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Elder Ulisses Soares Inspires Faith in Jesus Christ in Mongolia and Japan

Apostle counsels Latter-day Saints, ‘The way to be happy in life is to focus on Jesus Christ and His Atoning Sacrifice,’ during visits in the Asia North Area

Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited Mongolia on May 18 and 19, 2024. While there, he met with Church leaders and members to provide instruction and messages, which inspired members to be better disciples of Christ.

Elder Soares commended leaders who had traveled from remote areas to attend the leadership meetings on Saturday, May 18, saying, “We know that you have sacrificed so many things to hear from us. Like the early pioneers, you are giving your best to the Lord and His restored gospel.”

Nearly 1,000 members attended a special conference on Sunday for the East and West Stakes of Ulaanbaatar. Elder John A. McCune, First Counselor in the Asia North Area Presidency, shared how the Lord is moving His work forward in Mongolia. “These are amazing times for Mongolia. Our relationships with government officials and other religious leaders have increased, a new temple has been announced and the missionary work is growing in amazing ways.”

Elder Soares said the temple was announced because of God’s love for the members in Mongolia and emphasized the importance of preparing now to enter the house of the Lord to receive the saving ordinances and make covenants with the Lord. He encouraged members to focus on the Savior. “There is nothing that will invite the Spirit more than strengthening your relationship with Jesus Christ,” he said.

The Apostle left the members in Mongolia with these parting words: “These two days in Mongolia will be a good memory for the rest of my life. I will not forget the faith that you all have in the Lord. Thank you for lighting the world. Thank you for motivating me to be a better disciple of Christ. Thank you for representing the Savior well. I love you all.”

Members of the East and West Stakes listen to Elder Ulisses Soares speak at a special conference in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on Sunday, May 19, 2024. 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Following his visit in Mongolia, a special home evening devotional with Elder Soares was held at the Shimogamo Ward of the Japan Kyoto Stake. The meeting was also broadcast to members who gathered at both the Osaka Stake Center and the Kobe Stake Center.

Elder Soares shared a message from President Russell M. Nelson about his great love for the members of the Church. He said, “When the Prophet says, ‘I love you,’ he is also expressing his desire for our wellbeing and happiness. His love is similar to the love the Lord has for us, which led Him to sacrifice His own life for ours.”

The home evening was presented in a question-and-answer format, with input from Elder Soares; Elder J. Kimo Esplin, Second Counselor in the Asia North Area Presidency, and his wife, Kaye; and others.

What is needed to strengthen the faith of our youth so they can stay in the covenant path?”

Elder Soares reminded parents of what the Lord revealed to Joseph Smith in Doctrine and Covenants 93:40 about the importance of bringing up children in light and truth. Church leaders and parents should unite in their efforts to help the rising generation develop faith and a personal testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, he taught.

“Strong faith and testimonies become our motivation to do better in this life and an impenetrable bulwark that protects us from the enemy’s attacks,” Elder Soares said. If parents believe in miracles, have faith, keep their covenants, and do their best to live the gospel intensely and intentionally in their home, blessings will be poured out upon their wayward children.

“How do you overcome the challenges of mortality?”

Leaders said the answer is to keep a spiritual perspective. When we pour out our hearts to the Lord and invite Him into our lives, He will pour out His Spirit more abundantly and help us to overcome whatever problems we face in life.

Elder Soares concluded the meeting with a reminder of the importance of following the Prophet by sharing Doctrine and Covenants 21:5–6: “For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.” He promised, “For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.”

After taking a few days to speak to missionaries in the Mongolia, Kobe, Fukuoka and Sapporo missions, along with attending devotionals with local members in Kyoto, Hiroshima, Fukuoka and Sapporo, Elder Soares, along with Elder Takashi Wada, President of Asia North Area Presidency, and his wife, Naomi, spoke at an afternoon devotional on Sunday, May 26. This event was specially planned for members of the Church who speak Portuguese and Spanish and that immigrated from America to Japan, mostly for work.

Elder Ulisses Soares embraces a member following a devotional in Hiroshima, Japan, on Wednesday, May 22, 2024.2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Sister Wada focused her comments on the temple. She referred to Doctrine and Covenants 128:13, explaining that the baptismal fonts in temples, which are placed below where the living assemble, represent that we are connected with the deceased and with Heaven through Jesus Christ. Whenever she attends the temple, she is reminded of what He has done for her.

Elder Wada pointed out that there were 220 Latino members in attendance, with nearly 80 more joining online. In 2013, when he was serving as a mission leader, there were originally no Spanish-speaking missionaries. Eventually, a small Latino group was established, and it has continued to grow. Elder Wada testified that those who have come to Japan from other countries have been led here by the Lord for a purpose. They will have opportunities to share the gospel. He said, “May I invite you to qualify yourselves to be worthy to enter the temple. Learn your true identity as God’s children. When you know who you are, you will know your potential.”

Elder Soares thanked the members for the sacrifices they made to be able to attend the devotional. He recognizes the adjustments associated with living in a foreign country. He explained that although differences in culture and nationality differ among people around the world, all of us are God’s children and have the same spiritual roots.

Elder Ulisses Soares speaks at a devotional for Spanish and Portuguese speaking members on Sunday, May 26, 2024.2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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He compared challenges in life to severe weather, such as typhoons or tornadoes. When physical storms approach, we seek shelter for protection from harm. When we experience spiritual storms in our lives, we can find shelter in Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. We look to His Prophet, President Nelson, for direction. More than just listening to him, we need to follow his counsel and prepare ourselves against the storms that are ahead of us.

Elder Soares concluded by encouraging members to “do a little more,” go to the temple, put the Savior in the center of their lives, live in a Christlike manner, and keep their covenants. In turn, he promised, they will experience mighty miracles in their lives.

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