On social media this week, Church leaders shared personal experiences from their travels as well as tender, faith-inspiring moments.
Elder Ulisses S. Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared an experience from his visit to the Cumbica stake in Sao Paolo, Brazil — an area close to where Elder Soares grew up.
One of Elder Soares’ former Sunday School teachers approached him.
“As soon as I saw her,” Elder Soares wrote in an Instagram post, “I began reflecting on my youth. I remember that I was a very active young man and always had many questions. I am sure that it was not very easy to teach a young man like me.
“So I asked her, ‘Do you recall the hard time you had with us?’
“‘No,’ she said to my surprise, ‘you were all good.’
“I have fond memories of learning from her. She looked for the best in us and managed our personalities so well. Being in her class was a very sweet experience for me. I pray that each of us can act similarly and choose to search for the good in each other and seek for opportunities to uplift and serve one another.”
In an Instagram post on May 4, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared part of his address to participants at BYU Women's Conference, reminding them that through “small things” God will cause great things to happen through and for each person.
“I shared my witness that God cares about what happens to us and what becomes of us. Indeed, not only is God willing to help, but He also has the power to help by His omnipotence and by the grace, mercy, and merits of Christ’s Atonement. In His infinite love, our Heavenly Father is willing to help and bless us far more than we generally conceive.
“Sisters, we appreciate and love you for who you are, for what you are, and for what you mean in the Lord’s cause. As the Savior did with beloved Mary, His mother, my prayer and blessing is that ‘He that is mighty (will do) to (you) great things.’”
On May 2, in a Facebook post, President Joy D. Jones, Primary general president, recalled her experience participating in the National Day of Prayer at the White House.
“It was a humbling experience to gather with our leaders, and with other faiths, in our petition to be united as one nation under God. May He hear our prayers.”
On May 2, in a Twitter post this week, President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, shared the blessings of living and sharing the gospel with others.
On May 5, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared an experience he had on Instagram about his trip to Gorlitz, Germany. Elder Uchtdorf was asked to plant a ginster tree, a small tree with bright yellow flowers, outside a church building. He emphasized the importance of recognizing the surrounding world.
“Even though life can sometimes seem grim, there are wonderful things in our daily lives that can bring us joy. We should focus on those things.
“I believe that each of us can individually shine like blossoms of sun drops on a ginster tree. One of my favorite primary songs is 'Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam.' He wants each of us to share our light. We bring our own experiences, backgrounds, and culture to the Church. As individual blossoms we are incredible, but joined together on the same tree we are truly beautiful in God’s eyes.”
In a post on Instagram on Sunday, May 5, Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles posted an experience a dear friend of his shared with him about how she gained a testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Elder Gong said his friend prayed to understand the process of repentance and how Jesus’ mercy can satisfy justice, and one day her prayer was answered.
“A desperate young man came running out of a grocery store carrying two bags of stolen food. He ran into a busy street, chased by the store manager, who caught him and began yelling and fighting. Instead of feeling judgment for the frightened young man as a thief, my friend was unexpectedly filled with great compassion for him. Without fear or concern for her own safety, she walked straight up to the two quarreling men. She found herself saying, ‘I will pay for the food. Please let him go. Please let me pay for the food.’
“Prompted by the Holy Ghost and filled with a love she had never felt before, my friend said, 'All I wanted to do was to help and save the young man.' My friend said she began to understand Jesus Christ and His Atonement — how and why with pure and perfect love Jesus Christ would willingly sacrifice to be her Savior and Redeemer, and why she wanted Him to be.”