Thursday, October 29, 2020

President Russell M. Nelson on surviving trials and growing in faith

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.
"Though today’s restrictions relate to a virulent virus, life’s personal trials stretch far beyond this pandemic. Future trials could result from an accident, a natural disaster, or an unexpected personal heartache.

"How can we endure such trials? The Lord has told us that 'if ye are prepared ye shall not fear' (D&C 38:30). Of course, we can store our own reserves of food, water, and savings. But equally crucial is our need to fill our personal spiritual storehouses with faith, truth, and testimony.

"Our ultimate quest in life is to prepare to meet our Maker. We do this by striving daily to become more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. (See 3 Ne 27:27.) And we do that as we repent daily and receive His cleansing, healing, and strengthening power. Then we can feel enduring peace and joy, even during turbulent times. This is exactly why the Lord has implored us to stand in holy places and 'be not moved' (D&C 87:8)."

- Russell M. Nelson, "Opening Message," General Conference April 2020, Saturday morning

President Nelson opened the April 2020 General Conference, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the First Vision of the Prophet Joseph Smith, by recalling that he had informed Church members six months earlier that the conference would be unique and different. But no one anticipated that part of the difference would be because of the COVID-19 pandemic that was gripping the world! There would be many challenges ahead in dealing with that situation, but President Nelson reminded Church members that those who are prepared, temporally but also spiritually, will not need to fear. The great invitation continues to be to "fill our personal spiritual storehouses with faith, truth, and testimony."
Are we truly preparing for the future in the most important way, preparing to "meet our Maker" as we strive to follow the teachings and example of His Son? That would be the ongoing invitation of this conference as well, as we strive to "Hear Him" in our personal lives.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2020)

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