OREM — “Whatever the question, the answer is the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said Tuesday night during the first-ever “Face to Face” event for young single adults of the LDS Church.
In an effort to allow Mormon young adults from around the world an opportunity to interact with church leaders, a broadcast originating from the grand ballroom at Utah Valley University gave listeners the chance to ask for advice and answers to some of their current questions and concerns.
“We’re enthused about this very first young single adult experience with this wonderful medium of communication with a very, very large audience,” said Elder Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The event followed a question-and-answer format and included young adults watching live from locations around the world. Anyone could ask questions — submitted before and during the event — through social media channels.
Joining Elder Holland for the panel discussion were Sister Carole M. Stephens, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, and Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy. Church leaders addressed a handful of questions touching on topics facing young adults today.
“We want you to know that you are dearly loved,” the LDS apostle said.
Recognizing the thousands of young adults listening around the world, Elder Holland encouraged listeners to realize their support group of other young adults who are going through similar experiences.
“All of you, wherever you are, there are millions who are cheering for you, in your age group, in your category of life,” he said. “So take strength, feel that brotherhood and sisterhood and what we represent tonight.”
Highlights of the discussion were the topics of marriage, finding peace and same-gender attraction.
When asked about individuals who face same gender attraction, Elder Holland responded to the “current, sensitive, complex issue of the church” by reminding listeners to not make judgments based on someone’s attraction.
“I think we have talked all together too much about gender and too little about chastity,” Elder Holland said. “We do not make a judgment about someone’s attraction. We don’t make any attempt to say why or how that happened. What we do say is that we teach chastity. We go with what the Lord has revealed about chastity.”
Encouraging listeners to “be faithful, be clean, be chaste,” the leader spoke of the blessings that come to all who live the law of chastity set by God.
To those who feel that happiness isn’t available, Elder Holland reminded them of the promises of God that will be fulfilled.
When asked how to stay strong and find peace in the gospel, leaders said there is safety in following the commandments. Although disappointments and challenges may come — they are part of the earthly learning experience — it is through the Atonement of Christ that individuals are able to find hope and live the gospel of Jesus Christ, Elder Hallstrom taught.
“Stay worthy,” he said. "We live in a world that is confusing because the societal norms have changed significantly in not so many years."
In a world of shifting values, it is important to look to what the apostles and prophets have taught for clear, concise answers. It is through staying true to covenants that individuals are able to stay strong in the gospel.
“It is the basic, simple things,” Sister Stephens said. “But they are often the things that we forget. We are distracted, and try to squeeze those really important things in at the end of the day.”
A crucial part of life is listening to the spirit, Sister Stephens said. “We need to recognize how the spirit speaks to us.”
When asked about principles of a happy marriage, Elder Holland reminded listeners “happy marriages are the rule, they are not the exception.” Sharing both practical and theological reasons for marriage, Elder Holland told listeners to not be to hasty or nervous in regards to marriage, and invited them to have faith.
“Don’t wait for money,” he warned. “If we would’ve waited 'til we had money we still wouldn’t be married.”
Elder Hallstrom said it is important for couples to “build upon a spiritual foundation.”
The live broadcast was the sixth “Face to Face” event, but the first directed to young single adults. To watch the event or past Face to Face events visit face2face.lds.org or participate in the online conversation using the hashtag #LDSfacetoface.