News Release

Sunday School, Young Men General Officers Teach and Testify of Jesus Christ in Asia North Area

Sunday School General President Mark L. Pace and Brother Bradley R. Wilcox from the Young Men minister in Japan and Korea

Updated March 28, 2024

Sunday School General President Mark L. Pace and Brother Bradley R. Wilcox, First Counselor in the Young Men General Presidency, taught, served and testified of Jesus Christ in the Asia North Area during a March 2024 ministering assignment to Japan, Korea and Mongolia.

Japan

The General Officers worked alongside youth from the Tokyo Stake and the Tokyo South Stake (English-speaking) to prepare kits for orphans who are graduating from high school and preparing to venture out on their own. The kits contained a variety of items to get them started.

“You have really made a difference today,” said Brother Wilcox, who was accompanied by his wife, Debi. “You have touched the lives of people you don't even even know,” he said, and encouraged youth to prepare now to be “wonderful” missionaries.

“You have a beautiful spirit about you,” added President Pace, whose wife, Anne Marie, joined him. “Because of that, people can notice that you are different. You have a glow about you because of the Holy Ghost.”

The two leaders also spoke at a youth devotional presided by Elder Takashi Wada, a General Authority Seventy and President of the Asia North Area, that was broadcast to youth and parents throughout Japan on March 10. Brother Wilcox encouraged youth to attend For the Strength of Youth (FSY) this summer. “You will discover that fun and the gospel can go together,” he said. “You will feel Heavenly Father’s love.”

Brother Wilcox testified that Jesus Christ was anointed to be the Savior during a young single adult devotional on March 9. He explained that mercy means “He loves us just the way we are.” But grace means “Jesus loves us enough to not leave us the way we are.”

President Pace told young adults that to “receive the Holy Ghost” is the effort of a lifetime. He explained that the Spirit guides us without overriding our agency; we can choose whether we will follow the promptings we receive. Keeping baptismal covenants and regularly renewing them during the Sacrament is essential to help us always remember Jesus Christ and have His Spirit be with us.

“The greatest teacher is the Holy Ghost,” President Pace taught teachers, parents, leaders and others gathered in the Fukuoka Stake Center and online across Japan during a nationwide teacher training on March 15. Effective teachers look for ways to invite the Holy Ghost, he said. Teachers and parents can encourage students and their children to reflect on the question, “What is the Holy Ghost teaching me?”

Mikage Yano, Young Women president in the Chikushino Ward, was reminded again of the importance of teaching with the Spirit. “I want to remember that teaching is serving, and I want to strive to be a Christlike teacher.”

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Pace-Wilcox-Asia-North-Area-Japan
Latter-day Saints gather in the Fukuoka Stake Center and online across Japan during a nationwide teacher training on March 15, 2024, featuring Sunday School General President Mark L. Pace.2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The purpose of teaching is to bring us closer to Jesus Christ, said President Pace, referring to Doctrine and Covenants 50:22: “Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.” When the Spirit is present, both the teacher and the class or family are influenced. Their conversion is strengthened. “This is teaching in the Savior’s way,” he said.

    Asaka Fujino, a seminary teacher in the Fukuoka Ward and a mother of five children, attended the devotional. “I have learned that to teach is to serve,” she said. “When I thought about it, I found peace in knowing that I was finding opportunities every day to witness and teach the children about Jesus Christ. … If I simply love them and invite them to learn with me, one day they will all be inspired to learn Christ’s teachings for themselves and to live according to those teachings.”

    Along with teaching by the Spirit, President Pace made several suggestions for improving teaching:

    • Have daily experiences in studying the gospel.
    • Transform homes to be sanctuaries of faith and places of gospel learning.
    • Take advantage of the inspired material in the “Come Follow Me” manuals personally, as a family and in church.
    • Treasure the scriptures.
    • Hold fast to the iron rod (word of God), which we receive through the scriptures and the living prophets.
    • Utilize tools the Church provides to enhance teaching.

    Kobe Atsunobu, who serves in the elders quorum presidency of the Itoshima Ward, said he plans to use videos and other resources in the Gospel Library related to the scriptures. “In the future, no matter what I teach, I would like to focus on Christ and create an environment where we can teach each other together in the home.”

    Korea
     

    On March 14, President Pace provided teacher training for leaders and teachers in Korea — sharing key principles for teaching effectively and helping members strengthen their faith and testimony in Jesus Christ.

    He encouraged teachers to use “Come, Follow Me,” which to enables daily gospel study in the home, supports family experiences with the words of God, and improves Sunday teaching with student participation. “Come, Follow Me” helps members strengthen their own understanding of the scriptures, he said. 

    Pace-Wilcox-Asia-North-Area
    Pace-Wilcox-Asia-North-Area
    Sunday School General President Mark L. Pace speaks to teachers and leaders across Korea during a training devotional on March 14, 2024. 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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    Cheong Seong Kyeong from the Anyang Ward said, “I’m reminded again of the importance of learning and teaching not with my head, but with the feeling of the Holy Ghost, guided by the Spirit.” 

    Lee Bok Sun from the Paju Ward said, “I felt that the Holy Ghost is the true teacher. … The idea that teachers and classmates can be edified by the Spirit resonated with me.”

    Brother Wilcox shared inspirational messages with various youth and parent and young adult groups in Korea on March 16 and 17.

    After participating in a youth missionary activity with the Seoul West Stake, Brother Wilcox addressed young adults during a nationwide devotional originating in Gangnam on March 16. With the approach of Easter, he encouraged young adults to spend more time studying about Jesus Christ.

    He related the Atonement of Jesus Christ to deposits in a bank. Although some may not recognize it, Jesus Christ is the source of every spiritual gift and blessing, he said. Latter-day Saints benefit from having additional witnesses of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith, current prophets, the Holy Ghost and the Book of Mormon. 

    Pace-Wilcox-Asia-North-Area
    Pace-Wilcox-Asia-North-Area
    Young adults in Korea attend a nationwide devotional featuring Brother Bradley R. Wilcox, First Counselor in the Young Men General Presidency, on March 16, 2024. 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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    Brother Kim Min Seong from the Gangbuk Ward said, “Joseph Smith didn’t lie to fit the world’s views or opinions; he focused on the Lord and testified truthfully about his experiences. … I was thinking about how I could tell people what I know in an easy and concise way.”  

    Brother Wilcox also emphasized the importance of Christ’s Atonement, and the need to properly worship the Savior, study the scriptures, and focus on the redemption of the Messiah and His grace and truth He shows us. 

    The importance of the scriptures left a strong impression on Brother Pak Chan Hui from the Ilsan Ward. “I have learned that it is important to feel the Holy Ghost when reading the scriptures. Up until now, I have read the scriptures to study the content of the scriptures, but in the future, I want to focus on feeling the Holy Ghost as well.”

    During a March 17 youth devotional, Brother Wilcox addressed youth and parents from across the country. He shared an experience when his son went bungee jumping in New Zealand. When the workers secured the harness on his son, his son complained that it was too tight, but Brother Wilcox explained the harness was providing his son the freedom to jump and to not crash into the ground below. In a comparable way, the commandments are the harness to keep us safe and let us fly instead of fall, he said.

    Pace-Wilcox-Asia-North-Area
    Pace-Wilcox-Asia-North-Area
    Brother Bradley R. Wilcox, First Counselor in the Young Men General Presidency, interacts with Korean youth during a youth devotional that was broadcast across the country on March 17, 2024.2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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    The story impacted Beryl S. Kim of the Bucheon Ward. “Rules and commandments can sometimes feel tight and frustrating, but they can also help us to be more free and progress,” she said. 

    All youth in attendance were give a pocket-size copy of the “For the Strength of Youth” guide. Brother Wilcox encouraged youth to use the FSY guide to help them live gospel principles and to answer questions from their friends, he said. 

    Brother Wilcox closed with a reminder that all Latter-day Saint youth soon would be receiving a special edition of the “For the Strength of Youth” magazine focused on Jesus Christ. “In it you will be reminded that Jesus Christ is the strength of youth. Reading the articles will be a great way to begin your Easter celebrations right now,” he testified.

    Mongolia

    “You can be in but not of the world,” Brother Wilcox told Latter-day Saints in Mongolia on March 13, part of his visit to the Asia North Area.

    Brother Wilcox told adult youth leaders they are helping spread the gospel in Mongolia. The best way to help youth is to engage them in leading out in that same cause. “By helping them lead now, you are helping them learn how to be better servants of Christ for the rest of their lives,” he said.

    The following day, he told youth that following the principles in the “For the Strength of Youth” guide helps them to be in, but not of, the world. “You are in the world to make a difference and that often requires you to be different from the world.”

    Brother Wilcox and his wife, also accompanied Elder J. Kimo Esplin, Second Counselor in the Asia North Area, as he visited the Children’s Special Education and Nurturing Center on March 14, where the Deseret International Charities is providing humanitarian aid to assist the youth there. After helping to distribute books, he told the children that God loved them and they were not alone. The young people sang a Mongolian song, and in turn, the Church representatives sang “I Am a Child of God” to them.

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