"I know how unnerving it can be to be asked to do something that seems far beyond your capacity," President Nelson shared on Facebook—a feeling that almost every Latter-day Saint can relate with.
He then continued to tell a miraculous story of how he, by following the will of the Lord, was able to help bring the Church into many communist countries during the Cold War.
He then challenged Church members to accomplish the impossible and to be unafraid of the challenges in front of them. After all, with the help of the Lord, nothing is impossible.
I know how unnerving it can be to be asked to do something that seems far beyond your capacity. I had been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for only 19 months when President Spencer W. Kimball passed away. In the first meeting of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles following President Ezra Taft Benson’s ordination, he gave specific assignments to the Twelve. His instructions to me included, “Elder Nelson, you are to open the countries of Eastern Europe for the preaching of the gospel.”
That was 1985. During those politically frigid years that we refer to as the Cold War, not only did a literal wall divide the city of Berlin, but all of Eastern Europe was under the oppressive yoke of communism. Churches were closed, and religious worship was strictly limited.
I had spent much of my professional life opening hearts to perform life-saving operations, but I had no experience that would lead me to believe I could open countries for the preaching of the gospel. And yet, a prophet had given me an assignment, so I set out to do what seemed utterly impossible.
From the outset, obstacles were placed in my way. I arrived in most countries not knowing where to go. Even when I was able to find the name of an appropriate government official, it was not unusual for a meeting to be canceled at the last minute or to be postponed. In one country, when an appointment was delayed for two days, a number of temptations were intentionally placed in my way to test me—including traps for black market money and other illicit activities. On another occasion, a meeting was opened with the demand that I depart immediately!
But the Lord is able to do His own work, and I was privileged to watch the unfolding of one miracle after another—always, and only, after I had brought my best thinking, my most courageous efforts, and my most fervent prayers to the task.
Recognition of the Church was granted by some of those countries before the Berlin Wall came down. Others came later. In the year 1992, I was able to report to President Benson that the Church was now established in every country in Eastern Europe!
As a True Millennial whom the Lord can count on, you will make history too! You will be asked to accept challenging assignments and become an instrument in the Lord’s hands. And He will enable you to accomplish the impossible.
Lead image from Facebook.
Find out how you can accomplish the impossible with President Nelson's newest book!
In Accomplishing the Impossible, President Russell M. Nelson points out that the Lord's pattern is one of "using the unlikely to accomplish the impossible." From David and Goliath to Moses to Joseph Smith, the history of His people is a story of accomplishing the impossible. And we too can become a part of this grand pattern by using the means God gives us—such as angelic help, prayer, and gifts of the Spirit.