Doctrine and Covenants 90:11 reads, “For it shall come to pass in that day, that every man shall hear the fullness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language, through those who are ordained unto this power, by the administration of the Comforter, shed forth upon them for the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
This scripture was fulfilled again on April 14, 2019 when the Manchester, England Young Single Adult Ward held its first Sacrament Meetings in Mandarin.
No full-time missionary support was needed. Members of the Church were responsible for all aspects, including conducting, preparing and passing the sacrament, and speaking; non-member friends helped to provide the music.
Forty-six attended, exceeding expectations.
Since September 2018, the second-hour of Sunday meetings had been the only one held in Mandarin for young Chinese members of the Church in Manchester. Now a sacrament meeting in their native language allowed many of them to participate.
Said Elder Quinn, “The three speakers had never given Church talks before; they had to spend many hours studying and preparing. By all accounts, they gave beautiful talks. Everyone in attendance was moved by a most spiritual sacrament meeting.
“The Chinese members are working, serving and inviting their friends to come to Church. This small group is very close and supports each other in every way. The hope behind this sacrament event was for the Chinese members to gain a more solid gospel foundation and leadership experience, to prepare them for their return to China as pioneers of the Church.”
“How amazing it is to be a part of the literal gathering of Israel and to be able to watch the future leaders of China conduct a sacrament meeting on their own,” said Sister Quinn.
One Chinese member of six years, said it was the first time they were able to relax, listen, and feel the Spirit, as they weren’t struggling to understand what the speakers were saying. One member commented that going to an English-language sacrament meeting is like ‘scratching through socks’.
Kira said, “It was a great honour to stand in front of everybody to share how grateful I was to feel God’s love and care in every detail of my life, especially through prayer. I hope that we have more opportunities to testify in our language; it is easier to ‘resonate’ with each other.”
Stella said, “This Church is not just a place to worship God, but it’s also a family. The Church can give all of its Chinese friends in Manchester, a place to feel a cosy family atmosphere. I feel like I am in home in China with all my friends. Using our own language to share testimony is wonderful; I feel the Spirit more strongly.”
Said Bing Yang, “It has been a few months since our first Chinese sacrament meeting, but I can still recall the feeling I had at that time. I was extremely lucky and honoured to have the opportunity to play the piano for the opening hymn. I used to teach myself to play the piano whenever I could when in the Church. Elder Quinn and Church friends encouraged me to play during the sacrament meeting. Actually, no one has trained me, but I like to try. So, I practiced ‘Come Follow Me’ every day to make sure I could play it fluently. I could not play by reading the music sheet; I could only memorise the notes. Unfortunately, even on that Sunday, I was not entirely infallible when practicing. I was very nervous and wanted Chunyun, who can play the piano very well, to play instead, but Kira told me no matter how well I played the piano, it was my own efforts that mattered. I prayed, and my Heavenly Father told me not to be afraid but be confident and brave. I understood what He expected me to do. I finally played the hymn but with trembling hands. I didn't play very well; my playing was staccato, and the rhythm was not right. But I was deeply moved because everyone sang so loudly to cover my faults and didn't blame me at all. Afterwards, Elder Quinn told me that the Heavenly Father does not require everyone to be perfect but wants them to try. He wants us to keep learning and make progress. This had a great impact on me. That sacrament meeting confirmed that Heavenly Father loves and helps me; that my friends in our Church love and care for me. Our Church is a family and is true.”