This Week From the Pulpit: How Good Friday’s Fast Can Unite and Heal Us


Editor's note: "This Week from the Pulpit" highlights recent messages by General Authorities and General Officers of the Church.

Today is a big day. Today is Good Friday and, in addition to its historic and religious significance, this Good Friday we have been asked by President Russell M. Nelson to fast for Heavenly Father’s help during this time of COVID-19.

As noted by President Nelson in his April 2020 Saturday evening session general conference talk, the fast will focus on four specific areas: that caregivers will be protected, the economy will be strengthened, the pandemic may be controlled, and life will become normalized.

► You May Also Like: Contemplating Calvary: How Good Friday Adds Special Meaning to the Worldwide Fast

President Nelson and other Church Leaders reiterated the invitation and importance of this fast in posts on social media. Here are a few summaries of their messages shared this week.

President Russell M. Nelson

After inviting all members and those of other faiths to join a worldwide fast, President Russell M. Nelson explained in a Facebook post the importance and purpose behind fasting.

The purpose of fasting is to help focus our pleas to God and ask him for help, especially when we are faced with dire circumstances.

“During times of deep distress, as when illness reaches pandemic proportions, the most natural thing for us to do is to call upon our Heavenly Father and His Son— the Master Healer— to show forth Their marvelous power to bless the people of the earth,” President Nelson shared in the post.

President Nelson also noted that as we sacrifice and fast, we might also “remember the supreme sacrifice the Savior made for you.”

The post concluded with this invitation from the prophet, “Let us unite in pleading for healing throughout the world.”


Elder Neil L. Andersen 

In a Facebook post, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles built upon his conference address. In his remarks, Elder Andersen spoke about spiritually defining moments and said to the children listening, “And children, these experiences are for you as well.”

In his post, Elder Andersen affirmed that the Lord is “very kind to pure and believing children.” He assured readers that “powerful spiritual experiences” can come into the lives of children.

Elder Andersen shared a story that can be found in the book Divine Signatures by Elder Gerald N. Lund. The story from Elder Lund’s own life tells of when he was a young paper boy and lost an important check during a collection of monthly subscription fees. Elder Lund prayed and found the important check and recognized that God answered his plea for help.

In the Facebook post, Elder Andersen noted that this became a spiritually defining memory in Elder Lund’s life because he knew that Heavenly Father was involved in his life.

Elder Andersen concluded with this invitation, “Let us prepare our homes and our relationships with our children and those who surround them so the Lord can bring unforgettable spiritual memories that last throughout their lives.”


President Bonnie H. Cordon, Norwegian Virtual Youth Devotional 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to prevent people from meeting, some members have thought of creative ways to interact with each other. Every year in Norway, Latter-day Saint youth gather for a three-day conference, called Balliaden.

Church News reported that because of restrictions, most youth and leaders believed the conference would be cancelled— until local leaders created “Zoomiaden.” “Zoomiaden” would be the virtual version of the event hosted in Zoom classrooms.

Over 100 youth from all over Norway gathered for the virtual conference to listen and share spiritual messages. The conference was not only unique because it solely took place online but because a very special guest joined in—Young Women General President, President Bonnie H. Cordon.

President Cordon spoke to the youth about recognizing the Spirit in their lives. “There were many questions about how to know if the Spirit is speaking to you or if it’s just your own thoughts,” President Cordon said. “They were very intrigued and wanted to know more about revelation and how it works.”

Of her time spent with these Norwegian youth, President Cordon said, “These are wonderful bright, intelligent, faith-filled youth.” She continued, “The Lord has a great work for them to do — for all of us to do. As our wonderful youth discover that the gospel of Jesus Christ can be their cause, they recognize there is much they can do. They are a tremendous influence for good.”


Elder Tad R. Callister  

Elder Tad R. Callister recently penned an article for Church Newsin which he explained the significance of Joseph Smith’s First Vision. Elder Callister also wrote about the presence of Satan whenever “something profound is about to occur in God’s Kingdom.”

This is true of when the Savior was born, when the Savior was confronted with the three temptations, and before Joseph Smith had the Vision. All of these events that would progress the Kingdom of God followed an attack by Satan to prevent them.

Elder Callister noted Moroni’s prophecy, “That [Joseph’s] name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindred, and tongues”(JS History 1:33).

Elder Callister encouraged readers to testify of Joseph Smith’s name for good not evil. He concluded with this message, “His name is known for good and evil throughout the world exactly as Moroni prophesied. May we be among the wise and noble and virtuous who honor and praise the name of Joseph Smith for good.” 


Sister Sharon Eubank

In a recent Facebook post, Sister Sharon Eubank, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, also invited followers to join in today’s fast on Good Friday.


Sister Michelle D. Craig

Sister Michelle D. Craig, First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, also posted to Facebook about the significance of Good Friday’s fast. Sister Craig wrote about the miracles that can happen as we exercise our faith together in Friday’s fast.


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