Members of the Church diligently provide humanitarian aid to those in physical need, Elder Koichi Aoyagi of the Seventy said in the Saturday afternoon session. After speaking of the extensive service members give in times of disaster or other physical needs, he spoke of the many who need spiritual help.
As a young convert to the Church attending a university in Yokohama, Japan, Elder Aoyagi said he "became lonely and strayed from the Church."
Then he said, "One day, I received a postcard from a Church member back home. She wrote that she had heard I was not attending Church meetings, she quoted a scripture and invited me to return to Church. … This helped me realize that maybe I had lost something important, and I pondered and struggled for many days."
Through prayer, his testimony was revitalized.
"I made a commitment in my heart to repent and faithfully follow Jesus Christ for the rest of my life," he said.
That commitment led to full-time missionary service "out of gratitude to the Lord and to the Church member who rescued me," he said, noting that later he was sealed to his rescuer in the temple.
Elder Aoyagi continued, "I know many of you privately extend your loving and saving hands each and every day."
He referred to some examples, one of whom is a Relief Society sister who cares not only for the sisters she is assigned to visit, but to all sisters who are in need of help. "She visits often and for years has strengthened the faith of many."
Another example, he said, is a bishop "who often visited the widows and widowers in his ward," adding, "This pattern of help continued for many years after his release."
He noted the example of a priesthood leader who spends time with a young man who lost his father; the leader helped by participating in activities, teaching the young man and giving him advice as his father would.
"Another family," he said, "rejoices in sharing the gospel."
His own 5-year-old granddaughter, he said, "sings this Primary song in a loud voice as she looks for good things to do each day: 'Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet, he knows the way.'"
Elder Aoyagi concluded, "May we follow the counsel and example of the prophet and each day seek out those in need, that we might be the hands of the Lord in helping and saving His children."
To watch a video of this talk go to ksl.com.
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