Sunday, November 29, 2015

Russell M. Nelson on finding God by looking to heaven

President Russell M. Nelson (b. Sept 9, 1924) was an internationally-renowned heart surgeon when he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He was set apart as president of the Quorum of Twelve on July 15, 2015.
"Sadly, many individuals don't know where to find God, and exclude Him from their lives. When spiritual needs arise, they may look to the left, the right, or round about. But looking to other people on the same level cannot satisfy spiritual shortages. When the immortal spirit is starved, hunger persists for something more filling. Even when material success comes, there is a hollow ache if living well falls short of living worthily. Inner peace cannot be found in affluence accompanied by spiritual privation.
"Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invite all to come unto Christ and enjoy the spiritual feast that His gospel provides. The Saints savor a sweet spiritual nourishment that sustains them through life. This sustenance comes because they have made covenants to take upon themselves the name of the Lord and strive to obey His precepts. Strength comes in recognizing and in being grateful for the Lord's gifts of immortality and the opportunity for eternal life....
"Trees reach up for the light and grow in the process. So do we as sons and daughters of heavenly parents. Facing upward provides a loftier perspective than facing right or facing left. Looking up in search of holiness builds strength and dignity as disciples of Deity. The importance of looking up to the Lord is also emphasized in a vision to the Prophet Joseph Smith, dated January 21, 1836: 'I saw the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb, who are now upon the earth, who hold the keys of this last ministry, in foreign lands, standing together in a circle, much fatigued, with their clothes tattered and feet swollen, with their eyes cast downward, and Jesus standing in their midst, and they did not behold Him. The Savior looked upon them and wept' (TPJS 107).
"That the Twelve were subsequently vindicated is apparent as we read further in the Prophet's record: 'And I finally saw the Twelve in the celestial kingdom of God. I also beheld the redemption of Zion, and many things which the tongue of men cannot describe in full' (TPJS, 108)."
- Russell M. Nelson, "Which Way Are You Facing?", New Era, March 2002, p. 4
Click here to read the full talk

President Nelson's remarks about the many who don't know where to "find God" are reminiscent of the Lord's statement to Joseph Smith, about the many throughout the earth "who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it" (D&C 123:12). One of the keys in our search for God is that we won't find Him among "other people on the same level"; it comes when seekers "have made covenants to take upon themselves the name of the Lord and strive to obey His precepts."

President Nelson shares a beautiful invitation to come to the Gospel plan, where all can "savor a sweet spiritual nourishment that sustains them through life." This source of nourishment is constantly available, to those who are searching and reaching in the right direction:

The story of Joseph Smith's vision is a wonderful illustration of the difference between looking down and around to see the difficulties and challenges of the mortal experience, as compared to looking up at the source of eternal hope and help.

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