This week has been a historic one for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From Elder David A. Bednar and Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles giving tours of the Rome Italy Temple to President Russell M. Nelson comforting Latter-day Saints in California, Church leaders have been ministering all around the world this week.
Following the devastating Camp Fire in November 2018, President Nelson visited Latter-day Saints in Paradise, California and shared with them a message of hope and comfort. His visit came just days after his daughter died from a courageous battle with cancer.
In a Jan. 14 Instagram post, President Nelson reminded anyone who is suffering to know of his love for them and that their future will be shaped by their enduring faith in God. He also testified of the value of service.
"You may have heard of the passing of our second daughter late last week. We mourn her loss—and yet, like our friends in California, there is nothing we’d rather do than try to be of help to others. You learn that everybody has challenges and if you want to feel better, forget about yourself and serve somebody else."
Elder Bednar expressed his gratitude for being able to give the first tours of the Rome Italy Temple. In an Instagram post on Jan. 14, he explained that as temples are constructed, every detail is planned out and intentional.
"The shape of the oval is found throughout the Rome temple," he said. "An oval has no beginning and no end and is a symbol of eternity. This is especially appropriate in Rome, which is known as the 'eternal city.'"
Sharing a similar message as Elder Bednar's, Elder Rasband testified in a Jan. 15 Instagram post of how all things in temples point to Christ. He also invited his Instagram followers to swipe through the photos in his post and test their knowledge of the New Testament parables depicted in the stained glass mural in the visitors' center.
"One of the elements on the temple grounds that has increased my faith is the beautiful stained glass mural in the visitors’ center," he said. "Within the mural’s five panels are 120 different references to the Savior’s mortal ministry. I was thrilled to visit with the artist about the meticulous process he and his team followed to create this masterpiece from 6,000 pieces of glass."
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave a devotional at Brigham Young University on Jan. 15 where he focused his remarks on learning to hear the music of the Spirit. In an Instagram post he reminded people that hearing God's voice takes belief, patience and trust.
"For some, hearing God’s voice, the music of the Spirit, seems intuitive and obvious. For others, belief comes slowly, and the process may feel difficult or frustrating. They spend years or even decades striving to feel the Spirit. I promise you, as you travel your individual path by loving and serving God and His children, you will find God and hear the music of the Spirit."
In an Instagram post this past week, Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles addressed the young couples of the Church and discussed the great opportunity to raise children in the gospel. He promised that as families live the gospel, the Lord will bless them in their efforts.
"If I could offer some counsel to young couples embarking on family life, I would invite you to establish holy gospel habits of worshipping in the temple, studying the gospel in your homes, and paying tithing and fast offerings."
Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society general president, shared a goal in a Facebook post on Jan. 16 of attending the temple more often. She also testified of the comfort, guidance and peace she finds in the temple.
"Why does the temple bring such peace and personal revelation? Because it’s the place where you and I make covenants with the Lord. The temple brings heaven and earth closer together. We can come to better understand the purpose of life and our true nature as we serve those on the other side of the veil."
In a Facebook video this week, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles answered a riddle of what a dented boat, whack-a-mole and Roger Federer have in common during a worldwide devotional for young adults on Jan. 13.
Sister Ruth L. Renlund, who also participated in the devotional, provided the answer in the video: "The connection is that each of these things can help you understand how to strengthen your faith and address your doubts."
Elder Renlund continued, "The most important thing for you to remember is that the Savior loves you. He loves to fix things, He wants to heal you, He's thrilled when you trust him."