Increasing their reach to women, youth and young adults around the world, all nine general leaders of the Relief Society, Young Women and Primary organizations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now have active accounts on Instagram.
This week, the leaders expressed their excitement to use Instagram, in conjunction with their Facebook accounts, as a means to help spread the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and connect with the members they serve and lead.
“We’re delighted to be able to communicate with our sisters of all ages around the globe on the Instagram platform,” said Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham. “This is a wonderful opportunity to increase our feeling of unity as the gospel of Jesus Christ brings us together in love and service.
“The women of the Church are incredible; they bring great strength, humility, creativity and purpose to their divinely inspired labors. We are excited to communicate our appreciation as well as provide encouragement to our sisters, whether they are 18 or 108!”
As a tool, social media provides leaders with the opportunity to reach people in a personal and individual way, said Sister Reyna I. Aburto, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency. “Because these platforms are used primarily by women, as a Relief Society presidency, we want to connect with our sisters in a global yet personal way. Through these accounts, we can have one-on-one connections and, hopefully, help bring the light, peace and joy of Christ to them.”
View this post on Instagram
Instagram…we’re here! I’ve been excited for a new way to connect with young women around the world! My name is Michelle Craig, and I am the First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency. I am a wife, mother to three, and nana to nine. Some of my favorite things include time with my family, reading a good book, family history and temple work … and popcorn. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that I was a young woman, but the world you live in is different in many ways. There are definitely challenges and hard things, but oh—what a time to be living! A time when so many are preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. You have qualities in your divine DNA that have prepared you “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14), and I can hardly wait to see what the future holds as we link hands and hearts, “[standing] as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9).
The Instagram profiles for the general presidencies of the organizations led by women come just two years after all 15 members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles joined the social media platform.
By following the social media accounts of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, many members — particularly women of the rising generation — are able to feel a more personal connection to the leaders of the Church, Sister Aburto said. “We want to follow their example and find ways to reach our members in a close, individual way.”
Speaking of the power that tools like Instagram have for connecting Young Women and leaders around the world, Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon highlighted how youth have used Instagram to share their light this year as part of the Young Women Sesquicentennial celebration by posting their My150 challenges.
“This year as part of the 150 challenge, we were able to see hundreds of examples of Young Women sharing their light as they posted to Instagram and other platforms with the #strivetobe,” President Cordon said.
Now, with the general presidency members each having official accounts of their own, President Cordon said they are excited to continue connecting with Young Women around the world by finding new ways to engage in gathering with them through Instagram.
“We are excited to connect with the young women where they are,” she said. “This is a platform where they are connecting with one another, and we hope that we too can connect with them. The Young Women of today have so much light to share and social media tools like Instagram help give a space for them to share their light and love of the Savior.”
Noting the difficulties of connecting with members one-on-one during a year when the usual travels of Church leaders have been limited, Primary President Joy D. Jones said, “I am grateful for this means of communicating in a more personal way with members across the globe.”
Social media is a valuable tool that provides yet another way for individuals to share their testimonies of Jesus Christ, she said, no matter where they live.
View this post on Instagram
I’m so excited to be with you on Instagram. Some of you may not know me well, so here’s a brief introduction. Hi, I’m Becky. I’m a daughter of heavenly parents, with a divine nature and eternal destiny. I have 21 grandbabies whom I adore. Oh, and I love their parents too. ???? And I get to serve in the Young Women presidency of the @ChurchofJesusChrist with @BonnieHCordon and @MichelleDCraig_. I have always loved to travel. Maybe that came from growing up in a military family that moved around quite a bit. As I have visited so many wonderful places around our incredible planet, I have learned that despite the overwhelming challenges some people face, their faith in Jesus Christ helps them navigate life with strength and conviction. From Papua New Guinea to Haiti, I’ve met people who centered their lives on Jesus Christ, picked themselves up from circumstances many of us may never experience, and moved forward in faith to help build God’s kingdom on this earth. I’m thrilled to connect with you here. Stay faithful, my friends. God is great. The future is bright, and as we focus on Jesus Christ and His love for us, we will continue to be great instruments in His hand, no matter where in the world you are.
Below are links to all nine of the women leaders’ Instagram accounts and their designated handles:
President Jean B. Bingham — @jeanbbingham
Sister Sharon Eubank — @sharon_eubank
Sister Reyna I. Aburto — @reynaiaburto
President Bonnie H. Cordon — @bonniehcordon
Sister Michelle D. Craig — @michelledcraig
Sister Becky Craven — @beckylcraven
President Joy D. Jones — @joydjones_
Sister Lisa L. Harkness — @lisalharkness_
Sister Cristina B. Franco — @cristinabfranco_