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.”
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.”
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“ , 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.”
“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.”
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.