“We do love you. We do pray for you. And we’re so grateful to those of you who are caring for each other,” Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told fire survivors in Santa Rosa, California. Elder Rasband and other Church leaders, including Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary general president, were in Northern California over the weekend to visit with members who were impacted by the recent wildfires.
“We’re only a few weeks beyond this disaster, and from my experience, whether ministering to those who have lost loved ones or lost property, the days get harder the farther we get away from the event,” said Elder Rasband, who was accompanied by his wife, Melanie, during a special meeting at the Santa Rosa Stake Center Friday night, October 27, 2017.
“I pray the Lord will bless you to know you’re not alone,” the Mormon apostle told the congregation. “Not only are you surrounded by those who love you here, [but] that you might know that literally the whole Church is praying for you.”
“My heart is full,” said Sister Jones, who lived in Santa Rosa for 14 years with her husband, Robert, and their family before they moved to Utah. “It has been difficult to watch the devastation that has occurred. We are humbled to be in your midst.” She was joined by her husband, Robert, for the visit.
The Primary president told the congregation Friday night about the recent passing of her 36-year-old son, Trevor, who was one of their three oldest children raised in Santa Rosa. He died of cancer, leaving behind a wife and five children.
Sister Jones said the experience of losing her son strengthened her faith. “The trials you have been called upon to endure these past weeks and in the time to come are an opportunity for your spiritual growth,” she told the congregation.
“We’ve been so buoyed by the love and the support of those locally and churchwide,” said Veronica Darrimon, wife of local Mormon bishop Allan Darrimon. “I just feel incredibly grateful.”
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