We are living in a time when things have changed. This is a period of restrictions, but also of many opportunities.
Some things were done routinely in the past, such as going to a church building to attend sacrament and other church meetings. In addition, we traveled to work, school, and participated in other activities outside our homes. We certainly spent a lot of time and energy to accomplish these things, but in so doing, there were other things that we unfortunately may have neglected.
We are blessed during this time of pandemic to have living prophets and other ecclesiastical leaders, with the spiritual insight to look beyond current situations. In fact, these difficulties had already been considered as they made changes to help prepare us to meet such challenges in our personal and family lives. Among several that we can cite include the ministering program, the Come Follow Me initiative, the reduced meeting schedule, and the new Children and Youth program.
These changes, as President Russell M. Nelson so aptly put it, are intended to help us live the gospel in a home-centered and Church-supported way. If our prophet had not anticipated these challenges, imagine the sadness to not be able to attend sacrament and other church meetings each Sunday, or general conference in our own stake center as we did before the period of confinement.
Fortunately, today we are blessed to stay at home as a family, not only to get to know each other a little better, but also to serve each other and to spend more time together. Another blessing for which we must be constantly grateful is to be able to “hear Him” through regular messages of living prophets provided by technology.
I know a family that is using this opportunity to spend more time together to develop better habits of family scripture study, family home evening, Come Follow Me learning, and to also help their children grow in their own testimonies of the Lord Jesus Christ, His Atonement and the Restoration of the gospel in these latter days. This has helped the family to feel much closer to each other and closer to God. One of the goals they have set is to be able to hear the Lord regularly in their daily lives. They do this by studying the life of the Savior and by watching videos of the Bible and the Book of Mormon every day, which has especially helped one of their daughters get to know Jesus Christ better.
This is an opportunity for us to not only think about ourselves, but also to offer our time, love and talents to others. Sometimes a simple greeting will make a big difference in a person’s life. We find in the Book of Mormon an example of 2,000 young men who did this. In Alma 56:47, we learn that: “Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.” To enable us to better respond to the calls of our leaders, the Church today gives us several tools such as: indexing, family history, ministering, etc.
As we participate in these activities, we follow the example of the sons of Helaman, thinking of the freedom of our brothers and sisters not only in this life, but also on the other side of the veil. It is so easy to fall into the trap of not using our time wisely. Thanks to the internet, we can share the message of The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; A Bicentennial Proclamation to the World1 instead of wasting our precious time in nonproductive activities. The Lord warns us very clearly in Doctrine and Covenants 60:13: “Thou shalt not idle away thy time, neither shalt thou bury thy talent that it may not be known.”
Let us use this time to invite extended family members, friends, co-workers, and classmates to repent and to come unto Christ.
I personally feel delighted to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is led by a living prophet, as well as other leaders who guide us in these latter days.
My dear brothers and sisters, as Bishop Gérald Caussé said, “We take the Church with us wherever we go: to work, to school, on vacation, and especially in our homes. Our very presence and influence can be enough to make wherever we find ourselves a holy place.”2
I am very happy for the wonderful opportunity that I have to live in these latter days. I am most grateful for Joseph Smith, through whom God and Jesus Christ restored the gospel in this dispensation of the fulness of times. I also express my gratitude to the angel Moroni for having accepted the task of helping the Prophet Joseph to restore the kingdom of God on earth. I also know that if we do our best, we can not only experience joy during this period of confinement, but also eternal life with our loved ones in the world to come.