With the historic Nauvoo Illinois Temple as a backdrop, Elder Quentin L. Cook promised young adult members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that studying the history of the Church will deepen their faith and their desire to live the gospel more fully.
“In learning more, we will bind our hearts together with Saints of yesterday and today,” said Elder Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “We will find examples of imperfect people who went forward with faith and allowed God to work through them to accomplish His work.”
Addressing young adults ages 18 to 30 in a worldwide Face to Face event, Elder Cook answered significant questions about Church history on Sunday evening, September 9.
Joined by Church historians Kate Holbrook and Matt Grow in the broadcast, Elder Cook spoke about polygamy, the methods Joseph Smith used to translate the Book of Mormon, the differing accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision, and other issues of historical importance. The Church is not hiding aspects of its 188-year-old history, he promised some 250 young adults on the temple grounds and thousands more gathered in locations across the globe.
“Church history can be a significant source of faith,” Elder Cook said. But for some, Church history “has been misunderstood or overlooked” or “crowded out by larger concerns of the world.”
Some people “have even purposely misrepresented stories of the past to sow doubt,” he said.
Broadcast as the sun set along the banks of the Mississippi River, the Face to Face event was held to “inform and answer questions with an emphasis on Church history.” The broadcast followed the recent release of the Church’s new narrative history, Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days. (See related story.)
Church leaders chose the location for the broadcast—just over the hill from the final resting place of Joseph Smith, his wife Emma, and his brother Hyrum—“because Nauvoo and this temple were so pivotal to the history of the Church,” said Elder Cook. “The temple meant everything to the early Saints, and the ordinances they received there empowered them to do remarkable things in building the kingdom of God.”
Elder Cook praised the generation—which has produced 600,000 full-time missionaries. “That is over 40 percent of all the missionaries that have ever served in this dispensation,” said Elder Cook.
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