Our Favorite Stories from the Prophet and Apostles in 2018

Elder Neil L. Andersen

Elder and Sister Andersen with Tony Abbott, former prime minister of Australia.

Elder and Sister Andersen with Tony Abbott, former prime minister of Australia. Image from Deseret News.

Elder Andersen Shares More Insights on the Church's New "Ministering in a Holier Way" at Devotional

“As disciples of Christ, we strongly reject the notion that our lives are all about ourselves,” Elder Andersen said during a BYU devotional. “Rather, we follow the Savior.”

“Your ability to bring a holier approach to loving your neighbor, to caring and ministering to others will rest upon how strongly you keep the first commandment,” he said. “There is a unique and supernal gift of ministering that can come from someone who loves God with all his or her heart, and is settled, grounded, steadfast and immovable in his or her faith in Jesus Christ and in the restored gospel, and keeps the commandments with exactness.”

Elder Andersen Surprises Missionaries by Bringing the Former Prime Minister of Australia to Speak with Him

On March 16, Elder Andersen met with all 188 missionaries in the Australia Melbourne Mission, and he brought a special visitor with him: Tony Abbott, the former prime minister of Australia.

“The visit by Tony Abbott was quite a surprise,” said Mission President Peter Vidmar. “He was so complimentary of the missionaries and the sacrifices they were making. He encouraged them to persevere and admired their dedication.”

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Elder Ronald A. Rasband

Elder and Sister Rasband with their grandson
Image from Elder Rasband's new book, Led by Divine Design. 

Elder Rasband and How He Saw God's Works Manifested Through Suffering and the Life of His Grandson

"Little Paxton, our grandson, was born with a very rare chromosomal deletion, a genetic disorder that distinguishes him, literally, as one in hundreds of millions," Elder Rasband writes. "For our daughter and her husband, an uncharted, life-changing journey began when Paxton was born. This experience has become a crucible for learning special lessons tied to the eternities."

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Elder Rasband on How We Can Find the Divine Talents That Will Aid Our Eternal Progression

"What are your God-given talents?" Elder Rasband asked on Instagram.

"There are talents that are visible, like being a musician, an athlete, an artist, or even a gardener. These are great talents to develop, but there are so many others that are character driven: the gift of being a good listener, a peacemaker, a righteous example, a compassionate and nonjudgmental friend, a quiet strength, one who is kind and loving.

"You see where I am going with this? We must love and revere those talents that are embedded in our very natures, that prompt us to reach out and embrace others and, in the process, help us to become more like Jesus Christ. Talents are critical underpinnings for our eternal progression. They are like fingerprints, individual and significant. Each of you have been blessed with divine talents by our Father in Heaven. He is waiting for you to identify, develop, and magnify those talents He has blessed you with."

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Elder Gary E. Stevenson

Elder Stevenson with the Petty family, who lost their daughter and sister in the Parkland shooting.

Elder Stevenson with the Petty family, who lost their daughter and sister in the Parkland shooting. Image from Church News.

Elder Stevenson Gives Blessing to Florida Shooting Victim, Testifies of "Heavenly Powers"

After a shooter killed 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, Elder Stevenson met with the Petty family—Latter-day Saints who lost their daughter and sister in the shooting—and Madeleine “Maddy” Wilford, who was injured during the attack. While visiting with Maddy in the hospital, Elder Stevenson gave her a blessing. “We gathered around Maddy, and it was like a spiritual oasis in the midst of all this worldly chaos and oppression,” Elder Stevenson told the Church News. “We were there, in that hospital room, enjoying the fruits of the Comforter.”

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Elder Stevenson Shares Firsthand Account of the Calling and Sustaining of Our New Prophet

"On Sunday morning, Jan. 14, just over a week ago, the Council of the Twelve met in the upper room of the Salt Lake Temple in a spirit of fasting and prayer, under the presiding direction of President Russell M. Nelson, acting as Senior Apostle and President of the Quorum of the Twelve,” Elder Stevenson said. “In this sacred and memorable meeting, seated by seniority in a semi-circle of thirteen chairs, following a well-established precedent in unity and unanimity, hands were raised to first sustain the organization of a First Presidency and then to sustain President Russell Marion Nelson as the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

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