This week on social: What these Church leaders learned from #LightTheWorld and #GiveThanks

This week on social media, Church leaders shared what they learned from #LightTheWorld and #GiveThanks, and shared testimonies of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, information about temples moving to Phase 3 and messages from the First Presidency Christmas Devotional.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles recently had the chance to reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic and share how it has brought him closer to the Lord. 

“My testimony of Jesus Christ has been strengthened this year — because He has strengthened me,” he wrote in a Dec. 4 Facebook post. He shared a Church News video and invited his readers to watch it and “allow me to share my testimony of the Savior with you.”

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles first understood the full significance of the Atonement of Christ when his grandfather was dying. At 26 years old, Elder Cook was studying for the California Bar Exam when his mother told him that if he wanted to see his 86-year-old grandfather before he died, he had better come to Utah.

In a Dec. 8 Instagram post, Elder Cook wrote of this experience, “He was so pleased to see me and share his testimony of the Savior.”

Everyone has sinned and can only obtain mercy and live with God through the Atonement of Christ. 

Elder Cook wrote, “I can remember to this day the great love that Grandfather had for the Savior and the appreciation he had for Christ’s Atonement.”

President Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women general president, is still reflecting on President Russell M. Nelson’s challenge to #GiveThanks. “Each time I’d open my social media or discuss it with my family, I was anxious to see and hear what everyone chose to highlight. Your gratitude lit up my world!” she wrote in a Dec. 10 Facebook post.

She shared three things that she learned from following the Prophet’s counsel and invited others to share with her what they learned by doing the same.

“How lucky we are for a prophet ‘to guide us in these latter days’” (“We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet,” Hymns, no. 19).

I don’t know about you, but I find myself still reflecting on President Russell M. Nelson’s gratitude challenge he gave…

Posted by Bonnie H. Cordon on Thursday, 10 December 2020

One way children can #LightTheWorld this Christmas season is to learn about their ancestors, President Joy D. Jones, Primary general president, wrote in an Instagram post on Dec. 10.

“I hope children today know that their ancestors are cheering them on from the other side of the veil,” she wrote. “As we take time to learn about our personal ancestors, I know we can feel a deeper love and closer connection to them, just as we do with our living family members.”

Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, posted on both Facebook and Instagram on Dec. 7.

Worthwhile endeavors, like building the Salt Lake Temple over a period of 40 years, take much time and much effort, she wrote in her Facebook post. The pioneers who built this temple faced setbacks, and the process was slow and grueling. 

“Some of the worthy dreams and goals in our lives are not going to be reached in a day, a month, or even a year — and reaching them will not always be easy,” Sister Craig wrote. “Don’t give up on those things you feel prompted to do.”

Worthwhile endeavors take much time and much effort. The Salt Lake Temple took 40 years to build! The pioneers…

Posted by Michelle D. Craig on Monday, 7 December 2020

Tithing settlement this year looked a little different for Sister Craig and her husband. In an Instagram post, she shared a screenshot of a video conference call between them and their bishop. “He reminded us that we pay our tithing not just with money but with our faith,” she wrote.

Paying tithing is a blessing because it allows one to demonstrate faith and trust in God in a tangible way, she continued. “Even when we’re in a pandemic, even when Christmas is coming, and even when we have more month than money, we know His promises are sure.”

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, wrote about his amazement over how technology can facilitate the work of the Lord in a Dec. 6 Instagram post.

“Technology and mobile electronic devices are a blessing, but they can also distract us from hearing the still, small voice,” he warned. “They need to be our servants, not our masters.”

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, spent Thanksgiving with his wife, Sister Kristen Oaks, and their whole family — represented by a framed group photo placed on their table. 

“As we look forward to possible Christmas gatherings of our families, we need to remember the cautions we have been given to reduce the exposure to COVID-19,” President Oaks wrote in a Dec. 8 Facebook post. “The Oaks family takes those cautions very seriously.”

As we look forward to possible Christmas gatherings of our families, we need to remember the cautions we have been given…

Posted by Dallin H. Oaks on Tuesday, 8 December 2020

On Dec. 9, President Ballard shared a tweet about the ways the Savior “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).

On Dec. 10 on Twitter, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles testified that God watches over His children in times of uncertainty and fear.

Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared a tweet of his testimony of the First Vision, on Dec. 6.

Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles warned about not giving or taking offense, on Twitter on Dec. 1.

Phase 3 announcements

On Dec. 7, the Church announced that four temples would soon transition to Phase 3, meaning that they would be open for proxy temple work. 

In a Facebook post sharing the news, President Russell M. Nelson wrote that he is “thrilled” that “we will soon see the limited reopenings of selected temples for proxy work for our deceased ancestors.”

Three members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — Elder David A. Bednar, Elder Gary E. Stevenson and Elder Dale G. Renlund — explained the principles, adjusted procedures and protocols surrounding the Phase 3 reopening in three videos that accompanied the announcement.

First Presidency Christmas Devotional

During the First Presidency Christmas Devotional on Dec. 6, the Facebook accounts of President Nelson, Elder Holland and Sister Becky Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, broadcast their respective addresses live. The recordings of their addresses can be viewed on their respective Facebook pages.

In addition to the video shared on Facebook, Sister Craven posted a photo on Instagram of her holding a new granddaughter wrapped in a blanket.