An Apostle of Jesus Christ and his wife brought a familiar message of hope to French-speaking Latter-day Saints around the world on Sunday, February 21.
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Kathy Andersen, spoke at the first of six area devotionals for young adult Latter-day Saints age 18 to 30. These virtual events are being held in February and March 2021. When completed, these devotionals from six Apostles will have reached Latter-day Saints on every continent. See below for the devotional schedule and streaming links.
Elder and Sister Andersen spoke in French. The senior leader, who also speaks Portuguese and Spanish and has lived in France and Brazil, began with a line from the Apostle Paul that is recorded in the New Testament: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
“Substance. Evidence. This is what faith is. This is what belief is,” said Elder Andersen, who spoke from a recording studio on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. “It is real. It is part of our inner being. Our spirits long to believe in God and long to have faith in Christ.”
The Apostle then extended six belief-related admonitions:
- Believe in God
- Believe you are a daughter or son of God and that He knows you personally and loves you completely
- Believe that you can speak to your Heavenly Father and He will manifest Himself through the power of the Holy Ghost
- Believe that the kingdom of God is rolling forth across the world and that we each are an important part of preparing for the Second Coming of the Savior
- Believe that others who you know will embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ
- Believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world
Believe in God
Elder Andersen quoted Book of Mormon scriptures that teach of God’s powers of creation and omniscience (Alma 30:44 and Mosiah 4:9). He described the 6,400-kilometer migratory journey of the monarch butterfly — which goes from Canada to Mexico and back — as an example of “the wonders of God.”
“Each generation [of butterfly makes this migration] without any visible direction, following a pattern that continues year after year,” he said. “As we look upon the beauties of the earth, the amazing laws of physics and science and how they all connect together, ‘all things denote there is a God’ (Alma 30:44), everything reveals the handiwork of our Heavenly Father.”
Believe You Are a Daughter or Son of God and That He Knows You
Elder Andersen read from the story of Enoch (see Moses 6:31) to teach of each soul’s inestimable worth.
“Sometimes because there are so many people on earth, we do not see that each of us is a unique and special creation,” Elder Andersen said. “You are a daughter or a son of our Heavenly Father, and He loves you in an incalculable way.”
Believe That You Can Speak to Your Heavenly Father and He Will Send His Spirit Upon You
Elder Andersen also invited Sister Andersen to speak. She taught in French for several minutes, noting the power of prayer.
“Our Heavenly Father understands all — all the feelings of our hearts and souls,” she said. “He loves us with a love that is more complete, purer, more perfect, more expansive than anything we can imagine. We are His children. If we will call to Him, ‘Father are you there?’ He will hear our prayer. I know this is true.”
Believe That the Kingdom of God Is Rolling Forth Across the World and That We Each Are an Important Part of Preparing for the Second Coming of the Savior
The Apostle read excerpts of a sermon he delivered in 2016 in which he compared the spreading of the Kingdom of God to a large puzzle.
“The gathering of Israel is a miracle. It is like an enormous puzzle whose pieces will be set in place prior to the glorious events of the Second Coming,” Elder Andersen said. “Each of us is a piece of the puzzle, and each of us helps to set in place other essential pieces. … We need you; the Lord needs you to be even more engaged in this great cause.”
As he did in 2016, Elder Andersen invited young adults to be “witnesses of God” and recognize that those around them are likely open to spiritual inquiry.
Believe That Others Who You Know Will Embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ
The gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone, Elder Andersen said. Because this is true, he encouraged the audience to “be very open with your faith in Jesus Christ and your love for the restored gospel. Be unafraid to share how your faith has improved your life. Invite those who are interested in your example to come with you to the activities of the Church and, if they are willing, to meet with the missionaries. This is one important way we do our part in assembling the magnificent puzzle in preparation of the Savior’s return.”
Believe That Jesus Christ Is the Savior of the World
This, Elder Andersen said, is the most important of the six admonitions. “For me, there are no words in any language to truly describe the majesty, the power, the glory, or the love of the Son of God,” he said.
He quoted at length from his book published in 2020 (and recently translated into French), The Divine Gift of Forgiveness. “As we deeply consider our own sins and come to recognize our complete and utter dependence upon Jesus Christ for our own personal redemption, our love for God blossoms,” he said. “As we understand even the smallest part of the price He paid for our sins, we are filled with never-ending love for Him.”
He also quoted passages he wrote about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, a topic that “stirs my soul.” That day “will be breathtaking! The scope and grandeur, the vastness and magnificence, will exceed anything mortal eyes have ever seen or experienced. … How will it happen? We do not know. But I testify it will happen — exactly as prophesied.”
Elder Andersen said his time as an Apostle (he was called in April 2009) has been full of unanticipated “sacred moments” and “unspeakable experiences and feelings” that have assured him “of the reality of Jesus Christ.”
“As your friend and fellow disciple, with no motivation except my love and respect for you, I assure you that your faith in Jesus Christ is not in vain,” he said. “You will see Him again. All the world will know He is the Son of God. I have come to know Him and feel His presence. I witness with certainty that He lives, that He is resurrected, and that His love for us is beyond description.”
Note: Each YouTube video will be available for 30 days after the broadcast.
February 21, 2021
Elder Neil L. Andersen and Sister Kathy Andersen: French-speaking Latter-day Saints around the world
March 7, 2021
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Bishop Gérald Caussé and Sister Bonnie H. Cordon: Europe, Europe East and Africa
March 7, 2021
President M. Russell Ballard, Elder Brent H. Nielson and Sister Sharon Eubank: North America
March 13, 2021
Elder Ronald A. Rasband: Asia and the Pacific
March 14, 2021
President Dallin H. Oaks, Elder D. Todd Christofferson and Sister Kathy Christofferson: Latin America and Spain
March 21, 2021
Elder Ulisses Soares and Sister Rosana Soares: Brazil, Africa and Europe