Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were asked to stand with church leaders as leaders and members alike strive to “come unto Christ.”
Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was the first speaker of the Saturday afternoon session of the 186th Annual General Conference.
Church leaders, including Elder Rasband, participated in a face to face broadcast with youth and others. In the broadcast, Elder Rasband said leaders learned, “that our youth love the Lord, sustain their leaders, and desire to have their questions answered.”
Elder Rasband said, “The leaders of this church are no strangers to your issues, your concerns, and to your challenges.”
He said the leaders of the church warn saints of casual Sabbath-day observance and other threats that may trouble them. He asked members if they are listening to that counsel and asked them to think of what the words, “Lead me, guide me, walk beside me” mean to them.
“Have you felt the influence of righteous leaders, those disciples of Jesus Christ who have in the past and continue today to touch your life, who walk the Lord’s path with you?”
Elder Rasband said leaders are close at home and have a testimony of Jesus Christ. He spoke of how President Thomas S. Monson has taught members to reach out, protect, and “rescue one another.”
“As we press forward, choosing to follow the counsel and the warnings of our leaders, we choose to follow the Lord while the world is going in another direction,” Elder Rasband said. “We choose to hold fast to the Iron Rod, to be Latter-day Saints, to be on the Lord’s errand, and to be filled ‘with exceedingly great joy.'”
He said, “The growing question of today is clear: are you standing with the leaders of the church in a darkening world so that you might spread the Light of Christ?”
He mentioned a man named Shakeel Arshad who he met in Pakistan. Arshad sent support to Elder Rasband. He said that this reaching out is necessary so that “no one goes his way alone,” as poet Edwin Markham said.
Elder Rasband also referenced the story of Peter who jumped over the side of the boat to go to Jesus Christ. “I have felt confident at times leaping over the side of the boat, figuratively speaking, into unfamiliar places, only to realize that I cannot do it alone,” he said.
He closed by testifying of Jesus Christ and inviting saints to “reach out and take the Savior’s hand that He is extending to us, often through His divinely called leaders, and family members, and listen for his call to come.”