Throughout his service in the Church, President Nelson has provided profound insight into the life and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Here is a small portion of those insights, excerpted from the new book Teachings of Russell M. Nelson.
This is part of an ongoing series where we highlight the teachings of our prophet weekly.
Do you remember the biblical story of the woman who suffered for twelve years with a debilitating problem? (see Luke 8:43–44). She exercised great faith in the Savior, exclaiming, “If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole” (Mark 5:28).
This faithful, focused woman needed to stretch as far as she could to access His power. Her physical stretching was symbolic of her spiritual stretching.
Many of us have cried out from the depths of our hearts a variation of this woman’s words: “If I could spiritually stretch enough to draw the Savior’s power into my life, I would know how to handle my heart-wrenching situation. I would know what to do. And I would have the power to do it.”
When you reach up for the Lord’s power in your life with the same intensity that a drowning person has when grasping and gasping for air, power from Jesus Christ will be yours. When the Savior knows you truly want to reach up to Him—when He can feel that the greatest desire of your heart is to draw His power into your life—you will be led by the Holy Ghost to know exactly what you should do (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:63). . . .
The gospel of Jesus Christ is filled with His power, which is available to every earnestly seeking daughter or son of God. It is my testimony that when we draw His power into our lives, both He and we will rejoice (see 3 Nephi 17:20). (“Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ into Our Lives,” Ensign, May 2017)
A Divine Assignment to Deepen Your Faith
How can you increase in your discipleship? I have an invitation for you that will help—an assignment, actually—if you choose to accept it. Commence [now] to consecrate a portion of your time each week to studying everything Jesus said and did as recorded in the Old Testament, for He is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. Study His laws as recorded in the New Testament, for He is its Christ. Study His doctrine as recorded in the Book of Mormon, for there is no book of scripture in which His mission and His ministry are more clearly revealed. And study His words as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, for He continues to teach His people in this dispensation.
This may seem like a large assignment. But I encourage you to accept it. If you proceed to learn allyou can about Jesus Christ, I promise you that your love for Him, and for God’s laws, will grow beyond what you currently imagine. I promise you also that your ability to turn away from sin will increase. Your desire to keep the commandments will soar. You will find yourself better able to walk away from the entertainment and entanglements of those who mock the followers of Jesus Christ. . . .
Study everything Jesus Christ is by prayerfully and vigorously seeking to understand what each of His various titles and names means for you personally. For example, He really is your Advocate with the Father. He will take your side. He will stand up for you. He will speak on your behalf, every time, as you choose to be more like Him (see 3 Nephi 27:27). (“Prophets, Leadership, and Divine Law,” Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults, January 8, 2017)
[In one address,] I asked the young adults of the Church to consecrate a portion of their time each week to study everything Jesus said and did as recorded in the standard works. I invited them to let the scriptural citations about Jesus Christ in the Topical Guide become their personal core curriculum.
I gave that challenge because I had already accepted it myself. I read and underlined every verse cited about Jesus Christ, as listed under the main heading and the fifty-seven subtitles in the Topical Guide. When I finished that exciting exercise, my wife asked me what impact it had on me. I told her, “I am a different man!” (“Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ into Our Lives,” Ensign, May 2017)
Studying the Savior’s Life for 14 Months
The most important person we can study about in preparing for the temple is the Lord Jesus Christ. I would suggest you turn to the Topical Guide in the back of the Bible and find the heading “Jesus Christ.” You will find eighteen pages of cross references about Jesus Christ. Don’t try to read all of it at once. Take a little bit at a time. There are fifty-seven subheadings. You could take one subtitle a week and study that, and you’d have a curriculum for fourteen months. Study about Jesus Christ as the “Son of God” and what that really means, about His being the “Anointed One.” His title as the “Anointed One” was carried in the Hebrew language as “the Messiah,” in the Greek language as “the Christ.” Study about Jesus as Creator. Under the direction of the Father, He created all things. Study about Jesus Christ as “advocate with the Father” and what that really means.
Jesus was “Jehovah,” God of the Old Testament. It was He who conversed with Moses on top of Mount Sinai. It was He who made the covenant with Abraham, repeated it with Isaac, and repeated it again with Jacob, that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through that seed. We are of that lineage. That’s why we have patriarchal blessings to connect us with those ancient covenants that Jehovah made with man upon the earth.
Study about Jesus as the great “Immanuel.” There is much significance in that title. Isaiah prophesied that “a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). What a prophecy! Everybody knows that a virgin can’t bear a child; and then to have that remarkable fulfillment of prophecy marked with the name Immanuel, which means “God with us,” is another remarkable attribute that only could be accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ.
And certainly we should study His responsibility as our “Savior and Redeemer.” His Atonement was really His mission in mortality. He said, “I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me” (3 Nephi 27:13). He defined that as the gospel.
Study Jesus’s life as our exemplar. He came into the world to show us a better way. . . . Now, we know that perfection won’t come to us in this life, but every day we can strive to follow Jesus’s example: the way we love, the way we focus on ordinances, baptism, sacrament, endowments, sealings, temple marriage. He focused on ordinances. He taught us by His example the importance of baptism and participation in the sacrament.
Now in these latter days, He has revealed the ordinances of the temple. We can pray as Jesus prayed. We can strive to learn the knowledge that Jesus knew and knows. We have the scriptures, and we can study them, and we can learn to endure to the end. We endure through a temporary rainstorm with ease. We endure through difficult callings in the Church with a little less ease, maybe. You mothers endure: you endure through the difficult challenges of pregnancies and husbands. Many of us have members of our families who are not yet privileged to participate in ordinances of the temple. That means we endure with them. We continue to love them, and we never give up.
Jesus was our great exemplar. We can’t ever achieve perfection in this life—that’s not to be until the next world when our bodies will be changed—but we can follow His example.
You can read one evening about Jesus’s responsibility as “judge” and know that the day will come when each one of us will stand before Him to be judged. Then read of His responsibility as the “millennial Messiah” and what that will mean when He will reign and rule from two world headquarters: from Jerusalem of old and from New Jerusalem in Jackson County. Then He will be “King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15). (Louisville Kentucky Temple Dedication, session one, March 19, 2000)
Lead image from the Church's Special Witnesses of Christ series
Read more profound insights from our prophet in Teachings of Russell M. Nelson.
Internationally renowned as a surgeon, teacher, and man of great faith, President Russell M. Nelson has dedicated his life to healing hearts and ministering throughout his medical career and his Church service. This definitive volume of his teachings presents excerpts from his speeches and writings spanning more than three decades as an Apostle of the Lord, including many from his recent world tour and other unpublished addresses. Alphabetically arranged by topic, these teachings on more than 100 subjects provide a perfect, easy-to-use resource for talks, lessons, and more.
To record your thoughts alongside scriptural verses, check out The Book of Mormon, Journal Edition.The Book of Mormon, Journal Edition, provides the space you need to write down the thoughts and inspiration you receive as you read and study the scriptures. With extended margins for notes and reflection, this new format will allow you to write your thoughts directly in your scriptures and easily find them again in times of need. Suited for every stage of life, this book will help increase your connection to your most treasured verses and make your personal scripture study even more meaningful.