Saturday, March 23, 2013

YSA DEVO: Elder Bednar speaks to New York-area single adults

Photo courtesy of LDS Public Affairs
Those who have "eyes to see and ears to hear" can attune themselves to know great mysteries of the kingdom, in this life and no matter what age, Elder David A. Bednar said Saturday during a young single adult devotional in Syracuse, N.Y.
Elder Bednar, accompanied by his wife, Susan, spoke to a group of YSAs from the Buffalo, Rochester, Palmyra, Syracuse, Owego and Utica Stakes after a full day of training for leaders, missionaries and members in the upstate New York area. The Apostle spoke with Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy and Elder Gordon Smith of the area presidency in the northeast United States. Elder Bednar began with a few brief remarks, then opened up the two-hour-plus meeting to Questions & Answers from the audience, inviting the other General Authorities and their wives to weigh in at intervals.
The format required the youth to actively engage with these authorities, and to think critically about issues they would like addressed during the devotional.

"If one is to learn by the power of the Holy Ghost, then it requires the use of moral agency," Elder Bednar said. "Agency is the capacity to act and not merely be acted upon."
The leaders addressed such issues as the Priesthood, effective home and visiting teachers, overcoming adversity and avoiding Satan's influence in the world, becoming converted by putting off the natural man and the new church-wide missionary age change.
Elder Bednar reminded the young adults that, despite their solitary status in the world, they are never truly without a friend and companion.
"You are never alone because of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost," he said. "And if you don't have the priesthood in your home, go to His home where you can have the priesthood all the time." 
The new missionary age range allows families to continue teaching their children, preparing them to serve honorable full-time missions well before the 18- and 19-year-old missionaries arrive at their respective training centers. These lessons are made possible because of the church's vast array of teaching materials available online at
"You can have Sunday School anywhere you want, with the same textual and digital resources that the church has," Elder Bednar said. "You are now the library." 
The youth of the church are able to serve today better than in other eras. It is not enough to wait until reaching a future marital status, education level or state of employment to begin serving in the kingdom.
"Young adults should not ask what the church can do for them, but what can they do for the church?" Elder Bednar's wife, Susan, said. "You are special. You have so much to add. Don't just think about what you can take." 

Elder Bednar to speak to Upstate NY YSA

Photo courtesy of LDS Public Affairs

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will speak at a Young Single Adult fireside tonight in Syracuse, N.Y. 
Elder Bednar will be joined by Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy, Bishop Dean Davies of the Presiding Bishopric and Elder Gordon Smith, who represents the area presidency in the northeastern United States.
Follow @AskMormonGuy on Twitter to follow the meeting, and join the conversation at #BednarYSA. If you'll be at the meeting, which encompasses young single adults of the church from across Upstate New York and their guests, feel free to join in the conversation.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

BEDNAR: 'Do Not Shrink'

Elder Bednar and his wife, Susan, leave the Conference Center following a session of the October 2010 General Conference. Photo courtesy of LDS Public Affairs.
Sometimes, it's all you can do to hold on.
But other times, surviving is not enough. We must seek to actively grow, to 'not shrink' in front of temptation and trial.
That was the message of Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles at a CES broadcast on Sunday, Mar. 3, 2013 at UT-Arlington.
"Even with strong faith, many mountains will not be moved," Elder Bednar said. "And not all of the sick and infirmed will be healed. If all opposition were curtailed, if all maladies were removed, then the primary purposes of the Father's plan would be frustrated."
Passing through trials does not mean the Lord has left us. Rather, it means He is hearing our prayers, is guiding our paths and leading us through these times by the hand. Our job is not only to survive these challenges, but also to not shrink in front of them. Having the strength to not shrink in front of our trials is a gift for all church members, not just General Authorities and others specially chosen by God.
Remember that having faith in God is not knowing that He WILL heal us, but only that he CAN heal us.
"We must have the faith to accept the Lord's will, even when it is not what we want," Elder Bednar reminded us. Learning to accept God's will is one of the chief learning opportunities of mortality.
For the full address by Elder Bednar, including a foreword by his wife, Sister Susan Bednar — "the love of [Elder Bednar's] life, and very cute" — click here.