Local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are inviting everyone in the greater Chattanooga area to join a worldwide initiative to make time for Jesus, as He bids all to “come unto [Him]” (Matthew 11:28). “When we turn to Jesus and give Him our time, He can change our hearts and brighten our lives,” Church officials said.
For Easter weekend, the Church broadcast a General Conference to more than 70 countries highlighting the teachings and life of Jesus, including His triumphant Resurrection and holy Atonement. Speakers, from 13 countries representing every one of the world’s populated continents, which also included talks from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, testified that Jesus lives. ‘He is Risen (Luke 24:5-6). “Tell it out with joyful voice,” they proclaimed (hymn, He is Risen).
Russell M. Nelson, president of the Church, emphasized that the gospel of Jesus Christ is “for every race, language and people.” “The Church of Jesus Christ is a global Church. Jesus Christ is our leader,” he said. “Faith is the greatest power in this life…. With faith in Jesus Christ,” he continued, “God’s children can move the mountains in their lives.”
Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that there is room for all in the “Lord’s inn – His Church.” “The Savior’s disciples are all equal. There is no ‘second class,’” he stated. He also said, “Christ’s gospel is a gospel of second and third chances, made possible by His atoning sacrifice…. Our journey to God is often found together…whether confronting pandemics, storms, wildfires, droughts or quietly meeting daily needs.”
Elder Chi Hong Wong, a General Authority Seventy born in Hong Kong, said, “God knows not only the details of our lives. God knows the details of the details of the details of our lives…. We may not be able to change all of what is coming,” he continued, “but we can choose how we prepare for what is coming. Build upon the rock of Jesus Christ,” he urged.
Sister Joy D. Jones, primary general president, focused on how children are primary to Heavenly Father, and that parents should have “essential conversations” to help their children have faith in Christ and “pray and walk uprightly before The Lord.”
Sister Reyna Aburto of the Relief Society general presidency testified that “through the redeeming Atonement and glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ, broken hearts can be healed, anguish can become peace, and distress can become hope.”
All speakers bore testimony that Jesus lives. President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, stated, “Jesus Christ loves all the children of God.”
President Nelson shared that the “home is the center of faith and worship, and we hear Jesus Christ better when we are still.” Church leaders also encouraged everyone to live the two great commandments, to love The Lord, thy God, and to love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:37-39).
In an April 2021 edition of The World Report, it was shown how the Church continues to partner with many, including UNICEF, to help those impacted by COVID-19. In addition to other initiatives, The Church is giving $20 million to support COVAX, a global campaign to provide COVID-19 vaccines in low and middle-income countries. UNICEF said, “This grant for our important role in COVAX, from Latter-day Saint Charities, is the single biggest donation from a private sector partner that we’ve received to date.” Members of the Church in the greater Chattanooga area are contributing to this effort through donations to Latter-day Saint Charities. The Church is also helping “those impacted by natural disasters” as well as those facing food insecurity at home and abroad.
More information about Latter-day Saint Charities, which members in the greater Chattanooga area support, is available at https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/april-2021-edition-of-the-world-report. On demand viewing of LDS General Conference is available at ChurchofJesusChrist.org.