News Story

Mormon Apostle Encourages Service in Vancouver

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke about service this past weekend in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“One of the principal reasons we have a church is so we can serve one another,” said Elder Christofferson. On a local level, “we can help the one who is right there.” He said that as we pool our efforts and resources, there is a greater capacity to help.

Elder Christofferson noted that Church humanitarian aid is currently being provided to Syrian refugees and to those who have lost their homes due to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The Church is able to respond to needs anywhere in the world because of the generosity and offerings of individual members.

Elder Christofferson mentioned his recent meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. They discussed how the Church might further combine some of its humanitarian efforts with those of various state departments in order to help even more people throughout the world. Of this, as well as of joint initiatives with organizations such as Catholic Relief Services and Islamic Relief, Elder Christofferson said, “I believe we’re beginning to measure up to what the Lord would have us do in feeding [His] sheep in a very literal, physical sense and, most especially, in the spiritual sense.”

In a separate address to young single adults, Elder Christofferson echoed his call for people to reach out to bless others. He said that in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, we read of “spiritual gifts.” He challenged the congregation to understand which spiritual gifts had given them the capacity to help others. We have been given “the ability to look after each other,” said Elder Christofferson.

“The Lord is so kind to us,” he continued. “I hope you are kind to each other. … I hope you look after each other. I hope you care about each other. I hope you lift one another when one needs it and accept it when you need it.”

Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints devote their lives to serving others full-time. Elder Christofferson indicated that the first responsibility of a modern-day apostle is to feed the sheep of the Saviour and to deliver the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. “This is why we travel and visit congregations,” he said, “to teach the gospel, the way, the truth, the light, the good news.” In the New Testament, Jesus Christ instructed His apostles “for the work, for the edifying, for the body of Christ.”

Accompanying Elder Christofferson to the weekend conference in Vancouver were Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis of the Seventy and Bishop Gérald Caussé of the Presiding Bishopric. The Presiding Bishopric is responsible for many of the temporal affairs of the Church, including administration of programs to assist the poor and needy.

British Columbia is home to nearly 30,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with one Mormon temple in Langley and 76 Mormon congregations located throughout the province.


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