“Church Leaders Address Servicemen and Servicewomen in Military Devotional,” Ensign, Oct. 2012, 77
In a prerecorded Middle East/Africa North Military Devotional the Church released in June, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told Latter-day Saint military servicemen and servicewomen, “We want you to know that we love you, we remember you, and we are proud of you.”
The devotional also included addresses from Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy and Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president.
“My message today is that when you have no other choice, you can have sacred, revelatory, profoundly instructive experience with the Lord in any situation you are in,” Elder Holland said, drawing on lessons learned from Joseph Smith’s experience in Liberty Jail. “Indeed, let me say that even a little stronger: You can have sacred, revelatory, profoundly instructive experience with the Lord in the most miserable experiences of your life—in the worst settings, while enduring the most painful injustices, when facing the most insurmountable odds and opposition you have ever faced.”
Elder Holland closed by leaving an apostolic blessing on those serving their countries as well as on their families.
Elder Hallstrom focused his remarks on the spiritual safety found through making and keeping covenants.
“Whether we live a long or short life upon this earth is of relatively little consequence in the eternities,” he said. “What really matters is our character and how we live. Living the life of a covenant-maker and covenant-keeper is of highest value, as that is the only way for us to fulfill our eternal purpose.”
Sister Burton also spoke about the importance of covenants—as well as of following the leaders of the Church, emulating the Savior’s example in reaching out to and rescuing others, and turning to the scriptures and hymns for strength.
“I testify we have a loving Father in Heaven who knows and loves you perfectly and individually,” she concluded. “You and your precious families are being prayed for in sacred places by the Lord’s anointed ones. I know those prayers are heard and will be answered in the Lord’s own time and in His own way.”
According to Frank Clawson, director of the Church’s Military Relations Division, resources such as the devotional are created to bless not only members of the Church serving in the armed forces but also those who work in war zones as civil service employees, civilian contractors, embassy personnel, or nonprofit organization representatives.