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    How We Can “Hear Him” during Times of Loneliness

    While we may be physically distant from each other, we do not have to be spiritually distant from Jesus Christ. You and I can use this unique time as an opportunity to “hear Him.”

    All of us have experienced times of loneliness and isolation. This era of social distancing has brought a new sense of isolation that many of us never experienced before. I have grown to understand that while we may be physically distant from each other, we do not have to be spiritually distant from Jesus Christ. You and I can use this unique time as an opportunity to “hear Him.”

    In the past few weeks, one of the things that I’ve felt very deeply, and in a new way, is the Lord’s voice through the scriptures. I have studied stories and parables of those who feel lost from the Lord. I have learned about the Savior’s individual love for each of us through the parables of the lost coin, the prodigal son, and the lost sheep (Luke 15). I feel particularly drawn to a verse in the parable of the prodigal son where the Lord expresses His love for those of us who feel lost. The Lord says, “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found” (Luke 15:24).

    What I’ve come to feel in a deep, deep way is that the first part of the verse refers to our Savior: “For this my son was dead, and is alive again.” Our Savior lives! And because He lives, we are never lost. The second part of the verse states, “He was lost, and is found.” This part reminds me that because of our Savior’s sacrifice, we can always be found.

    The scriptures have taught me that I am never truly lost, because the Father’s Son was dead and is alive again. I find great hope in the assurance that no one is ever lost to the Lord—no matter our circumstances, no matter how alone we may feel, no matter how much we may sense that we cannot connect with the world around us.

    This understanding brings enhanced meaning to the new Church symbol President Nelson announced at general conference. We have the restored name of His Church—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—in a cornerstone. Of course, our cornerstone is the living Jesus Christ.

    Jesus Christ reaches out to each of us. The living Christ, asking, inviting, calling to us in His own name and in His own voice, knowing that we’re never lost. We’re never alone. There are challenges, to be sure. But He’s always there because He lives and because He loves us. These are some of the most precious and sacred moments we have when we feel the Lord encircling us in His arms of love.

    The new Church symbol reminds me that you and I are never truly isolated or alone, because we have access to the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. Because He lived and died, we will never be alone. When we come to Him, His arms encircle us, His love encircles us, and we are more able to “hear Him” in our lives.

    During this period of social distancing and COVID-19, I have felt the Savior beckon, “I see you. I know you. I love you.” When you truly know that He sees you, He knows you, and He loves you, you can understand that you are not isolated. You could never be isolated, because you have a knowledge of and a relationship with the living Son of God.


    Elder Gerrit W. Gong
    Elder Gerrit W. Gong was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on March 31, 2018.
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