Elder Ulisses Soares invites young adults to show and share happiness

LYON, France—Hundreds of young adults in Lisbon, Portugal and Lyon, France, recently participated in two question-and-answer sessions with Elder Ulisses Soares during his ministry visit to both countries.

Elder Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles answered questions and testified of the Savior in both cities. Sister Rosana Soares also spoke; Elder Carl B. Cook of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife, Sister Lynette Cook; Bishop L. Todd Budge, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric; and his wife, sister Lori Budge.

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Before answering questions in Lisbon, Elder Soares told the audience that they represent the future of the Church.

“There’s never been a time like this with nobility like you,” he said. “[Heavenly Father] reserved that you come to earth at this time because of your talents, your gifts and your ability to deal with the current circumstances of the world.”


Bishop L. Todd Budge, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, speaks September 11 in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

While speaking in English at the Lisbon missionary meeting, Elder Soares happily conversed with the young adults in Portuguese. At Lyon he was able to use with great fluency the French he had previously used during his service in Africa.

“I don’t always get a job where I can speak in my mother tongue,” he said in Lisbon.

Bishop Budge, who was present in both Lisbon and Lyon, did not make the trip to Kazakhstan. He traveled to Rome, Italy, to announce a $32 million Church donation to the World Food Program.

Build confidence to overcome challenges

Sister Soares read John 3:16 with the young adults in both cities.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life,” the verse says.

Sister Soares said that in this verse no group of persons is considered excluded from God’s love or the benefits of the Savior’s Atonement. Likewise, she said, “You should love everyone, not just those like you.”

Before beginning each question-and-answer session, Elder and Sister Soares each mentioned the counsel of President Russell M. Nelson of the April 2021 general conference that one must grow in faith to receive answers to challenges.

“Your mountains will be different, yet the answer to any challenge you face is to increase your faith,” said President Nelson.

After sharing this quote in Lisbon, Sister Soares said to the Lord’s missionaries, “We may weaken or lose our faith in Him, but He never loses faith in us.”

find balance

Young adults in both Lisbon and Lyon asked about the balance between everything that is ahead of them in life. Elder Soares immediately replied in Lisbon with a smile on his face, “Welcome to the club,” before advising on asking Heavenly Father for help in prioritizing and finding balance in all things in life.

“Finding a balance in life takes the Lord’s guidance,” he said.


Young adults listen to Elder Ulisses Soares during a devotional in Lyon, France, September 18.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Alan T. Phillips, an Area Seventy and Second Counselor in the Europe North Area, said at the same meeting that he understands the feeling that life can seem too short to accomplish so many responsibilities.

“It can feel like a test that needs to be completed before the buzzer sounds,” he said. But then he counseled those who worried that they weren’t progressing fast enough or not performing enough to remember, “You are eternal.”

He reminded audiences of their eternal nature and ability to transcend the brief time limitations of this life.

challenges of modern times

Some questions in both cities also revolved around the topics of marriage, having children, ministering to the earth in the latter days, and the challenges that come with it.

Bishop Budge spoke of the responsibility that members of the Church have in caring for the earth as an integral part of creation and as a testing ground for all who will live here. He also spoke about the church’s recent donation of $32 million to the World Food Program “to end poverty.”

“We should be generous when sharing with those in need,” he said.


Elder Ulisses Soares speaks to young adults during a September 18 devotional in Lyon, France.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Soares added to Bishop Budge’s comments that the Church works with other organizations and encourages their contributions in this type of effort to alleviate suffering around the world.

“Drawing closer to the Savior is the answer,” Elder Soares said.

In Lyon, Elder Soares asked President Roland Léporé, president of the France Lyon Mission, for counsel on this matter. President Léporé challenged the young adults to focus on God’s instructions.

“Satan is aware that choices determine destiny, so he distracts you from making good choices,” he said.

spiritual experiences

In Lisbon, one issue the panel considered was how to have daily sacred experiences.

Sister Soares encouraged the young adults to include regular times in their daily lives to pray and listen to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for guidance and answers.

“Holy experiences don’t happen by accident or accident,” she said.


Young adult women prepare to enter the stake center in Lisbon, Portugal, September 9.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

He said he spoke to these world religious leaders about the price paid to find true hope.

“In the depths of human suffering we find our common sources of hope,” he said in Kazakhstan.

Of the young adults, he added, “Suffering is the price of becoming more empathetic. … God will test your faith because your promise is eternal, but He has invited you to come to Him for His blessings.”

Concluding the 12-day journey with the Lyon devotional for young adults, Elder Soares asked the audience to find the truth and trust the Lord.

“Turn your heart to the Savior to know the truth and to be an example to the world,” he said. “As you nurture his light, you will be a better believer.”


Young adults prepare to listen to Elder Ulisses Soares at a September 9 devotional in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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