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Image from Facebook
A photo of Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as a young man.

With millions of Church members living around the world, social media sites online are providing opportunities for “gathering” together — no matter where a person lives. Many Church leaders have taken to social media sites to connect with members and share their thoughts, faith-promoting stories and personal experiences.

A highlight of some of the social media posts from Church leaders over the past few days:

“Be of good cheer. Take life one step at a time and do the best you can each day. Life passes so swiftly,” the Twitter account of President Russell M. Nelson, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, tweeted on Thursday, Nov. 10.

A few days earlier on Nov. 1, President Nelson thanked responders for sharing their testimony about the Book of Mormon in response to the question, “What would your life be like without the Book of Mormon?” that he asked in conference and in a social media post.

Then on Nov. 10 President Nelson shared this thought on Facebook:

“In this day of computers and phones, people communicate with one another better than ever before. Even so, good communication is often lacking.

“A loving Father in Heaven wants to hear from His children. Through prayer, we can show our love for God. And He has made it so easy. We may pray to Him any time. No special equipment is needed. We don’t even need to charge batteries or pay a monthly service fee.

“Jesus revealed that we pray to a wise Father who knows what things we have need of, before we ask Him. Mormon taught his son, Moroni, that we should pray ‘with all the energy of heart.’

“The sweet power of prayer can be intensified by fasting, on occasion, when appropriate to a particular need.

“Prayers can be offered even in silence. One can think a prayer, especially when words would interfere. We often kneel to pray; we may stand or be seated. Physical position is less important than is spiritual submission to God.”

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quourm of the Twelve Apostles shared on his Facebook account the story of when he was 17 years old and had a desire to serve a mission.

“Life has some strange turns. I will share some personal experiences that illustrate this.

“When I was a young man I thought I would serve a mission. I graduated from high school in June 1950. Thousands of miles away, one week after that high school graduation, a North Korean army crossed the 38th parallel, and our country was at war. I was 17 years old, but as a member of the Utah National Guard I was soon under orders to prepare for mobilization and active service. Suddenly, for me and for many other young men of my generation, the full-time mission we had planned or assumed was not to be.

“Do not rely on planning every event of your life — even every important event. Stand ready to accept the Lord’s planning and the agency of others in matters that inevitably affect you. Plan, of course, but fix your planning on personal commitments that will carry you through no matter what happens. Anchor your life to eternal principles, and act upon those principles whatever the circumstances and whatever the actions of others. Then you can await the Lord’s timing and be sure of the outcome in eternity.”

Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles posted on Nov. 8 on Facebook:

"In a recent assignment in Aberdeen, Scotland, Ruth and I heard a couple beautifully sing a duet of the hymn 'Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd.' As they sang, I found myself reflecting on the 'heart of the Shepherd' and how the Savior feels about us. I had the thought that what motivates Him is that He wants to solve our problems, He wants to fix our mistakes, He wants us to come unto Him and be perfected in Him. The only thing stopping Him is our unwillingness to do what it takes to accept His power into our lives. May we all do a little more to 'seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written.'”

Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president, shared on Facebook a picture of a snowy parish in Sweden where her husband’s grandparents attended church prior to joining the Church.

Members of the Relief Society general presidency shared on Facebook some of their recent experiences.

Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society general president shared on Facebook on Friday:

“Yesterday I was honored to speak at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, on the subject of women and religious freedom. I believe that empowering women should be a priority for all, because we are a potent force for creating a society where peace, religious freedom, and human rights can truly thrive.

“At times, some seek to restrict religious freedom with the aim of protecting women. However well-intentioned, intervention sometimes does more damage than good. Religious freedom does not condone crime, including crimes against women. In fact, faith can be, and often is, a vital comfort to those who are victimized, who are disproportionately women.

“If all individuals understood that the world improves when the situation of women improves, there would be far less heartache in this world. I invite each of us to look at our own circles of influence and find ways to encourage women’s right to freedom of religion and belief. Let us do all within our reach to empower our sisters — and society — to soar.”

Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, shared an experience she had while speaking with Emmi, a child development specialist for UNICEF working in East Africa.

“As I said in my conference talk, I meet women from all over the world who are not necessarily of our faith but are devoted to saving and blessing the lives of God’s children. Emmi is one of them. She is a child development specialist for UNICEF working in East Africa. She and her husband are raising their own family far away from their home country of Finland. I served my LDS mission in Finland, so of course I had to try out my bad Finnish with her! She was surprised and then we had some fun together. Here’s to all the women like Emmi in the world who are strengthening families and lifting little children in small ways every single day.”

Sister Reyna I. Aburto, second counselor the Relief Society general presidency. shared on Facebook on Nov. 10:

"During my visit to Church members affected by recent earthquakes in Mexico, I saw many examples of faith, endurance, and service. As soon as tragedy struck, members got together to save lives and to clean the rubble. Church meetinghouses have been used as shelters, and thousands of meals have been prepared and served to those who lost their home, their belongings, and a way to provide for their families. Thousands of Church members have traveled for several hours to bring hope and to serve entire communities. The help they bring includes food, medicine, clothes, tents, tools, and emotional and spiritual support.

"After listening to many stories of miracles and watching the strength that these faithful members have received from their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, my heart has been filled with reverence and gratitude toward our Heavenly Father for the love that He feels and shows to each of His children.

"I know that the process of healing from all of the destruction that surrounds them will take time, but I also know that with their desire to move forward and with the help they receive from heaven, they will see even more miracles as they work in unity and act in faith."

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