Prophets, Apostles Minister Worldwide

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Prophets and apostles are called as “special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world” (D&C 107:23). Here are some of their activities since April general conference.

President Thomas S. Monson quietly celebrated his 90th birthday in Utah, USA, on August 21. He reiterated a birthday wish he has expressed before, that the best gift he could receive would be for people to “find someone who is having a hard time or is ill or lonely and do something for them.”

In Hamilton, New Zealand, President Henry B. Eyring dedicated facilities at Temple View, formerly the campus of the Church College of New Zealand. After Hurricane Irma, he visited Puerto Rico, Saint Thomas, and Church volunteers assisting with cleanup efforts in Florida, USA.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf visited Texas, USA, and witnessed teams of Latter-day Saints in Houston working alongside their neighbors following Hurricane Harvey, saying that the “help-however-I-can” attitude is common to Latter-day Saints all over the world.

President Russell M. Nelson presented the governor of Nebraska, USA, with a volume of family history, visited leaders and missionaries in New York, USA, and told institute students in Utah that the Bible is “replete with prophecies about … the Restoration.”

After visiting members in Japan and Korea, Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, “The Lord is mindful of His children. He knows their circumstances and concerns and is gracious in His love.” In a Face to Face event in Korea, he replied to questions from youth. He met with the minister in charge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. And at the request of the president of Peru, Elder Oaks visited to receive the president’s thanks for the Church’s help during floods.

In Utah, Elder Ballard encouraged young single adults to observe the Sabbath as “a wonderful and glorious time” and to study fundamental principles and doctrines of the Church. He told temple workers that the temples built now will also be used during the Millennium. With Elder Ronald A. Rasband, he visited Texas to encourage volunteers cleaning up hurricane and flood damage.

Elder Robert D. Hales received the 2017 Pioneers of Progress President’s Award from a community organization in Utah. “To be able to help one another, to lift one another, to strengthen one another is the greatest attribute, I think, of being a pioneer,” he said.

In Russia and Ukraine, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught that life is meant to have trials, but the gospel provides perspective, hope, and encouragement. At the Second Windsor Conference on Religious Persecution in England, he said that faith helps many to rebound from refugee status and contribute to society. Following the conference, he offered counsel to Church members, mission presidents, and missionaries in Portugal and Spain.

Elder David A. Bednar visited three West African nations not previously visited by an Apostle: Senegal, where he offered a dedicatory prayer; Guinea; and Mali. He also met with members in Nigeria and Ghana. During a worldwide devotional originating from North Carolina, USA, he encouraged young adults to be “a welding link” in their eternal family chain.

Elder Quentin L. Cook met with members and missionaries in Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, and Thailand, noting that “the members are excited about the Church, focusing on temple and missionary work.” In New Jersey, USA, he spoke at the Seymour Institute Seminar on Religious Freedom. “We should continue our ongoing and critical efforts to increase morality and protect families,” he said. In California, USA, he encouraged law society members to maintain faith and balance in their lives and to defend religious freedom.

In Ecuador and Colombia, Elder D. Todd Christofferson taught that belief in Christ’s Resurrection will comfort and sustain us. In India, he accepted a World Peace Prize on behalf of the Church and presented copies of the Book of Mormon in Nepali to the president and vice president of Nepal and to the Kathmandu Branch.

Months before the hurricanes and floods, Elder Neil L. Andersen visited Puerto Rico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, speaking about self-reliance, education, and preparing to receive the blessings of the temple. At LDS Family Education Night at Arizona State University in Arizona, USA, he encouraged Latter-day Saints to “open our doors, appreciate the beliefs of others, [and] learn more about them.” Elder Andersen created the 100th stake in the Philippines and dedicated the expanded missionary training center in Manila.

In South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Elder Ronald A. Rasband noted that with three temples in operation in Africa and five more that are being built or have been announced, “the Lord is preparing the African people to receive all of His blessings.”

Elder Gary E. Stevenson visited Vanuatu, Australia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, and Brigham Young University–Hawaii in Hawaii, USA. “As we … look at our challenges through the lens of the gospel, we will find answers which bring us happiness and joy,” he said. He met with the president and prime minister of Vanuatu and the archbishop of Papeete, Tahiti.

Elder Dale G. Renlund visited five nations in June: Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras, organizing the first Q’eqchi’-speaking stake in Guatemala and participating in a religious liberties conference and a youth conference. In August, he and his wife, Sister Ruth L. Renlund, participated in the first Face to Face event originating from Accra, Ghana, and in September he encouraged students at Brigham Young University–Idaho in Idaho, USA, to rely on the doctrine of Christ.