This Week on Social: What these leaders learned from family scripture study, pieces of the Berlin Wall, and a wall of sticky notes

On social media this week, these Church leaders shared what they learned from reading the Book of Mormon as a family, how a New Zealand family is already implementing the Children and Youth program, and remembering Germany’s Unity Day.

Family scripture study in the Christofferson household probably looked familiar to most families. Sometimes there was complaining, sometimes someone or another would fall asleep. To be honest, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote in a Nov. 12 Instagram post, “I have to admit that once in a while I was the one who was guilty of falling asleep.”

Still, they kept at it, regularly reading from the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, and it’s one of the best things he’s done as a father, Elder Christofferson wrote. As the family continued this practice, “our children came to understand the voice of the Lord as it is found in the scriptures.”

To those still trying to figure out how to take a home-centered, Church-supported approach to gospel learning, Elder Christofferson suggested they re-read October 2018 general conference addresses by Elder Quentin L. Cook and President Henry B. Eyring.

“For everyone, perfection is still pending, so don’t be discouraged,” he wrote. “The promised blessings will be realized over time as we go forward doing the best we can in our particular circumstances.”

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I think one of the best things I have done as a father has been to read the scriptures with my wife and children, especially the Book of Mormon. I can’t say that every time we sat down to read together it was a wonderful spiritual experience. Sometimes there was some complaining, and occasionally when we read in the mornings, one or another would fall asleep. To be honest, I have to admit that once in a while I was the one who was guilty of falling asleep. Nevertheless, as we continued this practice day after day and year after year, our children came to understand the voice of the Lord as it is found in the scriptures, again, especially in the Book of Mormon, which we read several times. I have heard many comments this year about experiences with our home-centered, Church-supported approach to gospel learning. These comments range from unbridled enthusiasm to disappointment that home has not yet become the “sanctuary of faith” President Russell M. Nelson speaks about. I suppose most of us are somewhere along the spectrum between those two feelings. May I suggest that you re-read Elder Quentin L. Cook’s talk titled “Deep and Lasting Conversion to Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” which he gave in October general conference last year when “Come, Follow Me” was introduced, and also President Henry B. Eyring’s talk from the same conference titled “Try, Try, Try.” For everyone, perfection is still pending, so don’t be discouraged. The promised blessings will be realized over time as we go forward doing the best we can in our particular circumstances. The promises are sure.

A post shared by D. Todd Christofferson (@dtoddchristofferson) on

Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women general president, issued an invitation on Facebook on Nov. 12 for everyone to tune in to the Face to Face event on Nov. 17 at 4 p.m. Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will be speaking, along with Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary general president, Brother Stephen W. Owen, Young Men general president, and Sister Cordon.

Sister Cordon promised answers to questions about the Children and Youth initiative.

“One of the best parts about the new Children and Youth effort is gathering together — there is strength to be found in gathering of youth,” she wrote. “Another one of my favorite parts is that the youth can learn about the gospel in new and engaging ways.”

Tune in to the Face to Face Event with Elder Gerrit W. Gong November 17, 2019, at 4:00 pm MST. There may be some fun…

Posted by Bonnie H. Cordon on Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Sister Becky Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, also invited her followers to join in the Face to Face event on Sunday. But she also shared an experience she had when visiting a family in Christchurch, New Zealand. 

When she spoke to them about the new Children and Youth initiative coming in January, she learned they had already started. “They were anxious to follow the prophet’s direction and decided to forge ahead,” she wrote in the Nov. 14 Facebook post.

They showed her four posters hung up in their landry room with areas of growth found in Luke 2:52, along with lots of sticky notes.

“How simple is that!” she wrote. “There is no doubt in my mind that this family if trying to follow the Savior in all things.”

A few weeks ago, I visited a family in Christchurch, New Zealand. As we spoke about the new Child and Youth program…

Posted by Becky Craven on Thursday, November 14, 2019

Nov. 9 marked 30 years since the Berlin Wall came down. In an Instagram post on that day, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, shared that he keeps a piece of the Berlin Wall in his office to remind him of this miracle that he never thought would happen in his lifetime.

Germany celebrates Unity Day on Oct. 3, and in the last month, Elder Uchtdorf has been pondering about unity. Remembering back to 1989 when people from East and West Germany began to meet each other, he recalled how “We had similar dreams, aspirations and hopes for our lives. Of course we had our differences too, but our intrinsic values and goals were similar. We found ways to focus on the similarities we had rather than the differences,” he wrote in the Nov. 9 Instagram post.

When it comes to the walls separating human relationships, gospel principles and the teachings of the Savior can bring them down. “Remember,” Elder Uchtdorf wrote, “because of the Savior’s sacrifice we can experience the miracle of unity in all the relationships we have in our lives.”

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Today is an important day for me and for many around the world. November 9, 2019, marks 30 years since the Berlin Wall came down. I keep a piece of the Berlin Wall in my office to remind me of this great miracle. I never thought it would happen in my lifetime! . It took about 11 months after the wall came down for East Germany and West Germany to agree on unity. So every year on October 3, Germany officially celebrates “Unity Day.” After many years of separation and suffering, Germany was finally united. . In the month that has passed since Unity Day, I have pondered about unity. I remember back to 1989 when people from each side of the wall began to meet each other. We had similar dreams, aspirations, and hopes for our lives. Of course we had our differences too, but our intrinsic values and goals were similar. We found ways to focus on the similarities we had rather than the differences. Over time, the miracle of unity happened for Germany. . There is a great need for unity in our human relationships too. Perhaps we have figurative “walls” in our families, our friendships, our lives. When our walls come down we might think, “How is it possible to feel unity when we are so different?” . Well, I would suggest that we reapply the gospel principles and the teachings of the Savior. The Savior is the one who can help us bring our walls down. We try to be more forgiving, more kind, more understanding, more supportive of each other. If we make mistakes (and we will), we have the gift of repentance to fix our personal relationships and our relationship with God. Remember, because of the Savior’s sacrifice we can experience the miracle of unity in all the relationships we have in our lives.

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When preparing for her October 2019 general conference address, Sister Reyna Isabel Aburto, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, found that she had far more information and resources than she could share in one talk. 

“That’s why the endnotes are extensive,” she wrote in a Nov. 12 Facebook post. “My hope is that if you want to know more about how to cope with emotional issues, you will find in there inspired resources that can guide you.”

Sister Aburto encouraged everyone, even if they don’t suffer from mental or emotional distress, to gain a healthy understanding of emotional and mental health concerns. “Hopefully, as we reach for the Savior’s grace and support each other in our struggles, our burdens will be lighter and we may even be able to prevent much suffering in our children, our youth and the people we love.”

Have you ever prepared a Sunday lesson and had way more information than you could possibly share in one class? That’s…

Posted by Reyna I. Aburto on Tuesday, November 12, 2019

One of the fundamental purposes of Primary is to help children feel and recognize the powerful influence of the Holy Ghost, Sister Lisa Harkness, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, shared in a Nov. 11 Facebook post.

“Children are especially sensitive to the Spirit,” she wrote. “Parents and leaders have unique opportunities in the home, and during Primary singing and class time to help children learn how to recognize and follow the spiritual impressions they receive.”

After singing a Primary song, reading the scriptures, or helping someone, children often say things like, “I feel good,”…

Posted by Lisa L. Harkness on Monday, November 11, 2019