Amidst their world travels and big Church changes, it's impossible to summarize all the good the prophet and apostles have done this year. But here's a glimpse into some of the most popular and touching stories and messages shared from the Brethren this year.
President Russell M. Nelson
Image from the Church's Special Witnesses of Christ series
"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," President Nelson taught. "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. . . ."
President Nelson About the Church in the Coming Years: "Eat Your Vitamin Pills. Get Some Rest. It's Going to Be Exciting."
"If you think the Church has been fully restored, you're just seeing the beginning," President Russell M. Nelson said about the Church in a video during his South American tour.
While on the nine-day tour, which included the dedication of the Concepción Chile Temple, President Nelson and Elder Gary E. Stevenson shared their thoughts on the Church.
"This is a calling," President Nelson says. "It's a cause. It's the Lord's work and it's a privilege for us to participate in any way. We love it."
As the gospel continues to reach thousands throughout the world, President Nelson says there is more to come in restoring the gospel to the earth.
"Wait till next year, and then the next year," President Nelson says. "Eat your vitamin pills. Get some rest. It's going to be exciting."
During his first talk as prophet speaking to all Church members in general conference, President Russell M. Nelson bore a powerful witness of our Savior, Jesus Christ: "Without our Redeemer’s infinite Atonement, not one of us would have hope of ever returning to our Heavenly Father. Without His Resurrection, death would be the end. Our Savior’s Atonement made eternal life a possibility and immortality a reality for all."
"How can we become the men and women, the Christlike servants, the Lord needs us to be?" President Nelson asked. "What will your seeking open for you?" He then gave us these challenges and instructions to better ask of God and seek personal revelation:
1. "Follow the example of the Prophet Joseph."
2. "Find a quiet place where you can regularly go."
3. "Humble yourself before God."
4. "Pour out your heart to your Heavenly Father."
5. "Turn to him for answers and for comfort."
Do we believe in angels? Yes! We believe in angels—heavenly messengers—seen and unseen; and earthly angels who know whom to help and how to help. Gospel messengers, or angels, can include ordinary people like you and me.
May angels, known and unknown, serve you and protect you along life’s perilous journey.
President Dallin H. Oaks
Image from lds.org of President Oaks and his daughter Jenny when she was a little girl.
"Again and again, prominent priesthood leaders, including the president of the Western States Mission in Denver and a visiting member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, went to my father’s bedside and gave priesthood blessings that contained promises of healing," President Dallin H. Oaks writes. "Each of these leaders rebuked the disease and commanded that my father be made whole. The blessings pronounced by others did the same. Two years earlier, as my parents were leaving for my father’s additional medical studies in Europe, they sought a blessing from a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. He told them that the time would come when my father “would heal thousands.” That promise had also sustained my parents during my father’s illness and then added to my mother’s dismay upon his death. . . ."
President Oaks' Beautiful Response to His Daughter Who Wondered Why Her Mother Was Dying Despite Her Faith God Could Heal Her
In response to his daughter's questions, “How can we have faith that someone will get well, or something will happen, when we know that everything is dependent upon the Lord’s will?” President Dallin H. Oaks wrote:
“I believe that the only true faith is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything we have ‘faith’ in is based on faith or trust in the Lord Jesus Christ (and His Father), that they will do what is best for us (another way of saying according to their will in our behalf). Therefore, we cannot really say that we have ‘faith’ that the Lord will do what we ask Him to do in any and all circumstances. There will be times when that is not even right for us. If we place our trust in Him, that is what we should do. And He has taught us that we should pray for those we love, and should pray for those who are sick. We do that, and exercise our faith in the Lord, and that is what we are supposed to do. . . . "
President Henry B. Eyring
Image by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.
President Eyring: "God Will Strengthen You with Power Beyond Your Own" If You Do These Simple Things
"The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that Satan has power over us only to the degree that we permit him. So what can we do to be strengthened with power from God?" President Henry B. Eyring writes.
"-Keep the Sabbath day holy and honor the priesthood.-Make and keep sacred covenants.-Work on our family history and attend the temple.-Continuously repent and plead with the Lord to be forgiven of our sins.-Pray and serve and testify and exercise faith in Jesus Christ.-Immerse ourselves in the words of the scriptures and the words of the Lord’s chosen servants.
"I invite you to be diligent in doing these things. If you are, you will see God strengthen you with power beyond your own to overcome the evil that surrounds us."
"His wife has lost much of her memory, and President Henry B. Eyring's effort to capture his memories with her makes a surprising new exhibit of his watercolors especially poignant," an article from Church News states. "For 40 years, President Eyring has used his paintings to augment his written journal, capturing the feelings of a memory in a scene, in light, in shadows. Most often, the feeling he has sought to preserve is about a moment with Sister Kathleen Johnson Eyring."