As disciples of Jesus Christ, Latter-day Saints must do all they can to redeem others from suffering and burdens, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve said during the Sunday afternoon session of general conference.
"Inasmuch as we follow Christ, we seek to participate in and further His redemptive work," he said. "The greatest service we can provide to others in this life, beginning with those of our own family, is to bring them to Christ through faith and repentance so that they may experience His Redemption — peace and joy now, and immortality and eternal life in the world to come."
Missionary work and temple work are important aspects of assisting in the Lord's redemptive work. It is through "going about doing good" as the Savior did, that members are able to pattern their lives after the Master.
"While the most important aspect of redemption have to do with repentance and forgiveness, there is a very significant temporal aspect as well," he taught. "Jesus is said to have gone about doing good which included healing the sick and infirm, supplying food to hungry multitudes and teaching a more excellent way. ...
"This kind of redemptive work means helping people with their problems. It means befriending the poor and the weak, alleviating suffering, righting wrongs, defending truth, strengthening the rising generation, and achieving security and happiness at home. Much of our redemptive work on earth is to help others grow and achieve their just hopes and aspirations."
Followers of Jesus Christ make up a community of Saints organized to help redeem the needs of fellow Saints and as many others as possible around the globe. Some forms of temporal redemption can come only by a collaborative effort, he said.
"It is one of the reasons the Savior created a Church," he said. "Being organized in quorums and auxiliaries and in stakes, wards and branches, we can not only teach and encourage each other in the gospel; we can also bring to bear people and resources to deal with the exigencies of life. People acting alone or in ad hoc groups cannot always provide means on a scale needed to address larger challenges."
Elder Christofferson thanked Church members as he shared some of the numbers associated with the humanitarian efforts going on throughout the world from the past year.
"Because of our humanitarian efforts ... this past year, 890,000 people in 36 countries have clean water, 70,000 people in 57 countries have wheelchairs, 75,000 people in 25 countries have improved vision, and people in 52 countries received aid following natural disasters."
Acting with others, the Church has helped immunize some 8 million children and has helped Syrians in refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan with the necessities of life. He also reported that members in need received millions of dollars in welfare goods and services.Comment on this story
All of this does not begin to count the individual acts of kindness and support — gifts of food, clothing, money, care and a thousand other forms of comfort and compassion by which members may participate in the Christlike work of redemption, he said.
"As disciples of Jesus Christ, we ought to do all we can to redeem others from suffering and burdens," he said. "Even so, our greatest redemptive service will be to lead them to Christ. Without His redemption from death and from sin, we have only a gospel of social justice. ... Ultimate redemption is in Jesus Christ and in Him alone."