This week on social: ‘What does ministering look like now?’ asks Relief Society leader

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?”

When Sister Jean B. Bingham first introduced a new way of ministering, she asked the question: “What does ministering…

Posted by Reyna I. Aburto on Monday, April 27, 2020

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 my area there is an initiative to sew clinical face masks for healthcare workers. Each week, volunteers can sign up…

Posted by Becky Craven on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

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.”

You Are Not in This Alone

With the current global concerns, in these troubling times, and when life becomes overwhelming, we may think that God has abandoned us and may think we are alone. We can find peace and comfort in the truth that God the Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, are aware of us and know how to help us through these times. 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.When the Savior was on the cross he cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” feeling He was alone (Matthew 27:46). The Savior had to feel alone because the whole nature of His Atonement is that He had to carry the sins and the sorrows and the suffering and the sickness of all mankind on His shoulders. He had to feel that He was alone because He needed to know how we feel when we feel 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.We are not alone in our mortal journey. 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. I declare personally that Christ does know us. He has walked the thorny, difficult, rock-strewn path of our lives.

Posted by Jeffrey R. Holland on Monday, April 27, 2020

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.”

Last week, I asked missionaries and parents of missionaries to share your experiences with social media and technology…

Posted by Dieter F. Uchtdorf on Friday, May 1, 2020

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!”

To any who may be struggling with your testimonies, who have been less active, or had your names removed from Church…

Posted by Quentin L. Cook on Sunday, April 26, 2020

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.

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We recently heard President Russell M. Nelson say, “I invite you to think deeply and often about this key question: How do you hear Him? I also invite you to take steps to hear Him better and more often.” We hear Him in our prayers, in our homes, in the scriptures, in our hymns, as we worthily partake of the sacrament, as we declare our faith, as we serve others, and as we attend the temple with fellow believers. Floripes Luzia Damasio is an example of me of seeking to hear the Lord’s voice. These photos were taken in the entrance of the São Paulo Brazil Temple in 2004, with temple president J. Kent Jolley. She was 114 years old. Speaking of her conversion, she told me that missionaries in her village gave a priesthood blessing to a critically ill baby, who miraculously recovered. She wanted to know more. As she prayed about their message, an undeniable witness of the Spirit confirmed to her that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. At 103 she was baptized, and at 104 she was endowed. Every year after, she made the 14-hour bus ride to spend a week in the temple. She had received a heavenly confirmation, and she knew that God knew that she knew that the witness was true. Let me share a few more insights about Sister Damasio. She explained to me that her parents were slaves in Brazil. Slavery ended in Brazil in 1888, and she was born one year later. When I visited her in the temple, one of her daughters was with her. Here is a picture of us. She told me that Elder Athos Amorim had given her a picture of the São Paulo temple that she hung proudly in her home. She loved these words from her favorite hymn, “Hark, All Ye Nations!”: “Hark, all ye nations! Hear heaven’s voice; Thru ev’ry land that all may rejoice! Angels of glory shout the refrain: Truth is restored again! Oh, how glorious from the throne above shines the gospel light of truth and love! Bright as the sun, this heavenly ray lights ev’ry land today,” (“Hymns,” no. 264). Sister Damasio would have loved to give the new Proclamation to her friends. She passed away peacefully in 2008 at age 118. How have you acted on President Nelson’s invitation to #HearHim better and more often in your life?

A post shared by Neil L. Andersen (@neillandersen) on

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).

Latter-day restoration begins with theophany—the literal appearance of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, to the…

Posted by Gerrit W. Gong on Sunday, April 26, 2020

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 this Sabbath Day, I bear my witness that the Book of Mormon is indeed the word of God. I reaffirm once more the…

Posted by Ulisses Soares on Sunday, April 26, 2020

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.