As the world rallies together to help flatten the curve of the growing pandemic of COVID-19, Church leaders have quickly taken to social media to help spread messages of hope and encouragement to many individuals who are feeling concerned about the effects of this virus. Here are some inspiring messages from Church leaders about how we can draw closer to our loving Father in Heaven.
Sister Lisa L. Harkness posted on Facebook concerning their family’s experiences of having “Church” at home, and the wonderful Spirit that was felt as they sang Primary Hymns.
Elder Dale G. Renlund posted on his Instagram page to tell the story of his niece’s son, Josh, who was planning to be baptized surrounded by so many loved ones before the outbreak of the virus. With the events that unfolded, Josh’s parents explained they would perhaps need to reschedule if they wanted to have the whole family present, but Josh was adamant that he wanted to follow the plan to be baptized even if his extended family was not present because he “wanted the Holy Ghost with him.”
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My niece, Christina, and her husband, Sam, have five children, ranging in age from 1 to 9 years old, and live in Oregon. Their second child, Joshua, recently turned 8 years old. When anticipating the date of his baptism, they were expecting a large family gathering—both sets of grandparents, lots of aunts and uncles, and a slew of cousins. But because of current Church and local health department restrictions, that would no longer be the case. Christina spoke with Josh about possibly postponing his baptism in hopes that, if they waited, they could have everyone gather to celebrate. Christina asked, “Josh, would you want to postpone your baptism, or do you want to keep the plan we have?” Josh’s immediate answer followed. “Keep the plan we have because I want to have the Holy Ghost with me.” Simple as that. While others may make different decisions based on their circumstances, Josh taught me what was most important, something the ancient Nephites recognized. After the Savior instituted the sacrament among the people and departed, the 12 Nephite disciples taught the people what Jesus had taught. Then the multitude knelt and prayed. “And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them” (3 Nephi 19:9).
Christina B. Franco shared a post as well of the Primary choir singing “I Feel My Savior’s Love” with inspiring words regarding the power of Primary songs and their ability to bring lasting peace in troubling times. She wrote that,
“The songs have rich messages that teach, uplift, and fill our hearts with love and faith in Jesus Christ. Through them, we learn to have courage like Nephi, to follow the prophet, that faith can grow like a little seed as it is nourished, that kindness begins with me, that we are children of God, and that we can feel our Savior’s love.”
Additionally, Latter-day Saints around the world have answered President Nelson’s call to #HearHim and serve their fellow brothers and sisters as best they can during these difficult times. Many Latter-day Saints have found fun and exciting ways to stay spiritually connected to those they serve through video-conference ministering visits, as seen in a recent video from Elder Fernando Del Carpio, Area Seventy in Tacna, Peru. The video shows three young men setting ministering goals for the coming months, and discussing how they can best help those they serve.
A little over a week ago, President Nelson shared an inspiring video urging us to continue to follow the invitation to #HearHim and that we can have faith and optimism that we will weather this current storm, and find ways to see the hand of our loving Father in Heaven as we find ways to serve our families. What have been some inspiring things you’ve witnessed in recent weeks? Tell us in the comments section below! We could all use a little comfort and uplifting in the world today.
Devin is a graduate of Brigham Young University where he studied English and Business Management. He is a writer, photographer, movie-fanatic, and a lover of street tacos. He served his mission in Tokyo, Japan.