This week on social: Pleas from Church leaders on suicide prevention, how to face the future with hope

Feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty can be prevalent in life. This week, Church leaders' social media accounts offered words of encouragement to those who are struggling with hopelessness and other negative feelings, sharing personal experiences of times they have felt the same.

In the spirit of National Suicide Prevention Month, the Facebook accounts of Elder Ronald A. Rasband and Sister Michelle D. Craig shared pleas for those suffering from feelings of self-harm, isolation or hopelessness to seek help.

“Ask for help from your Heavenly Father and the Savior, who understand you and your circumstances completely,” Elder Rasband’s Sept. 2 Facebook post read. “Ask for help from family and friends who are keenly interested in your wellbeing. Ask for help from caring professionals who can use their training to help you. You are loved and needed and there are many who are eager to assist in time of need."

September is National Suicide Prevention Month and we are grateful for efforts to raise awareness of this important…

Posted by Ronald A. Rasband on Sunday, September 2, 2018

The same thoughts were shared on the Twitter and Instagram accounts of Elder Rasband. His Facebook page also linked to the Church’s suicide prevention website, which has resources for those suffering from depression and for those who have loved ones who are struggling.

Sister Craig’s Sept. 6 Facebook post read, “There are many who love you and want to help, even if they don’t know quite what to do or what to say. This pain is very real, but know that there is hope. Talk to a trusted family member, friend, or leader about your feelings, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Above all, talk to your Heavenly Father, who knows and loves you perfectly.”

Many of us have personally been affected by the suicide of a loved one. My heart aches for those whose lives have been…

Posted by Michelle D. Craig on Thursday, September 6, 2018

In the early years of President Henry B. Eyring’s career, he had worked hard to earn a tenured position at Stanford University in California, which would make a good life for him and his family.

According to a Sept. 2 post on President Eyring’s Facebook page, the Church gave him a chance to leave California and go to Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho.

“My lifetime professional objectives might have been a pavilion dividing me from a loving Father who knew better than I did what my future could hold,” the post stated. “But I was blessed to know that whatever success I had in my career and family life to that point was a gift from God. And so, like a child, I knelt in prayer to ask what I should do. I was able to hear a quiet voice in my mind that said, ‘It’s my school.’ There was no pavilion shielding me from God. In faith and humility, I submitted my will to His and felt His care and closeness.”

In the early years of my career, I worked hard to secure a tenured professorship at Stanford University. I thought I had…

Posted by Henry B. Eyring on Sunday, September 2, 2018

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland also had a time where he had questions about his future. On Sept. 6, his Instagram account shared a brief snippet of his life from when he and Sister Patricia Holland were a young married couple. On a fall day in 1963, the first semester after their marriage, they were walking up a path on Brigham Young University campus when they stopped and wondered what they had gotten themselves into.

According to the post, “Life that day seemed so overwhelming, and the undergraduate plus graduate years that we still anticipated before us seemed monumental, nearly insurmountable.”

Elder Holland wondered if he should give up school altogether, thinking they would be fine if he didn’t have a degree. Sister Holland then “grabbed me by the lapels and said, ‘We are not going back. We are not going home. The future holds everything for us.’ …

“Remember, my dear young friends, the future holds everything for you. Be faithful. Believe. The Lord will bless you.”

View this post on Instagram

I remember one fall day—I think it was in the first semester after our marriage in 1963—we were walking together up the hill past the Maeser Building on the sidewalk that led between the president’s home and the Brimhall Building on the BYU campus. . Somewhere on that path we stopped and wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. Life that day seemed so overwhelming, and the undergraduate plus graduate years that we still anticipated before us seemed monumental, nearly insurmountable. Our love for each other and our commitment to the gospel were strong, but most of all the other temporal things around us seemed particularly ominous. . On a spot that I could probably still mark for you today, I turned to Pat and said something like this: “Honey, should we give up? I can get a good job and carve out a good living for us. I can do some things. I’ll be okay without a degree. Should we stop trying to tackle what right now seems so difficult to face?” . In my best reenactment of Lot’s wife, I said, in effect, “Let’s go back. Let’s go home. The future holds nothing for us.” . Then my beloved little bride did what she has done for 55 years since then. She grabbed me by the lapels and said, “We are not going back. We are not going home. The future holds everything for us.” . She stood there in the sunlight that day and gave me a real talk. I don’t recall that she quoted Paul, but there was certainly plenty in her voice that said she was committed to setting aside all that was past in order to “press toward the mark” and seize the prize of God that lay yet ahead. It was a living demonstration of faith. It was “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). So we laughed, kept walking, and finished up sharing a root beer—one glass, two straws—at the then newly constructed Wilkinson Center. . Remember, my dear young friends, the future holds everything for you. Be faithful. Believe. The Lord will bless you.

A post shared by Jeffrey R. Holland (@jeffreyrholland) on

While recently in Mongolia, a young adult asked Elder David A. Bednar a question about repentance and forgiveness. As shown in a Sept. 5 post on the Apostle’s Instagram account, he held two bottles of water end-to-end to teach a lesson about these principles.

“I invited the young adults to imagine that the water bottles were filled not with water, but with dark, dirty sand," the post stated. "If we insert a single clean, pure grain of sand in one end, then a single dark grain of sand is forced out the other end. Has anything changed? Yes, but not in a dramatic or easily visible way. As we faithfully and consistently strive to eliminate the dirty sand, then eventually, the container is filled with only clean, pure sand. And that is similar to what happens to us and our painful memories of past sins.”

The post invited everyone to “truly come unto Christ and repent with sincerity of heart. I pray that we will seek through the Savior’s Atonement to have both clean hands and a pure heart, that we may become holy, without spot.”

On Sept. 5, photos from their trip were featured on Elder Renlund’s Facebook page, along with a testimony of the prophet.

“President Nelson was amazing as he spoke in Spanish to the Saints in Santo Domingo and encouraged them to keep the commandments of God. To the Saints in San Juan, he thanked them for turning to the Savior Jesus Christ in times of great difficulty and nurturing their faith,” the post read.

President Nelson reminded the Church members in Santo Domingo that they are not alone.

The post continued, "I know through my own experience that President Nelson is a prophet of God and the whole earth is blessed to have a prophet who listens to God and communicates His will to us.”

It was an honor to be with President Russell M Nelson this past weekend in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and San…

Posted by Dale G. Renlund on Wednesday, September 5, 2018