News Release

Asia North Area Presidency New Years Message for 2021

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Asia North Area,

We hope this message finds you in good health and having joy in the gospel. We express our gratitude to our Heavenly Father for the blessing of serving alongside you here in the Asia North Area. We consider the opportunity to be part of the work in Japan, Korea, Micronesia/Guam, and Mongolia one of the great blessings of our lives. Thank you for the personal kindness that so many of you have shown to us as we have joined you for stake conferences and other meetings. We have felt lifted and inspired whenever we have had the opportunity to gather together—whether in person or, more frequently this last year, on zoom.

We are excited for the year ahead. Although we truly loved our opportunity to spend significant time in different parts of the Asia North Area this fall, we are grateful to finally be together, in-person, as an area presidency. We feel great unity with one another.

As we look ahead to the rest of 2021, we express our gratitude to the Lord for the planned re-dedication of the historic Tokyo Temple, the dedication of a temple in Yigo, Guam, and the ongoing construction of a new temple in Okinawa, Japan. What a blessing it will be to have six temples in our Area. Indeed, we hope that 2021 will see the opening of all our temples to the full range of temple ordinances and proxy work.

While we are excited about building and opening temples, we know that the most important construction project is in each of our lives as we strive to be worthy of entering the house of the Lord and of receiving the blessings of temple covenants. As Elder Ronald A. Rasband urged us at general conference in October, we hope that each of us will strive to be “recommended to the Lord” and obtain or renew our temple recommend. We trust Elder Rasband’s promise that having a current temple recommend will bring peace in our lives and allow us to “feel an abundance of the Holy Ghost” guiding us.

During the last year, like you, we and our wives have felt keenly the loss of the opportunity to be in the temple. We miss the peace and perspective we feel when we are there. President Russell M. Nelson has promised that as we “make sacrifices to serve and worship in His temples,” the “Lord will bring the miracles He knows you need.” (Russell M. Nelson, “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints,” October 2018) We yearn for this glorious promise in our own families and desire each of you to have the miracles you need in your lives. Of course, the greatest temple miracles are the blessings of our temple covenants—the opportunity, because of the Savior’s atoning sacrifice, to obtain exaltation and to be sealed together with our family for eternity. Once our temples reopen, we invite you to partake of these glorious blessings.

While worshipping in the temples is presently not possible, we also feel to reiterate President Nelson’s invitation “to increase your participation in family history, including family history research and indexing.” Again, he offered a peace-giving prophetic assurance: “I promise that as you increase your time in temple and family history work, you will increase and improve your ability to hear Him.” With all that has been happening in the world over this last year, this surely is a time when each of us need His guidance and comfort in our lives.

As you will recall, at October conference President Nelson invited us to study the Lord’s promises to covenant Israel. (Russell M. Nelson, “Let God Prevail,” October 2020) It thus seems fitting to conclude with the blessing the Lord gave Moses for the children of Israel. It is our Area Presidency’s prayer for each of you: “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

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