“In a night of questions and answers, whatever the question the answer is the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you can just walk away with that truth, this evening will have been worthwhile. Whatever the question, the answer is the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught and perpetuated and provide for in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as imperfect as those of us in it all are.”
These words from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland encapsulated a night of love, acceptance, and frankness in the first live Face 2 Face event with young single adults. Joining Elder Holland was Sister Carole M. Stephens, first counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, and Elder Donald L. Hallstrom from the Presidency of the Seventy.
Hosted on the Utah Valley University campus, hundreds of thousands of young single adults around the world tuned in to have their questions answered. Unsurprisingly, the themes of the night focused on marriage, current social issues, and thoughts of the future.
All three guest shared what makes happy marriages, with Elder Holland stating emphatically that happy marriages are the rule, not the exception. All agreed that marriages take work and all who are married must be committed to that idea. Sister Stephens spoke powerfully that we all are under covenant to serve whether we wear a name tag or not when a question was asked about sisters being judged for not serving full-time missions.
“I hope no one will feel less because they didn’t put on the badge to serve full-time. President Monson has told us ‘Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together.’ We are all called to serve,” Sister Stephens said.”
Elder Holland added the story of President Monson thumping the table and insisting that we were not to make second-class citizens out of young women don’t serve missions when the policies of the missionary age change were being discussed.
As the last question of the night, Elder Holland addressed homosexuality, stating he hoped that the conversation could turn from signaling out those with same-gender attraction to an overall discussion of chastity, no matter your inclinations.
Overall, the night focused on the hope and promises of God. The highlight of the evening for many was the powerful testimonies all three General Authorities shared at the end of the night.
“I love you,” Elder Holland said, holding back tears. “I love the lord and I bear witness of him in our lives. All of this tonight has meaning and significance and hope. That’s a word we keep coming back to. All of this has substance and significance tonight because of God the Eternal Father, his Only Begotten Son and the power of the Holy Ghost in our lives as the three great members of the Godhead who are committed all day and all night to our health and our happiness.”
“I promise you that wonderful, wonderful things are in store for each one of you, that if you could see your future you would be more ecstatic than I would be able to describe or that you would be able to contain. There will be highs and lows and ups and downs, but when it’s all over, when we have lived our life and kept the faith, we will be with the gods and the goddesses, we will be with the priests and the priestesses, and we will be among them and like them and with them and we will look back on the splendor on all the good things that were to come.”