This week on social: Testimonies of the Restoration and a snickerdoodle recipe

Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints posted a variety of messages on social media this week — from the gravesite of the first latter-day Apostle to a celebration of the lunar new year. Here’s what the President of the Church, Apostles and general officers shared online.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Jan. 28, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared a photo of himself standing next to the tombstone of Thomas B. Marsh, the first Apostle called in the latter days. 

Elder Renlund and his wife, Sister Ruth Renlund, had the opportunity to visit the gravesite after a stake conference in the Ogden Utah Stake. As the 100th called Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Renlund wrote that he wanted to take a photo next to the grave of Apostle #001.

Brother Marsh had a falling out with Joseph Smith during the difficult years when the Church was in Missouri, and he lost his membership in 1839, the post said. However, he was rebaptized in Utah in 1857 and remained in the Ogden area until his death in 1866.

“I feel a great love for the early Saints who put their lives and livelihoods on the line to establish the Church in this dispensation,” Elder Renlund wrote. “Brother Marsh had the courage to repent and return to the Church. It was not easy. In my opinion, he is one of the heroes of this dispensation.”

On Tuesday, Jan. 28, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles posted on Instagram about the need to seek truth and avoid deception. 

He wrote, “I have long been impressed with the simple and clear definition of truth found in the Book of Mormon: ‘The Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be’ (Jacob 4:13).”

The young Joseph Smith, prompted by the scripture in James 1:5, felt he needed to find truth by asking of God, Elder Bednar added. In response to Joseph’s prayer, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him. 

“Joseph learned truth for himself and how to gain a knowledge of truth from God, line upon line and precept upon precept. We too can ask of God for greater knowledge and truth,” Elder Bednar wrote, inviting his followers to accept President Russell M. Nelson’s invitation to study Joseph’s account of his First Vision in the event’s bicentennial year.

President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles also posted on Instagram about President Nelson’s invitation to study the First Vision this year. “When we look back on history,” he wrote, “we will discover that many movements, such as the printing revolution, the literacy revolution, and the translation of the Bible, swept across the world preparing people for the Lord’s Church to be restored in the last days.”

While the Lord directs such large historical events, President Ballard added, He also manifests His power in our individual lives. “Looking for the hand of the Lord in our lives takes spiritual sensitivity and, in many cases, time and perspective,” he wrote.

Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, posted on Facebook on Tuesday, Jan. 28, to share her thoughts on President Nelson’s declaration that the young members of the Church are “standard bearers.” 

She explained that historically, a standard bearer held up an army’s flag so that those who were fighting could see it. If the flag was not visible, members of the army might disperse, fearing they were being defeated. 

“It was a dangerous calling to be a standard bearer,” Sister Craig added. “The enemy knew they would gain power over the entire army if they could get the one to whom everyone was looking for hope and courage to drop the standard.”

In her post, Sister Craig encouraged youth to be standard bearers by setting an example that will lead others to Jesus Christ.

“While others may fall to sin, our purpose is to raise our standard high,” she wrote. “It is to live our values in such a way that when others look, it reminds them who they are and the cause for which we are fighting.”

Sister Becky Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, said she received permission to share her fellow counselor Sister Craig’s snickerdoodle recipe, which the women referenced in a recent podcast featuring their presidency.

In a Facebook post on Jan. 24, Sister Craven published the recipe and invited followers to listen to the podcast episode on “Latter-day Saint Women.”

Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles posted a festive message with an image of fireworks on Saturday, Jan. 25, wishing blessings on those who celebrate the lunar new year.

He also noted that those who made Jan. 1 resolutions could “celebrate the opportunity to start again.”

“As we celebrate together, I invite you to remember that it is true that the Fatherhood of God makes possible the brotherhood and sisterhood of men and women,” he wrote.

President Russell M. Nelson posted on Instagram on Wednesday, Jan. 29, detailing the Church’s response to the coronavirus outbreak in China. 

“I inquired of some long-time friends in China to see if there was anything we could do to help,” President Nelson wrote. The Church partnered with Project HOPE to send protective equipment to the Children’s Medical Center in Shanghai, the post said.

“I have had associations with the good people of China for decades,” President Nelson added. “These are our dear brothers and sisters and we feel privileged to be able to offer some small measure of help. We pray for them, and know God will bless them.”

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles tweeted a brief message Wednesday, Jan. 29, about resilience and perseverance.

“In life, we will all stumble. Always stand up again,” he wrote. Even when confronted with disappointment, he continued, “never be discouraged or without hope. Move forward. Repent. ‘Rise again.’”

In a Sunday, Jan. 26, Facebook post, President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, shared a video inviting children and parents to a worldwide Face to Face event Feb. 23. In the clip, he and his wife, Sister Kristen Oaks, said they would hear stories from youth about how they are using the Church’s new Children and Youth Program to become more like Jesus Christ.

Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women general president, encouraged her followers in a Jan. 24 Facebook post to study and memorize the new Young Women theme, which she described as “focused on your personal relationship with Heavenly Father and your Savior, Jesus Christ.”

“My hope is that as you study and repeat the theme you will come to know your divine identity and understand your personal value and worth,” Sister Cordon wrote.

Primary general president Sister Joy D. Jones shared a link to online resources from the Children and Youth program in a Facebook post Jan. 24. “Who doesn’t like to have fun?” she wrote, noting that service and activities are an important part of the new program for children and youth.

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