Beware of earthly marks, President Russell M. Nelson tells young Latter-day Saints

Young adults need to be careful that designations—whether nationality, political affiliation, or other designations—do not replace their most important hallmarks as children of God, President Russell M. Nelson, leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he told one global audience on Sunday night.

“The adversary enjoys labels because they divide us and limit the way we think about ourselves and each other,” Nelson said. “How sad it is when we honor labels more than one another. Labels can lead to judgment and hostility. Any abuse or prejudice against others based on nationality, race, sexual orientation, gender, educational level, culture or any other significant characteristic is offensive to our Creator.”

The 97-year-old Church leader’s comments came during a worldwide devotional for Latter-day Saints ages 18 to 30 and were livestreamed from the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City.

“If you identify yourself based on your political affiliation, you’re immediately categorized as someone with certain beliefs — although I don’t know anyone who believes everything that their favorite political party currently encompasses,” Nelson said. “…Some might call me an ‘old man’. But I’m a lot younger than Adam and Noah too. Ageism, racism, nationalism, sexism and a host of other ‘isms’ are universally limiting.”

More than 24,000 young adults attended the meeting in person, filling the center, tabernacle and assembly hall in a temple plaza undergoing a major renovation. A choir composed of young members from the Utah Valley filled the attic normally occupied by the Tabernacle Choir in Temple Square.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Young adults gather at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, May 15, 2022 to hear from President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Wendy Watson Nelson.

Additionally, the Temple Square buildings were open from 3pm to 9pm to allow young adults to gather before and after the service.

Spiritual ‘FOMO’

Nelson pointed out that there is nothing wrong with different identifiers being meaningful to people. Rather, they should not “displace, replace, or favor” the most important designations “child of God, child of the covenant, and disciple of Jesus Christ.”

He spoke of three “absolute truths” that should form the basis of a person’s spiritual formation: all will die, all will be resurrected and become immortal, and all will face judgment.

“These truths should awaken your ultimate sense of FOMO — or fear of missing out,” he said. “You have the potential to attain the Kingdom of Heaven [the faith’s highest heaven]. Ultimate FOMO would miss out on the Kingdom of Heaven and settle for a smaller kingdom because here on Earth you have chosen to just live the laws of a smaller kingdom.”

Nelson said that God is very concerned that all of His children have an opportunity to hear the gospel; this is why temple work is so important. The gathering of Israel, he said, is the most important thing on earth today.

He encouraged young adults to ask questions and “dive in [themselves] in the rich reservoir of revelation.” This will always lead to greater faith and knowledge, even if some questions remain unanswered.

Nelson also said that people who leave the church don’t deserve judgment any more than people who stay in the fold deserve criticism.

“If friends and family should move away from the Church, continue to love them,” he counseled. “… Let your skeptical friends see how much you love the Lord and His gospel. Surprise their doubting hearts with your believing heart.”

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Young adults gather at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, May 15, 2022 to hear from Church President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Wendy Watson Nelson.

‘What would a holy young adult do?’

Nelson’s sermon was preceded by his wife, Wendy Watson Nelson, who challenged participants to ponder one question in every aspect of their lives: “What would a holy young adult do?”

This question, she explained, can increase self-confidence, productivity, gratitude, and clarity of thought; reduce anxiety and stress; provide motivation; lift moods; and helping people resist temptation, expose deception, and make better decisions.

It doesn’t matter how busy or monotonous someone’s life is, said Wendy Nelson, or how a person is feeling; This question will still work.

“In short, because this question puts you in touch with the Spirit of the Lord and with the divine DNA in your spirit,” she said, “this one question can bring you more light and truth.”

For example, she asked how holy young adults might start their day, talk to their friends and family, or prioritize their to-do list. What would they read, write, see, hear and wear? If you were wrongly accused, cheated, or misunderstood, how would you react?

Wendy Nelson said that 30 young adults who applied this question to their lives reported achievements such as: B. Greater gratitude for small things, better choices in music and other media, improved prayer and scripture study, and less jealousy of others.

She also said that because of “Satan’s beatings,” many young people have removed sacred experiences from their lives altogether.

“Whether this has happened to you or not, I invite you to reclaim or increase the sacredness in your life by doing exactly what the Lord commanded, which is ‘constantly practicing holiness,'” she said. “If you live your life in crescendo, try to be a little holier each day, and repent quickly when you screw up, you will find joy in this life and eternal life in the world to come.”

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Young adults gather at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, May 15, 2022 to hear from Church President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Wendy Watson Nelson.

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2022/05/16/president-russell-nelson/ Beware of earthly marks, President Russell M. Nelson tells young Latter-day Saints

Joel McCord

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