News Release

Saints from Manila Share Insights on Devotional with Elder Bednar

Filipino Latter-day Saints in the Manila area were spiritually energized after a special meeting and devotional with Elder David A. Bednar and Sister Susan Bednar, held at the historic Buendia Chapel in the early evening of February 18, 2023. Elder Bednar was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on October 7, 2004.

Philippines Area President, Elder Steven R. Bangerter, and his wife, Sister Susan Bangerter, accompanied the Bednars during the meeting, which was also streamed live via Zoom.

In the devotional, Elder Bednar encouraged the members to focus on what the Spirit was teaching them instead of his direct words.

Sister Mahayahay, a full-time missionary of the Philippines Manila Mission, expressed her gratitude for the messages by saying, “Elder Bednar taught us how we could come unto Christ. I realized that every day of our lives is a God-given opportunity to help us come to our Savior. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect and sinless before we come to Him. When we rely on and trust Him, and the process, He will change and transform us to become like Him.”

Sister Thorne, a fellow missionary also shared, “Before I listened to Elder Bednar speak, I wrote down a few questions I had. The amazing thing is that those questions were answered, and so many others that I hadn’t written down. The Holy Ghost addressed my concerns that I hadn’t even voiced or written on paper. Because of this experience, I started to believe that God knows me by name. He knows my concerns and cares about me specifically.”

As a seminary teacher, Marc Gerald Torres from Pasay Stake, was pleasantly surprised to see Elder Bednar’s humor while teaching gospel principles. “Not only was I uplifted spiritually, but it also brought me so much joy emotionally, as Elder Bednar shared his thoughts humorously sometimes. Being a seminary teacher and a member of the Sunday School presidency in our ward, I had second thoughts about injecting appropriate humor into the way I teach. I felt the Lord’s approval through Elder Bednar as I saw the congregation learn and laugh with him.”

Celestine Helena Borela, a 12-year-old from Pasay Stake, shared her feelings during the devotional; “What stuck with me the most about Elder Bednar’s teachings was that as we continue to obey the commandments, the Lord will surely bless us with what He thinks is best for us. We do not get to choose the blessings He gives, but we can choose the eyes we use to see these blessings. It’s a reminder always to have a grateful heart, so we can enjoy walking on the covenant path.”

Mandaluyong Stake President, Noel Placer, compared Elder Bednar’s visit to a ”spiritual feast”.

“I am grateful to my Father in Heaven for the opportunity to be guided, taught, and uplifted by one of His great servants, Elder Bednar. He taught us to learn and understand the gospel, take our yoke, and remember our baptismal covenant. There is a promised blessing in honoring our covenant; the more we honor, the more we accept Him. A man of Christ is not self-centered. The blessings of His atonement can put off the natural man. The covenants we accept can come into our lives and open doors so that blessings come. The gospel is our compass to direct us to Christ, to the plan of happiness. We become more like Christ; our joy helps us press forward and provide a purpose. Each member received joy and spiritual uplifting with all the teachings, principles, and doctrines Elder Bednar shared with us. We will certainly share all these with members who were absent and will need them most.”

Just as Jesus Christ called and sent His Apostles forth to represent Him, today’s Apostles are given the role to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world. The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is the second-highest leadership body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the First Presidency being the highest). Apostles serve for life and are called to serve as “special witnesses” of Jesus Christ to the world.

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