On social media this week, Church leaders wrote about the youth theme for 2021, how to live closer to the Savior and the peace that God’s love can bring.
Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham issued her gratitude for the ministering that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have done throughout last year, in an Instagram post on Jan. 24.
“What a year we had in 2020!” she wrote. “And how blessed we are to have the support of one another — sisters and brothers in the gospel and Church of Jesus Christ — through these challenges!”
As worldwide troubles continue, each person’s fears, worries and concerns can be lifted by looking to Jesus Christ and ministering to others. “We can help one another find and feel joy. When we turn to the Lord and care for one another, we will find the peace He offers, the ‘peace [that] passeth all understanding’” (Philippians 4:7).
When feeling weighed down and weary this year, the new youth theme is a great pep talk, Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, wrote in a Facebook post on Jan. 25.
“Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great. Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:33–34).
This scripture has given Sister Craig encouragement and reassurance to be consistent in small acts of discipleship over the years. “Small things really do lay the foundation of a great work — the great work that is our life and the great work that God is asking us to do,” she wrote. “As we pray and ask, I am confident that impressions will come to our minds — small things that we can start doing, or small things that we can stop doing, that will lead to great things.”
Sister Rebecca L. Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, shared a photo of her and her granddaughter making funny faces, as well as her favorite line from the youth theme, in a Jan. 24 Instagram post.
It’s easy sometimes to get bogged down with everything I have ahead of me,” Sister Craven wrote, but her grandchildren remind her to have fun and keep going. “In this way, they are great examples of my favorite line from this year’s youth theme: ‘Be not weary in well-doing’” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:33).
Each person can face 2021 with happiness and hope by doing the small and simple things that keep him or her close to the Savior.
President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, wrote about one of the best places to connect with the Spirit in a Jan. 24 Facebook post. That place is the temple, the house of the Lord.
“We look forward to when temples can be fully opened again,” he wrote. “Once they are, I invite you to go as often as possible and turn off your smartphones and put them away before you enter the temple grounds.”
Those who go to the temple or visit the temple grounds walk on sacred, holy ground. “You can hear the still, small voice of the Spirit in the temple or on its sacred grounds in ways you never will at the mall, in restaurants, and in public places. In fact, the temple is a wonderful place to receive answers to your prayers.”
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles first met his wife, Sister Mary Cook, when they were in seventh grade at Logan Junior High School and she sang “On the Sunny Side of the Street” in a talent assembly.
In an Instagram post on Jan. 27, Elder Cook wrote that Sister Cook has continued to live on the sunny side of the street by modeling her life on the righteous principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“It is my prayer that each of you will aim to be optimistic, joyful, of good cheer, and also to be united in and through the gospel of Jesus Christ to be one with the Savior,” Elder Cook wrote. “I testify that if you focus your life on the Savior, you will find yourself on the ‘sunny side of the street’ and have joy in your life.”
Primary General President Joy D. Jones shared a video recording of Sister Luba, a Primary teacher in the Moscow Russia Stake, singing “I Will Walk with Jesus” in Russian during a virtual devotional, in a Facebook post on Jan. 24.
“I am grateful for you, Sister Luba, and for all the loving and faithful Primary teachers around the world,” President Jones wrote. “You are such a light to the children you serve!”
Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Susan L. Gong, recently held a discussion with 100 young adults as a follow-up to their Jan. 10 Face to Face event. On Jan. 27, Elder Gong shared a short video on his Facebook page featuring one of these young adults: Emily, who is from Colorado.
With emotion in her voice, Emily described how much she had been missing the feeling of being hugged and didn’t realize it until Elder Gong spoke of being cradled by God and she imagined being encircled by a hug. To get that feeling from Heavenly Father “in a spiritual, warming feeling,” Emily said, “was very much needed.”
“May God cradle you in His compassion and bless you in your righteous hopes and desires,” Elder Gong said in the video. “May you find covenant belonging and joy in His gospel, place and space in His Church which is our Church.”