As part of a recent ministering visit in Honduras, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught Latter-day Saints about how the Savior values each son and daughter of God.
“How much are you worth?” the Apostle said. “You are worth what Jesus Christ was willing to pay.”
The Christ-centered message was one of many Elder Renlund delivered to leaders, missionaries and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while ministering in five Central American countries — Honduras, Belize, Panama, Nicaragua and Guatemala — Feb. 17-26.
One of Elder Renlund’s main invitations to Latter-day Saints in the Central America Area was to “invite others to participate in the work of the Lord using specific, inspired invitations.”
Elder Renlund first traveled to Honduras, where he taught Church leaders, members and missionaries.
Leaders from 15 stakes and one district in two San Pedro Sula coordinating councils gathered to hear Elder Renlund’s message.
“Nobody in this Church needs to do everything, but everyone who is willing can do something,” he said. “The Lord will take all who are willing and make them able to do His work.”
Elder Renlund and his wife, Sister Ruth Renlund, were accompanied by Elder Patricio M. Giuffra, a General Authority Seventy and member of the Central America Area presidency, and his wife, Sister María Eugenia Giuffra, as well as Elder Favio M. Durán, an Area Seventy, and his wife, Sister Nusly Durán.
Elder Renlund gave messages of spiritual strength, hope and encouragement. He urged Saints to exercise faith in Jesus Christ and do things that will only increase faith, as “faith only increases or decreases.” He also offered counsel on how to withstand and find peace in the midst of trials.
“I am here as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ,” Elder Renlund told more than 1,300 young adults. “I am not special. I am normal. But He whose Apostle I am, He is special. He is the Savior, our Redeemer and He is our friend.”
Elder Giuffra invited the young people to make the righteous decisions in their lives to ensure a future of blessings.
“Each of us made an important decision to follow our Heavenly Father, which is why we are here today,” Elder Guiffra said, reported the Church’s Honduras Newsroom. “You made an important decision by coming to hear from a special witness for Christ today.”
Everything we sow, we reap, Sister Renlund said in a message about the law of the harvest.
“If we want to be people of love, we must plant love in our hearts,” she said.
While in Honduras, Sister Renlund participated in a service project in which the Church donated hygiene kits and clothing for migrant families who had returned from the Center for Attention to Migrant Children and Families, which is operated by the Honduran Red Cross.
The Church’s donation consisted of 90 men’s kits, 50 women’s kits, 51 children’s kits, 64 clothing kits and several bottled-water packages. The supplies complement a project that will assist more than 8,000 migrants with food, transportation and other services, according to a news release on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
San Pedro Sula Honduras Temple
Elder Renlund visited the San Pedro Sula Honduras Temple site, where the temple is approximately 70% complete. The San Pedro Sula Honduras Temple was announced by President Russell M. Nelson on April 7, 2019, and ground was broken Sept. 5, 2020.
“We were excited to get a sneak peak of the temple. It is beautiful and finely crafted,” Elder Renlund said. “The members here are focused on the temple and preparing names from their family histories to take to the temple. They are thrilled to have a temple so close to them that is nearing completion.”
More than 500 Latter-day Saints came to hear Elder Renlund at a devotional in Belize, reported the Church’s Belize Newsroom. The Apostle told the Saints, “Today is a new day in Belize” and encouraged them to “keep the momentum and don’t stop” exercising faith in Jesus Christ.
Elder Renlund asked all the 11-year-olds in the audience to stand and taught them about gaining a testimony.
“It was at this age that I got a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true,” he said. “Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and Restorer of the gospel.”
Elder Renlund challenged the children and their parents to seek a testimony of the Book of Mormon. He shared Mosiah 2:41 from the Book of Mormon and invited Latter-day Saints to consider themselves in a blessed and happy state made possible by their keeping the commandments.
Elder Renlund continued by visiting members and missionaries in Panama and Nicaragua.
While in Nicaragua, Elder Renlund was accompanied by Elder Brian K. Taylor, a General Authority Seventy who serves as president of the Central America Area.
In Managua, Nicaragua, youth prepared a cultural evening of song and dance.
“Each dance conveyed a portion of their history and was performed so joyfully, “ Elder Renlund said.
Elder Renlund taught the youth about looking for spiritual cairns, or trail markers, to guide them in their choices. He told of an experience hiking in Iceland on an unfamiliar trail that led to a waterfall. The trail was marked by cairns so hikers could avoid the perils of the trail and make it safely to their destination. He admonished the youth to serve God and keep His commandments.
“In life,” he said, “we can look to prophets, scriptures and our covenants to safely guide us back to our heavenly home.”
Before leaving Managua, Elder Renlund visited a hospital where the Church has donated equipment as part of a humanitarian effort. The equipment allows children to receive high amounts of oxygen without being intubated. He met with doctors and administrators and visited with patients.
Elder Renlund’s final stop on the Central American tour was in Guatemala City, where he met with leaders from seven stakes and one district. Elder Taylor G. Godoy, a General Authority Seventy and member of the Central America Area presidency, also participated in the leadership meetings.
The Apostle encouraged the Latter-day Saint leaders to maintain their spiritual momentum and stay steady in the work of the Lord.
“Guatemala is a beautiful country with wonderful people. The Church is strong as members from 51 stakes and 12 districts serve the Lord and their fellow men,” Elder Renlund said.
Elder Renlund also presided at a Sunday devotional with Primary children from four stakes. The children sang and some bore testimonies. He taught them about their identity as children of God with a divine nature and eternal destiny.
“The children sang with such fervor and love,” Elder Renlund said. “The light of Christ truly shines in their faces. Several bore sincere and heartfelt testimonies of the Savior and His latter-day work.”
As she did in Honduras, Sister Renlund assisted in a service project while in Guatemala. She helped to distribute nutritional supplements to mothers and children at risk for malnutrition in Guatemala. The program serves hundreds of children and mothers in the Patzicia Guatemala Stake area.
“This is such an important project,” Sister Renlund said. “There is no way to make up in later life for a lack of nutrition in the first five years of life.”
Sister Renlund and Sister Carol Godoy, wife of Elder Godoy, also visited a school and foster care program where the Church donated computers for a computer lab. After touring the school, Sister Renlund and Sister Godoy served lunch to the children who are in foster care.