Editor’s note: “This week from the Pulpit” highlights recent messages by General Authorities, General Officers, and leaders of the Church.
A special event for single adults of the Church was held this week. The Abundant Life Conference was a three-day event organized for members in the North America West Area and included classes, workshops, devotionals, and service projects that took place both virtually and in-person.
Several Church leaders participated from a variety of locations: President Dallin H. Oaks along with his wife, Sister Kristen Oaks, attended a service project and spoke in Tacoma, Washington; Elder David A. Bednar and his wife, Sister Susan Bednar, spoke from Oakland, California; and Brother Bradley R. Wilcox participated from Wasilla, Alaska.
Erin Christensen from Redlands, California, participated with her stake in-person and watched Church leaders speak virtually. She told LDS Living that the conference “gave me revelation about my life that I didn’t know I needed.”
Christensen says that prior to the conference, she had been experiencing questions and doubts regarding her testimony.
“I believe that part of these doubts stem from my efforts and struggles in dating. How can something like having a partner for life, which feels so out of my control, be a commandment as well? As a single woman with a full-time career, I want to believe that I have access to the same blessings and full abundance as those who are married and have children, but it can be hard to grasp fully in a religion that so emphasizes the importance of eternal marriage,” she says.
But after the conference, Christensen felt her testimony shored up and was reassured of her value and potential.
“Elder and Sister Bednar’s message on Friday evening helped me see that the spirit has guided me to where I am at today, single life and all, in more ways than I realize. Brad Wilcox’s Saturday morning address confirmed my testimony and allowed my heart to remember what I know to be true. Sister Oaks’ Sunday afternoon message spoke of her many years of life being single, and much of what she shared felt relatable to me,” Christensen says. “My Heavenly Parents taught me that I can live my most spiritually full abundant life now and always.”
Read below for summaries of the messages given at the Abundant Life Conference as well as see what other Church leaders posted on social media this week.
By Jon Ryan Jensen, Church News
Marking the first time a member of the First Presidency has addressed a public audience outside of Utah in nearly 17 months, President Dallin H. Oaks spoke at a conference for single adults on Sunday afternoon.
No individual can overcome life’s challenges without the spiritual strength that comes from the Savior, he told some 40,000 participants from the Church’s North America West Area.
“Jesus Christ is the source of our strength to bear the burdens of mortality,” he said.
. . . President Oaks began his devotional address on Sunday by testifying of the Savior, His Atonement and the opportunity to return to Heavenly Father because of the Savior’s Atonement.
“That is the central message of the prophets of all ages,” he said.
President Oaks empathized with his audience as he recognized the “difficult time” in which they live.
However, he said, no one is alone in facing temptation or other challenges.
“If you love the Lord and keep His commandments and your covenants, you can call upon your Savior for help, and He will help you because that is part of the plan.”
Read the full summary, including remarks from Sister Oaks, at Church News.
By Newsroom of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Latter-day Saints have access to the power of godliness as they are “yoked to and with the Savior through sacred covenants and holy ordinances,” Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told single adults on Friday, August 6.
Elder Bednar quoted, “Come unto me, all ye that … are heavy laden. … Take my yoke upon you. … For my yoke is easy. And my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
. . . The Bednars led a panel discussion with six single adults from the Bay Area in California — where Elder Bednar lived as a child. Held in the Interstake Center adjacent to the Oakland California Temple, Elder Bednar recalled his baptism in the building, where he also sat with his mother as a young boy during the 1964 dedication of the temple.
“To be here in this location, and to have so many wonderful memories flood into my mind, has just been a remarkable blessing,” he said.
Speaking to 40,000 single adults gathered in locations throughout the Church’s North America West Area, Elder Bednar emphasized the importance of covenants and ordinances for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“I cannot think of anything in a world filled with commotion that is more needful, more reassuring, more hopeful, than the promise that through covenants and ordinances we have access to the power of godliness,” he said.
Read a summary of the rest of Elder and Sister Bednar’s remarks at Newsroom.
By Sydney Walker, Church News
The Titanic was built like no other ship before it, said Brother Bradley R. Wilcox, second counselor in the Young Men general presidency. It had several compartments, which meant if one was punctured, only that compartment would fill with water and the ship could remain afloat. Many believed it was unsinkable.
During its maiden voyage in 1912 across the north Atlantic Ocean, the Titanic hit an iceberg and multiple compartments filled with water at the same time. The captain told passengers the ship was sinking and they needed to get in the lifeboats.
“The problem is the passengers didn’t believe him,” Brother Wilcox told single adults gathered in a meetinghouse in Wasilla, Alaska, and online in California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii. “They had been told they were on an unsinkable ship.” Some passengers who did get in the lifeboats were even ridiculed.
Then something happened, he said. “The Titanic tilted dangerously to one side. … Suddenly they realized the truth.”
Find a summary of the rest of Brother Wilcox’s remarks at Church News.