Our Favorite Stories from the Prophet and Apostles in 2018

President M. Russell Ballard

Elder and Sister Ballard walking together

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3 Reasons President M. Russell Ballard's General Conference Talk Was Particularly Significant

When President M. Russell Ballard stepped up to the pulpit on Sunday morning, he revealed that the talk he would proceed to give was prepared before his wife’s passing on October 1, 2018, after battling many health problems, including Alzheimer's. 

“My talk was prepared some time before the passing of my dear wife Barbara. My family and I thank you for your love and outreach and kindness,” he said.

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How Elder Ballard Responded When a Member Told Him He Was a False Prophet

"I have often taught that one of the ways you can be involved in sharing the gospel is to write down a date in the next two or three months that you want to have someone prepared to be taught by the missionaries. Then ask your Father in Heaven for guidance and help. Ask Him to bless you to be alert and prepared.

"Let me share with you a couple of experiences members have had in doing this. Sometime after I talked about this concept in general conference, I received from a woman a letter that was quite startling in content. It said, 'Dear Brother Ballard. I hate to tell you this but you are a false prophet. I did what you told us to do, and we had no success. Therefore you should not be teaching the people to do this.' She really got after me. It was not a gentle letter."

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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Elder Holland speaking to members of the Church

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Elder Holland Shares Heartbreaking Letter from Gay Mormon + How We Can Show Love, Empathy to All

"We all know that too many of God’s children do suffer silently and alone," Elder Holland writes. "Take, for example, a young man who wrote me expressing his testimony in a remarkably articulate letter but then adding that his heart breaks because he does not see any fulfillment or future joy for him as a person with same-sex attraction:

'I face a lifetime of lonely nights and dreary mornings. I attend my YSA ward faithfully and each week leave church knowing that I can never really fit in. I will never teach my son to ride a bike. I will never feel my baby girl hold my finger as she learns to walk. I will never have grandchildren.
'I will come home to an empty house, day after day, month after month, decade after decade, anchored only by my hope in Christ. Sometimes I wonder why He would do this to me and ask me to make such an impossible sacrifice. I cry at night when nobody can see. I have not told anybody, not even my parents. They and my friends . . . would reject me if they knew, just as they all have rejected those who have walked this path in front of me. I will live life at the margins. I have the option of either being harassed and avoided for being single, or pitied and ignored for telling the reason. Life looms long before me. Is there no balm in Gilead?'"

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Seeing Beyond the Veil: Elder Holland Shares Powerful Insights into One of "the Greatest Moments in Recorded Faith"

"One of the greatest prophets in the Book of Mormon goes unnamed in the record that documents his remarkable life. He is identified only as 'the brother of Jared,'" Elder Holland writes. "Yet the revelation that unfolded before his eyes was so extraordinary that his life and legacy have become synonymous with bold, consummate, perfect faith."

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Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Elder Uchtdorf with his family as his grandson opened his mission call.

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Elder Uchtdorf Shares Photo of Grandson's Mission Call + a Challenge That Will Bless Our Lives and Others

"Harriet and I were thrilled to share a special moment with our family recently when our grandson opened his call to serve as a full-time missionary. This moment caused us to reflect again on how missionary work has blessed our family," Elder Uchtdorf shared on Facebook.

"You may know that Harriet’s family was introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ thanks to two young missionaries who knocked on her family’s door when she was a teenager. Her father had passed away just six months prior. The good news of the gospel—and specifically the plan of salvation—provided Harriet’s family with the peace their hearts yearned for."

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President Uchtdorf Shares Short, Powerful Message: Heavenly Father "Will Send His Angels Before You"

"The Lord knows you. He knows your heart and is pleased with your sacrifice. He smiles upon you each day. He will uphold you and prepare the way for you. He will send His angels before you. You will feel their presence. And with the help of heaven, your talents will be multiplied," Elder Uchtdorf writes.

"I promise you that as you lift those around you, the Lord God, the Creator of the universe, will lift you up. If you will only believe and incline your heart to our Beloved Father, He will place within you a peace that surpasses understanding. He will give you joy. May each of you always remember this."

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