Elder Bednar Instructs Members in Caribbean Area
By Heather Whittle Wrigley, Church News and Events
Visiting the Dominican Republic in mid-February, 2012, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles brought a message of love and instruction to priesthood leaders, members, and young single adults.
“You are participating in history tonight,” Elder Bednar told young single adults from the Dominican Republic and 28 other countries as he began his address to them from the pulpit of the institute building in Santo Domingo on Saturday, February 18, 2012.
Also in attendance were Elder Bednar’s wife, Susan Bednar; Elder Walter F. González of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife, Zulma; and Elder J. Devn Cornish, Second Counselor in the Caribbean Area Presidency, and his wife, Elaine.
Elder Bednar reminded those present, “We love you. Our only desire is to serve and help you. And your questions will help us know how we can best help you.“ Members throughout the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Haiti, asked questions ranging in topic from honoring covenants to eternal marriage to helping others return to the gospel.
Elder Bednar began by teaching about faith in Jesus Christ, the first principle of the gospel. “Faith in Jesus Christ is the principle of action and the power in all intelligent beings,” he said. “Faith requires that we act first in accordance with truth. Then we are blessed to receive power.”
Much of the discussion centered on honoring covenants.
“You exercised your moral agency to accept the conditions of the baptismal covenant. … And as a representative of Jesus Christ, your life is no longer just about what you want but what God wants for you,” Elder Bednar taught.
In responding to questions about dating and marriage, he emphasized the divinely designed nature of men and women. He encouraged all those listening to gain a greater understanding of the role of men and women in the plan of salvation as revealed in The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
“A happy, lasting marriage is not something you find,” he continued. “A celestial and eternal marriage is something you create.”
Regarding the law of chastity, Elder Bednar counseled, “Violating the law of chastity is a serious and significant spiritual wound which cannot be healed with a feeling of being sorry and a few individual prayers. It will require help from the Church and specifically from your bishop. In effect, he is a spiritual physician who can administer the necessary medicine to help with the healing.”
In concluding, Elder Bednar left a blessing on those in attendance and shared how being a special witness of Christ has changed his life.
“I have always had a strong, true witness,” he said. “But now my witness is more sure, because I see how the Lord guides my steps to bless those individuals and families He desires to bless. I witness that He lives. He is the Only Begotten Son of the Eternal Father.”
Read a more detailed summary of Elder Bednar's young single adult devotional in the Caribbean.