This week on social media, Church leaders celebrated — and were gearing up for — significant anniversaries, asked readers to examine their spiritual lives and invited youth and young adults back to seminary and institute.
As the Young Women organization is gearing up to celebrate its 150th anniversary in November, Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon asked followers on Facebook, “Do you have a Young Women leader that made a difference in your life — a leader who makes you smile just thinking about her?”
The Aug. 25 post included a video of three women who were asked to reach out to a Young Women leader who impacted their lives.
Sister Cordon invited young women to share something about one of their favorite Young Women leaders on social media, using the hashtag #StriveToBe.
On Aug. 27, Sister Michelle Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, took up Sister Cordon’s invitation and shared her experience with Sister Judy Anderson, one of her favorite Young Women advisors.
“I still remember sitting in her class as a 15-year-old girl listening to her bear testimony about the temple,” Sister Craig wrote in the Facebook post. “I remember feeling a desire to make and keep sacred covenants in the house of the Lord.”
On a Sunday afternoon last fall, Sister Craig opened her front door and found Sister Anderson standing there with a small gift, a note and a hug. “She wanted to tell me how much she loved me, and the feelings of over 40 years ago came flooding back. No matter how old we are, we always appreciate and need to be told by those we love that we are loved! How grateful I am for the influence of righteous women in my life.”
In an Aug. 28 Facebook post, Sister Becky Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, shared some of the ways that young women in Guatemala minister to each other.
Most young women in the Church go to separate schools and can be ridiculed for being different. “I can relate because when I was younger, I was often one of the few members of the Church in my school,” Sister Craven wrote.
However, when these young women gather together in faith, “they feel strengthened.”
During Sister Craven’s visit to Guatemala last year, a group of young women spoke with her about the Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple and how it inspires them to be more like Jesus. “They said to me, ‘We want to be a light the way the temple is a light to us.’
“These insightful, smart, and inspired young women in Guatemala taught me that sometimes ministering is as simple as being an ‘example of the believers’” (1 Timothy 4:12).
The first Primary meeting was organized by Aurelia Spencer Rogers in the Farmington Rock Chapel. Children ages 4-14 were invited to attend. At this chapel is now a giant mural depicting this first Primary meeting.
When President Jones and her presidency counselors — Sister Lisa Harknes and Sister Cristina B. Franco — visited the Farmington Rock Chapel, they noticed that the door handle to enter the building is placed remarkably low. “This made it easy for children to enter the building for Primary on their own.”
Although COVID-19 is preventing a gathering to celebrate Primary’s birthday this year, “I feel that we can learn something from that first day of Primary and the placement of the door handles: to be aware of the needs of children and design experiences to meet their needs,” Sister Jones wrote. “No matter our circumstances, we can all love and strengthen children and their families both in Primary and out.”
In recognition of Women’s Equality Day on Aug. 26, Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham shared a photo of Relief Society sisters and suffragists who worked to make a difference in the lives of women across the country — including Emmeline B. Wells and Ruth May Fox.
“This year it is an especially important day because we are celebrating 100 years since the adoption of the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution, which granted women the right to vote,” Sister Bingham wrote.
The legacy of the women shown in the photo, and other suffragists, “created a foundation for our Church today, where men and women continue to work together all over the world on important causes,” she continued.
In an Aug. 23 Instagram post, President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency shared two challenges found in the New Testament that each person should answer for his or her self: “What think ye of Christ?” (Matthew 22:42) and to “examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith” (2 Coritnthians 13:5).
He then asked, “Where is our ultimate loyalty?”
When it comes to following Jesus Christ, there is no middle ground, President Oaks continued. “We should honor His name, keep His commandments, and ‘seek not the things of this world but seek … first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness’” (Matthew 6:33).
The most important knowledge on earth is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Light of the World. “He is our Savior from sin and death,” President Oaks wrote. Everyone can discover this for themselves through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Amidst the tragedy and challenges each person is facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many blessings and learning opportunities, Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote in an Aug. 23 Instagram post.
Recently, Elder Soares and his wife, Sister Rosana Soares, have become more anxious for Sunday to come. They try not to do anything else before preparing for and partaking of the sacrament, and they participate in activities that enhance the things they learn and feel.
“If I had known at the beginning of my marriage what I now know today about the Sabbath day, I believe I would have enjoyed the Sabbath day more,” Elder Soares wrote.
Sunday is a holy day, one that should be different from other days of the week, and a gift from the Lord to His children. “It is not a burden to us. It is an opportunity for spiritual renewal and to ponder what happened during the week.”
“I’m really very proud of you young people,” he wrote in a Facebook post accompanying the video message. “You have been so resilient. This pandemic has unnerved everyone globally, but you understand the situation and are making do. You are making the best of it.”
Life has always been a little messy, he continued, “but there is always a way through as we lean on our Savior.”
During a recent address on the campus of Brigham Young University, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued the invitation found in Doctrine and Covenants 64:33: “(Be) not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work.”
In an Aug. 24 Instagram post, Elder Cook wrote about the importance of maintaining a laser-like focus on one’s responsibility to build faith in Jesus Christ and His restored Church. “I recognize that there always has and always will be challenges to faith, and I encourage you in your efforts to bless and guide others, to correct falsehood and matters taken out of context, in a loving and kind way.”