Sister Joy D. Jones and Elder Ronald A. Rasband Reflect on Visit to Victims of Northern California Fires

Contributed By Marianne Holman Prescott, Church News staff writer

  • 6 November 2017

Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, meets Primary children in Loma Rica, California, following a special sacrament meeting for fire survivors, October 29, 2017.

In personal and tender posts on Facebook, Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, and Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles express their love and concern for the people living in fire-ravaged Northern California.

A former resident of the area herself, Sister Jones visited with members in the area the last weekend of October. (See related story.)

Her post on Facebook reads:

“As a former resident of Santa Rosa, California, my heart has felt wounded these past few weeks as I have heard about the homes burned in Northern California. I am so thankful I was able to visit Santa Rosa this weekend to be with and encourage individuals and families there.

“A scripture from Isaiah came to my mind as I prepared for this visit: ‘To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness’ (Isaiah 61:3). The Spirit testified to me the truth that the Savior will literally give beauty for ashes. That is His promise.

Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, visits with Darlene Cloward of Loma Rica, who lost her home in a recent wildfire. They attended a special sacrament meeting on October 29, 2017.

Primary General President, Sister Joy D. Jones, talks with Abigail Pietz following a special sacrament meeting for wildfire survivors in Loma Rica, California, October 29, 2017. Abigail and her family fled from their burning ranch earlier this month.

“That is also His promise to all of us in the midst of hard things. The trials you have been called on to endure are an opportunity for your spiritual growth. Know and always remember that the Lord loves you. He knows you well, He remembers you, and He will be with you every step of the way.”

On October 28, Elder Rasband shared some of his thoughts on Facebook regarding his visit to Northern California:

“Today I was touched and humbled to visit with families whose homes were destroyed during the recent Northern California fires. As they told me about their trials, I was reminded of how much love the Savior has for each of them and for all of us who struggle.

“I know that such feelings of love are difficult to recall when we are in the midst of personal struggles, trials, disappointments, or broken dreams. But I assure you that His love for us remains constant—no matter what. Never forget that Heavenly Father knows and loves each of you, and He is always ready to help. As we trust in Him, He will lift us up and see us through our trials.”