Elder Gary E. Stevenson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered this week’s devotional address. He spoke about the divinely appointed responsibilities and heavenly blessings that are associated with Church membership.
Elder Stevenson explained that while belonging to the Church brings certain responsibilities to each individual member, membership also brings a host of heavenly blessings and resources to assist in God’s work.
“As we strive to fulfill these divinely appointed responsibilities as part of the Lord’s work, the Church provides a multitude of resources,” Elder Stevenson said. “These are blessings, pouring down upon us from heaven.”
He stated that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been given four divinely appointed responsibilities. With each of these responsibilities, Elder Stevenson identified blessings to help accomplish them.
1. Living the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Members have been blessed with access to education. Currently, over 900,000 students are enrolled in some program – secular or spiritual – from the Church Education System.
Along with education, there are numerous other programs, curricula, materials and initiatives that help individuals live the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Elder Stevenson mentioned the Come, Follow Me curriculum, FSY conferences, printed copies of the Book of Mormon, Face to Face events, children and youth programs and dedicated meeting houses as additional blessings to assist in living the gospel.
2. Uniting families for eternity
Temples, and the increasing pace at which they are being built, truly exemplify the principle that belonging brings blessings.
“When the 35 new temples currently under construction and 28 announced temples are completed, the total number of operating temples worldwide will reach 231, and it is estimated that 81% of the members of the Church will be within 3 hours’ traveling distance to a temple.”
3. Inviting all to receive the gospel
Missionary work has changed over the years as many faithful members have made considerable sacrifices to serve. Even with changes made due to the worldwide pandemic, the work continues to move forward.
“The diligence of missionaries with the support of their families and members combined with Church resources blesses us to fulfill the divinely appointed responsibility of inviting all to receive the gospel. Belonging truly brings blessings.”
4. Caring for those in need
The Church has provided countless resources to those in need. Due to the current pandemic, the Church humanitarian efforts in the past year have been the most extensive in history. Efforts have included providing personal protective equipment, medical items, hygiene kits and food items to over 151 countries.
In addition to COVID-19, Church funds and volunteers have been drawn upon to respond to a number of natural disasters, to support refugees and to aid others who are suffering.
Elder Stevenson invited each member of the audience to consider their personal role in accomplishing each of these four divine responsibilities and how to anxiously engage in the work.
“As you do so, I promise you will be humbled and overcome with joy in recognizing and enjoying the heaven-sent blessings for you to accomplish each of those elements of this work.”