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‘You Are a Powerful Generation,’ President Cordon Tells Youth in Japan, Mongolia and Korea

Young Women General President and Asia North Area presidency share messages about trusting in the Lord

Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon encouraged Latter-day Saint youth in the Asia North area to trust in the Lord during a recent assignment to the area.

“You are a powerful generation,” she said at various youth devotionals held in Japan, Mongolia and Korea November 12 through November 20. “The Lord saved you to come here now, because you have a special mission here.”

Accompanying President Cordon were her husband, Brother Derek Cordon, members of the Asia North Area Presidency and their wives.

Teaching from Proverbs 3:5-6, the youth theme for 2022, President Cordon said the scripture includes two invitations: first, trust the Lord, and second, acknowledge Him in all things. These invitations are followed by a warning to “lean not unto thine own understanding,” and a promise that the Lord “shall direct thy paths.”  Prayer, reading patriarchal blessings and scripture study help us hear the voice of the Lord, she taught.

Encouraging youth to obtain a copy of the new For the Strength of Youth, A Guide for Making Choices pamphlet, she invited youth to “treasure it, and keep it in a place where it can be read often.”

Speaking in Korea, Brother Derek Cordon expressed his love for Korea and its culture. Noting some “empty seats” in the chapel, he spoke of the need to work to bring those back who have lost their way. He reminded the youth that as they trusted in the Lord, miracles would occur.

Youth from the Chiba and Matsudo stakes attend a devotional with Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon and members from the Asia North Area presidency on November 13, 2022.© 2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Elder James R. Rasband, First Counselor in the Asia North Area Presidency, spoke in Mongolia and Korea about the hymn “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief,” and its “profound” meaning. He reminded the youth that this was the Prophet Joseph Smith’s favorite hymn, and that he had asked John Taylor to sing it just prior to the Prophet’s death. It brought Joseph peace, Elder Rasband said.

Elder Rasband reassured and encouraged youth who might be nervous or feeling inadequate when called to serve in leadership positions. These callings can be intimidating, he said, but Heavenly Father is patient and helps us learn and grow as we serve. “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes,” he said. The Lord makes up for our inadequacies, and we learn and grow and improve as we do our best to serve. “Don’t worry about whether you look good,” he added, “just worry about the needs of those brothers or sisters that you serve.”

Elder Rasband also counseled youth to maintain a proper balance between pursuing academic and professional success and maintaining their connection to the Lord. He said that during a recent interview for an article in the Joongang newspaper in Korea, he told the journalist he would not trade his mission experience in Korea for any of his academic or professional achievements.

Sister Mary Rasband encouraged youth in Korea to seek truth. Although the world often sends out the misguided message that there is no absolute truth, she said, there are indeed eternal truths, and as we seek and find them, we will “be made free” (see John 8: 31-32).

Elder Takashi Wada, General Authority Seventy and Asia North Area President, shared how the Cordons recently found themselves on a delayed flight with a group of missionaries. Even though the Cordons had reached their destination and could leave the airport, they chose to stay with the missionaries who were stranded overnight until they were taken care of. With God’s power, and despite their feelings of jet lag, the Cordons were fulfilling their assignment in speaking to the youth that evening, he said.

Elder Wada shared an experience he had as a student studying at Brigham Young University and not doing well. Feeling discouraged as he sat beneath a tree looking at his grade, he heard a voice say, “You can do better.” At the time, he was not sure if the voice he heard was that of the Lord, he said, but now, he recognizes that the Lord knows him, cares about him and speaks to him.

He encouraged the youth to be agents unto themselves and make their own choices. “You have heard, learned and felt wonderful things today, but it is up to you to choose to act,” he said.

Elder Takashi Wada, General Authority Seventy and President of the Asia North Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints greets family members after a youth devotional on November 13, 2022.© 2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Several youth who attended the devotionals later shared their impressions and thoughts about what they learned.

In Japan, Mikami Sumire, 17, of the Matsudo 1st Ward, said, “The most important thing is that God knows and loves each and every one of us.”

Fourteen-year-old Yoshioka Yuuto, of the Kasukabe Ward, said, “I want to follow the Savior through prayer and study the scriptures more.”

Takagi Kotarou, 16, of the Kasukabe Ward, said, “The words ‘trust the Lord’ really stuck in my mind. Up to now, I knew it was important, but I tried to solve it on my own, and after that, I relied on my parents. I didn’t really try to rely on the Spirit, so from now on, I will pray to God and take from the [leaders’] talks. When I pray, I really want to pray from my heart.”

In Korea, Hanul Kim, of the Gangbuk 1st Ward, expressed that she liked how the speakers taught the youth how to get closer to God.

Caymian Lamb, from the Seoul English Military District, said that she was more resolved to take action to make sure the Spirit was in her life.

Kyen Lamb said that the meeting helped strengthen his desire to serve a mission.

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