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Leaders Counsel, Inspire New Mission Leaders During Annual Seminar

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President Russell M. Nelson invited newly called mission leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to make the Book of Mormon “the cornerstone” of teaching their missionaries during the 2024 Seminar for New Mission Leaders.

“Please teach them that the truths of the Book of Mormon are filled with power — power to help them do the impossible on their mission, power to help them become increasingly pure, power to help them teach with authority from God,” he said in a prerecorded message shown Sunday, June 23.

Nearly 150 new mission presidents and companions begin serving around the world beginning July 1. They gathered June 20-23 at the Provo Missionary Training Center to receive instruction and training before they begin their three-year assignments.

Over four days, the new mission presidents and their wives were taught by each member of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, as well as General Authorities and General Officers serving as members of the Church’s Missionary Department and Missionary Executive Council.

President Nelson said that when diplomats, religious leaders, and other men and women of influence seek to meet with the First Presidency, they often bring unique gifts from their countries.

President Nelson and his counselors in the First Presidency determined that the most precious gift they could offer in turn is a copy of the Book of Mormon.

“We do not just hand them this treasured book,” President Nelson said. “We open it to 3 Nephi, chapter 11. I read aloud about the resurrected Savior’s appearance to the people in the New World.”

The reactions to these verses vary, President Nelson said, “but often our guests are overwhelmed by the feeling that enters into the room, which of course is the Holy Ghost testifying of Jesus Christ.”

He described the Book of Mormon as “one of the greatest tools of conversion that you and your missionaries have at your disposal.”

‘The Most Correct of Any Book’

When early Church leader Parley P. Pratt first read the Book of Mormon, he expressed his feelings this way: “I read all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred reading to sleep.”

He further recorded, “I knew and comprehended that the book was true.”

President Nelson said the Prophet Joseph Smith’s description of the Book of Mormon explains why Parley P. Pratt and tens of millions of others have experienced the converting power of the Book of Mormon:

“I told the brethren,” Joseph said, “that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.

“Think of it: The most correct of any book,” President Nelson said. “A book that will help us get closer to God than we could through any other book. Very simply, the Book of Mormon is filled with godly power because it is the word of God.”

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