On Sunday, February 27, President Russell M. Nelson spoke at a devotional for Latter-day Saints living in California. And while the broadcast was tailored and intended for the 750,000 members of the Church living there, the challenges President Nelson issued ring true for all Latter-day Saints. Here are the three specific invitations he gave during his message.
1. Seek truth “with more energy and devotion than you ever have.”
“The magnificent breadth of what the Lord has revealed and the spiritual knowledge He has already given far outweigh any gaps in our present understanding,” President Nelson shared. “In His time, the Lord will reveal all things to His people, for He has promised that in this dispensation ‘nothing shall be withheld.’”
2. Increase your personal power for spiritual discernment by making and keeping sacred covenants with God
“In the temple, we are endowed with God’s power,” he expressed. “With these new temples, more of you will be able to attend the temple regularly and learn better how to draw upon that power through sacred priesthood covenants. Your increased temple worship and service, along with your corresponding family history research, will enhance your connection with heaven.”
3. Help gather Israel
“Many of your friends are seeking to understand why they are here on earth,” he remarked. “They want to know if life has any meaning. They want to make a difference in the world but they don’t know who they can trust. Do you realize that you have the answers your friends are seeking? … This gathering is all about giving every human soul the chance to hear and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is all about saving souls.”
Sister Wendy Nelson, Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Presidency of the Seventy, and his wife, Sister Marcia Nielson, also spoke during the devotional.
Sister Nelson’s remarks centered around the importance of prophets. She repeated the same invitation she gave to Latter-day Saints in Europe in January: for 30 days, put an exclamation point after every statement made by a prophet.
“Now, where will following the prophet lead you?” Sister Nelson asked. “As you follow the prophet, your love for your Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will grow, as will your desire to keep your covenants with Them. Your ability to discern between what is true and what is not will increase.”
Elder Brent H. Nielson shared stories of the incredible success missionaries have seen in spite of the COVID-``19 pandemic and thanks to the inspired use of smartphones and social media. As reported by Church News, Elder Nielson, who is a former executive director of the Church’s Missionary Department, explained that in 2020, missionaries around the world baptized 125,000 people—an incredible feat considering that so much of the world was in isolation or shut down.
Sister Marcia Nielson invited the audience to learn how to discern God’s quiet voice in an increasingly loud and distracting world. “[God] has important things to say to you,” she shared. “He loves you and wants to help you improve your ability to understand how he is communicating with you. He will do this in unique and individual ways that are suited specifically to you as you seek to increase your spiritual capacity.”
The full devotional is also available online in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and American Sign Language here.