Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles turns 67 years old today. He was born on June 15, 1952, in Oakland, California, and has served as an apostle since October 7, 2004.
To celebrate his birthday, here is a brief recap of what he has done in the past year.
April 2019 general conference address
Elder Bednar’s talk in the Sunday afternoon session of April general conference was titled “Prepare to Obtain Every Needful Thing.” In the talk, he taught that members of the Church are responsible for their own learning about Jesus Christ. He emphasized that the home is central to gospel learning and that Church resources are supplemental.
“Making our homes sanctuaries wherein we can ‘stand in holy places’ is essential in these latter days,” Elder Bednar said. “And as important as home-centered and Church-supported learning is for our spiritual strength and protection today, it will be even more vital in the future.”
RootsTech Family Discovery Day
Elder Bednar and his wife, Sister Susan Bednar, taught together at RootsTech Family Discovery Day in March 2019. Their message to those in attendance was the encouragement, “You can do this.” They first taught that because we have been given much, there is much required of us as gatherers of Israel. They also shared and demonstrated ways to participate in this gathering.
He and his wife invited those in attendance to open the Family Tree mobile app and use the “Find A Relative” feature. Of the 7,822 people using the app at the event, Elder Bednar found he was related to 3,702 of them and Sister Bednar was related to 4,152.
“I promise that as you consistently act and do the very simple things you know you should do, you will become ever-more effective in the work of gathering Israel and you will help many individuals and families on both sides of the veil. Your capability and service will be magnified,” he said. “I promise the doors will open, heavenly help will be available to you, and you will be blessed to know that you can do this.”
First visit to Jerusalem
In January of 2019, Elder Bednar visited the Holy Land for the first time. Of his experience there, recalling scriptural scenes of the Apostles Peter, James and John as they accompanied Christ to the Garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion, Elder Bednar said, “You are close to the location when time and eternity intersected in the Savior’s atoning sacrifice.”
Rome Italy Temple
The first Rome Italy Temple open house visitors came through the doors on January 14, 2019. Elder Bednar and Elder Ronald A. Rasband played an important role in the open house by leading journalists, dignitaries, Catholic leaders and politicians through the temple.
"This is a worldwide religion," Elder Bednar said in a Deseret News article. "We have more than 16 million members and the Church is recognized and established in over 170 nations, so it’s only a matter of time before we have temples in most major cities in the world, but it is of particular significance to have a temple in Rome, the Eternal City."
“Interestingly, our gospel perspective helps us to understand that joy is more than a fleeting feeling or emotion; rather, it is a spiritual gift and a state of being and becoming,” Elder Bednar said in a December 4, 2018, BYU devotional.
His address focused on differentiating joy from worldly fun. Enduring, eternal joy comes from the Savior, Jesus Christ and living His gospel. When people encounter trials in this life, the way to find joy is by coming to the Savior through faith, repentance, obedience, service and keeping an eternal perspective.
“How important it is for us to never confuse or trade the enduring, deep joy of devoted discipleship for temporary and shallow fun,” he said.
October 2018 General Conference
In the Saturday morning session of the October 2018 general conference, Elder Bednar opened with a vizualization of a rope. He shared that unexceptionally strong materials are twisted or braided to create a rope that can be exceptionally strong and serve many great purposes.
“Just as a rope obtains its strength from many intertwined individual strands, so the gospel of Jesus Christ provides the greatest perspective of truth and offers the richest blessings as we heed the admonition of Paul to ‘gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him,’” Elder Bednar said. “Importantly, this vital gathering of truth is centered in and focused upon the Lord Jesus Christ because He is ‘the way, the truth, and the life.’”
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Elder Bednar has served as an apostle since 2007. He has served as an apostle since 2004.