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President Nelson Announces Changes, Speaks of Revelation and Ministering at General Conference

President Nelson

In his first general conference as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson provided a blueprint for how we can consistently receive personal revelation in our lives.

“The privilege of receiving revelation is one of the greatest gifts of God to His children,” President Nelson said.

He said that as we pray to our Heavenly Father and receive direction in our lives, we won’t need to puzzle over what is right or whom we can safely trust.

Qualify Yourself

In order to receive personal revelation, President Nelson said that we must first qualify ourselves.

“Nothing opens the heavens,” he explained, “quite like the combination of increased purity, exact obedience, earnest seeking, daily feasting on the words of Christ in the Book of Mormon, and regular time committed to temple and family history work.”

How to Receive Revelation

When we wish to obtain answers or deeper understanding, President Nelson counseled us to follow Joseph Smith’s example. He said to find a quiet place we can regularly go, humble ourselves, and pour out our hearts to our Father in Heaven.

“Pray in the name of Jesus Christ about your concerns, your fears, your weaknesses,” he counseled, “yes, the very longings of your heart. And then listen! Write the thoughts that come to your mind. Record your feelings and follow through with actions you are prompted to take.”

What Personal Revelation Will Do for You

“As you continue to be obedient,” he explained, “expressing gratitude for every blessing the Lord gives you, and as you patiently honor the Lord’s timetable, you will be given the knowledge and understanding you seek. Every blessing the Lord has for you—even miracles—will follow. That is what personal revelation will do for you.”

Watch or read President Nelson’s full talk from the Sunday morning session.

Ministering

During the Sunday afternoon session, President Nelson spoke of opening a new chapter in the history of the Church.

“We have made the decision to retire ‘home teaching’ and ‘visiting teaching’ as we have known them. Instead, we will implement a newer, holier approach to caring and ministering to others. We will refer to those efforts simply as ‘ministering;’”

President Nelson reminded each of us that as members of Christ’s Church, we must “minister to the one, just as [the Savior] did,” explaining “a hallmark of the Lord’s true and living Church will always be an organized, directed effort to minister to the individual children of God and their families.”

Organizing the Priesthood to be More Effective

President Nelson announced that in each ward, high priests and elders will now be combined into one elders quorum.

“These modifications have been under study for many months,” President Nelson said. “We have felt a pressing need to improve the way we care for our members and report our contacts with them. To do that better, we need to strengthen our priesthood quorums to give greater direction to the ministering of love and support that the Lord intends for His Saints.

“These adjustments are inspired of the Lord. As we implement them, we will be even more effective than we have been previously.”

President Nelson shared his gratitude for faithful women who understand the power of the priesthood and for how they access this power to protect and strengthen their families and loved ones.

“These are spiritually strong women,” he said, “who lead, teach, and minister fearlessly in their callings with the power and authority of God!”

Likewise, President Nelson shared his gratitude for faithful men who worthily use the priesthood. “Brethren,” he counseled, “there are doors we can open, priesthood blessings we can give, hearts we can heal, burdens we can lift, testimonies we can strengthen, lives we can save, and joy we can bring into the homes of the Latter-day Saints—all because we hold the priesthood of God.”

Words of Concern

President Nelson also shared a concern regarding members of the Church and the priesthood: “Too many of our brothers and sisters,” he explained, “do not fully understand the concept of priesthood power and authority. They act as though they would rather satisfy their own selfish desires and appetites than use the power of God to bless His children. I fear that too many of our brothers and sisters do not grasp the privileges that could be theirs.”

He said that the honor to act in the name of Jesus Christ should not be taken lightly. He said priesthood holders should prepare spiritually and live worthily in order to fully call upon the power of God when giving blessings to God’s children.

Watch or read President Nelson’s full address from Saturday’s priesthood session.

Invitation to Come Unto the Savior

At the conclusion of general conference Sunday afternoon, President Nelson announced plans to construct seven new temples. He said, “construction of these temples may not change your life, but your time in the temple surely will.” 

He encouraged each one of us to study repeatedly the messages we heard and to discuss what we learned with family, friends, and those not of our faith.

President Nelson concluded with a simple and sincere message to the world: “We invite all of God’s children on both sides of the veil to come unto their Savior, receive the blessings of the holy temple, have enduring joy, and qualify for eternal life.”