News Release

Because of Him Special Inspires Filipino Latter-day Saints on Easter Sunday

Thousands of Filipino Latter-day Saints were inspired by stories of peace and hope in the Because of Him Easter Special with the Philippines Area Presidency, hosted by Jairus Aquino and Janella Renner on April 17. The event was premiered live on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Philippines Facebook page at 7 pm.

For Latter-day Saints, Easter celebrates the promise of eternal life through Christ. The Easter Special featured messages and stories of individuals who found hope in Jesus Christ.

I can find hope after losing a loved one #BecauseofHim

Cris Molina recounted his experience with grief when his wife passed away in 2011. Kristel Molina, his daughter, talked about finding hope in Christ amidst grief. They mentioned the plan of salvation and the effect of Christ’s atonement in their lives. They ended their message with an acoustic rendition of, “Where can I turn for peace.”

After their heartfelt message, Elder Choi shared how the gospel of Christ blessed him and his family.

He said, “As my family grew in the gospel, my testimony in Christ was strengthened."

I can overcome my challenges and serve others #BecauseofHim

The Easter special also featured nine Calderon-Villamartin cousins who decided to serve missions. They recounted why they chose to serve amid trials and difficulties. Sisters Carla and Charlene Calderon were training at the Missionary Training Center and will be leaving for their missions to the Philippines Antipolo and San Pablo missions.

Sister Carla Calderon was a first-year nursing student at the Catanduanes State University-Main Campus when she decided to stop and serve a mission. This meant letting go of her scholarship.

She said, “I prayed to Heavenly Father, and I felt God telling me that He needed me. I knew that greater blessings would come if I follow His will.”

I can love and respect others more fully #BecauseofHim

Elder Steven R. Bangerter of the Philippines Area Presidency taught the importance of love, patience, tolerance, and inclusion as he shared his experiences as a lawyer and legal representative for various religious organizations.

He invited all to share more love toward others when he said, “I encourage you to examine your lives and see if there are people who could use more love and compassion from you. Think of those whose faith, opinions, and political beliefs differ from you. How can you follow the Savior’s counsel to love, accept and include them in your lives.”

Various interfaith leaders also spoke at the special, including Reverend Father Carlos Reyes, Minister for Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs of the Archdiocese of Manila, and Dr. Pablito Baybado, Secretary-General for Religions for Peace Philippines.

Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, Philippines Area President, offered his concluding message. He taught of love as a defining character for disciples of Jesus Christ and the motivation for which they serve.

“The beauty of following the Savior’s example by serving and lifting others is that both the giver and the receiver of service are greatly blessed.”

The special concluded with a heartfelt song by the Agawin siblings from the Cagayan De Oro Stake (diocese).

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