SALT LAKE CITY — Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong of the Seventy made history on Saturday as the first person to give a general conference address in a language other than English. Elder Wong spoke in his native Cantonese about the importance of unity between Church members and missionaries when reaching out to those in need.
Elder Wong based his talk on the scriptural account of the man sick with palsy who was brought to Jesus by his friends. He likened the sick man’s four friends to modern church callings. “I can almost visualize them, one of them coming from the Relief Society, one from the elders quorum, one from the Aaronic Priesthood and, last but not least, one is a full-time missionary,” Elder Wong said.
Just as the paralyzed man’s friends encountered difficulties in bringing him to Jesus in the biblical story, so do modern Church outreach efforts sometimes run into obstacles.
“But they did not give up,” Elder Wong said. “They did not leave the man with palsy by the door. They counseled together on what to do next —how they could bring the man unto Jesus Christ for healing.”
He emphasized that this rescue mission was only possible through everyone working together in careful coordination. In the biblical story, the four friends lowering the man through the roof were required to lower the rope at the same pace, or else the man would fall out of his bed. In simile, we must work in harmony to assist the Savior, said Elder Wong. “Everyone, every position and every calling are important. We have to be united in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Elder Wong concluded with an insight into a verse from the scripture that says that “Jesus saw their faith.”
“I had not noticed this in the past — their faith,” he said. “Our combined faith will also affect the well-being of others. … We can all help one another. We should always be anxiously engaged in seeking those in need.”