There is power and promise in following the words of God through His living prophet! As we enter a new year, we took a look back at all of the invitations offered by President Russell M. Nelson in 2022. Do you notice any patterns? Did you accept any of these invitations and how did that impact you?
President Nelson started 2022 by sharing some resolution suggestions.
“First, resolve to strengthen your spiritual foundation. This may involve setting a specific time and place to study the scriptures, praying more often, making temple worship a bigger priority, and letting God prevail in all aspects of your life.
Second, resolve to be kind to others. When the Savior Jesus Christ visited the Americas, as recorded in the Book of Mormon, one of the first things He taught was the need to eliminate contention in our lives. So, please be compassionate, be understanding, be slow to judge, and be quick to forgive.
Third, resolve to be resolute. The Lord loves effort. The Lord loves consistency. The Lord loves steadfastness. While we surely will come up short from time to time, our persistent efforts to hear Him and follow the inspiration He gives us will help us to “wax strong in the Spirit” (Mosiah 18:26).
May God bless you, my dear friends, and may this be a wonderful year of purpose and possibilities for all of us.”
In a European devotional, President Nelson invited us to, “Pray and watch for opportunities to share the joy that you have in the gospel.”
What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with an invitation to spread love? President Nelson said, “Whether we are married or single, let’s find ways today to show “lovingkindness” to everyone around us. Beyond chocolates or flowers, let’s give of our time, attention, and care to those who need it most.”
President Nelson offered three invitations to the Saints in California during a devotional. They were:
- Seek truth with more energy and devotion than you ever have
- Make and keep covenants with God to increase your power and spiritual discernment
- Help gather Israel
April – General Conference
The first General Conference of the year offered an abundance of guidance and direction as the world reeled from the war in Ukraine and the ongoing pandemic.
“As followers of Jesus Christ, we plead with leaders of nations to find peaceful resolutions to their differences,“ President Nelson said in his opening remarks. “We call upon people everywhere to pray for those in need, to do what they can to help the distressed, and to seek the Lord’s help in ending any major conflicts.”
He also invited young men and those young women who feel called, to serve missions.
In his talk, “The Power of Spiritual Momentum,” President Nelson offered five specific actions to maintain positive spiritual momentum. They are:
- Get on the covenant path and stay there.
- Discover the joy of daily repentance.
- Learn about God and how He works.
- Seek and expect miracles.
- End conflict in your personal life.
“My call today, dear brothers and sisters, is to end conflicts that are raging in your heart, your home, and your life,” he taught. “I plead with you to do all you can to end personal conflicts that are currently raging in your hearts and in your lives.”
To close the Conference, President Nelson said, “I repeat my urging from this morning to do those things that will increase your positive spiritual momentum, that lift Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf was talking about, that will keep you moving forward through whatever challenges and opportunities come… I plead with you to counter worldly ways by focusing on the eternal blessings of the temple. Your time there brings blessings for eternity.”
“Every Easter, we rejoice in the Resurrection of the Savior Jesus Christ, the epitome of forgiveness. My dear friends, I invite you to prayerfully consider if there is someone whom you should forgive or someone from whom you should seek forgiveness,” President Nelson shared. “Will you free yourself from hard feelings you may be harboring?”
On the National Day of Prayer in the United States, President Nelson said, “I invite you to consider how your thoughts and prayers can be a catalyst for God to inspire and direct you toward acts of kindness, compassion, and generosity.”
President Nelson gave a special devotional to young adults in May. As part of that devotional, he shared three primary identifiers and stressed their importance. He said, “I plead with you not to replace these three paramount and unchanging identifiers with any others because doing so could stymie your progress or pigeonhole you in a stereotype that could potentially thwart your eternal progression.”
The three labels? Child of God. Child of the covenant. Disciple of Jesus Christ.
In a seminar for newly called mission presidents, President Nelson encouraged leaders to spend private time each day with the Lord and to reflect often on their temple covenants.
In his May devotional, President Nelson discussed taking charge of your own testimony. He reiterated this invitation to the worldwide Church on social media in August. He said, “I plead with you to take charge of your testimony of Jesus Christ. Work for it. Own it. Care for it. Nurture it so that it will grow. Then watch for miracles to happen in your life.”
October – General Conference
The topic of abuse opened the October General Conference, with President Nelson inviting all members to study the resources and aids on the Church website to prevent abuse. “I urge each of us to be alert to anyone who might be in danger of being abused and to act promptly to protect them. The Savior will not tolerate abuse, and as His disciples, neither can we.”
He also invited Conference watchers to seek truth. “Please make notes of thoughts that catch your attention and those that come into your mind and stay in your heart. Prayerfully ask the Lord to confirm that what you have heard is true.”
President Nelson’s main message came in his talk, “Overcome the World and Find Rest.” He taught that building strong testimonies and keeping our covenants leads to rest.
“I extend to members of the entire Church the same charge I gave to our young adults last May. I urged them then—and I plead with you now—to take charge of your own testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel. Work for it. Nurture it so that it will grow. Feed it truth. Don’t pollute it with false philosophies of unbelieving men and women. As you make the continual strengthening of your testimony of Jesus Christ your highest priority, watch for miracles to happen in your life.”
“My plea to you this morning is to find rest from the intensity, uncertainty, and anguish of this world by overcoming the world through your covenants with God. Let Him know through your prayers and your actions that you are serious about overcoming the world. Ask Him to enlighten your mind and send the help you need. Each day, record the thoughts that come to you as you pray; then follow through diligently. Spend more time in the temple, and seek to understand how the temple teaches you to rise above this fallen world.”
“I call upon you, my dear brothers and sisters, to become this righteous people. Cherish and honor your covenants above all other commitments. As you let God prevail in your life, I promise you greater peace, confidence, joy, and yes, rest.”
President Nelson closed the Conference by saying, “I pray that you have recorded your impressions and will follow through with them. Our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, stand ready to help you. I urge you to increase your efforts to seek Their help.”
To the Latter-day Saints in Western Canada, President Nelson shared six ideas to become better disciples of Christ. They are:
- Increase your capacity to receive revelation
- Fill your life with truth
- Refuse to let opposition to truth weaken your testimony
- Serve and worship in the temple
- Realize how vital you are to the gathering of Israel
- Expect joy
President Nelson spoke specifically to parents and leaders of children in a devotional to Latter-day Saints in Nevada.
“So, parents and teachers, please take advantage of every opportunity to teach [children] correct principles. … Tell stories from the scriptures. Teach your children how to pray. Teach them that God is their Heavenly Father and He will help them. Let them see you going to the temple. And when a loved one dies, teach your children … that because of Jesus Christ, we can be with each other again as we keep our sacred covenants.”
He also spoke about sharing the gospel.
“The Lord is hastening His work and urging us to prepare for His Second Coming. I cannot overstate how vital you and your choices are. As you look like, act like, and speak like a true follower of Jesus Christ, your positive influence on others will astound you. Further, many of you live in locations that attract visitors from all over the world. Pray to cross paths with those who are ready to hear the gospel and embrace its truths.”
As an annual tradition, the First Presidency released this Christmas message: “This Christmas season, we invite you to find quiet moments to reflect on our Savior’s birth, life, and atoning sacrifice. Come unto Him. Learn of Him. Look to Him for lasting peace and divine rest. In a world that often feels overwhelming and contentious, He offers peace that “passeth all understanding.”
President Nelson closed out the year with a special Christmas invitation to let our lights shine as we serve others. Watch it below.