From President Nelson's message to the women of the Church to Elder Uchtdorf's reminder that we all have spiritual gifts, Church leaders were brimming with inspiration and loving encouragements on social media this week. Here's a look at some of their experiences.
In a Jan. 26 Facebook post, President Russell M. Nelson reminded people about the challenge he extended to the women of the Church before the end of 2018. The challenge included participating in a 10-day social media fast, fully participating in Relief Society, regular temple attendance and finishing the Book of Mormon by the end of the year.
"I was overwhelmed to see that more than 10,000 women responded! My heart was touched by what you shared. I wish to tell you that the Lord loves you and is pleased with every effort you make."
The Facebook post linked to an LDS.org article that shared some of the responses President Nelson received.
“President Nelson, thank you for the challenge of reading the Book of Mormon. I started the next morning. Little did I know that later that week I would be diagnosed with cancer. I have loved my time with those wonderful prophets and their teachings. Every morning I have found something to help me through one more day of my battle with this disease.” —Connie
In a Jan. 28 Facebook post, Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, shared her experience finishing the Book of Mormon before the end of the year.
"My testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon as another testament of Jesus Christ has been strengthened. As I marked every reference to the Savior, I was honestly quite surprised at how many times I had to sharpen my red pencil! As I have started to read the Book of Mormon again, I find myself drawn once more to every mention of Jesus Christ within the pages of this book; I don’t know that I will ever read it in the same way again."
Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, introduced people to her former Beehive advisor Janice Ridges in a Facebook video this week.
Sister Eubank invited Sister Ridges to share a few suggestions about how to strengthen young women. In the video, Sister Ridges said the most important thing for young women to do is trust each other so they can become eternal friends.
Sister Eubank's Facebook post reads:
"My Beehive advisor was unorthodox. She called four 12-year-old girls to a presidency meeting at her house, put a fondue pot on the table, asked us how we could strengthen the other 9 girls in our class, and let us start talking."
"What I remember about Janice Ridges was that she had a testimony of Jesus Christ and used the power of prayer every day. She changed the course of a shy, unsure girl like me."
In a Jan. 30 Instagram post, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles discussed his experience breaking ground for the Urdaneta Philippines Temple on Jan. 16, saying that when people enter temples, they "change in quiet, private, personal ways."
"Seven years ago, I stood on a property in the Philippines and was introduced to it as a possible site for a temple. I had a wonderful spiritual experience then.
"Last week, I again stood on that piece of ground and had another spiritual experience that confirmed to me it was a place preserved, reserved, and ordained for the building of a temple. I then had the privilege of dedicating this special piece of ground for the Urdaneta Philippines Temple."
Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society general president, shared a Facebook video this week of a family in Argentina beautifully singing a primary song. She testified about the power of music and how it can bring the spirit into people's homes.
"Have you noticed how much influence music can have in your home? When I play music with a fun melody and a quick tempo, it can make even mundane tasks enjoyable. When I play calming, soft music, I notice how quickly I feel more relaxed after a long day. When I play the Church hymns, I feel the Spirit stronger in my home, and I understand gospel ideas better."
In a Jan. 30 Instagram post, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reminded people that God gives each person individual gifts. With that, God expects His children to maximize those gifts by growing their talents and sharing them with others.
"We are made of the stuff of eternity. With that as your history and your future, how could you not feel deepest gratitude to the God of the universe, whose spiritual child you are. Remember, these feelings are deeply ingrained in your divine DNA. To be satisfied with less than your eternal potential is to pretend that you are different person than you really are."
In a Jan. 29 Facebook post, Sister Reyna I. Aburto, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, recounted an experience she had on a recent assignment to Mexico City.
"In a ward that I visited on Sunday, new presidents for all the organizations were called and sustained. As those sisters and brothers stood up, and as we all raised our hands to sustain them, I thought of the privilege that we have to work together as daughters and sons of our Heavenly Father, constantly looking for His will and helping each other in our journey back to our home in heaven."