Among the many invitations President Russell M. Nelson extended in the October 2019 general conference, perhaps one of the most poignant ones was from his closing remarks, where he encouraged us to “immerse yourself in the glorious light of the Restoration.” Although change and hardship may seem impossible at times, we can press forward as we focus on the glorious light of the Restoration as the prophet has asked us to do.
As we continue to celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of the First Vision, it is important to remember that our own, individual restoration is also ongoing. This week, Church leaders have expressed messages to help us be refined and restored to who we truly are: sons and daughters of God who seek after the goodness of Christ continually. It is our hope that as you ponder these messages, you will recognize how the Lord is lovingly and intentionally restoring you.
The Ongoing Restoration
Elder Ronald A. Rasband and Sister Melanie Rasband eagerly anticipate their live Face to Face event for young adults, which will be broadcasted virtually on Sunday, September 13, at 6:00 p.m. (MDT). During this event, Elder and Sister Rasband plan to teach and answer questions about “The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: A Bicentennial Proclamation to the World”, which was officially released in the April 2020 general conference, and associated truths.
This week, Elder Rasband responded on Facebook to a submitted question related to the topics he'll be addressing during the Face to Face: “How can I know that the Restoration is ongoing when we don’t see the same types of miracles that we saw in biblical times or in the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith?” Watch the video below to hear his powerful, apostolic reply.
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Restoring the Family of God
In a Facebook post, Elder Quentin L. Cook shared his plans to celebrate his 80th birthday: “Today I will also record a mission devotional for all missionaries. There is nothing else I would rather do on my birthday than share a message with these emissaries of the Lord.” Elder Cook also testified about how the gospel of Jesus Christ connects families, including his own.
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Likewise, on social media this week, President Dallin H. Oaks shared his witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He stated, “Even in this difficult time, the principles we as leaders of the Church hope you will understand are the same fundamentals of faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His gospel that we have always taught.” Knowing that the principles of the restored gospel are consistent, no matter our circumstances, can certainly bring everyone peace.
A crucial part of the ongoing Restoration in our lives is the Lord’s continuous efforts to strengthen families. This week in a Facebook post, Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, shared an inspiring message to help parents take care of their children, who yearn for light and truth during these difficult times. She stated, “We have abundant opportunities to plant gospel seeds in our children and help them nourish and grow while at home. Those seeds are nourished as we give children the opportunity to serve others, to tell a scripture story, or share their testimony.”
As children can be strengthened through planting gospel seeds, adults can be strengthened through a correct understanding of God’s power. In the Church News series “Women of Covenant,” Christine Ivory, a Primary general board member, shared her powerful witness on the value of motherhood, especially as it relates to the priesthood. She shared the following insight: “What is the connection that exists between motherhood and priesthood—the two greatest manifestations of God’s power on the earth? No discussion of the priesthood is complete unless it includes with equal weight, a reverence and dedication to the position of women and the gift of nurturing and creating life.”
Read the full article at Church News.
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Restoring Us One by One
In a Facebook post this week, Sister Michelle D. Craig, First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, shared a beautiful experience on developing holiness. “I thought about how I could be intentional in seeking holiness every single day. I made myself a little holiness journal and each morning prayerfully asked what I could do that day to increase my holiness. I thought about those things that I could do to have an increase of the Spirit in my life and those things that I was doing to offend the Spirit,” she shared.
The experiment was not only life-changing for Sister Craig, it was also a magnificent experience for her daughter. Read why Sister Craig’s daughter called keeping a holiness journal “one of the most impactful things I have ever done for my spiritual growth” below.
Just as holiness does not happen by accident, obtaining knowledge also requires deliberate and meaningful choices. This week in a devotional, BYU–Hawaii President Keoni Kauwe revealed the discouragement he faced after failing an organic chemistry test and receiving a D in the class overall. His struggles in organic chemistry, though difficult, provided him with valuable insights moving forward in his academic career.
President Kauwe counseled students who place great emphasis on simply achieving high grades to instead focus on gaining knowledge. “And it turns out, when you master the content for a class and make it your own knowledge, you make it a part of you, exams go a lot better,” he stated. Sister Kauwe also addressed students and counseled them to recognize the “principles that underlie the rules” in the gospel.
Read more of President Kauwe’s address at Church News.
During a devotional this week, Kevin J Worthen, BYU President, reminded students of the power of hope. He humbly witnessed, “While it may not seem like much, the smallest form of hope—the smallest desire to believe—can be the first step in a miraculous process through which God can exalt us.” President Worthen expressed four hopes he has for students at BYU: to stay safe, find the joy of discovery, feel a part of the BYU community, and to feel God’s love. While these specific hopes were addressed to students at BYU, his compelling testimony that hope is universally essential is applicable to all.
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“Scripture identifies hope as one of the three essential celestializing characteristics, firmly centered between foundational faith and exalting charity,” he said.
Read more of President Worthen’s remarks at Church News.