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‘We need to see a reflection of ourselves in each other’: Elder Soares speaks on religious freedom + more counsel from Church leaders this week

by | Oct. 30, 2020

Editor’s note: “This week from the pulpit” highlights recent messages by General Authorities, General Officers, and leaders of the Church.

This week, several Church leaders shared their testimonies through social media and virtual addresses. On Facebook, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf shared spiritual parallels he learned from a lens replacement surgery, and Elder Quentin L. Cook shared a message for those who are waiting for desired blessings. 

At Brigham Young University, President Dallin H. Oaks addressed students regarding “Racism and Other Challenges.” Elder Ulisses Soares also spoke to an interfaith audience, affirming religion’s role in overcoming weaknesses and fighting injustices. 

It is our hope that these messages strengthen your faith in Christ and help you find clarity and peace.

You may also like: ‘Of course, Black lives matter’: President Oaks speaks on ‘Racism and Other Challenges’ at BYU devotional

2020 Annual DFW Summit on Religious Freedom

This week, Elder Ulisses Soares participated as the opening keynote speaker for the 2020 Annual DFW Summit on Religious Freedom. In his address which was prerecorded and streamed online, Elder Soares highlighted the importance of human dignity in respecting differences. He said:

We need to see a reflection of ourselves in each other—our dreams, hopes, hurts, fears and despairs. Otherwise, we all become strangers and foreigners. Our differences are often used as barriers to divide us, when they are actually an opportunity to enrich our lives. Dignity is a moral obligation we feel toward people, not merely a legal requirement we comply with. We discover our dignity in relating with others.

Elder Soares also acknowledged the pivotal role religion plays in achieving this objective. “Religion teaches us to overcome the weaknesses within us and fight the injustices outside us,” he said.

Find more of Elder Soares’s remarks at Church News. You can also find more thoughts from Church leaders this week below.

Pacific Youth Devotional

Three leaders of the Church addressed youth in the Pacific area through a virtual devotional this week.

President Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, spoke first, affirming that the new youth themes were inspired from the Lord. She asked youth what stood out to them in the new themes, then she added an insight of her own:

“Something that stood out to me is with both of them, one of them for the Young Women, it says, ‘I will strive,’ and the other one says, ‘I will.’ I love as it says, ‘as a disciple of Jesus Christ, I strive to become like Him.’ And then the Young Men’s says, ‘with all my heart, might, mind, and strength, I will love God.’ So, I love those two action words.”

President Steven J. Lund, Young Men General President, encouraged youth to be focused on the Lord’s purposes. “I hope that with every breath of your life, you’re striving to be in search of that mission that the Lord has for you and that you’ll be great followers of His,” he said.

Elder Ian S. Ardern, General Authority and Pacific Area President, acknowledged the trials that many young men and young women may currently face, such as increased difficulties in their classes, bullying, and loneliness. To comfort those burdened by trials, he reminded, “We must overcome to become what the Lord intended us to be.” 

To hear more inspired counsel from these leaders, watch the Pacific Youth Devotional here or below.

General Authority and General Officer Social Posts

President Dallin H. Oaks

Today at Brigham Young University I shared a message about important issues of our day, including overcoming racism....Posted by Dallin H. Oaks on Tuesday, October 27, 2020

President Henry B. Eyring

I recently have been considering President Russell M. Nelson's promise at the October 2018 general conference. He said,...Posted by Henry B. Eyring on Thursday, October 29, 2020

President M. Russell Ballard

I know the power of prayer by my own experience. Recently I was alone in my office. I had just gone through a medical...

Posted by M. Russell Ballard on Monday, October 26, 2020

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

For years my eye doctor invited me to have a lens replacement surgery done to increase the quality of my vision. As a...Posted by Dieter F. Uchtdorf on Monday, October 26, 2020

Elder Quentin L. Cook

I often think of those of you who may feel that important blessings have been denied to you in this life. It is...Posted by Quentin L. Cook on Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Elder Ronald A. Rasband

Melanie and I had the great honor to speak with students at BYU–Hawaii recently. It is always a pleasure for me to...Posted by Ronald A. Rasband on Friday, October 30, 2020

Elder Dale G. Renlund

The Old Testament prophet Isaiah warned of tactics that would be used in these latter days to confuse Heavenly Father’s...Posted by Dale G. Renlund on Sunday, October 25, 2020

Sister Sharon Eubank

The Mara River in Kenya is a place where many wildlife cross at certain times of the year to get to the grasses on the...

Posted by Sharon Eubank on Friday, October 23, 2020

President Bonnie H. Cordon

Have you ever felt like your life has been turned upside down? That sudden shift when your daily routine changes, you...Posted by Bonnie H. Cordon on Sunday, October 25, 2020

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Valerie Russell

Valerie Russell is an editorial intern for LDS Living. She is a graduate of Michigan State University, which is also where she discovered the restored gospel and joined the Church. With a bachelor’s degree in human biology, she delights in translating her research and analytical skills into journalism. She believes that nothing is too hard for the Savior and that life is made infinitely better by good stories and sweet dogs.

Comments and feedback can be sent to feedback@ldsliving.com