Compasses and covenants, trials and testimonies, and fond farewells were featured in various social media posts from Church leaders over the last week.
As her time of service draws to a close, Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham hopes that her testimony of Jesus Christ will be remembered most. "I know that He lives and loves us, as does our Father in Heaven. During the last five years, I have seen the Lord’s hand in this work, and I affirm with deep conviction that Jesus Christ leads His Church. He is in charge!" she wrote in her July 10 post on Facebook.
"Sisters, I love you. You have touched my heart in more ways than I know how to say. My prayer is that the Lord will be with you and guide you through everything you face in your life."
Sister Sharon Eubank, the outgoing first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, shared her gratitude for the good sisters in Relief Society are doing, in a July 11 Instagram post. “There is no way to quantify the impact you are having in your communities and around the world. You are magnificent ambassadors for Jesus Christ because you live your faith with your actions and share attention, kindness, respect, and mercy with so very many people,” she wrote.
Jesus Christ wants each person to succeed in life, she wrote. "He will help you with whatever you ask Him in faith, no matter how small. He sees you. He knows your name. You are precious to Him."
Sister Reyna I. Aburto, who is concluding her service as second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, has loved connecting with Relief Society sisters over social media the last five years, and appreciates the comments and support she has received
In a July 12 Facebook post, she testified, "I hope you will remember that I know that we have a Savior and Redeemer. He has all the power, all the desire, and all the love to help us every time we reach for Him."
Because of what He has done for everyone, it is important for those who know Him to testify of Him, she added. “We need to say, ‘Come to Him and feel of His love and His healing!’ I will continue to invite people to come unto Christ, and I hope you will too,” she wrote.
Primary General President Camille N. Johnson will begin her service as Relief Society general president on Aug. 1. Her message posted on July 15 on Instagram was both a reflection on her previous year of service and looking forward to the calling that lies ahead.
"It has been a blessing to serve in Primary and focus on the needs of our children," she wrote.
When the resurrected Savior asked the Nephites to "behold your little ones" (3 Nephi 17:23), "I believe the Savior was inviting us to see and hear our children with spiritual eyes and ears, to recognize their potential, give attention to their needs, invite their participation, and to engage them as He did," President Johnson wrote.
While serving in the Primary general presidency, she has pondered and prayed about how to do that. "What I have learned and felt goes with me to Relief Society, where as sisters we are beautifully positioned to behold our little ones! I know that is what the Savior would have us do."
The other morning, while reading Alma 18 and 19, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was struck by "a thought about the significance of the impact of the gospel of Jesus Christ," he wrote in a July 14 Twitter post.
In the accompanying video, he explained that these chapters record King Lamoni's conversion to the gospel because of Ammon's missionary work. Lamoni, his wife the queen, Ammon and the king's servants all fell to the earth unconscious because of the Spirit.
Elder Holland said, "In a sense, my message to you is the gospel knocks you off your feet. I want it to knock you off yours. It's knocked me off mine. And these wonderful people in the Book of Mormon are witnesses of that."
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared a video on Facebook on July 13, in which he explained that the covenants of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ are like a compass — "they provide direction in our life," he said.
"A covenant is a promise we make with God. God sets the conditions of the covenant. As we live by those conditions, the promises associated with the covenant always are sure."
Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles recently returned from his first visit to New Zealand and Australia. He shared a video of a Tuhikaramea Kapa Haka group in New Zealand in an Instagram post on July 14.
"Hearing stories of conversion and faith in Jesus Christ from people on that side of the world strengthened our own faith and testimony," he wrote.
"I reminded them — and remind you now — that miracles are available to all of us if we believe, if we cry out to the Lord, if we do our part."
Trials and testimonies
Before Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke at a recent Primary devotional in Anchorage, Alaska, he asked some of his grandchildren what he should talk about.
“Pa, tell them that you know Jesus and that He loves them,” they responded.
In a July 12 Facebook post, he wrote, "I took their suggestion to heart and made sure to promise each of those children that they are known by name by Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. I also shared with them that God loves them.
"The truths I shared with these precious children are the same truths I share with each of you."
Recently, a friend gave Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, a bracelet with three important words on it: Make it count.
These words ran through her mind as she attended an FSY conference in Fresno, California, she shared in a Facebook post on July 10.
The youth and young adults "were all in," she wrote. "They had fun, they strengthened faith in Jesus Christ and they made new friends. They made those five days count. They were better for having been there — and so was I."
Each day, Sister Becky Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, must deal with the limitation of having an autoimmune issue that had led her to following a gluten-free diet.
Everyone, one way or another, has a compromised body, she wrote in a July 10 Instagram post. The limitations may be physical, mental or emotional. "Not one of us is alone in what we carry that eyes may not see."
Bodies are temples that house choice spirits, and Heavenly Father wants each person to protect that precious gift. Because of this, "we can ask Him for help," Sister Craven wrote. "I ask Him for discipline to resist the things that won’t make me feel good. I ask for help in desiring the things that are good FOR me!"
While reading the Old Testament this year, Sunday School General President Mark L. Pace has been impressed by all the Lord did to gather Israel, performing miracles to make their physical and spiritual gathering possible.
In a July 14 Facebook post, he wrote about how he has prayed to know how to participate in the gathering of Israel.
"The Holy Ghost has been teaching me that there are many friends and associates and family members that I can help," President Pace wrote. "Specifically, I can help them take steps toward making covenants with God. The Lord has put them in my path for a reason. However, I need to act in faith. I need to get out of my comfort zone and extend invitations in love. I can put my arm around them, help them to stand spiritually, and walk with them toward the Savior."
Recently, the daughter of Brother Jan E. Newman, second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency, gave birth to twin boys 17 weeks early. Despite the many health challenges the twin boys face, Brother Newman and his family were "full of hope and faith that all would work out," he wrote in a July 13 Instagram post.
After the boys had spent 10 weeks in the NICU, a doctor said to Brother Newman's daughter and son-in-law, "You can now start to have hope."
"We were shocked because we always had hope!" he wrote. "Our faith and trust were in the doctors and nurses, but most importantly in the Lord, whose caring eye is aware of every sparrow that falls" (see Matthew 10: 29–31).
With faith and trust in the Lord, He will see His children through life's difficulties and challenges.