“Prophets and Apostles Minister,” Ensign, November 2016
Prophets and apostles continue to minister throughout the world (see D&C 107:23). Here’s a brief summary of some of their activities since the last general conference:
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, during a visit in May 2016, offered hope to members in cities recently victimized by terror attacks in England, France, and Belgium. He visited refugees, went to the site of the Paris France Temple (now nearing completion), and participated in the creation of the first stake in the Czech Republic. In July he traveled to Italy, presenting a check for $3 million in Church funds to help with refugee relief, and visited refugee camps in Greece. In September he visited members in Romania, Moldova, Slovakia, Norway, and Germany, where he rededicated the Freiberg Germany Temple. He said the gospel brings hope to people wherever they are and that among members “there is a real feeling of being brothers and sisters in the Church.”
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presided at the Moscow Russia Stake conference in June, as other stakes met in Saratov and St. Petersburg, Russia. He also met with members in Latvia, Estonia, and Ukraine.
In England in June, Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told members of the British Parliament that religious freedom allows churches to do good around the world. “We want the blessings of religious freedom to be claimed by all the inhabitants of this planet, and we are far short of that at present,” he said.
At a conference on religious persecution and forced migration held at Windsor Castle in England in September, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said there is much to learn from the experience of early LDS pioneers that could help modern-day refugees rise above their circumstances. “Whenever possible, we should facilitate and perpetuate the unique identities of refugees and highlight stories from their past,” he said.
In Spain, including the Canary Islands, and in Portugal, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles invited members, missionaries, and leaders to encourage those who are less active to return to full participation in the Church.
As Vietnam granted the Church full and official recognition in June, Elder Quentin L. Cook and Elder Gary E. Stevenson, both of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, met with government officials and discussed the history and development of the Church. They also discussed how the Church assists with social and charitable projects and helps the poor and disadvantaged. They also presided over meetings in Guam, Micronesia, and Japan.
Also in June, Brisbane, Australia, and the Cook Islands were blessed by the visit of Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Andersen also visited the island of Rarotonga and became the first Apostle to set foot on the island of Mangaia.
In Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador in June, Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles rearranged his schedule to visit those still recovering from a massive earthquake. He shared a message of love from President Thomas S. Monson and assured the quake-weary members that they were not forgotten.
In Guatemala in August, Elder Quentin L. Cook noted a steady rise in family history research and temple work and said it is an indication of members’ faith.
When the king and queen of Tonga were welcomed to the Church’s Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii, USA, in June, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave introductory remarks about the importance of family ties.
In Louisiana, USA, President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Elder M. Russell Ballard visited flood victims while Mormon Helping Hands volunteers helped clean up damaged homes during August and September. Elder Ballard noted that more than 11,000 volunteers had come from 13 states.
And in September, during a worldwide devotional for young adults that originated in Washington, D.C., USA, Elder Cook said, “We should not have fear even in a dangerous and troubled world.” He counseled young adults to set righteous goals and have a plan to achieve them and to not underestimate their own talents and capabilities. He also encouraged them to evaluate their use of social media. “We hear a lot about being authentic in social media,” he said, but “being sincerely Christlike is an even more important goal than being authentic.”
Up-to-date information on the ministry of these Church leaders can be found on their respective Facebook pages and at prophets.lds.org.