This Week on Social: Elder Renlund shares why his testimony of the Book of Mormon isn't founded on artifacts

This week on social media, Church leaders shared how to improve scripture study, learn from the Holy Ghost and find joy through Jesus Christ.

In a Sept. 22 Instagram post, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared that during his travels to the Europe East Area with his wife, Sister Ruth Renlund, he visited the National Historical Museum of Bulgaria in Sofia. He shared photos of artifacts made of gold, highlighting a small set of gold plates. The artifact was described as an “Orphic book of the dead and texts in Etruscan, unknown place of origin, late 5th to early 4th century BC.”

Elder Renlund said that seeing this small set of gold plates helped him visualize what Joseph Smith used when translating the Book of Mormon.

“Artifacts do not form the foundation of my testimony that the Book of Mormon is from God,” he said, “but these little plates are an interesting piece of historical confirmation that goldsmiths’ craftsmanship was part of the ancient world.” 

Elder Renlund also visited Istanbul, Turkey, where they visited the Blue Mosque. He shared how his visit reminded him of a story from the life of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed. 

“This is a brilliant piece of advice for us all,” he said about Mohammed’s statement in the story. “This is what I try to do each day; trust God but act in faith so my prayers are sincere.”

Sister Reyna I. Aburto shared her excitement for the new Book of Mormon Videos in a Sept. 23 Facebook post, and invited people to watch them. 

“Hopefully, they will bring you and your family to the Book of Mormon, because the book is always better than the movie,” she said. “I pray that they will enhance your study of this sacred book of scripture, so your faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is strengthened.”

On Sept. 22, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Susan Bednar, taught more than 15,000 students in a special way during a Sunday BYU-Idaho Devotional. Although they were answering live questions submitted to them through a program on his iPad, he encouraged the students to listen to what the Holy Ghost taught them.

In a Sept. 26 Instagram post, Elder Bednar said one of the questions asked how to make scripture study more meaningful. His response held true to the pattern of the meeting — learning from the “ultimate teacher.”

“READING the scriptures from beginning to end, STUDYING the scriptures by topic, and SEARCHING the scriptures for connections, patterns, and themes,” he outlined. “Each of these approaches can help us if we invite the assistance of the Holy Ghost as we ask, seek, and knock.” 

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, shared a video on Instagram about love and law. He said he receives many letters from people who are devastated because of some of the choices of family members or friends that are contrary to the commandments of God.

“The first thing I always suggest is, ‘Keep loving them,’” President Oaks said. “In the end that is something you can always do.”

He reminded people that the Savior should be their example in how to love others.

In a Sept. 26 Instagram post, President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, testified of Jesus Christ and His divine mission from Heavenly Father. The Sept. 25 post shared a thought provoking analysis of God’s feelings of His Son’s birth and Atonement and invites everyone to consider what the implications of these moments mean for them.

“So now, here you are on earth,” he said, “Learn everything you can — learn to be great. At the same time, never forget who you are. You are sons, you are daughters of God our Eternal Father.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles asked in a Sept. 25 Instagram post how people are supposed to stay cheerful and optimistic during a time saturated with prophesied challenges — social, behavioral and moral issues involving “right” and “wrong.” 

He then shared that there is “one grand answer” that can give hope and meaning to everything people go through.

“We can be happy and joyful, optimistic and confident, showing kindness and love as we go forth because in the end, we have an absolutely guaranteed victory of light over darkness, of good over evil, of truth over error, of virtue over vice,” he said. “It is the promise of Christ’s ultimate victory over Lucifer.” 

In a Sept. 24 Facebook post, Sister Michelle D. Craig of the Young Women general presidency shared two things that Satan cannot mimic: true joy and peace. She also taught how individuals can find this joy and peace. 

“We can feel joy and peace as we come to understand our place in the Father’s plan and come to know soul-deep that we are children of Heavenly Parents who love us,” she said. 

Another way that one can find true joy and peace is through repentance, she said. When people take the sacrament, go to the temple, read the scriptures and pray, they turn toward Christ

“The beauty of repentance and forgiveness is that because of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice, we can progress and find joy and peace in our imperfect but best efforts,” Sister Craig said. We can experience our Father’s plan of happiness in this life, not just in the next!”

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