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Elder and Sister Soares Meet with Young Adults, Pioneer Latter-day Saints in Queensland

Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met with young adults and pioneer members and of the Church in Brisbane, Australia, on Thursday, May 26.

Elder Soares was accompanied by his wife, Sister Rosana Soares. Their time in Queensland is part of a visit to four cities in New Zealand and Australia—Auckland and Hamilton in New Zealand and Brisbane and Sydney in Australia.

A musical selection, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” set the tone for the devotional with young adults. “I know that my Redeemer lives too, and I know he loves me,” Elder Soares said after the song.

“The Savior Jesus Christ is the only source of true peace in this world,” Elder Soares said. “His gospel is a gospel of peace. Can we imagine if the whole world knew Jesus Christ, and would draw closer to Him? He provides a solid anchor to our souls. As you come closer to Jesus Christ, you will find the answers to your challenges and questions. Then you will shine the light of Christ to those who are around you who are in despair. Joy comes from and through Jesus Christ.”

Sister Soares encouraged the young adults to love and respect everyone, even when others may have different beliefs or choose to live in different ways than they do. She invited those in attendance to focus on those parts of their faith that may need strengthening by doing more, in intentional ways, such as reading scriptures, praying and worshipping in the temple.

Elder and Sister Soares; Elder Carl R. Maurer, an Area Seventy; and his wife, Sister Karen Maurer, responded to questions from some of the young people in attendance. Questions included how to study the scriptures more effectively, how to prepare for marriage and how to follow Jesus Christ in a world full of distractions.

Here are comments from some who attended the devotional:

Kiana Yasso: “As soon as he walked in, he just had this beautiful smile — both him and his wife. When I saw his smile, I felt the love that he had for us, and I felt like that love wasn’t just from him but also came from the Savior.”

Andy Parackal: “Sister Soares said that she had to wait like 20 years for an answer to a question, and even I struggle with some of the scriptures, doctrines and Church history ... and that has really pulled me back from coming to church. But when Elder and Sister Soares said you have to go to the temple — that’s where you get the answer, because I had been looking at outside sources for my answer but now I know where to get the right answer — it actually blew my mind away!”

Michael Yip, Andy Parackal and Kimberley Robinson attended a devotional in Brisbane, Australia with Elder Ulisses Soares and Sister Rosana Soares, on 26 May 2022.© 2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Grayson Smith: “‘Only your resolve to be obedient can change your life.’ I liked that because I think it illustrates that you are the author of your life with God being the editor of your life.”

Jordan Williams: “I’ve never met an Apostle or shaken their hand before. But when you get the opportunity to, like tonight, it is quite remarkable, even though it was just a handshake and I didn’t get to talk to him. You can just kind of feel it. He just has a presence about him.”

Madi Green: “What stood out to me was that Jesus Christ is the only source of truth in our lives, and that we need to look to Him. ... Life gets really busy, and rather than just going through the motions of living the gospel, it is really important to remember that to find peace in our lives that is only through the Savior. Rather than just going through the motions, we need to focus on our relationship with Him and how He is bringing peace to our lives.”

Naomi Green: “I was really impressed with the reverence with which Elder Soares spoke about his fellow Apostles and especially President [Russell M.] Nelson. When he testified, the whole room was dead silent and no one could deny that Elder Soares knows that President Nelson is a prophet of God. It really strengthened my testimony of our living prophets.”

Before the devotional, Elder and Sister Soares met with a group of pioneer members of the Church in Queensland.

“Meeting with them tonight touched my heart,” Elder Soares said. “They brought strength and faith to the Church and to us all.” He urged the young people to “learn from them and their legacy.”

Elder and Sister Soares met with a group of pioneer Latter-day Saint members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brisbane, Australia on 26 May 2022.© 2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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After Thursday’s meetings, Bob Cowan, who has served in many leadership callings in the Church, said, “One of the more endearing and heartwarming experiences that an organization can provide to a person or persons is to remember their roots and to show appreciation for those who were involved in those early times. When Elder Soares expressed a desire to meet with past Brisbane temple presidents or their widows ..., it was a wonderful spiritual hug of appreciation that is just so typical of the leaders of the Lord’s true Church. A truly special evening.”

Douglas and Margaret Hill, who have also served in leadership positions in the Church, shared the following message: “What a blessing it was to meet again with Elder and Sister Soares, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Spirit bore witness to us as we were invited to share our individual conversion stories and testimonies of the restored gospel with Elder Soares. We were all blessed and elevated by the spirit of the Holy Ghost as he and Sister Soares shared their conversion stories and testimonies as well.

“We were especially uplifted by his acknowledgement and gratitude of the love he and the other members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve had for us as pioneer saints in the Brisbane area. What a blessing for all of us who were present for this spiritual feast.”

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