News Release

Trusting God will help through troubled times, Elder Bednar says while visiting Europe

First-time visit of apostle to Croatia in 13 years and other countries on ministering tour

Elder David A. Bednar, an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ministered to Latter-day Saints in three countries in Central Europe in May. He traveled with his wife, Susan, and with Elder Carl B. Cook, from the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife Lynette. They were joined by members of the Europe Central Area Presidency, including their wives, and other church leaders. The Bednars’ trip to Europe entailed visits to Croatia, Germany, and Poland.

During their 10-day ministry, Elder and Sister Bednar met with many members, missionaries, and friends of the Church. In Croatia, Elder Rubén V. Alliaud, from the Europe Central Presidency and his wife Fabiana accompanied Elder Bednar. It marked the first visit of an apostle to Croatia in 13 years.

When meeting with missionaries of the Adriatic North Mission, Elder Bednar taught that everybody must strengthen his or her own faith in the Savior. “Faith is not a trait that you develop—it is a spiritual gift. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is a principle of action and of power,” he added. “You learn and act on the teachings of Jesus, and then in the process of acting you are blessed with power,” Elder Bednar concluded.

Sister Bednar said: “I just want to tell you missionaries that I love you, I admire you. I did not serve as a missionary, but I lived in areas where I could share the gospel every single day and I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. It blessed me when I was your age. It blessed me forever.”

They also met with some of the faith’s leaders in a multi-district conference in Zagreb. There, Elder Bednar explained the deep connection one can have with God and His Son Jesus Christ. He said we can have a covenant connection with the Father and the Son. “The Savior said: ‘Take my yoke upon you, all ye that labor and are heavy laden.’” […] “We never pull alone,” Elder Bednar asserted. “In the midst of commotion and confusion, we have access to the power of godliness through our covenant connection with our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. . . . This is not just lovely language; this is a spiritual reality!”

When asked about how to help children attend Church services regularly and practice their faith on a daily basis, Sister Bednar suggested counseling together as families. “As parents you have an ability to connect with heaven,” she said. Parents could lead by example and bring families together.

In a meeting with young adults, Elder Bednar said: “Do not complicate the gospel. It is simple. And that is how we need to teach it—simply and clearly.” In response to a question on how to live a life pleasing to God, Sister Bednar said: “I love the new For the Strength of Youth booklet. This is a valuable resource for anybody of any age,” she added.

In a general Sunday church service in Zagreb, Elder Bednar talked about the importance of worshipping in the house of the Lord with the proper mindset. In addition to local meetinghouses used for Sunday services and community activities, Latter-day Saints worship in sacred buildings referred to as “the house of the Lord”, which is reserved for the most sacred ordinances of the faith. “Is the temple, are the ordinances, are the covenants going through you? If they are going through you, then you are being changed. You are becoming a new creature in Christ by coming unto Him, worshipping in His house, receiving His instruction, and following His commandments that will change and transform us,“ he explained.

While in Poland, he met with members and friends of the faith in Warsaw. There, he shared an experience when meeting a 13-year-old girl, who has been paralyzed through a car accident and continues to have hope and a faithful attitude in life. When he asked her how she was doing, the girl replied: “Elder Bednar, I am not mad, and I am not sad, and everything is going to be okay.” She continues: “I would never choose to learn lessons through an accident like this, but it happened. I am learning lessons about my Heavenly Father and the role of Jesus Christ that I do not think I ever would have learned any other way.” Reflecting on this young girl’s faith, Elder Bednar said: “She cannot walk, but spiritually she can fly, and she is soaring in a most remarkable way! President Nelson said, ‘Joy is not the result of our circumstances. When we focus on Christ in our lives, we will have joy in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.’ It is one thing when you hear President Nelson teach this principle in a general conference message; it is quite a different thing when I am holding the hand of this little girl and she is living it. It is not merely a quote from a general conference talk—she is living it!”

When stopping in Germany, Elder Bednar held an area-wide instruction meeting for Church leaders in Friedrichsdorf and also met with area young single adult advisors

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