What Elder Gong has learned about staying connected while social distancing

by | May 29, 2020

This may be a time of social distancing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t connect with each other. 

As part of a series of counsel from members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during the pandemic, Elder Gerrit W. Gong and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, spoke with Church News on how Latter-day Saints can minister to each other despite the current restrictions. President M. Russell Ballard, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Elder David A. Bednar, Elder Quentin L. Cook, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Elder Neil L. Andersen, and Elder Dale G. Renlund have also shared their thoughts on the topic.

Each Sunday, the Gongs make a list of people they can cheer up, and talking with people virtually has been a powerful tool to connect and minister from a distance. Additionally, the Gongs took part in a local stake drive-by for missionaries who recently returned home, with a sign on the back of their car that read “bloom where you are planted.”

“You don’t have to be in each other’s homes to be in each other’s hearts,” Elder Gong told Church News.

This time of social distancing is also an opportunity to appreciate things at home and to learn from our current circumstances, the apostle said. For instance, since Elder Gong has not had to travel on Church assignments over the weekends lately, he has been learning about gardening from his wife.

“When I am in the garden with her, I grow in love for gardens and for her,” he told Church News. "I’m learning about plants, mulch, and how you mix the soil. I have gotten to smell the flowers and hear the birds in a different way.”

Church members around the world have been doing what they can to stay connected as well, Church News reported. From a youth missionary devotional in New Zealand to online seminary in Brazil, young Latter-day Saints have found a number of ways to be involved. Youth in one Puerto Rico stake even recited “The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: A Bicentennial Proclamation to the World” in a video.



Featured image was taken at a BYU Devotional in 2018 by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.
Danielle christensen

Danielle Christensen

Danielle is a features writer and editor for LDS Living. Previously, she served as web producer for Church News, where she managed their website and social media platforms. Danielle is a graduate of Brigham Young University in English and has been published with Deseret NewsChurch NewsBYU Magazine, and Spires Intercollegiate Arts and Literary Magazine.

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