“You were called to be exemplary disciples of Christ,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said to hundreds of local Church leaders, both men and women, during a leadership conference. “You are called to build faith.”
Held at the San Pablo Philippines Stake (Diocese) Center in San Pablo City, Laguna, Elder Holland addressed more than 300 leaders from the Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon areas and also those from the islands of Marinduque and Mindoro.
Elder Holland extended the love and gratitude of the prophet to the leaders who render their services tirelessly. He acknowledged the sacrifices and efforts done by those who serve their fellow members of the Church.
“Leadership in this Church is supposed to be exemplary living after the example of the Savior. As leaders of the Church, we are encouraged to be disciples of the Savior of the world. He encouraged us to try to act like the Savior, to talk, lead, love, and be like him,” he declared.
At the conclusion of his talk, Elder Holland persuaded the leaders to create more spiritual experiences in the lives of the Latter-day Saints whom they serve.
Seated on the stand were Elder Michael John U. Teh, Seventy; Elder George Kenneth Lee, Area Seventy; President Carlos Condeno Revillo, Sr., President of the Manila Philippines Temple; and President Douglas K. Davies, Mission President of the Philippines San Pablo Mission.
Elder Teh, currently serving in the Philippines Area Presidency, also shared a message to the local Church leaders. He emphasized the importance of focusing the homes, families, and testimonies in gospel learning. “Home-centered, Church-supported gospel learning is a way for us to tie us back to the Sabbath so that we can increase our faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and deepen our conversion.”
Drawing inspiration from one of Elder Holland’s articles on the Ensign magazine published last December 2018 entitled, Making Your Life a Soul-Stirring Journey of Persona Growth, Elder Teh quoted, “I hope we can see more than just modified policies, new programs, and revised manuals. The Lord’s work has always been ultimately about people, not programs.”
At the conclusion of Elder Teh’s message, he discussed the importance of the home as the center of gospel learning and living. He pointed out that it is in the home where the children learn to obey the commandments, develop faith in Jesus Christ, understand the Plan of Salvation, and eventually prepare them to become covenant-keeping individuals.
Elder Lee, in his message, talked about the importance of accelerating the gathering of Israel on both for the living and the dead. “Time is short for all of us to do the Lord’s work in gathering Israel,” he said.
He urged members to help in hastening the great work. “We need to realize that gathering Israel on both sides of the veil requires hard work, patience, giving of our precious time, and having genuine love for the work.”
Much of operations of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints function largely because of unpaid volunteer ministry. In many local Church units, called stakes and wards (congregations), members participate in “callings” or assignments to serve one another. Some of which accept callings to lead or teach.
After the messages, the Church members were given opportunities to ask questions, many of which pertained to the recent change of the gospel curriculum.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Elder Teh and Elder Lee shared powerful testimonies followed by Elder Holland’s concluding remarks. He encouraged everyone to always be missionary-minded and temple-going individuals. Afterward, Elder Holland left an apostolic blessing to those who were present at the meeting.
The leadership conference with Elder Holland allowed lay leaders to ask questions to senior leaders of the Church so they can learn valuable insights that can help them become effective in their assignments.