From stories about Big Wheel tricycles, stethoscopes and doves to messages of encouragement and hope as challenging times persist, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints promoted faith and endurance in their social media posts this week.
President Russell M. Nelson tweeted on June 25 that “Jesus was and is our great Exemplar.”
Scripture study increases personal revelation
President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, wrote in a June 25 Facebook post that scripture study is one of the best ways to seek personal revelation.
What a scripture meant to him at age 16 is different than what it meant to him at age 85, he wrote. “That is one reason Latter-day Saints believe in daily scripture study.
“With the benefit of my life’s experiences and with my greater familiarity with revelation, I can learn things that were not available to me yesterday by reading the scriptures today,” he wrote.
‘Hold on. Keep trying.’
On June 25, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland‘s message of hope generated over 16,000 reactions on Facebook. The Apostle wrote that everyone needs something to look forward to.
“My declaration is that this is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need,” he wrote. “There really is light at the end of the tunnel. It is the Light of the World. … It is the very Son of God Himself.”
To those struggling to see that light and find that hope, he wrote, “Hold on. Keep trying. God loves you. Things will improve.”
He concluded: “Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven, but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.”
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote in a June 22 tweet about God’s power and work: “God uses the weak and the plain to bring about His purposes.”
Prepare for the temple by keeping covenants
Recently, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles participated in a broadcast for the Middle East/Africa North Area. The Church transmitted the broadcast across six time zones in Arabic, English, French, Russian, Spanish and Tagalog.
“The members in this area eagerly anticipate and are faithfully preparing for a new temple in Dubai as announced in April general conference,” wrote Elder Bednar in a June 25 Instagram post.
“One of the best ways for all of us to prepare to attend the temple is to focus on and increase our understanding of gospel covenants and priesthood ordinances,” he wrote, adding that covenants that are honored steadfastly and remembered always provide purpose and the assurance of blessings in mortality and for eternity.
Spiritual development mirrors physical development
When their youngest son turned 4 years old, Elder Quentin L. Cook and his wife laughed after their son announced: “I can do everything now. I can tie, I can ride, and I can zip.”
“We understood he was telling us that he could tie his shoes, he could ride his Big Wheel tricycle, and he could zip his coat,” the Apostle wrote in a June 23 Facebook post, adding they realized those were monumental achievements for him.
Just as repetition and consistent effort are required to gain physical or mental capacity, the same is true in spiritual matters, he wrote. “We should build on these experiences, which sometimes resemble initial baby steps.”
Tune ears to the Holy Ghost
Early in his training as a cardiologist, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles learned to eliminate surrounding distractions while using a stethoscope to hear the human heart. His mentors taught him how to tune his ears to the stethoscope.
“In a similar manner, we must practice and tune our ears to hear the Holy Ghost,” he wrote in a June 26 Instagram post. Now a retired cardiologist, he is not as good at using a stethoscope because he doesn’t practice it every day.
Similarly, “If we get casual about personal acts of private devotion or daily repentance, if we get casual about our scripture study, if we get casual about not wanting to ask God questions, we lose our ability to hear the Holy Ghost,” he wrote.
Stay focused amid distractions, ‘go and do’
On June 22, Sister Becky Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, posted a picture of a dove she found perched on top of her ladder.
“We had been working in the yard all day, but this dove kept focused on her nest. She wasn’t flustered by all of the commotion,” she wrote, adding it made her think about staying focused amid worldly distractions.
“I know that peace and assurance come when we live our covenants,” Sister Craven wrote.
On June 25, she shared the 2020 Youth Theme video “Go and Do,” a music video filmed in New Zealand. When she visited New Zealand in September 2019, five young women reminded her the youth of the Church truly “go and do.”
“When I arrived at my hotel in the Pacific I met five young women who presented me with flowers, chocolates, and a thumb drive with their testimonies,” Sister Craven wrote on Facebook.
‘He knows we are doing our best’
President Joy D. Jones, Primary general president, posted a picture of herself on Facebook on June 25 that accurately represents many of her days: “I am either sitting at my kitchen table or my office desk, meeting virtually in various meetings and discussing how we can best support you.”
She continued: “I hope that we can all remember how much the Lord loves our effort. All of our ‘tries’ are important to Him, and He knows we are doing our best.”
God is ‘the giver’
Sister Lisa L. Harkness, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, testified in a June 23 Facebook post that God’s priesthood power is given, bestowed, conferred and shared based on conditions of worthiness.
“The use of God’s power elevates and transforms our characters to become more like the giver, who is God,” she wrote. “As women and men, we allow these blessings to flow into our lives when we enter into, and keep, sacred covenants with God.
“When we faithfully keep these priesthood covenants, God bestows upon us His promised power and blessings, including the highest blessings of salvation and exaltation,” Sister Harkness concluded.