Six months of this year are gone. How have you engaged with the 2020 Area focus? Hopefully, you are enjoying this year’s Area Focus and feeling that you walk in the light of Christ through it.
This year’s Area focus is visually simpler than previous years and focuses on Jesus Christ and the counsel to walk in the light of Christ. Because Jesus Christ invites us to be one with Him, we should walk in His light.
We encourage you to always follow Jesus Christ. Don’t walk in the darkness.
Years ago, when I was living in Utah, I took a night-skiing class. To improve my skills, I always followed our instructor, skiing directly behind him. However, one night, I didn’t follow him closely and, without intention, I chose a different route. There were no lights to help me see. Suddenly, I was thrown up into the air, and then fell hard hitting my face violently into the snow. Thinking I was fine I got up immediately and began skiing to join the instructor and other students. Once inside the lodge, the instructor invited me to look at myself in the mirror. As I looked at my image, I realized the color of my skin had changed. The instructor gave me some warm towels and recommended I stay at the lodge. I hadn’t realized that frostbite had already started. That night I walked in the dark and suffered the consequences.
My dear brothers and sisters let us choose to walk in the light.
Honour the sabbath day
Seek the blessings of the temple
Become spiritually and temporally self-reliant
Serve through gathering Israel and ministering
We believe each member and family in the Pacific Area can set personal and family goals within this 2020 Area focus.
As a result of being socially distanced through the COVID-19 problems this year, we have had increased opportunities to experience delight in home-centered gospel living. We believe testimonies have been strengthened through these experiences.
Nobody knows how long COVID-19 and its influence will affect us all. However, let us continue to experience joy in our home-centered gospel study and spiritual worship in our own homes. When the COVID-19 outbreak ends, let us go to Church whenever we can and enjoy meeting with others. Let us invite our friends and neighbours to come and see our Sunday meetings. Let us also enjoy evenings at home where we study together from Come, Follow Me—for Individuals and Families; even if it’s for five or ten minutes.
Do you hold a current temple recommend? Even though some of you can’t go to the temple often, we need to hold a current temple recommend at all times. We need to show our worthiness to God. Young men and young women, you too can hold a temple recommend. If you go to your bishop and say, “Bishop, I want to hold a temple recommend,” he will help you with great joy.
If you don’t know how to discover and record your family history, ask your ward or branch temple and family leader or consultants. They will be more than pleased to help you.
This year, we have been blessed to study the Book of Mormon at home every day using Come, Follow Me—for Individuals and Families. We encourage every member all over the Area, to build up a faithful culture of studying the Book of Mormon at home every day.
In addition, young men and young women, we encourage you to engage with the new Children and Youth Programme.
How have you used the “Come and See”, “Come and Help” and “Come and Stay” invitations? These are very natural and normal tools to invite others to come unto Christ. We recommend you utilize these invitations, always working with full-time missionaries, and your ward mission leaders and missionaries.
Young men, we need your help! As President Russell M. Nelson said, you are the battalion of the Lord.1 You are chosen souls. We encourage all of you to serve missions for the Lord. Many eternal friends are waiting for you to help bring them home.
Some of you may feel these things are difficult. To achieve our goals, let us start with easy things. Let us help each other.
In his talk ‘Seek Learning by Faith’, Elder Bednar referred to an Old Testament story and taught us that:
“Recall how the Israelites came to the river Jordan and were promised the waters would part, and they would be able to cross over on dry ground. Interestingly, the waters did not part as the children of Israel stood on the banks of the river waiting for something to happen; rather, the soles of their feet were wet before the water parted. The faith of the Israelites was manifested in the fact that they walked into the water before it parted.”2
The 2020 Area focus is your focus. It is not only for the Area Presidency to use. Why do we have an Area focus?
The work of an ancient Hebrew prophet was to act as God’s messenger and to make known God’s will. Amos testified strongly when he said, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
Modern prophets have this same responsibility. They speak to us as they are inspired by the Holy Ghost and let us know God’s will. If they didn’t, what would we do? “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). Through our prophets’ messages, we can know what God expects of us. The First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles have given us new instructions and a new direction. They have shared their vision. On counsel from them, we have created the 2020 Area focus. The 2020 Area focus highlights our prophets’ vision and priorities. We came to this focus after seeking inspiration, through prolonged discussion, and through sincere prayer.
President Russell M. Nelson has promised, “Keep the Saviour at the center of your plans. Always ask yourself and prayerfully ask your Father in Heaven, ‘What can I do to become more like Jesus Christ?’ As you do this each day, miracles will happen.”3