Primary General President Susan H. Porter and Sister Kristin M. Yee, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, separately ministered to Latter-day Saints in several Asian and Pacific countries in March, sharing how God and His Latter-day Prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, are aware of them and love them.
During the March 11-20 ministry in the Church’s Asia North Area, President Porter spoke at devotionals for Primary children in Tokyo, Japan, and Daejeon and Busan in South Korea. She also spoke with young men and young women in Busan.
She told the children that Jesus Christ loves them, taught them about listening to the Holy Ghost, and invited them to lead their families and friends to Jesus Christ. She often left the podium to mingle with the children, asking and answering questions and sharing personal experiences.
In one object lesson, as a few notes were played on a xylophone, children quickly recognized the familiar Primary song “I Am a Child of God” and began singing along.
“Just as the musical notes bring the words of the song to our memory,” President Porter explained, “the Holy Ghost can put good thoughts into our minds.” Quoting D&C 11:12, she emphasized that the Spirit “leadeth to do good,” and encouraged children to act on the thoughts they have to do good and use their talents to bless others.
President Porter also taught about baptismal covenants, reminding children of President Nelson’s counsel: “Every person who has made covenants with God has promised to care about others and serve those in need” (see “Preaching the Gospel of Peace,” April 2022 general conference).
Using the painting “A Little Child Shall Lead Them” by Michael Malm which shows Jesus Christ teaching and a young girl pointing her family to Him, Sister Porter invited the children to lead their families and friends to Jesus Christ.
On the back of each picture card, the children wrote down or drew a picture of a specific act that they would do in order to serve others and bring people to Jesus. Afterward, children shared what they had written or drawn, such as their desires to believe in and follow Jesus Christ and share their faith with their friends.
In Busan, Korea, President Porter counseled and encouraged students who are often the only members of the Church attending their schools.
Whether they realize it or not, their friends are watching and noticing them, she said. “Heavenly Father loves you and is counting on your light and your example to bless everyone in your school.” As you stay on the covenant path, “He will always send help in our hour of need.”
Using the “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet, she invited the youth to make time for the Lord every day and seek what uplifts, inspires, and invites the Spirit, even on social media.
As Sister Yee ministered to Saints in Okinawa and Kagoshima in Japan and Guam, Pohnpei, and Chuuk in Micronesia, she assured the islanders that they are known to the Lord, that they are covenant Israel upon the “isles of the sea” (see 2 Nephi 29:7 and 2 Nephi 10:21).
Among those who accompanied Sister Yee were Elder Takashi Wada, Asia North Area President, and Elder James R. Rasband, First Counselor in the Asia North Area Presidency.
In Hiroshima, following a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Sister Yee told Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary leaders how poignant it was for her to see the tragedy and sorrow of war followed by an opportunity to talk of Christ and His Gospel and the true healing and peace He offers.
During a devotional in Okinawa on March 12, Sister Yee assured Latter-day Saint youth that the highest councils of the Church love and pray for them and that the “Lord is pouring out His spirit upon them to help strengthen them.”
With the new Okinawa temple opening soon next to the building they were meeting in, she encouraged youth to get involved in family history work. “If you are struggling in your lives, I encourage you to do family history and the Lord will be with you.”
Studying the eternal truths in the “For the Strength of Youth” booklet will provide an anchor in making decisions about their lives, she taught. “If you’ll make a spiritual effort, more spiritual blessings will be given unto you. The Lord wants you to choose Him. [The booklet] is not a checklist, but a call for a change of heart.”
During a Relief Society devotional, in Guam, Sister Yee said that striving to keep our covenants gives us the power to repent and the strength to forgive, and the ability to magnify our callings through the power of the priesthood.
Emphasizing the importance and power of temple work, Sister Yee quoted Elder Dale G. Renlund, who said, “When ordinances are performed on behalf of the deceased, God’s children on earth are healed” (“Family History and Temple Work: Sealing and Healing,” April 2018 general conference). She added her promise that the blessings we seek for our families and as individuals will come as we allow our covenants to bind us to the Savior.
Sister Yee told Primary children in Guam that President Nelson wanted them to know that he loves them and that every child is needed. She talked about baptizing and receiving the Holy Ghost, who can help them to know how to love and care for each other by helping and serving others. The children shared their testimonies by drawing how they serve someone else.
On Pohnpei, she delivered words of hope and love from President Nelson to Relief Society sisters, youth, and young adults. With missionaries, she discussed gathering Israel to their covenant blessings and encouraged them in their efforts to do the Lord’s work.
On Chuuk, which had been particularly isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sister Yee told a small group of Relief Society sisters that they are not forgotten, but are loved and known to the Lord, and are a part of a worldwide sisterhood. “Of all of the places I could have gone, I was sent to Chuuk,” she said.
One sister commented through her tears how much she appreciated Sister Yee coming to their island and sharing the prophet’s words that the sisters were “loved, necessary and precious.” She said that during the pandemic, she had not felt precious, but lonely, burdened and forgotten. Sister Yee’s words made a big difference for her and she now felt happy, she said.
On the small island of Romanum, Sister Yee spoke about how Christ and His Atonement can fill us as no earthly means can. She talked with a new Relief Society president about the importance of ministering and caring for one another. The sisters shared their powerful testimonies and desires to go to the House of the Lord.