Elder Jean Baptiste: “Serving as a Seventy is a great honor”

By Marithza Peña

Elder Jean Baptiste

Elder Paul H. Jean Baptiste describes himself as a confident person who has always received answers to his questions. However, being called as an Area Seventy made him feel incapable, having no answers for the first time in his life.

“It is an opportunity for me to help bless the lives of many of God's children, but it is also a sign that if I lean on the Lord without interfering in the way He wants to act, my limitations can become strengths”, emphasized the new Seventy.

Faced with this assignment, he asserts that “seeking answers in books, in my mind or in Google to know what the rest of the world thinks, as I always do, will not work this time”.

Elder Jean Baptiste, who hails from Haiti and joined the Church thirty-one years ago, says that instead of thinking about what this calling means and what its challenges are, he wants to be an instrument in the Lord's hands to help move His work forward.

Upon receiving this responsibility, Elder jean Baptiste spent most of the night praying, “asking Heavenly Father to turn his weaknesses into strengths. I did not ask myself ‘why me’; instead, I have sought to know what I am going to do to become a good servant”.

He recommends Latter-day Saints to not forget that God's love for them has no limits, that He can cause the rocks to speak to reach a son He wants to save, as mentioned in the scriptures.



“I never forget the effect the Book of Mormon had on me when I was younger. I had the impression that I had discovered a secret. I remember the excitement I had to share it with others, even before my baptism. There was no doubt in my mind that what the missionaries had taught me was true. It was as if they were reminding me of something I already knew”, Elder Jean Baptiste said, referring to his childhood when he met the missionaries and prepared for baptism. He remembers that his older brother was baptized before him because his mother had not given him permission to be baptized, but by the age of thirteen his mother said yes, which was like a liberation for him.

Elder Jean Baptiste has also gone through tribulations. He recalls the time which he describes as “the darkest of his life”, when both parents lost their jobs, but also remembers how the young men in the deacons’ and teachers’ quorums did not give him time to think about the difficulties and helped him understand that this was a necessary step in his life. 'We'd raise money so we could buy eggs, bread and oranges to make juice so we wouldn't go hungry”, he adds.

He says that “we must trust God because He never abandons us. We should not let circumstances define the type of relationship we will have with God, because Jesus Christ died without asking questions about the kind of people for whom He was to suffer death. He did it for everyone, without judging anyone, so we should not judge ourselves, but just come unto Him and follow Him.