News Release

Elder McCune Teaches "We are all disciples of Jesus Christ"

Reminds Guam FSY Youth of their Primary Identity

“We are all disciples of Jesus Christ, sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father.”  

This was the central message delivered by Elder John A. McCune, First Counselor in the Asia North Area Presidency, to more than 300 youth who gathered in Guam from the islands of Micronesia to strengthen each other in their commitment to follow the Savior.  

Elder McCune was the keynote speaker for this uniquely diverse For the Strength of Youth (FSY) conference. Youth from Chuuk, Guam, Kosrae, Palau, Pohnpei, Saipan, and Yap were in attendance, representing at least 7 language groups.   

The Blessings of Temples 

yigo-guam-temple-26495-main.jpgDownload Photo

Youth who attended FSY also combined their trip with visits to the Yigo Guam Temple where most attended a temple for the first time in their lives.  

In his remarks Elder McCune expressed what a wonderful blessing it is to have a temple in Guam. “It’s amazing. This is an exciting time!” he said, referring to the growing number of operating temples throughout the world.  

“Just these last few years in our area we have dedicated temples in Guam and Okinawa and rededicated the Tokyo Temple,” he noted.  “And temples have been announced for Mongolia, Osaka (Japan), and another temple in Korea. 

When all the temples currently dedicated and in the planning and construction stages are completed,” Elder McCune continued, “worldwide there will be 350 temples.” 

Our Primary Identity 

From celebrating the building of holy temples, Elder McCune turned to the theme of personal identity.  

“There are thousands and thousands of youth all over the world who are attending FSYs and believe in Jesus Christ and have faith in Him just like you,” he told the youth. 

“The island or country we’re from is an important part of who we are, but that’s not our primary identity,” he emphasized. “We are sons and daughters of God the Father, covenant children of Christ and disciples of Christ. 

We might be from a different island,” he continued, “We might speak a different language; we might have a different culture. But we are part of a bigger family along with all the other Latter-day Saint youth from around the world. This is our identity. That’s why we call ourselves brothers and sisters.” 

Our Differences are Strengths 

Elder McCune spoke of how our individual differences are our strengths. “We learn to appreciate and benefit from each other’s differences. We do this in our families, and as ward and branch families. 

In your ward or branch family, you’re going to be with people who are all very different . . . and that’s okay,” he counseled. If all of us were the same, the world would be a terribly boring place.” 

We Are All Loved Equally by God 

© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Elder McCune went on to address the difficult question of why some are born in what seems like a perfect family, while others are born into difficult family situations. “We might wonder why this happens. I don’t know why we are all born into different circumstances,” he stated, “but I do know that through Jesus Christ and His Atonement we are given strength and whatever is necessary for our exaltation.” 

He continued, “It’s not important what family or life circumstance we come from,” but what we do with what we’re given. Because of the Savior Jesus Christ we can all be strengthened, we can all be healed. He will make things that seem unfair, ultimately become fair. All the blessings of eternity that are promised to all of God’s children are the same for all of us.” 

Elder McCune concluded this thought by promising the youth that “you are future kings and queens in God’s family! God loves you and wants you home because you are part of his family!” 

The Children of Christ 

Referencing Mosiah 5:7, Elder McCune taught the youth that “because of the Covenant you have made you shall be called the children of Christ. When we make this covenant, our hearts are changed. We are born of him and have become his sons and daughters, spiritually begotten children of Jesus Christ.” 

He followed up by leading the youth in a discussion emphasizing the importance of weekly partaking of the sacrament. “When we partake of the sacrament, we covenant to always remember him, and to take His name upon us. We always will stay with him if we always remember Him.”   

Choosing to Keep the Commandments 

Elder McCune then emphasized the importance of keeping the commandments. “What are commandments?” he asked.  “All commandments are is God giving us knowledge regarding how we can get back to Him. But we have a choice. We are allowed to choose whether we will return to Him. God shows us His laws and the path that you should follow. 

And to help us, the Savior Jesus Christ is given because God knows we will make mistakes. We are covered by Christ’s Atonement. It’s a beautiful plan!” 


“Don’t forget who you are,” pleaded Elder McCune in conclusion. “Satan wants us to identify negatively, to forget who we are -- To not feel worthy of Him. We need always remember who we are.  

Don’t listen to negative voices. You are not a sinner or bad person – that is not your identity.  You are a son or daughter of God. Regardless of what you have done, you can be clean through the Atonement of Christ” 

Elder McCune then bore a solemn witness that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ’s church, and that the Savior is active in guiding the Church.  

He also bore witness that through covenants and ordinances we can receive power to overcome temptations and repent. “God is doing all in his power to help us return to him,” he concluded. “But he will not take away our agency. 

Please follow Him.” 

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.