This week, Church leaders posted messages of hope on social media, encouraging their followers to reach out to others and to God as the world continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women general president, posted on Facebook on Monday, March 16, about how to minister to others in a time when personal contact needs to be limited. She shared two examples of helpful service that resonated with her: a woman grocery shopping for an elderly couple and people in Italy singing from their balconies to spread cheer.
“To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, let’s find ourselves ‘doing sensible and human things,’” Sister Cordon wrote. “I want to. You want to. And the Savior has shown us the way. Let’s ‘Go and Do’ in whatever simple, loving way we can.”
Sister Michelle Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, shared a lesson she learned from Mother Teresa in a Monday, March 16, Facebook post. Though Mother Teresa received a distinct call from God to dedicate her life to serving the poor in India, she felt He was absent during her later years. Sister Craig wrote, “From her I learn that even when you have a clear sense of direction and purpose, given by the Spirit, it does not mean things will be easy.”
She echoed a promise from President Russell M. Nelson that even when the heavens seem to be closed, as individuals press forward with patience and gratitude, they will eventually receive the knowledge they seek from God.
“Today more than ever we need to have the courage to move forward and act in faith when we have received clear direction. While we may not be able to act in the ways we are used to, let us ‘Hear Him’ and find ways to serve and minister to those around us,” Sister Craig wrote.
On Friday, March 20, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles posted on Facebook, “Surely we live in the season foretold by the Lord, ‘And in that day…the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them’ (D&C 45:26). I testify that a correct knowledge of and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ drives fear away.”
Citing an example from the Book of Mormon, Elder Bednar testified that because of the Savior, we can hush our fears, even in turbulent situations. “As we look to Christ, build upon the foundation of Christ, and press forward with faith in Christ, we can receive the blessing of peace and assurance in our lives,” Elder Bednar wrote.
Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles posted on Instagram on Monday, March 16, sharing an image of a painting that hangs in his office. The painting, “Peace Be Still” by Arnold Friberg, reminds Elder Rasband of his October 2016 general conference address.
He shared a quote from that talk in his post: “Take heart, brothers and sisters. Yes, we live in perilous times, but as we stay on the covenant path, we need not fear. I bless you that as you do so, you will not be troubled by the times in which we live or the troubles that come your way. I bless you to choose to stand in holy places and be not moved. I bless you to believe in the promises of Jesus Christ, that He lives and that He is watching over us, caring for us and standing by us.”
On his Facebook page, Elder Dale. G Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles compared washing one’s hands with soap and water to spending time with Jesus Christ, “the Living Water,” and repenting. He invited his followers “to consider what the Savior has done for you and how you can be better” each time they wash their hands in the coming weeks.
Sister Becky Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, posted on Facebook on Thursday, March 19, sharing a photo of her husband and two young granddaughters studying the gospel on Sunday — the first Sabbath when Church meetings were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If I could peek into the homes of families around the world last Sunday, I’m sure my heart would be touched,” Sister Craven wrote, adding, “How inspired the prophet was to focus on home-centered worship supported by the Church.”
Her own family’s home worship “was not complicated, and it does not have to be!” she continued. “We were able to focus our attention and our hearts on the blessing and covenants associated with partaking of the sacrament.”
On Friday, March 20, Elder Gerrit W. Gong posted on Instagram about “turning our hearts and minds to a higher power” during this time of uncertainty. He expressed gratitude for the knowledge that Heavenly Father has a body of flesh and bones and encouraged his followers to seek personal revelation from Him in prayer.
“We do not presume overfamiliarity as we speak of or with our Heavenly Father,” Elder Gong wrote. “But neither do we so fear His glory and perfection that we mistakenly think Him unapproachable or distant. He invites us to come to Him, and we do so on bended knee as His children.”
President Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society general president, shared a video on Facebook about the 178th anniversary of the Relief Society on Tuesday, March 17.
“May we always remember who we are. May we allow that truth to be the center of our lives. May we be ready for the direction of the Holy Ghost. May we bring ourselves closer to God, our Heavenly Father,” she wrote.
Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, also posted on Facebook on Tuesday, the anniversary of the Relief Society’s founding. She shared the organization’s motto, chosen in 1913 by then-Relief Society general president Emmeline B. Wells and her counselors.
“We belong to a long line of godly love that never fails,” Sister Eubank wrote. “Now it rests with us. Just like Sister Wells, my presidency is watching an incredible global society of women serving others and truly taking upon themselves the Christlike motto of ‘charity never faileth.’ We love you; we know you continue to serve in times that feel uncertain.”
Second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency Sister Reyna Isabel Aburto added her testimony to those of her fellow presidency members on Facebook, where she shared a video Tuesday, March 17. She invited her followers to pray to Heavenly Father to know whom they can help at this time.
“During this time of great fear and anxiety, I testify that the Lord always wants the best for you,” she wrote. “He knows you and your current circumstances. And He loves you. So much so that He directed the organization of the Relief Society by His own power and order.”