Thursday, April 8, 2021

President Russell M. Nelson on clearing debris from our lives

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.
"The huge project to renovate the Salt Lake Temple continues. From my office I have a front-row seat to watch the work taking place on the temple plaza.

"As I have watched workers dig out old tree roots, plumbing, wiring, and a leaky fountain, I have thought about the need for each of us to remove, with the Savior’s help, the old debris in our lives.

"The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of repentance. (See D&C 13:1.) Because of the Savior’s Atonement, His gospel provides an invitation to keep changing, growing, and becoming more pure. It is a gospel of hope, of healing, and of progress. Thus, the gospel is a message of joy! Our spirits rejoice with every small step forward we take.

"Part of the gathering of Israel, and a very important part, is the charge for us as a people to be worthy and willing to help prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Lord.

"As we listen to the messages that have been carefully prepared by our leaders under the direction of the Holy Ghost, I invite you to pray to identify the debris you should remove from your life so you can become more worthy."

- Russell M. Nelson, "Welcome Message," General Conference April 2021, Saturday morning

As President Nelson welcomed listeners to the April 2021 General Conference, he began with an invitation that is one of the basic, fundamental aspects of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to remove distractions and burdens—to repent—in order to focus on the things of greatest importance. 


I think the word "debris" is particularly powerful. It conveys things that might have been important and valuable at some point,  but now no longer are. They only get in the way of the things we really are trying to accomplish. President Nelson is challenging each of us to examine our lives, to find the things that don't belong, and to eliminate them. It's a simple request, but not a trivial activity! Sometimes it requires excavaction to find the debris! Will we make the effort?
 
(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2020)

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