This week on social: President Ballard on marriage, inspiring women and a lesson from blackberries

The social media accounts of President M. Russell Ballard, Sister Joy D. Jones, Sister Bonnie H. Cordon and Sister Michelle D. Craig shared moments of inspiration they encountered this week.

Featuring a photo of a young M. Russell Ballard and his wife, Barbara, the Instagram account of President Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, encouraged everyone to not be afraid of the future.

“Don’t let anything that’s going on in the world slow you down in your progress in mortality. Don’t be afraid to marry,” the post read.

“I have been much more effective and much more able to accomplish things in my life with Barbara at my side than I ever would have been alone. Did we have hard times? Oh, yes. But they were some of the best times because we drew together, we prayed together, we worked together, we saw our way from one point of our lives on until today.”

The Facebook page of Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary general president, shared the testimony of Renu Singh.

“This past month I was able to meet Sister Renu Singh in person while she was in Salt Lake City,” the post said. “As she entered my office I could feel how she carries that testimony with her. Her spirit radiates her understanding of her divine identity.”

Sister Jones shared Singh’s testimony in her Oct. 2017 general conference address. “When I learned the gospel and learned that I was a daughter of our Heavenly Father, it changed me. Suddenly I felt so special — God had actually created me and had created my soul and my life with value and purpose,” Singh shared with her.

“As we continue to draw near to the Savior, we will more fully identify and understand our divine worth. Knowing we are daughters of God influences every aspect of our lives and guides us in our interactions with others as well as in the choices we make each day,” Sister Jones’ Facebook post said.

On Aug. 12, 2017, Taiana Brown died following an 18 month long battle with stage 4 small cell carcinoma of the ovary. On Aug. 18, 2018, the Facebook page of Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women general president, commemorated this difficult anniversary.

“Her tremendous strength, courage, and faith is something I still reflect on,” Sister Cordon’s post said.

“Young women, your own selflessness and strength is something that is absolutely divine. Taiana never lost her sense of who she was — an incredibly courageous daughter of God.

“As you go through your own trials, know that our Heavenly Father is aware of your circumstances. He loves you with an immense love.”

One year ago, on August 12, Taiana Brown returned home to her Heavenly Father. Regardless of the trails she faced,…

Posted by Bonnie H. Cordon on Saturday, August 18, 2018

While gardening in her backyard, Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in Young Women general presidency, noticed that a particular bunch of blackberries were in different stages of ripening. Some were dark and vibrant while others had the slightest hint of coloring.

A Facebook post on her page recounted this experience.

“I was suddenly struck by how alike we are to these bunches of blackberries,” the post said. “We are all at a different stage of our own spiritual ripening. Some are further along than others and that is OKAY! No one should compare their own testimony to the testimony of the person next to them. The important thing is that just as the blackberry bunches were connected, we all need to stay connected to the true vine, the gospel and our Savior, Jesus Christ.”

While gardening in my backyard the other day, I turned to my blackberry bush, overflowing with berries ready to be…

Posted by Michelle D. Craig on Wednesday, August 22, 2018