Tuesday, April 24, 2018

President Russell M. Nelson on the divine law of God

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 became president of that quorum on July 15, 2015. Following the death of President Monson, he was set apart as president of the Church on January 14, 2018.
"While nominally I come to you from the science of surgery and its mother of medicine, in a truer sense, I have been forged from the stern discipline of law—not the laws of men, as mastered by our brethren of the legal profession, but the eternal and unchanging laws of our Divine Creator. The surgeon soon learns the incontrovertibility of divine law. He knows that hopes and wishes are sometimes simply powerless sham. Desired blessings come only by obedience to divine law, and in no other way. My lifetime thus far has been focused on learning those laws. Only as the laws are known, and then obeyed, can the blessings we desire be earned. To this extent, there will be little difference for me in the activities of the past and those of the future. The endless laws of the Lord are the doctrines taught by His Apostles....
"Now, I understand fully that the call to the Holy Apostleship is one of witness to the world of the divinity of the Lord Jesus the Christ. I know that salvation is centered in Him! ...
"The creation of the earth and all that dwell therein, the necessary fall that enabled man to be, and the atonement of the Lord are three fundamental components of God’s eternal plan. Without that atoning sacrifice, there would be neither immortality nor eternal life.
"His message is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ; and it is administered by the Church that bears His name. He directs the affairs of His church by the power of the priesthood and by revelation through prophets who proclaim His doctrine to all people of the world.
"The testimony that I bear is but an echo of the resounding testimonies of the eighty-four who previously have received this call to the Twelve since the spring of 1820."
- Russell M. Nelson, "Call to the Holy Apostleship," General Conference April 1984
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

This excerpt is from the remarks offered by President Nelson on the day he was sustained by the Church as an apostle, 34 years ago. His explanation of his personal background in both science and law was interesting—the science of medicine but the laws of God:

What a beautiful expression: given his devotion to the law of God up to that point in his life, he didn't expect much difference in his life when he changed the focus to full-time, life-long service to the Lord and His Church.

Young Elder Nelson, who was 59 years old when this call came, then shared his witness of the Savior and His Atonement. He has never stopped sharing that witness, to the Church and to the world.

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

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