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‘You can do all things through Christ,’ President Nelson promises youth during historic worldwide day of testimony

Youth around the world gather to bear testimony of Jesus Christ and hear a message from President Russell M. Nelson and the Young Men and Young Women general presidents

Young Men General President Steven J. Lund and Young Women General President Emily Belle Freeman speak together. Screenshot from YouTube
President Russell M. Nelson bears his testimony in a recorded message for youth shared for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Screenshot from YouTube
Young Women General President Emily Belle Freeman bears her testimony at the Light of the World Garden in Lehi, Utah, during a recorded message shared for the Worldwide Day of Testimony on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. Screenshot from YouTube
Young Men General President Steven J. Lund bears his testimony at the Light of the World Garden in Lehi, Utah. Screenshot from YouTube
Youth in the Santiago 1st Ward and Santiago 2nd Wards in the Santiago Philippines Stake gather for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Bishop Romulo R. Natural
Youth in the Santiago Philippines Stake listen to a recorded message from President Russell M. Nelson. Bishop Romulo R. Natural
A young man stands to bear testimony in the Philippines. Bishop Romulo R. Natural
Youth in the Durban South Africa Stake meet together at the stake center for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Yanga Oluwadare
Young men and young women in the Banjul Branch in Gambia sit in a circle of chairs for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Sister Emily Rowberry
Eight youth in the Temple 2nd Ward in the Waco Texas Stake take a picture outside before the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Bishop Paul A. Romer
Youth in the Estrella Sur Ward in the Santiago Chile San Pablo Stake before the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Bishop Sebastián P. Hormazábal
Youth, parents and leaders in the Estrella Sur Ward in the Santiago Chile San Pablo Stake in front of their chapel before the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Bishop Sebastián P. Hormazábal
Youth, parents and leaders in the Estrella Sur Ward in the Santiago Chile San Pablo Stake listen to the Prophet speak during the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Bishop Sebastián P. Hormazábal
16 youth and leaders of the Guaíba Jardim Ward in the Porto Alegre Brazil Moinhos de Vento Stake gather for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Bishop Rafael Dos Santos Vargas
Samuel Oliveira Alves of the Floriano Branch in the Brazil Teresina Mission watches a message from Young Men General President Steven J. Lund during the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Sufrania Oliveira Dos Santos
Youth in West Point, Utah, sit in chairs in a circle in their bishop’s backyard for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Zac Robinson
22 youth and leaders in Porterville, California, meet in their ward building for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Janet Uresti
Ana Sofia Suarez bears her testimony from a pulpit in Belén, Colombia, during the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Melisa Mantilla
Jose Manuel bears his testimony from the pulpit in Belén, Colombia, during the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Melisa Mantilla
A young man from the Belén Ward in the Medellín Colombia Belén Stake bears his testimony during the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Melisa Mantilla
Around 70 youth, leaders and friends in the Chinandega Nicaragua West Stake are on the stake center stand during the Worldwide Day of Testimony. President Hector A. Romero Potosme
Youth, leaders and friends in the Chinandega Nicaragua West Stake watch the message from Young Women General President Emily Belle Freeman during the Worldwide Day of Testimony. President Hector Romero Potosme
Youth and leaders in the Conway 2nd Ward, North Little Rock Arkansas Stake, gather at their bishop’s home for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Bishop Jascha Tribett
Youth in Fresno, California, attend a gathering in their church gym for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Christin Farley
Youth in Fresno, California, watch the recorded message for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Christian Farley
Youth in the Soweto South Africa Stake gather in a chapel for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Claudia Brant
19 members of the Tongan-speaking Trenton Branch in the Far West Missouri Stake gather for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Ana Patiola Male
A young woman in the Constitución Ward, Pachuca México Stake, bears her testimony during the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Arquitectura Aurea
Members of the Uberaba Brazil Stake gather in a meetinghouse for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Sandro Ribeiro
Youth and leaders in the Diriamba Ward, Jinotepe Nicaragua Stake, gather in their meetinghouse for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Bishop David J. Mendieta Perez
Mexico City youth meet in their bishop’s home for the Worldwide Day of Testimony, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. Bishop F. Jordan Crespo
Youth in the Willis Ward, Conroe Texas Stake, meet for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Shineah Lowe
The Tenechaco Ward, Tuxpan México Stake, meets for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Bishop Isaac W. Bastián Hernández
The Macleod Ward (Tagolog), Calgary Alberta Bow River Stake, meets for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Bishop Jupiter F. Gutierrez
The Oak Creek Ward, Meridian Idaho West Stake, listens to a message from the Prophet for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Lauren Dominguez
Youth in the Santa Juana Branch and Boca de La Costa Ward in the San Pedro Chile Stake gather for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Provided by Luis R. Castillo
Members of the Veracruz México Mocambo Stake meet in the stake center for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Jessica Cordova
Youth and leaders in Vanuatu listen to President Russell M. Nelson’s message for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Youth gather outside the Bentonville Arkansas Temple after their testimony meeting for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Erika Kirby
Youth in the Graham Washington Stake gather in the stake center after the Worldwide Day of Testimony. President Kevin R. Hellyer
Youth in the American Fork 9th Ward, American Fork East Stake, take part in the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Bishop D. Matthew Price
Youth in the Indoamérica Ward in the Trujillo Perú Esperanza Stake meet for the Worldwide Day of Testimony on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. President Luis A. Rojas
Youth in the Pueblo Libre Ward in the Trujillo Perú Esperanza Stake meet for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. President Luis A. Rojas
Youth in the Mesa 34th Ward, Mesa Arizona East Stake, gather in a home to watch President Russell M. Nelson for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Brittany Fletcher
Youth in Auckland, New Zealand, in front of artwork they made for a For the Strength of Youth conference earlier in the year. Abinadi V. Lameko
Youth in Auckland, New Zealand, watch the broadcast for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Youth and leaders in the Corner Canyon 7th Ward, Draper Utah Corner Canyon Stake, meet in a home for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Kim Bench
Members of the Lautaro Ward, Temuco Chile Ñielol Stake, meet for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Bishop Mauro C. Lopez
Youth in the Galena Ward, Reno Nevada Mount Rose Stake, meet in a home for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Denice Rasmussen
Youth in the Nindiri Ward, Masaya Nicaragua Stake, meet for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Bishop Julio C. Zuniga
Members of the Wallace Branch, Wilmington North Carolina Stake, gather in a home for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Teri Jolley
The Santiago Chile La Reina Stake gathers for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. President Francisco J. Soto Perez
The Santiago Chile La Reina Stake gathers for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. President Francisco J. Soto Perez
The Torres Ward in the Tacuarembó Uruguay Stake meets for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. Kevin Rodriguez

In a first-of-its-kind event, youth around the world gathered to bear testimony of Jesus Christ to fill the world with testimonies for a 24-hour time period.

At the beginning of the gatherings at 7 p.m. in each area on Oct. 22, youth heard a message and a testimony from the Prophet, President Russell M. Nelson.

“My dear young friends,” he said, “thank you for attending this most memorable meeting. I think about you and pray for you often.”

President Nelson testified during his remarks that Jesus Christ and His restored gospel are “the greatest sources of truth and strength on earth.”

Following the messages from President Nelson, Young Men General President Steven J. Lund and Young Women General President Emily Belle Freeman, youth were invited to share their own testimonies of Jesus Christ — and how He has strengthened them.

Youth in the Santiago Philippines Stake listen to a recorded message from President Russell M. Nelson.
Youth in the Santiago 1st Ward and Santiago 2nd Wards in the Santiago Philippines Stake listen to a message from President Russell M. Nelson during the Worldwide Day of Testimony on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. | Bishop Romulo R. Natural

Samuel Oliveira Alves, a young man in the Floriano Branch in the Brasil Teresina Mission, said as he listened to President Nelson’s testimony, he felt his own testimony being strengthened.

“I know that if we exercise our faith, things will work out according to the level of faith we have,” he said. “I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Savior’s Church on earth and that it was restored by a 14-year-old boy like me, Joseph Smith. I know we will be safe if we follow the Prophet.”

Samuel Oliveira Alves of the Floriano Branch in the Brazil Teresina Mission watches a message from Young Men General President Steven J. Lund during the Worldwide Day of Testimony.
Samuel Oliveira Alves of the Floriano Branch in the Brazil Teresina Mission watches a message from Young Men General President Steven J. Lund during the Worldwide Day of Testimony, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. | Sufrania Oliveira Dos Santos

Principles for the youth

President Nelson gave the youth some principles for them to think about and pray about, including knowledge about who they really are:

  • A child of God.
  • A child of the covenant.
  • A disciple of Jesus Christ.

President Nelson said these three identifiers are more important than any other identifiers. He invited youth to review these truths over and over in their minds and to say them out loud.

“What’s more, you are also the future of the Church and of the world. Not only do I believe in you, but your Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ believe in you,” he said.

President Russell M. Nelson bears his testimony in a recorded message for youth shared for the Worldwide Day of Testimony.
President Russell M. Nelson bears his testimony in a recorded message for youth shared for the Worldwide Day of Testimony on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. | Screenshot from YouTube

He told the youth they were sent to earth now because God knew they could be strong and courageous. They were not sent to earth to fail, but sent to succeed and to help others succeed.

“As you follow Jesus Christ, you will have all the strength and courage you need to face opposition in this hazardous world,” President Nelson said. “I promise you that.”

President Nelson told the youth to learn how to receive personal revelation and to work on improving each day to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

“He will help you know what to do and what not to do, where to go and where not to go. He will help you to discern who are your true friends and who are not. The Holy Ghost will give you strength and keep you safe,” he said.

Other principles President Nelson shared with the youth were the Word of Wisdom and the law of chastity. He promised them that obeying these commandments will give them physical and spiritual strength.

He invited the youth to prayerfully ask God to help them exercise stronger faith: “Faith in our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son combined with daily repentance will increase your access to godly power.”

Youth, parents and leaders in the Estrella Sur Ward in the Santiago Chile San Pablo Stake listen to the Prophet speak during the Worldwide Day of Testimony.
Youth, parents and leaders in the Estrella Sur Ward in the Santiago Chile San Pablo Stake listen to the Prophet speak during the Worldwide Day of Testimony, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. | Bishop Sebastián P. Hormazábal

The Prophet’s promise for the youth

President Nelson explained that if anyone felt that they had strayed off the covenant path too far or too long, this is not true. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, their future could be bright, even brilliant.

“Speak with your parents and your bishop or branch president. They will help you to get on the path of progress once again. Please come back to the joy and safety of the covenant path,” he said.

President Nelson said a life without God is a life filled with fear — but a life with God is a life filled with peace, joy and power. “Resolve to live your life with God.”

He concluded with his testimony that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are ready to bless them and will not forsake them. “You ‘can do all things through Christ’ (Philippians 4:13).”

Testimonies from President Freeman and President Lund

President Freeman and President Lund gave their recorded messages in the Light of the World Garden at Utah’s Thanksgiving Point. The garden is full of large sculptures of Jesus Christ.

President Freeman stood in front of the statue called “It Is I; Be Not Afraid,” symbolizing when Jesus walked to His disciples on the water (Matthew 14:22-27).

“I have a firm testimony that Jesus Christ will come to us, that He will not forsake us, no matter what our story looks like,” President Freeman said.

Young Women General President Emily Belle Freeman bears her testimony at the Light of the World Garden in Lehi, Utah, during a recorded message shared for the Worldwide Day of Testimony on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023.
Young Women General President Emily Belle Freeman bears her testimony at the Light of the World Garden in Lehi, Utah, during a recorded message shared for the Worldwide Day of Testimony on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. | Screenshot from YouTube

She testified that she has known His grace and received His strength: “I know He lives because I have seen Him in my stories and I have felt His love. I love Him. He is my greatest friend.”

Through Him, people can do all things, she said.

President Lund chose the sculpture depicting the First Vision — where the Savior ministered to a teenager, Joseph Smith.

“It’s fascinating to me that Heavenly Father answered his prayer by first calling him by name. Heavenly Father knew him,” President Lund said.

Then He introduced him to His Son, saying, “This is my Beloved Son. Hear Him.”

Young Men General President Steven J. Lund bears his testimony at the Light of the World Garden in Lehi, Utah.
Young Men General President Steven J. Lund bears his testimony at the Light of the World Garden in Lehi, Utah, during a recorded message shared for the Worldwide Day of Testimony on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. | Screenshot from YouTube

“Our most important prayers will be answered as we come to better understand and know the Savior,” President Lund said. “As we pray to Heavenly Father, He will help us to know the Savior, and the Savior will help us to know everything else.”

The two general officers invited the youth to gather again sometime this month for a lesson or activity to study the Prophet’s message. Then they invited the youth to bear their own testimonies and witnesses of how they have found faith in Christ.

Youth gather around the world

In the Durban South Africa Stake, youth from the Mayville Ward and Berea Ward met together to share their testimonies.

“It was a heart warming and an inspiring experience listening to their testimonies,” Mayville Ward Young Women president, Sister Yanga Oluwadare, wrote to the Church News. “The experience enhanced my testimony as well and helped me remember that they are truly the children of our living God and He has a great plan for their future.”

Youth in the Durban South Africa Stake meet together at the stake center for the Worldwide Day of Testimony.
Youth from the Mayville Ward and Berea Ward in the Durban South Africa Stake meet together to share their testimonies on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. | Yanga Oluwadare

In West Africa, the young men and young women in Gambia’s new Banjul Branch participated as members of the only branch of the Church in the country. But Sister Emily Rowberry, who is serving there as a member and leader support missionary with her husband, Elder Greg Rowberry, knows this group of youth has potential and power.

“They truly are children of God, children of the covenant, and disciples of Jesus Christ. They are the future of the Church,” she said.

Young men and young women in the Banjul Branch in Gambia sit in a circle of chairs for the Worldwide Day of Testimony.
Young men and young women in the Banjul Branch in Gambia sit in a circle of chairs for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. | Sister Emily Rowberry

Philippines youth shared many of their thoughts on social media with the hashtag #AllThingsThroughChrist. Shiloh Sabaten from Santa Barbara, Philippines, wrote on Facebook, “I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I know that He died for us. I know that through His Atonement we can be saved and we can go back to His presence again.”

In the Santiago Philippines Stake, Santiago 2nd Ward Bishop Romulo R. Natural said this about their gathering with the Santiago 1st Ward:

“It is so good to listen to the testimony of these young men and young women. They all testified of the blessings of the restoration and living prophets and apostles. They also shared their witness of the blessings of studying the scriptures in ‘Come, Follow Me’ and in seminary.”

Youth in the Santiago 1st Ward and Santiago 2nd Wards in the Santiago Philippines Stake gather for the Worldwide Day of Testimony.
Youth in the Santiago 1st Ward and Santiago 2nd Wards in the Santiago Philippines Stake gather for the Worldwide Day of Testimony. | Bishop Romulo R. Natural

The Church’s Caribbean Area made a video of youth bearing their testimonies, including a young man named Jordan Smith who said, “I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer and I know that He died for our sins on the cross.” 

From Brazil, Guaíba Jardim Ward Bishop Rafael Dos Santos Vargas in the Porto Alegre Brazil Moinhos de Vento Stake said about the gathering: “It was a very special meeting. Everyone bore their testimony. The Spirit was so strong that we were brought to tears.”

A large group of youth in the Uberaba Brazil Stake gathered in their meetinghouse. Sandro Ribeiro wrote that after hearing from the Prophet, the youth bore testimonies that “edified us and filled our hearts with joy.”

Members of the Uberaba Brazil Stake gather in a meetinghouse for the Worldwide Day of Testimony.
Members of the Uberaba Brazil Stake gather for the Worldwide Day of Testimony, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. | Sandro Ribeiro

The testimony meeting for the Estrella Sur Ward in the Santiago Chile San Pablo Stake “was a unique and beautiful experience,” wrote Bishop Sebastián P. Hormazábal. “We poured out our love and heart toward our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, our Savior.”

Youth, parents and leaders in the Estrella Sur Ward in the Santiago Chile San Pablo Stake in front of their chapel before the Worldwide Day of Testimony.
Youth, parents and leaders in the Estrella Sur Ward in the Santiago Chile San Pablo Stake before the Worldwide Day of Testimony, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. | Bishop Sebastián P. Hormazábal

Bishop Paul A. Romer from the Temple 2nd Ward in the Waco Texas Stake wrote to the Church News about their gathering, saying one young man in his testimony mentioned having a prayer answered where he asked for help finding friends at a new school. “Several others mentioned the peace that following Jesus Christ brings to their lives.” Bishop Romer said.

Eight youth in the Temple 2nd Ward in the Waco Texas Stake take a picture outside before the Worldwide Day of Testimony.
Youth in the Temple 2nd Ward in the Waco Texas Stake take a picture at their gathering for the Worldwide Day of Testimony, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. | Bishop Paul A. Romer

Addison Penrod, a young woman in the Fayetteville 1st Ward in the Fayetteville North Carolina Stake, said, “We all had a good time listening to youth in our stake give testimonies. We all felt the Spirit when President Nelson and other Church leaders gave their testimonies. The Spirit was strong as we got to share about our love for the Savior and His gospel.”

Youth of the West Point 16th Ward in the West Point Utah Lakeside Stake gathered in their bishop’s backyard for their testimony meeting. Zachary L. Robinson, the first counselor in the bishopric, said as the youth bore testimony, the outdoor setting “felt sacred as we heard testimonies of our Savior and His impact on each of our lives.”

Youth in West Point, Utah, sit in chairs in a circle in their bishop’s backyard for the Worldwide Day of Testimony.
Youth of the West Point 16th Ward in the West Point Utah Lakeside Stake gather in their bishop’s backyard for the Worldwide Day of Testimony, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. | Zac Robinson

Chinandega Nicaragua West Stake President Hector A. Romero Potosme said their gathering at the stake center included 70 people — youth, their leaders and friends. He said the testimony portion of the meeting was a great experience. 

“This activity was very spiritual and encouraged us to continue sharing our testimony with everyone about Jesus Christ,” he said.

Around 70 youth, leaders and friends in the Chinandega Nicaragua West Stake are on the stake center stand during the Worldwide Day of Testimony.
Youth, leaders and friends in the Chinandega Nicaragua West Stake stand together in the stake center during the Worldwide Day of Testimony, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. | President Hector A. Romero Potosme

Youth in the Springville Ward of the Porterville California Stake met in their ward building for the event. The leaders commented on how nice the broadcast was and how the youth testified of simple truths. They also enjoyed having root beer floats afterward for dessert.

22 youth and leaders in Porterville, California, meet in their ward building for the Worldwide Day of Testimony.
Youth and leaders in the Springville Ward of the Porterville California Stake meet in their ward building for the Worldwide Day of Testimony, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. | Janet Uresti

Ana Sofia Suarez, 15, from the Belén Ward in the Medellín Colombia Belén Stake shared:

“Today, when I had the opportunity to share my testimony, I learned that being with the young men and women can help us strengthen our faith, and we can also strengthen the faith of the people who listen to our testimony.” 

Emanuel Hoyos, 12, from the same ward, said he felt very happy during the testimony meeting. “I felt moved to continue forward on my path to the glory of God.”

Ana Sofia Suarez bears her testimony from a pulpit in Belén, Colombia, during the Worldwide Day of Testimony.
Ana Sofia Suarez from the Belén Ward in the Medellín Colombia Belén Stake bears her testimony during the Worldwide Day of Testimony on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. | Melisa Mantilla

Youth in the Cairns 1st Branch in the North Queensland Australia District met at their meetinghouse at 7 p.m. their time. The district is large, explained James B. Gardner, the second counselor in the branch presidency, and it is easy to feel isolated with vast distances between their units.

A young woman who is the only active youth in the Whitsunday Branch was able to join them via Zoom.

“So not only were we brought together with fellow youth of our district, but through technology we joined with youth and parents across the globe. Surely the Lord is hastening His work as He gathers Israel,” Gardner said.

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