Editor’s note: “This week from the pulpit” highlights recent messages by Church leaders.
On social media this week, many Church leaders sought to honor women and their contributions to the world. President Russell M. Nelson expressed his appreciation that Heavenly Father created women, and that they have “the gifts required to shape and teach all of us.” Many Apostles also shared their gratitude for their mothers, wives, and for righteous women who bless many lives.
Additionally, posts from members of the Primary and Young Women General Presidencies reflected on a mother’s love. Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham also spoke about feeling joy in the midst of adversity.
See the Church leaders’ posts and read messages from Sister Wendy Nelson and Brother Brian K. Ashton, who addressed Utah University and Ensign College students respectively, below.
Sister Nelson offers UVU graduates advice: Be prepared to learn from life’s surprises and eliminate contention
By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News
Compassion, creativity, and productivity increase exponentially as contention falls away, said Sister Wendy W. Nelson while addressing graduates at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah, on Friday, May 7.
By eliminating contention “hearts can change, conversations can change, relationships can change,” she said. “And that’s only the beginning.”
Sister Nelson—a retired professor of marriage and family therapy, published author, former nurse and psychologist, and the wife of President Russell M. Nelson—received an honorary degree of humane letters and offered the keynote address at UVU’s 80th commencement exercises. Duff Thompson, chair of the UVU Board of Trustees, said the honor recognized Sister Nelson as a “distinguished scholar” and “revered leader” who has “always sought and valued education.”
The convocation honored the largest graduating class in the school’s history—8,729 graduates earning a total of 10,443 degrees and certificates—and was celebrated in “drive-thru” and “drive-in” style. Concluding a year defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, the outdoor ceremony had to be moved indoors and broadcast due to high winds. In addition to Sister Nelson, Gary R. Herbert, former Utah governor, and Melisa Nellesen, an advocate for those with autism spectrum disorder, also received honorary degrees.
Read about Sister Nelson’s advice to UVU graduates at Church News.
By Megan McKellar, Church News
Desire combined with faith in Jesus Christ can also aid in overcoming a lack of opportunity and “our own doubts and weaknesses,” he said.
Brother Ashton echoed the words of President Russell M. Nelson, who taught that “in the pursuit of education, individual desire is more influential than institution, and personal faith more forceful than faculty.”
The desires that develop during the pursuit of higher education are likely to endure for many years, if not a lifetime. As such, “which desires we develop is critically important, not just because proper desires can help us gain an education and have a fulfilling career, but ultimately because our desires shape what we become and whether we will attain the celestial kingdom,” said Brother Ashton, who previously served as a counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency.
Read more of Brother Ashton’s remarks at Church News.