work and worship as I see fit and proper.  I am thankful that all of God’s children have been created equal, and that in this land our inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are guaranteed and protected.  I am grateful for parents who love me, for a kind spouse who stands by me, and for children who—although faced with their own struggles and hardships—enjoy the same opportunities and blessings that I do.  I am thankful to know that for those who do not at least at present enjoy all of the unearned privileges and advantages I have been granted, I can at least play a small part in sharing my bounty with them—and that a perfectly fair and loving Father will grant His blessings to all who truly seek them, in their due time.  As the Prophet explained:  “All of your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection, provided you continue faithful.  By the visions of the Almighty I have seen it.”

I am thankful for my fellow Latter-day Saints, particularly those who live in the Santa Margarita Stake.  I live and worship and serve alongside men and women, and boys and girls, of faith, conviction, hope, and compassion.  So many of my brothers and sisters have helped me along life’s journey, teaching me valuable lessons and filling in the gaps I could not otherwise fill on my own.

This Thanksgiving I thank you, my friends.  And I thank God in Heaven for His bounteous blessings. 

This day I adopt as my testimony that of God’s chosen Apostles:

“Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God.  He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father.  He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world.  His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.  God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.”

13 congregations: "I knew every girl by name" - Jean Simpson

If Jean could choose one group of people to give advice to, it would be the young women of the church. She would tell them to “Make goals for yourself at this stage in your life that will bring you true joy, eternal joy. Then pray for the wisdom and strength to make the big and little decisions every day that will keep you on that path. Just know that the Lord knows you and He’s going to help you.”