This weekend on social: During a global pandemic, these Church leaders share how they are finding inspiration and solace

It’s only been a few days since the Church News last shared what Church leaders have been posting on social media. But as the global pandemic persists and the Church enters the second week of suspended gatherings worldwide, social media seems like the perfect place for Church leaders to share uplifting messages to break up a newsfeed filled with COVID-19 updates and anxiety.

From the Primary general presidency’s posts about activities and songs parents can share with small children, a look back at an October 2018 general conference talk that is pertinent to today’s events, and a reminder to focus on the Savior as the Church marks 200 years since the First Vision, readers and followers can find peace and inspiration in these eight posts.

This past Sunday, Sister Lisa Harkness, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, gathered with her family to worship in their home. Her son and his wife joined in via FaceTime and led a discussion on the week’s Book of Mormon study. And together, they sang “The Wise Man and the Foolish Man,” each person with different hand motions.

“Such is the way with Primary music — there is more than one right way to do it — and that is the same for us in our homes,” she wrote in a March 22 Facebook post.

“It was a sweet experience to study, discuss, and pray together,” she continued. “But, above all, singing instantly brought love, comfort, and bonding. We felt the Spirit testify that if we are built upon the rock, our Savior and Redeemer, we will all be OK.”

Like many of you, I gathered with my family to worship in our home this past Sunday. What a sweet opportunity to pray…

Posted by Lisa L. Harkness on Sunday, March 22, 2020

On March 24, Sister Cristina B. Franco, second counselor in the Primary general presidency, shared a video of a Primary children choir performing “I Feel My Savior’s Love.”

During this opportunity Church members all over the world have to worship at home, “the music we sing in Primary can be a strength and a way to testify together of all that we know to be true,” Sister Franco wrote. “As we sing together, the Spirit will witness to our hearts that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know us and love us — we will #HearHim. Imagine the peace and unity that will come to us — as families and as a worldwide Church — when we lift our voices in song.”

I Feel My Savior's Love

As I have reflected on President Nelson’s counsel to consider how I can #HearHim, I am drawn to our beautiful Primary music. The songs have rich messages that teach, uplift, and fill our hearts with love and faith in Jesus Christ. Through them, we learn to have courage like Nephi, to follow the prophet, that faith can grow like a little seed as it is nourished, that kindness begins with me, that we are children of God, and that we can feel our Savior’s love. When visiting Primaries around the world, I watch the faces of our children as they sing these songs. Their countenances shine bright with an understanding of God’s love for them. They feel the Spirit testify of the truths as they sing. While we have the opportunity to worship at home, the music we sing in Primary can be a strength and a way to testify together of all that we know to be true. As we sing together, the Spirit will witness to our hearts that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know us and love us—we will #HearHim. Imagine the peace and unity that will come to us—as families and as a worldwide Church—when we lift our voices in song. The messages we sing will echo in our minds throughout the week, and we will remember the simple message of our Savior’s infinite love.

Posted by Cristina B. Franco on Monday, March 23, 2020

Recently, Elder Dale G. Renlund’s niece and nephew’s son Joshua turned eight years old. Because of Church and local health department restrictions on large gatherings, Joshua’s family would not be able to gather to celebrate his baptism. His mother asked if he wanted to postpone his baptism in the hopes that they could have this celebration later.

In an Instagram post on March 24, Elder Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared Joshua’s response: “Keep the plan we have because I want to have the Holy Ghost with me.”

“Simple as that,” Elder Renlund wrote.

While other families may make different decisions depending on their circumstances, “Josh taught me what was most important, something the ancient Nephites recognized,” he continued. “After the Savior instituted the sacrament among the people and departed, the 12 Nephite disciples taught the people what Jesus had taught. Then the multitude knelt and prayed. ‘And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them’” (3 Nephi 19:9).

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, assured readers that although there are currently reasons for concern, “we also have many reasons to be optimistic about the future.”

Next week at general conference, the Church will celebrate 200 years since the First Vision where Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove.

“We recognize that this event was just the beginning of the ongoing Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in preparation for the Savior’s Second Coming,” President Ballard wrote in a March 23 Instagram post.

He then invited readers “to spend some time in the next few days to be alone in a quiet place to commune with your Heavenly Father.”

While Church members all over the world are now spending more time at home, President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, invited them to take advantage of this time and study the Restoration as they prepare for general conference in April.

In a March 24 Instagram post, President Oaks shared some of what he has learned about the Prophet Joseph Smith. 

“The key to the uniqueness of Joseph Smith’s message and the Restoration is revelation,” he wrote. “Revelation is the foundation of our Church doctrine and governance. Joseph Smith declared, ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded upon direct revelation, as the true Church of God has ever been’” (”Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith“ [2007], 195).

Revelation continues to guide the Church today, President Oaks continued. “Likewise, each of us can receive revelation for our own lives. May we each utilize the gift of personal revelation in our lives and truly seek to #HearHim.”

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Given current circumstances, many of us are now spending more time at home. I invite you to take advantage of this time by studying the Restoration as we prepare for this unique general conference. I wish to share some of what I have learned about the Prophet Joseph Smith. • Joseph Smith's comparative youth overarched his prophetic ministry. He was 14 at the time of the First Vision, 21 when he received the gold plates, and just 23 when he finished translating the Book of Mormon (in less than 60 working days). Over half of the revelations in our Doctrine and Covenants were given through this prophet when he was 25 or younger. He was 26 when the First Presidency was organized and just over 33 when he escaped from imprisonment in Missouri and resumed leadership of the Saints gathering in Nauvoo. He was only thirty-eight and a half when he was murdered. • The key to the uniqueness of Joseph Smith’s message and the Restoration is revelation. Revelation is the foundation of our Church doctrine and governance. Joseph Smith declared, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded upon direct revelation, as the true Church of God has ever been” (”Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith“ [2007], 195). • In our day, revelation continues to guide the Church. Likewise, each of us can receive revelation for our own lives. May we each utilize the gift of personal revelation in our lives and truly seek to #HearHim.

A post shared by Dallin H. Oaks (@dallinhoaks) on

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared a video featuring some of his remarks from his October 2018 general conference address, “Wounded.”

“Although the details will differ, the tragedies, the unanticipated tests and trials, both physical and spiritual, come to each of us because this is mortality,” he said in the video, shared on his Facebook page on March 23.

While life is filled with joy and happiness, there will also be moments, hours, days and years of times when one’s soul will be wounded. “You may be feeling wounded right now, with the unexpected difficulties, the uncertainty, and the confusion that exists in our world this very moment,” he wrote in a post accompanying the video.

“Please know that I send my love and prayers as you face the challenges before you.”

The Wounded Shall Be Healed

In our mortal journey, we search for happiness. We long for peace. We hope for love. And the Lord showers us with an amazing abundance of blessings. But intermingled with the joy and happiness, one thing is certain: there will be moments, hours, days, sometimes years when your soul will be wounded. You may be feeling wounded right now, with the unexpected difficulties, the uncertainty, and the confusion that exists in our world this very moment.I often reflect back on these words from my talk entitled “Wounded”:“Never give up—however deep the wounds of your soul, whatever their source, wherever or whenever they happen, and however short or long they persist, you are not meant to perish spiritually. You are meant to survive spiritually and blossom in your faith and trust in God. …“Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, through the incalculable gift of His Atonement, not only saves us from death and offers us, through repentance, forgiveness for our sins, but He also stands ready to save us from the sorrows and pains of our wounded souls” (general conference, Oct. 2018).Please know that I send my love and prayers as you face the challenges before you.

Posted by Neil L. Andersen on Monday, March 23, 2020

As the world is still reeling with handling a global pandemic, Sister Becky Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, reflected back on another time of crisis and tragedy. 

On March 15, 2019, worshippers in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, were gunned down in an attack. In this mass shooting, 51 people were killed.

During an assignment in the Pacific, Sister Craven visited one of the mosques and had the opportunity to meet with some of the women who attend there.

“It’s easy to feel hopeless when tragedy strikes,” she wrote in a March 24 Facebook post. However, “These women expressed their great love for God and their fellowmen. I saw various faiths and a community come together to build friendships and extend support to one another. Any religious or cultural barrier was eliminated because of that sisterhood. There was an absolute sense that we weren’t sisters figuratively but literal daughters of a loving Father in Heaven.”

This experience left her feeling completely hopeful.

It’s easy to feel hopeless when tragedy strikes. But when I visited one of the mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand,…

Posted by Becky Craven on Tuesday, March 24, 2020