News Release

Elder Gong Makes Historic Visit to Northern England

Youth and Young Adults Were Reminded That They Are "Children of God, a Child of the Covenant and Disciple of Christ."

Members of the Manchester and Leeds Area fill the chapel to sing together while attending a meeting with Elder Gerrit W. Gong 25 February 2024.© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

On Sunday 25th February 2024, Elder Gerrit W. Gong marked a historic visit as the first member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 25 years to address the young adults of the North of England with a timely message of hope.

Elder Gong and his wife, Sister Susan L. Gong, were accompanied at the Chorley Stake Centre by Elder Alan T. Philips of the Quorum of the Seventy and his wife Sister Lindsey Philips, as well as Area Seventies, mission, temple, stake and other leaders and their spouses.

Given the historic nature of the devotional, attendees noted how touched they were that Elder Gong came to their area. Speaking of the visit, a young adult local to the Chorley area shared that, “now more than ever we need it.” Another young adult expressed that, “it was just so nice that he came, and he acted like a friend, I felt as if he ministered the same way the Saviour would.”

Along with Elder Alan T. Philips, Elder Gong discussed the principles of finding balance and having faith in the Lord’s promises of abundance with the young adults. He also invited the congregation to “be the change we all need in a time of loneliness and isolation,” and to make a promise that when they went forward to future gatherings, they would never let anyone leave without ensuring they were welcomed.

The day before visiting with the young adults, Elder Gong met with youth who filled the Huddersfield Stake Centre. He was accompanied by Elder Scott D. Whiting and his wife Sister Jeri O. Whiting. A highlight for many in attendance was spotting Elder Gong walk up and down the aisles of the large chapel and cultural hall prior to the meeting to personally connect with and minister to as many young people as he could.

17-year-old Ethan who travelled from North Yorkshire shared, “I loved how personal Elder Gong was with the youth, he interacted so well with all of us and connected so calmly with everyone. I loved how caring he was and the fact that even though he’d been through a full day of busy meetings, he cared for us just as the Saviour would have.” Gracie, a young woman from the Tees Valley area, said that “through the visit from one of the Lord’s Apostles I really felt valued and needed for the work of the Lord.”

The devotionals highlighted how the restored gospel of Jesus Christ empowers and provides purpose to young people. Those leading the meetings as well as those who provided music, sang in choirs, offered talks and prayers were of the rising generation. Grace, a young adult in attendance in Chorley, reflected on this, “it just shows the importance of the young adults in the church, the place we have and the role we play.”

Elder Gong left a powerful testimony in both devotionals, emphasising the importance of the youth and young adults of the rising generation understanding their divine identity - “I hope you leave tonight knowing that you are a child of God, a child of the covenant, and a disciple of Christ.”

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