“Start today to increase your faith,” said President Russell M. Nelson during a special Easter Sunday morning session of general conference on April 4. The conference, which reached millions around the world, was held April 3 and 4 and featured speakers from every inhabited continent.
The president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, revered by members as a prophet, encouraged listeners to become better through repentance, keep their temple covenants and remember lessons learned during the pandemic. He said his invitations given during several sessions of the two-day conference can help prepare individuals and the world for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
‘Start Today to Increase Your Faith’
“The Lord does not require perfect faith for us to have access to His perfect power. But He does ask us to believe,” President Nelson said Sunday morning. He shared examples from the scriptures, Church history and Latter-day Saints in the South Pacific to illustrate how exercising faith can work miracles.
The prophet said that “faith in Jesus Christ is the greatest power available to us in this life.” He also stressed that increasing faith and trust in God requires effort.
President Nelson gave five suggestions to increase faith:
- Study the gospel.
- Choose to believe.
- Act in faith.
- Partake of sacred ordinances.
- Ask God to help you.
“Your growing faith in Him will move mountains — not the mountains of rock that beautify the earth — but the mountains of misery in your lives,” he said. “Your flourishing faith will help you turn challenges into unparalleled growth and opportunity.”
Become Better through Repentance
On Saturday morning, President Nelson said that as he has watched the ongoing renovation of the Salt Lake Temple from his office window, he has thought about “the need for each of us to remove, with the Savior’s help, the old debris in our lives.” He said doing this will enable us to become more worthy and help prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Lord.
“The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of repentance,” he said. “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.”
‘Keep Your Temple Covenants’
“Temples are a vital part of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness,” President Nelson said Sunday afternoon during the final session of general conference. “The ordinances of the temple fill our lives with power and strength — available in no other way. We thank God for those blessings.”
For those wondering when the temple in their area will reopen, President Nelson explained that a temple will reopen when the incidence of COVID-19 in the area is within safe limits and local government regulations allow it. “We encourage you to do all you can to help bring COVID numbers down in your area so that your temple opportunities can increase,” he said.
“Keep your temple covenants and blessings foremost in your minds and hearts, President Nelson said. “Stay true to the covenants you have made.” He then announced plans to build 20 more temples.
Remember Lessons Learned During the Pandemic
During the annual priesthood session Saturday evening, President Nelson said that the Lord “will increasingly call upon His servants who worthily hold the priesthood to bless, comfort and strengthen mankind and to help prepare the world and its people for His Second Coming.”
The prophet said he hopes priesthood holders will remember (and all of us incorporate) four lessons learned during the pandemic that have helped them become more devoted, converted, servants of God:
- The home is the center of faith and worship. President Nelson said that priesthood power is available to them and their families in their homes as they keep the covenants they have made. Reflect on how administering the sacrament in the home affected the spirit and sacred feelings in the family, he counseled, and then consider how to make the home a primary “sanctuary of faith” and a place of “serenity and security.”“As faith and holiness decrease in this fallen world, your need for holy places will increase,” he said. “I urge you to continue to make your home a truly holy place, ‘and be not moved’ (Doctrine and Covenants 87:8; emphasis added) from that essential goal.”
- We need each other. The world experiencing the shared trial of a pandemic has the potential of uniting God’s children as never before, President Nelson said. He encouraged listeners to love God and their neighbors through service.“If you know of anyone who is alone, reach out — even if you feel alone too!” he said. “You do not need to have a reason or a message or business to transact. Just say hello and show your love. Technology can help you. Pandemic or not, each precious child of God needs to know that he or she is not alone!”
- Your priesthood quorum is meant for more than just a meeting. President Nelson encouraged listeners to expand their vision of quorums by asking: “How does the Lord wish you would use your quorum to accomplish His work — now?”“Seek revelation from the Lord,” he counseled. “Humble yourself! Ask! Listen! If you have been called to lead, counsel as a presidency and with quorum members. Whatever your priesthood office or calling, let God prevail in your commitment as a member of your quorum and in your service.”
- We hear Jesus Christ better when we are still. As commotion in the world continues to increase, so does the need to seek quiet, sacred time to hear the voice of the Lord whisper “His guidance, comfort and peace,” President Nelson said. “Discipline yourself to have time alone and with your loved ones. Open your heart to God in prayer. Take time to immerse yourself in the scriptures and worship in the temple.”
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.