Elders Uchtdorf, Gong post on social media about International Friendship Day; Sister Wright on stepping out of the ordinary

Elder Dieter F. Ucthdorf's Facebook

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

Since COVID-19, many of us have been praying that the world would go back to normal. But on July 30, Sister Amy A. Wright, Second Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, wrote on social media that she has thinking about the word “normal” and what that really means.

“It is interesting to note that synonyms for the word ‘normal’ are ‘common,’ ‘typical,’ ‘average,’ ‘ordinary,’” she said. But in comparison, the work of salvation is miraculous and amazing.

“It is a comfort to remember that these uncertain times are not uncertain to the Lord, and therefore, there is purpose, potential, and power in trials and hardships. . . . As our vision expands, we will discover that the challenges of our day are a sacred opportunity for us to step out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary!” she wrote.

 You may also like: What Sister Nelson said about 'wake-up calls' that changed my perspective on life in 2020

Also on July 30, Elders Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Gerrit W. Gong shared their thoughts in honor of International Friendship Day and the importance of strengthening one another.

Announcements from the First Presidency this week included a decision to keep the Saturday evening session of general conference—which was discontinued in June—but with some changes. The dates for two temple groundbreakings in the South Pacific were also shared with the public. Read more about these announcements and see other Church leader social posts below.

By Newsroom of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent the following letter today, July 27, 2021, to leaders of the faith around the world.

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

A basic principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the blessing of continuing revelation wherein the Lord reveals His will, “giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little” (Doctrine and Covenants 128:21). The Lord directs His work according to changing circumstances and needs. For example, the format and schedule of general conference have been changed many times over the years. Some sessions of general conference were designated for specific groups of members or leaders, such as the welfare session, the women’s session, the priesthood session, and other sessions designed to address topics pertinent to specific organizations of the Church.

“We recognize the increasing challenges facing members of the Church worldwide in our day. An important way to fortify against these challenges comes through hearing the word of God (see Alma 31:5). Therefore, after additional study and prayer, we have felt impressed to continue to hold the Saturday evening session of general conference.”

Read the rest of the First Presidency’s letter at Newsroom or LDS Living.

By Newsroom of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced groundbreakings for the Neiafu Tonga Temple and the Pago Pago American Samoa Temple. Both were announced in April 2019 by Church President Russell M. Nelson.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Neiafu Tonga Temple will be held Saturday, September 11, 2021. Elder ‘Inoke F. Kupu of the Quorum of the Seventy will preside at the event.

The Neiafu Tonga Temple will be built at the site of the Church-owned Saineha High School. The single-story structure will be about 17,000 square feet. This will be the country’s second temple, following the Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple. Tonga is home to more than 66,000 Latter-day Saints — roughly 60 percent of the nation’s population.

Leaders will break ground for the Pago Pago American Samoa Temple on Saturday, October 9, 2021. The event’s presiding Church leader will be determined based on travel requirements related to COVID-19.

The Pago Pago American Samoa Temple will be built on Ottoville Road on the site of the Pago Pago Samoa Central Stake Center in Tafuna, American Samoa. The single-story structure will be roughly 17,000 square feet. The temple construction will also include housing for the temple president, matron and missionaries and a distribution center. The temple will be the first in American Samoa. More than 16,000 Latter-day Saints live in this U.S. territory.

Read the rest of the press release and see renderings and maps of the temples at Newsroom.

Church Leader Social Posts

Elder Ronald A. Rasband

Elder Dale G. Renlund

President Jean B. Bingham

Sister Michelle D. Craig

Featured image: Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s Facebook
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