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A Mormon apostle is counting on the young adults of the Church to prepare to lead the worldwide church. President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Wendy, spoke on leadership, love and marriage Sunday, January 8, 2017, at a worldwide devotional broadcast for young adults that originated at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
President Nelson asked thousands of men and women gathered at the Marriott Center if they were “ready take the reins of leadership.”
“While the world may look to the considerable leadership abilities of men and women such as Napoleon, Joan of Arc, George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and others, I believe that the finest leaders to have walked the earth are the prophets of God,” he said.
President Nelson urged the young adults to learn about the lives of President Thomas S. Monson and former Church presidents. “I have personally known 10 of those 16 men,” he said, sharing stories of his personal experiences with some of those Church leaders.
President Joseph Fielding Smith’s two youngest sons were President Nelson’s boyhood friends. President Nelson said President Ezra Taft Benson worked hard, tried to keep the commandments and let the Lord make up the difference. He called President Gordon B. Hinckley a “dynamic leader” and “communicator par excellence” who was “unfailingly optimistic.”
President Nelson then expressed his admiration for President Monson. “He has shown us how to reach out and rescue the one. He has taught us by example that taking care of people is always more important than management of time, or meetings, or schedules.”
“If you are serious about rising up as a true millennial, I urge you to study the lives and teachings of these 16 prophets of God. That study will change your life,” he stressed.
President Nelson explained, “Lucifer and his minions are using every form of technology and communication to spread lies about life and about the true source of happiness.”
He also urged the young adults to study the scriptures to learn about Jesus Christ and to focus on marriage and family.
Sister Wendy Watson Nelson was a professor of marriage and family therapy for more than 25 years. She asked the young adults to think of her as “Aunt Wendy” as she offered advice on love and marriage.
“Marital intimacy is ordained by God,” said Sister Nelson. “It is commanded and commended by Him because it draws a husband and wife closer together, and closer to the Lord.”
She explained that personal purity is the key to true love. “Contrary to what all of its promoters claim, pornography will actually prevent you from experiencing the most marvelous kind of intimacy.”
“While worldly sex is lustful and kills love, marital intimacy generates more love,” said Sister Nelson.
President and Sister Nelson both spoke in a worldwide devotional a year ago, from the BYU—Hawaii campus, calling on the young adults to rise up and share the gospel of Jesus Christ and its blessings with others. The most recent talks focused on how to prepare for that challenge.
President Nelson concluded, “If you proceed to learn all you can about Jesus Christ, I promise you that your love for Him, and for God’s laws, will grow beyond what you currently imagine. I promise you also that your ability to turn away from sin will increase. Your desire to keep the commandments will soar.”
Visit devotionals.lds.org to watch Sunday’s broadcast and other devotionals.