What lessons were learned from the challenges and trials of the last year? What blessings did the Lord give in 2020? What goals can be made for the year 2021? How does one know that the Book of Mormon is true? How does one deepen their relationship with Heavenly Father?
These questions were posed and pondered by Church leaders on social media this week.
As the year 2020 came to a close, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared a lesson about discovering unexpected possibilities and remarkable blessings that come from limitations and constraints.
In a Dec. 30, 2020, Instagram post, Elder Bednar wrote about his hope that “we will pause and reflect with gratitude on the lessons we have learned — even though the experiences that produced those lessons were not anything we may have thought we wanted.”
He invited everyone to ponder these questions: “What is something you have learned this year that has strengthened your faith in Jesus Christ? How will you ‘press forward with a steadfastness in Christ’ (2 Nephi 31:20) using what you have learned to help and serve others?”
Sister Lisa L. Harkness, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, has also been studying what lessons she has learned from the challenges during the year 2020. In a Dec. 31, 2020, Facebook post, she wrote that at the start of the year when everything seemed to change, she began making a list of the things she observed and learned.
“I have a couple of pages now, and I’d like to think I’m more aware of even small lessons in my life’s path,” she wrote. “Even though this year has been very difficult in so many ways, the adversity and trials we’ve faced have also been accompanied by beautiful lessons of personal growth. We just have to look up to see them.”
For the year 2021, Sister Harkness’s goal is to keep looking to God so she can recognize His blessings and look forward in faith. “I’m excited to keep learning!”
Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, shared an experience on Instagram on Dec. 31, 2020, that she had while visiting the home of her daughter and son-in-law.
While Sister Craig’s son-in-law Marcus was bearing his testimony of the Book of Mormon, his 5-year-old son Easton asked him, “But how do you know?”
Marcus explained that when he reads the Book of Mormon, he feels peaceful inside and he feels the Holy Ghost. He also said that he has prayed and asked to know if the book is true, and the peace he feels is the answer he received.
“As He did for my son-in-law, the Holy Ghost has testified of the truth of the Book of Mormon and spoken peace to my heart,” Sister Craig wrote.
As the year came to a close, she found herself giving thanks for “the blessing of reading and studying the Book of Mormon this past year. I have learned from faithful people who served during times of restriction. I have learned what it means to look forward with an eye of faith, to trust in Christ and His power to lead, magnify, and deliver His people. I know it is true.”
On Jan. 10, Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, will address young adults in a worldwide devotional on how to gain strength through Jesus Christ in difficult times.
In anticipation of the devotional, Elder Gong shared an invitation on social media for young adults ages 18-31 to “be a part of the conversation.” In an Instagram video on Dec. 30, 2020, he posed the question: “How do I deepen my relationship with God, change the future now without having to be Insta-perfect, and become my best ‘me’?”
In a Facebook post on the same day, he wrote, “I have spent many hours in study and prayer in preparation for this devotional, and I think it will be a unique digital experience for each of you. I can’t wait to be with you.”
Just before the end of the year, President Russell M. Nelson published a tweet on Dec. 29, 2020, about how to withstand temptation.
President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, shared this about praying for one’s enemies, on Twitter on Dec. 30, 2020.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged others to think of Christ in this tweet on Dec. 31, 2020.