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Elder Ian S. Ardern: ‘Love Thy Neighbor’

‘Each of us can be the one who can make a difference for good in the life of someone’

Elder Ian S. Ardern, General Authority Seventy and president of the Church’s Africa Central Area, spoke during the Saturday morning session of October 2023 general conference about humanitarian work and compassion. The following is a summary of what he said.

Elder Ardern’s talk summary

Elder Ardern and his wife, Sister Paula Ardern, recently traveled to Uganda with several Church leaders. While there, they observed poverty, hunger, lack of running water and other prevalent needs.

But as they worked with various humanitarian organizations, “there came to each of us an increase of hope for a better tomorrow for those we met. That hope came, in part, through the kindness of Church members from around the world who donate time and money to the Church humanitarian effort.”

Additionally, compassion is an attribute of Jesus Christ, is born of love for others and knows no boundaries. Jesus, the Savior of the world, is the epitome of compassion.

“Despite our every effort, you and I won’t heal everyone, but each of us can be the one who can make a difference for good in the life of someone. ... It is unlikely you will know the recipients of your time, dollars and dimes, but compassion does not require us to know them, it only requires us to love them.”

Notable quotes

“There came to each of us an increase of hope for a better tomorrow for those we met. That hope came, in part, through the kindness of Church members from around the world who donate time and money to the Church humanitarian effort.”

“Despite our every effort, you and I won’t heal everyone, but each of us can be the one who can make a difference for good in the life of someone.”

“It is unlikely you will know the recipients of your time, dollars and dimes, but compassion does not require us to know them, it only requires us to love them.”

See the full text of Elder Ardern’s talk: ‘Love Thy Neighbor’

Who is Elder Ian S. Ardern?

Elder Ian S. Ardern
Elder Ian S. Ardern, General Authority Seventy | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Elder Ardern is from Te Aroha, New Zealand. He was called as a General Authority Seventy on April 2, 2011.
  • He met his wife, Paula Judd, while they were both students at the Church College of New Zealand. They were married after he served in the France Belgium Mission. 
  • Professionally, Elder Ardern has been the Pacific Area director for the Church Educational System; the institute director and seminary coordinator in Hamilton, New Zealand; the principal at the Church College of New Zealand; an English teacher at the Church College of New Zealand; and a teacher in government schools in New Zealand.

What has Elder Ardern done recently?

Read more of Elder Ardern’s general conference addresses.

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October 2023 general conference: Announcements, talk summaries and session highlights
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