Saturday, January 6, 2018

President Russell M. Nelson on being yoked to Christ in challenging times

President Russell M. Nelson (born 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. With the death of President Monson, at age 93 he currently presides over the Church as senior apostle.
"Difficult days are ahead. Sin is on the increase. Paul foresaw that members of the Church would endure persecution (see 2 Timothy 3:1-13; D&C 112:24-26). Peter counseled, 'If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf' (1 Peter 4:16). As Jesus descended below all things in order to rise above all things, He expects us to follow His example. Yoked with Him, each of us can rise above all of our challenges, no matter how difficult they may be (see Matthew 11:29-30).
"Considering all that the Savior has done—and still does—for us, what can we do for Him? The greatest gift we could give to the Lord... is to keep ourselves unspotted from the world, worthy to attend His holy temple. And His gift to us will be the peace of knowing that we are prepared to meet Him, whenever that time comes."
- Russell M. Nelson, "The Peace and Joy of Knowing the Savior Lives," BYU devotional, Dec 10, 2002; see Ensign, Dec. 2011, p. 17
Click here to read the full article

We've heard the message for some time: "difficult days are ahead." In fact, President Nelson indicates that the message has been prominent since New Testament times. He points out to us how we can be able to confront the challenges: be "yoked" to the Savior, who has "descended below all things;" that may be the only thing that will enable us to "rise above all our challenges."

What an important message of appreciation! If we truly comprehend what the Savior has done for us, and continues to do for us, we will feel a debt of gratitude that we will long to repay. And the best way to pay that debt, according to President Nelson, is through our actions, our choices, our faith and obedience—staying "unspotted from the world" in order to be worthy of the holy temple and the other blessings that will come. And one of the greatest blessings will be the peace of anticipation, knowing that we are worthy to be in His presence when the day comes!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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