News Release

Elder Johnson Inspires Cabanatuan Saints with Personal Testimony, Encourages Unwavering Faith in Jesus Christ

Elder Paul V. Johnson, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, along with his wife Sister Jill Johnson, highlighted the power of faith and the blessings that come from embracing the gospel of Jesus Christ, as exemplified by his own grandparents. This resounding theme resonated throughout the devotional held at the Cabanatuan Stake Center on June 14, 2023.

Members from Cabanatuan and Gapan Stakes and Bongabon District attended the event in person while others joined virtually through Zoom. Elder Carlos G. Revillo, Second Counselor of the Philippines Area Presidency with his wife, Sister Marie Revillo, and Elder Tomasito Zapanta, Area Seventy, delivered inspiring messages that centered on love and strengthening families.

Elder Johnson recounted the story of his grandparents, particularly his grandmother, who found strength in their faith after discovering the teachings of Jesus Christ. Their unwavering commitment to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has resulted in numerous blessings for their family, a testament to the transformative power of the Gospel.

Highlighting his grandmother's remarkable example, Elder Johnson emphasized her persistence in applying the principles of the gospel despite her illness. He also stressed her unwavering belief in the power and authority of the priesthood. Elder Johnson expressed his grandmother's heartfelt desire for her children and grandchildren to experience the same profound connection with the Gospel.

"When we attend the temple and receive our temple blessings, there are great and powerful promises given, and when God makes a promise, He keeps it," Elder Johnson assured the audience, as he concluded his address. He drew parallels to God's promises to Abraham, emphasizing that those promises continue to be fulfilled to this day. He emphasized that, despite the challenges life presents, the Lord remains faithful to His promises.

Sister Jill Johnson, in her brief talk, shared personal anecdotes about her own family and the transformative impact of participating in temple ordinances. She stressed the profound connection that arises when individuals bind themselves to Jesus Christ through temple worship.

Sister Revillo, in her enlightening address, underscored the significance of responsibilities toward families, employers, the church, and oneself. However, she emphasized that prioritizing family above all else is crucial. To truly love our Savior Jesus Christ, Sister Revillo urged attendees to deepen their understanding of Him, emphasizing the necessity of developing a personal relationship.

Elder Revillo, reflecting on his close collaboration with President Russell M. Nelson, described the prophet as an exemplar of joy and happiness. In his talk, he also emphasized that by making and keeping covenants, individuals are empowered and blessed with joy. He emphasized that individuals find their strength in the profound connection and unwavering commitment they foster with the Savior.

Elder Zapanta delivered a powerful lesson on love. He emphasized the significance of cultivating love within the home, stating that it is the ideal environment for its development. He reminded the audience of the Lord's expectation for one to love not only their friends but also their enemies and everyone around them. He concluded by highlighting that loving others as much loving the Savior, Jesus Christ, holds immeasurable influence in various aspects of life.

Following the devotional, attendees shared their reflections on the impactful messages they had heard:

"Love is the answer to every question and the solution to life's difficulties. The Lord shows respect and love even to those who wrong Him," said President Arnold Santos, president of Cabanatuan Stake, encapsulating the core message of the event.

Brother Jared Nephi Feliciano, a young single adult from the Bongabon District, eagerly shared his profound insights gained during the devotional. He exclaimed, "In these challenging times, we have the power to find joy. As we come unto Christ through temple ordinances and selfless service, we can experience joy regardless of the circumstances. I firmly believe that when we align ourselves with the Savior Jesus Christ by making and honoring covenants, He will strengthen us, enabling us to bear our burdens with ease. He will compassionately visit us in our afflictions and deliver us from bondage" (2 Nephi 2:25; Mosiah 24:13-15).

Sister Raechel Dyan Silva, another young single adult from the Cabanatuan Stake, was deeply moved by the message of binding oneself to the Lord through making covenants. She expressed, "The joy of the gospel becomes accessible as we wholeheartedly commit ourselves to the Lord through covenant-making. This revelation resonated deeply within me, affirming the truth that the Lord has prepared everything for us, including the sacredness of temples and His divine authority."

Brother Bilmar Valdez from Bongabon District, shared his favorite quotations from the devotional, capturing the essence of divine love and the strength found through faithful covenant-keeping. He stated, "Heavenly Father showcases His boundless love for us by sending His beloved Son to each one of us. When we make and honor our covenants, the Lord blesses us with the strength to triumph over life's trials."

Brother Joshua Ferrol, reflecting on the devotional's teachings about ancestors, had an enlightening realization. He expressed, "The devotional prompted me to see beyond traditional missionary work. I now recognize that I can actively engage in missionary work on the other side of the veil by seeking out and connecting with lost souls among my ancestors through family history."

Despite the limitations that prevented many members from attending the devotional physically, the opportunity to partake in the enlightening messages through online platforms left a lasting impact. The attendees, both present and virtual, expressed profound gratitude for the enriching experience and the inspiring words shared by the speakers.

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