This week on social media, Church leaders reflected on recent assignments, shared personal experiences and invited people to look forward with faith to the future.
In a video posted to his Instagram account on July 16, Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, joined by Elder Craig C. Christensen, a General Authority Seventy, invited people to participate in the Face to Face event they will be hosting on Sept. 15. People can start participating now by finishing the statement, “Living the gospel brings me hope because ___________,” and sharing it on social media with #YAFace2Face.
“Our wish is that you find hope and happiness through living the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Elder Soares said in the video. “Please gather together and join us to watch the broadcast. We’ll see you in September.”
In a July 16 Facebook post, Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, shared a journal entry from when she was 16 years old. In the journal entry, the 16-year-old Sister Craig expressed feelings of sadness, emptiness and anger. She also wondered if she was normal in feeling this.
“If I could go back in time and talk to my 16-year-old self, I would tell her that she is normal,” she said. “I would tell her that there are times in each of our lives that are difficult. That life isn’t always easy, but that a loving Father in Heaven wants us to have joy in every season of life.”
President Russell M. Nelson’s tweet reminded followers to keep an eternal perspective and understand that their actions carry great importance.
“What we choose to do here will determine the kind of life we have throughout all eternity,” he said. “We are never living just for today.”
In past general conference addresses, President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, has spoken on spending time wisely. In an Instagram post on July 14, he wrote about how people often feel overwhelmed due to the many responsibilities that demand their time.
“We are wise to conclude that we can’t do it all and we are not required to do it all now,” President Oaks said. “When we feel overwhelmed with all that presses upon us, we should pray for inspiration to guide us in identifying what is required by eternal principles. These things command priority. We do them first.”
He concluded that after prioritizing the essentials, people should pray to have the wisdom to fill our remaining time with other good things. “When inspired wisdom has guided our choices,” he said, “we proceed, as President Hinckley taught us, to just ‘do the very best (we) can.’”
The same day on Twitter, President Oaks encouraged others to act in faith and to defend themselves from the evil influences of the adversary.
Thinking back on her recent opportunity to visit Latter-day Saints in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sister Lisa L. Harkness, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, shared about an experience she had while attending a Primary class.
During the class, the Primary teacher taught the children the story of Zacchaeus, a man in the New Testament who was small of stature. In the story, Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree in order to better see Jesus. After explaining this, the teacher asked what the children would do if Jesus came to their town. The children’s response was, “they would climb a mango tree instead!”
“It was inspiring to see this teacher help the children learn the gospel of Jesus Christ in a personal way,” Sister Harkness said. “I’m sure those children will remember the Savior, through the story of Zacchaeus, every time they see a mango tree in their neighborhoods.”
A July 15 tweet by President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, testified of merciful blessings that await God’s children as they faithfully seek to know and do His will for them.
In an Instagram post on July 17, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared thoughts and feelings about a visit he and his wife, Sister Mary Cook, made to the Middle East last month.
“I believe that it is important for us to consider the commonalities we have with other faiths,” he said.
He shared an example from his family’s life when they lived in San Francisco. His children developed friendships with Jewish children in the area and saw that their commitments and values were very similar to each other’s.
“We are all God’s children,” he said. “He weeps with us as we suffer and rejoices as we do what is right in His sight.”
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared insights on the new home-centered, Church-supported approach to gospel learning from his recent visit to Ghana and Cote d’Ivore. In a July 18 Instagram post, he said that parents found missionary opportunities as they talked to other parents about what they are teaching their children in their studies.
“As we allow the Spirit to guide us in our individual circumstances, our families and wards can benefit from this new approach to gospel learning,” Elder Christofferson said. “As Church leaders, we hope that parents will try to involve all their children in their study. … ”
On July 17, Young Women general president Sister Bonnie H. Cordon shared how she was “blessed by the faith and optimism” of a friend of hers. In a Facebook post, Sister Cordon shared what her late friend Ashtyn had said about hope and faith in Jesus Christ.
“Ashtyn was wise beyond her years,” Sister Cordon said. “I am so grateful for her. She has taught me so much. And her testimony continues to strengthen me.”