In his career as a pilot, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has traveled to many of the Asian countries where he recently had virtually meetings with youth, their parents, missionaries and leaders.
“When I flew over Vietnam or India or Hong Kong or over Thailand, I cherished the higher view to see the beauty of the country,” he said of the aerial view, in a meeting with youth. “I realized that there were challenges in the place, but the higher view gave me the feelings that there’s more to it than the daily challenges and problems. There’s a greater cause, a greater purpose.”
Elder Uchtdorf and Elder Paul V. Johnson, of the Presidency of the Seventy, along with members of the Asia Area presidency, Elder David P. Homer, Elder Peter F. Meurs and Elder Benjamin M. Z. Tai, all General Authority Seventies, were part of the Nov. 13-20 virtual ministry tour to the area, which includes 22 countries with the area headquarters based in Hong Kong, according to the Church’s Hong Kong Newsroom.
The tour originated from Church headquarters in Salt Lake City and included Church members in Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Read more: President Bingham and President Johnson meet virtually with Latter-day Saints in 11 countries in Asia
Elder Uchtdorf held up a “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet and his temple recommend and encouraged the young men and women to develop the virtues outlined in the pamphlet and to be worthy of a temple recommend, whether or not there is a temple in their country.
“Have courage,” he said and repeatedly asked the youth to exercise this virtue, from sharing the gospel to being committed to stay “on God’s side” through keeping the commandments.
Elder Uchtdorf also emphasized making wise choices.
“When you always keep in mind the plan of salvation … this big picture,” he said, “it will make it easier to make the right decisions in detail.”
“It is [your] choices … that show what [you] truly are, far more than [your] abilities,” he quoted from the novel “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”
Elder Johnson also taught how the youth can turn to God for help.
“Whatever the challenges your generation faces, you will be able to handle because you are the children of God,” Elder Johnson said. “You have access to His guidance and His help.”
Sabrina Lim, a young woman from Malaysia, and You-Ting Shen, a young man from Taiwan both shared about recent challenges in their lives where they turned to the scriptures and to prayer to overcome their spiritual hurdles. Sabrina spoke about sharing her faith with her peers. You-Ting talked about his struggle to know if God really loves His children.
Elder Uchtdorf taught the principles of “Love, Share and Invite.” He shared with missionaries suggestions on looking for ways to better connect with people through common interests.
“There, you build this bridge by using their culture and bringing the gospel teachings into their lives in a wonderful, simple way,” he said.
Elder Meurs, first counselor in the Asia Area presidency, encouraged the missionaries to trust in God.
“The outcome of your mission will depend on the choices you make,” Elder Meurs said. “Choose, like Nephi, to act in faith, to trust in the Lord, to seek His guidance to find the pure in heart and help them progress and develop faith.”
“Love, Share and Invite” principles can also help with strengthening and reaching out to members of the Church.
“That’s really eventually why we want to love these people and share and invite them back to sacrament meeting, so that they can be on this covenant path and find the joy of receiving these promised blessings,” Elder Johnson said.