From the Church

President Nelson shares impactful story of the temporal blessings of the Word of Wisdom

President Russel M. Nelson bears his testimony in a recorded message for youth shared for the Worldwide Day of Testimony on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023.
Screenshot from Youtube

On October 22, the Church held it’s first ever worldwide youth testimony meeting. Youth all over the world gathered in groups to watch a recorded message from the Young Men and Young Women presidents and President Russell M. Nelson. Then they had their own testimony meeting.

In President Nelon’s remarks, he taught the youth about their divine identity as children of God, children of the covenant, and disciples of Jesus Christ. He also shared a personal experience about how following the Word of Wisdom blessed his life.

Many years ago, during his surgical internship, President Nelson and his wife attended a reception where the chief surgical resident offered them an alcoholic beverage. They politely declined the first offer, and then a second offer, and by the third offer the chief surgical resident was livid at their refusal to accept his drink. He warned Nelson that if he did not accept that drink, he would make life “mighty miserable” for him. But President Nelson had made a covenant with God and had no intention of breaking it. He says, “We kept our promise, and the chief resident kept his.”

The chief resident used his responsibility of assigning operations to interns to ensure that Nelson got the most complicated, most grueling, and most time-consuming operations. The chief resident’s form of revenge turned out to be a blessing for President Nelson, however. He says, “Assisting with difficult operations day after day made me a better surgeon. Keeping the Word of Wisdom actually propelled me forward in my surgical career.”

Despite difficulties, as we keep the Word of Wisdom and other commandments God will move mountains in our lives to bless us and make our continued faithful obedience possible. President Nelson assures us that, “if perhaps you feel you have strayed off the covenant path too far or too long let me assure you that is not true. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ your future can be bright, even brilliant.”

▶You may also like: How heeding prophets’ counsel changed President Russell M. Nelson’s life

Read more about this historic worldwide youth testimony meeting at Church News and watch President Nelson’s complete message below.

More life lessons from the prophet in “Heart of the Matter”

“The laws or truths I will share in this book are not merely ideas I have studied and examined; they are the very essence of my life’s experiences.” —President Russell M. Nelson

Having been first called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1984, President Russell M. Nelson has viewed much of the world’s modern history through the lens of a special witness of Christ. Living through technological innovation from radio to rocket ships, wars and resolutions, cultural shifts and progress, President Nelson has seen the workings of the Almighty in all aspects of life. In Heart of the Matter, he reflects back on his one hundred years of living and the lessons he’s learned over the past century, including the core truths he has come to know matter most for this life and the next. Available at Deseret Book and

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