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President Russell M. Nelson: Opening remarks

President of the Church

President Russell M. Nelson speaks during October 2018 general conference.

President Russell M. Nelson speaks during October 2018 general conference.

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Notable quotes:

President Nelson spoke Saturday morning in the October 2018 general conference about "a new balance and connection between gospel instruction in the home and in the Church":

"As Latter-day Saints, we have become accustomed to thinking of 'Church' as something that happens in our meetinghouses, supported by what happens at home. We need an adjustment to this pattern.""The long-standing objective of the Church is to assist all members to increase their faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and in His Atonement, to assist them in making and keeping their covenants with God, and to strengthen and seal their families.""Scriptures make it clear that parents have the primary responsibility to teach the doctrine to their children. It is the responsibility of the Church to assist each member in the divinely appointed role of increasing his or her gospel knowledge."

Talk summary:

In recent years, the presiding councils of the Church have wrestled with a fundamental question: "How can we take the gospel in its simple purity, and the ordinances with their eternal efficacy, to all of God’s children?"

It is time for a home-centered Church, supported by what takes place inside our branch, ward and stake buildings.

The adversary is increasing his attack on faith and on families at an exponential rate. "To survive spiritually, we need counter-strategies and pro-active plans. Accordingly, we now want to put in place organizational adjustments that will further fortify our members and their families."

For many years Church leaders have been working on an integrated curriculum to strengthen families and individuals through a home-centered and Church-supported plan to learn doctrine, strengthen faith, and foster greater personal worship.

"This morning we will announce a new balance between gospel instruction in the home and in the Church. We are each responsible for our individual spiritual growth."

Speaker snapshot:

President Russell M. Nelson became the 17th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in January 2018.He was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for 34 years.He received both his B.A. and M.D. degrees from the University of Utah.He received a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.A renowned surgeon, President Nelson assisted on the first ever human open-heart surgery.President Nelson has held several research and director positions, including director of the thoracic surgery residency at the University of Utah.The University of Utah honored President Nelson in June 2018 with an endowed chair in surgery.He and his late wife, Sister Dantzel Nelson, who died in February 2005, have 10 children, 57 grandchildren, and 119 great-grandchildren.He married Sister Wendy Watson Nelson, a marriage and family therapist, in 2006.

On the Web:

Elder Nelson is active on Facebook and Twitter.Read a post on his Facebook account about coming back to the covenant path:

This tweet from President Nelson’s account talks about the value of doing spiritual work in order to have the Holy Ghost with us.

The importance of women:

As a father of nine girls (and one son), President Nelson often addresses his talks to women and discusses the sacred role of motherhood. Here are a few:Elder Russell M. Nelson: Honoring women is sacred dutyPresident Russell M. Nelson: ‘A Plea to My Sisters’10 responses on how President Nelson’s devotional inspired young women

Staying close to God:

Since becoming President of the Church, President Nelson has emphasized the importance of personal revelation in today’s world.He also extended a challenge to members of the Church to engage in a 7-day social media fast to increase their spiritual capacity.

Fun Facts:

In September, President Nelson addressed more than 49,000 Church members at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington.He celebrated his 94th birthday last month. Here are 31 unique photos celebrating his life.He released a statement in August 2018 asking members to start referring to the Church as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.President Nelson recently visited Jerusalem for his worldwide tour and spoke about being a witness of Christ. Watch the video here:

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