Calling the future of missionary work “bright,” Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf points to how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ missionaries and leaders have successfully learned more about and used technology, social media and communications during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and chair of the Church’s Missionary Executive Committee highlighted several such “lessons” learned in his video and accompanying message titled “Embracing the Future of Missionary Work” posted on the Church’s Newsroom site.
“As I reflect upon what has happened and look to the future, I like to consider the question ‘What can we learn from this?’" he said. “I feel that the Lord has lessons in store for each of us in these difficult times.”
In the video and message, he highlights lessons learned through missionaries’ improved use of social media and technology, saying “the Internet can be a friend to us when we use it correctly” in teaching and contacting.
“Our goal for the future is to continue to learn and become better at using the Internet to proclaim the gospel and to bless God’s children,” he said. “It is through our everyday actions — including our social media interactions — that we invite others to come and see, come and help, and come and belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“I testify that the Lord will guide us as we seek His guidance on how to use technology to share His gospel in normal and natural ways.”
Elder Uchtdorf also underscored the power of communications during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting how missionaries and their families have benefited from the recent allowance of missionaries to use the same technology and social media to have weekly communications with their families though phone calls, video chats.
“Through all of this, we have watched families, missionaries, and leaders around the globe stand together and support one another,” he said “This communication has helped missionaries and their families lift each other up during this difficult time. Rather than focusing on things outside of their control, missionaries and their families have focused on what they can change and control within their own circumstances.”
Before sharing two examples of missionary successes from the Adriatic South and Italy Milan missions, Elder Uchtdorf said missionaries and leaders are learning much, with the Lord having "lessons in store for all of us" in seeking Him and finding new ways to share His gospel.
“Now is our turn to make the best we can out of this," he added. “I hope that we will not yearn to move back to something that didn’t work well in our lives before COVID-19, but rather look to the future with hope. May we each use this time to become more refined, edified, empowered, and refreshed to move forward.”