“There has never been a better time to be a member of the Church,” said Elder Brent H. Nielson, General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Missionary Department of the Church, during a devotional for LDS Business College students and faculty held on Oct. 25.
Speaking in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City, Elder Nielson told of the “wonderful things happening” as the gospel becomes available to more and more people around the world, and the important process of “becoming” a disciple of Christ.
“These are our days,” the leader taught. “These are amazing days.”
Reflecting on times when he travels, when he turns on the television or looks at the news, Elder Nielson spoke of the “bad news” often surrounding people today.
“It always seems like people are telling us how bad things are,” he said. “And often I will hear people say ‘I wish we could go back to another time.’ "
Remembering some of the difficulties of times past, Elder Nielson spoke of the incredible time Church members are living in today and encouraged individuals to not wish for times of the past.
Remembering when he was a young boy and there were only 12 temples throughout the world, Elder Nielson spoke of the establishment of temples and the growth of the Church in just a few decades and the miracles he has seen in his assignments as a Church leader.
“Even as a stake president living in little Twin Falls, Idaho, I didn’t realize what was happening,” he said. “All around the world the Church is growing,” he said, adding that the gospel is going to places he’s never heard of before.
Referencing the journal of Wilford Woodruff who recounted the prophet Joseph Smith when he prophesied the Church would fill North and South America and the entire world, Elder Nielson said that prophecy is coming to pass.
With a missionary force of 73,000 and 177 constructed or announced temples, there is much to celebrate and be happy about. Elder Nielson reported that since the beginning of the year there have been 14 million inquiries on lds.org.
“It is going to be incredible to see what happens,” he said. “Heavenly Father is in charge of His work. Wonderful things are happening.”
Important to this work are the people involved, Elder Nielson taught.
Sharing a personal conversation he had with another Church leader right after being called to serve as a General Authority, Elder Nielson spoke of the invitation he received to "become.”
“Who do we want to become like?” he said. “What do we want to become like?”
Elder Nielson invited listeners to look at how the Savior taught when He was on earth, and to follow Him.
“What does conversion look like?” the leader asked. “If you were ‘to become’ what would it look like? The Lord helps and blesses us in the process of becoming. The process of repentance and becoming is ongoing. The very most important thing is our personal conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Referencing the Book of Mormon, Elder Nielson invited listeners to bury their weapons of rebellion — whatever they may be — to change and “become.”
“His invitation is to come,” Elder Nielson said. “My invitation to you is to become. Become the person He wants you to be.”
[email protected] @marianne_holman