“Apostles’ Worldwide Ministry Continues,” Ensign, May 2017
Prophets and apostles continue to minister throughout the world (see D&C 107:23). During the last six months:
In a Face to Face broadcast originating in Palmyra, New York, USA, President Henry B. Eyring and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland encouraged youth of the Church to gain a personal testimony. “Come to know for yourself that these things are true,” President Eyring said.
In Mexico, President Russell M. Nelson was introduced in the national Chamber of Deputies (the lower house of Congress), and the Church was praised for the good it has done in defending religious freedom and in strengthening families. President Nelson also met with members and missionaries and said that members “are an active force for good in their communities.”
In Arizona, USA, Elder Dallin H. Oaks urged all Church members to defend religious freedom. (Find more information at religiousfreedom.lds.org.)
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke to members of the Parleys Creek (Swahili) Branch in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Many of the branch members are refugees from African nations, and President Uchtdorf has twice been a refugee himself. “Always remember that wherever we are, the gospel is home,” he said.
Elders M. Russell Ballard and D. Todd Christofferson attended the installation ceremony for the new bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City and welcomed him to the community.
In the Holy Land, Elder Holland and Elder Quentin L. Cook joined a delegation of Latter-day Saint leaders and Jewish dignitaries from the USA who gathered at a historic site in Jerusalem to mark the 175th anniversary of Elder Orson Hyde (1805–78) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicating the land as a gathering place for the Jewish people.
Elder Holland also visited with members and missionaries in Japan, Korea, and Guam, where “we were able to reassure them of a [bright] future,” he said. He noted that live nationwide broadcasts of devotionals “offered us the largest possible reach for our messages,” connecting with tens of thousands of members.
In New York, USA, Elder David A. Bednar participated in a forum on marriage, saying that one of the great tasks of our time—one on which diverse faith communities should be united—is to help people understand the true meaning and purpose of marriage.
While visiting Latter-day Saints in Japan and Korea, Elder Bednar said that the Church is experiencing slow but steady growth in Asia. “You can’t help but be impressed by the diligence, graciousness, and faithfulness of these Latter-day Saints,” he said. Elder Bednar also addressed thousands of Church members and taught missionaries in 7 of the Church’s 21 missions in the Philippines.
In Mexico, Elder Neil L. Andersen counseled Church members to overcome obstacles that keep them from attending the temple, observing the Sabbath, and strengthening family relationships. He invited them to bring the Savior more fully into their lives.
Elder Quentin L. Cook visited the Philippines, 20 years after he served there as a newly called General Authority. He said the Church in the Philippines has since doubled in size. “Where there were branches,” he said, “there are now stakes. Children we knew then are now returned missionaries. Returned missionaries are now stake presidents. It is incredible to see the growth of the Church.”
In Bolivia and Peru, Elder Cook counseled members to focus on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He said that youth and young single adults there are exceptional and demonstrate love for the Savior and His Atonement and Resurrection.
In the Africa West Area, Elder Gary E. Stevenson said his visit provided an opportunity to reflect on the love and joy Latter-day Saints find in the gospel, despite the “challenges and adversity” they face.
Later, in Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina, Elder Stevenson spoke at a For the Strength of Youth conference. He said that many of the youth “are making decisions to go on missions and to remain steadfast with their goal to be married in the temple and … [gain] higher education.”
Elder Ronald A. Rasband counseled members and missionaries in the Central America Area to stay true to their covenants and to look to the Lord in turbulent times. He visited a children’s cancer hospital in Guatemala, delivered the keynote address at a Church-sponsored religious freedom symposium in El Salvador, and met with the president of Nicaragua.
In Tonga, Elder Dale G. Renlund met with the queen and other members of the royal family. He also visited Australia and New Zealand, where members asked him to convey their love to President Thomas S. Monson.