This Week on Social: A kindness ‘workout’ routine to strengthen unity and empathy

As the new year began, Church leaders shared messages of comfort and inspiration on social media this week.

On New Year’s Day, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote about Joan of Arc who was born during the new year of 1412 and would grow up to change her world.

By the age of 16, Joan of Arc became a captain in the French army through military developments and religious experiences. Three years later, she was captured, tried and put to death by being burned at the stake at the age of 19. She was given the chance to save her life by denying her religious beliefs, but she refused.

Elder Holland quoted Maxwell Anderson, who wrote of her death, “One life is all we have, and we live it as we believe in living it, and then it’s gone. But to surrender what you are, and live without belief — that’s more terrible than dying — more terrible than dying young.”

Happiness comes from living a faith-filled life, Elder Holland wrote. 

“As we begin this new year, may we resolve to live the right way for the right reasons — reasons that are eternal, reasons that matter in this life and in the next.”

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wished readers a happy new year in a Jan. 5 Instagram post.

Looking back on 2020 can cause feelings of sadness, pain from loss, and frustration over unwanted changes. “But it also invites a spirit of divine hope and gratitude for the many blessings we received, for the richness of past experiences, and for the brightness the gospel shines onto the future,” Elder Uchtdorf wrote.

In the coming days ahead, “God’s love and the fruit of the Spirit will enable us to reach out to those around us (family, friends, everyone) and help them to better cope with their challenging circumstances,” he continued.

Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, shared an exercise routine anyone can do as they begin the new year.

“It consists of 50 reps of kindness every day, followed by 50 more reps of forgiveness. You are going to face resistance; it is part of the exercise. Don’t give up. To prevent injury, stretch your understanding before beginning. This exercise is much easier if you stand on common ground. At the end of this year you will have strengthened your core unity muscles and sculpted some pretty impressive empathy,” she wrote in the Jan. 3 Facebook post.

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, shared his love for young adults in a video shared on Instagram on Jan. 8.

In the video, he assured them of how precious they are to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

“We want you to know that the most important voice, the most important thing that needs to occur in your lives, is to find some quiet time where you can just be quiet and actually know that your Heavenly Father loves you, that you are His son or His daughter, and that the Lord Jesus Christ is your Savior and your Redeemer.”

On Jan. 3, each member of the Primary general presidency posted a video on their social media accounts about creating at-home Primary experiences.

President Joy D. Jones invited viewers to “consider how you can help the children in your life to have meaningful Primary experiences, no matter where or how they meet.”

Sister Lisa L. Harkness, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, asked in an Instagram post, “How can you help children to learn the gospel in your home?”

There are many resources available to help children have an at-home Primary experience, Sister Cristina B. Franco, second counselor in the Primary general presidency, wrote in an Instagram post. “What are your favorite Church resources for Primary at home?”