GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA
Elder D. Todd Christofferson enjoyed some “Cara a Cara” time Saturday, Dec. 10, with youth from across Latin America.
A member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Christofferson presided over the Church’s first ever “Face to Face” internet broadcast event originating outside of the United States. His wife, Sister Kathy Christofferson, joined him at the open-air event in Guatemala.
In the tradition of the popular “Face to Face” series, young people from across the Americas submitted questions for Elder and Sister Christofferson. The 90-minute gathering was conducted in Spanish.
“I don’t have adequate words to express my feelings for this opportunity for my wife and I to be with you in this edition of ‘Face to Face’,” said Elder Christofferson.
The apostle is at home interacting in Spanish. He served a mission to Argentina and has visited every nation in Latin America — “including the United States,” he said, smiling.
He began by assuring his vast audience that the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles love them. He thanked the young people for their many prayers offered on the Brethren’s behalf.
Questions for Elder and Sister Christofferson were submitted by youth from North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Their queries were both wide-ranging and anchored to a common theme: How one can live the gospel and follow Christ in a difficult and divisive world.
The Book of Mormon, testified Elder Christofferson following an opening question, “is the instrument of conversion.” The Lord uses that sacred tome to answer His children’s prayers and confirm truth.
“[God] knows each of you personally,” he added.
One young person from the Dominican Republic asked how to help family members embrace the gospel.
“Be a good example and show them what a good Latter-day Saint is,” answered Sister Christofferson. Teach them gospel principles and share testimony through love, patience and service.
A “Face to Face” participant from Brazil asked Elder Christofferson how mission calls are determined. The apostle explained the mission call process, saying a member of the Twelve reviews each missionary candidate’s photo and profile. Prayer and inspiration direct each call.
Another young man asked how he could overcome his fear of talking about the gospel with others.
Such fears are common, answered Elder Christofferson. “The Lord expects us to invite — then it’s up to the person to decide [to listen]. They have their agency.”
Don’t worry that friends or relatives will be offended when approached with the gospel, he added. “They will know that you do it with love.”
A young man named James from Ecuador asked the Christoffersons for dating advice.
Be smart when making age-appropriate dating decisions and seek the timeless counsel of the prophets and apostles, said Sister Christofferson. “Follow the leaders of the Church. They have great wisdom.”
Elder Christofferson smiled when asked by a youth in Argentina about how his wife has helped him during their marriage. He spoke of Sister Christofferson’s love for the scriptures and the many ways she helps him become a better person. She also works hard on her own spiritual development.
“It’s nice to have a wise counselor by my side,” he said.
When asked how one can find joy and hope in a troubled world, Elder Christofferson said happiness could be found by serving. President Thomas S. Monson, he added, is an excellent example of someone who cares for others and places his trust in God.
“Do what’s possible. We can’t solve all the problems in the world — but we can do something. We can contribute.”
A young man from Colombia who recently received his mission call asked how to best prepare for his fast-approaching mission and the ordinances of the temple.
Be prepared to be taught in the temple in the Lord’s way, counseled Elder Christofferson. Be patient. Don’t expect to understand everything at the temple on the first visit. “We have to return many times.”
And for future missionaries? He said, “Forget about yourself. ... The most important thing is to think first of others.”
In closing, Sister Christofferson reminded the young people that the Lord wants them to be happy. He wants to help them. Find strength in the gospel.
“If you look for miracles in your life, you will find them,” she said.
Find joy in the fellowship of the gospel, added Elder Christofferson.
“You are not alone. You are part of the Lord’s army.”
[email protected] @JNSwensen