Church leaders took to social media this week to write about how to come closer to God, the importance of consistent gospel effort, their joy in members following the Lord.
When Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was a young man, he would stand at the fence of an international airport and watch the “magnificent flying machines.” He wanted to be in the cockpit of one of those airplanes and climb above the clouds, traveling to new horizons.
But the dream seemed impossible. “I was not born into wealth,” Elder Uchtdorf explained in an Aug. 16 Instagram post. “My family had twice been refugees, taking only what we could carry.” He was also considered an outsider by some. And had to spend his afternoons and weekends working in his family’s laundry business.
Today, many people might think their dreams are also outside the realm of possibility. But, if the Apostle and airline pilot could speak to his young self, he would say, “It’s not going to be easy, but you can do it. You will be all right. The journey will be filled with challenges, Dieter. But the struggle itself will transform you into the person you want to be. … Trust in God. Know that if you do your part, things will work out.”
It’s the same advice Elder Uchtdorf extended to young people on social media: “[If] you continue to place one foot in front of the other and strive each day to follow your plan, things will work out and you will reach your goals. … And, especially, remember that if you trust in the Lord, learn of Him, have faith in Him, He will direct your path.”
Everyone has times when their pattern of scripture reading is interrupted, when they choose not to pray or when they choose to ignore commandments for a time.
However, President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, warned in an Aug. 20 Facebook post, “you will not have your desire for a living testimony granted if you forget the warning and promise in Alma 32:40: ‘And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life.’”
Feasting on the word of God, prayer and obedience to God’s commandments needs to be applied continually for one’s testimony to grow and prosper, he continued.
“As your testimony grows, you will come to feel light growing in your life. It will not come without effort. But it will come as your testimony grows and you choose to nurture it.”
At the beginning of the year, Sister Michelle Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, bought a new paperback copy of the Book of Mormon with wide margins. In it, she has been writing down impressions, questions and thoughts on each page — “and I am learning much,” she wrote in an Aug. 16 Facebook post.
As she’s been intentionally about seeking to hear the voice of the Lord, “I have realized the importance of making time to actually listen for His voice, making time to be still,” she wrote. “In quiet moments it is much easier to hear the whisperings of the Spirit.”
Sister Craig shared what a friend once told her, that “we need to create margins in our own lives in which God can write in our hearts and in our minds — margins of stillness and quiet.”
Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote about the relationship between Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and each of God’s children through prayer, in a pair of Aug. 18 tweets.
“When we consider the goodness of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, our trust in Them increases. Our prayers change because we know God is our Father and we are His children,” he wrote.
By praying, one does not change God’s will, but seeks to align one’s own will with His, Elder Renlund continued, “and secure for ourselves blessings that He wants to grant, conditioned on our asking for them.”
As Sister Lisa Harkness, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, has met children around the world, she has been touched by their deep desires to learn and grow.
In an Aug. 20 Facebook post, Sister Harkness wrote about visiting Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo last fall. When she shared French and Malagasy copies of the “Friend” magazine, “My heart was touched as I watched these children joyfully look through the pages and the pictures in the magazine,” she wrote.
This experience, along with other, has made her excited for the new magazines the Church will be publishing in 2021.
“These magazines will provide an aid and a practical tool to help us learn the gospel of Jesus Christ and apply its principles in everyday life,” she wrote. “As we study the scriptures and words of modern prophets, these magazines will also help us in our efforts to teach the gospel and help all to ‘Hear Him.’”
The pandemic has brought about the largest humanitarian project the Church has participated in to date.
“To date, we have participated in 757 projects in 137 countries, spending many millions of dollars. Much more time and effort will be required in the near future, and the Church is eager to continue to help,” President Nelson wrote in an Instagram post.
Most of the relief has come from Church members who have increased voluntary fast offerings and contributions to the Church’s humanitarian funds, worked to help victims of COVID-19, prepared and provided protective gear for caregivers, and sewn millions of masks. “And this while our members continue to feed the hungry, assist refugees, and labor to relieve damage caused by natural disasters, wherever they occur throughout the world.”