Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spread joy and faith this week on social media, encouraging members to trust the Lord and remember they are not alone.
After helping with Project Protect this week, Sister Reyna Isabel Aburto, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, posed the question on social media Monday, April 27: “What does ministering look like right now?”
Among other answers to that question, she mentioned sharing messages of hope on social media, donating to a food pantry, making face masks and delivering groceries to a neighbor who is at high risk of getting sick.
At the end of her Facebook post, she asked, “During these unique times, how have you seen people ministering like the Savior did?”
Members of the community in certain areas are coming together to sew medical masks for health care workers. Volunteers may sign up each week to receive a kit with materials to make 100 masks. Sister Becky Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, posted on Wednesday, April 29, about her experience with this project.
“Sewing 100 masks in a week is a big task, so we split up the kit among a few of us. I spent some time sewing with my daughter Jana and my granddaughters Maggie and Macy.”
Sister Craven wrote about the important task parents have of teaching their children to serve. “Jana might have felt that she could sew the masks much faster on her own. Maybe teaching the girls would slow her down. But as Maggie and Macy worked with their mother to serve, they learned a new skill and learned about serving other people.”
In a Monday, April 27, Facebook post, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared how even during these challenging times, no one is ever alone. “There are a lot of times when we feel we are alone, there are a lot of times when we feel abandoned, a lot of times when we feel the heavens are sealed. He felt that too.”
He encouraged each person to keep going and ask for strength from God: “Believing in Jesus Christ does not mean that mortal challenges will cease to exist, but we do believe that the Lord can give us the strength to meet these challenges.”
Elder Holland testified about the Savior’s real, profound ability to understand each person. “The Savior understands us because He is not an abstraction. Because He is a living, breathing, real Son of God, as each of us is.”
Last week, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reached out on social media to missionaries and parents of missionaries, asking about their experiences using technology and social media during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a Friday, May 1, Facebook post, Elder Uchtdorf shared some of the comments he received.
One missionary, Sister Watson, said, “My companion and I have been posting uplifting quotes, pictures, and videos onto different places and it has been really cool to reach God’s children all over the world in a matter of seconds!”
Elder Uchtdorf wrote that focusing on what can be done instead of what can’t be done helps each person maintain a positive attitude. “As we continue to stay home and overcome this virus around the world, my greatest hope and prayer is that we can use this time to strengthen our relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ, and to share our testimony of Him with others.”
Additionally, in a tweet he shared on Thursday, April 30, Elder Uchtdorf encouraged everyone to follow the Savior.
In a Sunday, April 26, Facebook post, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote to those who are struggling with their testimonies, are less active or have taken their names out of Church records: “We need you! The Church needs you! The Lord needs you!”
He reminded readers that “some of our most stalwart and faithful members have suffered a challenge to their faith for a season.” He shared examples in his post below.
Regardless of each person’s situation, “please know that the Church and its members will welcome you back!”
In a tweet on the same day, Elder Cook shared how important continuing personal revelation is: “Personal revelation is a profound blessing.”
During the April 2020 general conference, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke of a woman named Floripes Luzia Damasio. Speaking of her conversion, she said missionaries came to her village to bless a critically ill baby. The baby miraculously recovered. Sister Damasio wanted to know more.
When she prayed about the missionaries’ message, “an undeniable witness of the Spirit confirmed to her that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.” She was baptized at 103 years old and received her endowment when she was 104.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, April 29, Elder Anderson shared more about Sister Damasio.
Her parents were slaves in Brazil. “Slavery didn’t end in Brazil until 1888, and Sister Damasio was born one year later in 1889. When I visited her in the temple, one of her younger daughters was with her.” The second picture in the post was of him with Sister Damasio and her daughter.
Sister Damasio’s favorite hymn was “Hark, All Ye Nations!” he wrote. She passed away peacefully in 2008 at the age of 118.
On Sunday, April 26, Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles testified on Facebook that the heavens are indeed open. “Because the heavens are again open, we know and ‘believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost’ (Articles of Faith 1:1) —the divine Godhead.”
Elder Gong also shared a quote from the Prophet Joseph Smith: “Said the Prophet Joseph, ‘Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject’” (“Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith,” 419).
In a tweet on the same day, Elder Gong wrote that everyone can learn much about God’s goodness as they “do and become, line upon line, kindness upon kindness, individually and together.”
In a Sunday, April 26, Facebook post, Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles testified of the power of the Book of Mormon. “I reaffirm once more the promise that echoes through its pages: that if you ‘ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ,’ He mercifully ‘will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost’ (Moroni 10:4).”
Elder Soares assured readers that God will answer that prayer in a “very personal way.”
On Sunday, April 26, President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, shared on Twitter that the Lord joins His children in the work of the Restoration of His gospel.