President Russell M. Nelson: ‘Witnesses, Aaronic Priesthood, and Young Women Classes’

President of the Church

Notable quotes:

“In each ward, the Lord’s youth battalion is led by a bishop, a dedicated servant of God.”
“The adjustments we will now announce are intended to help young men and young women develop their sacred personal potential.”
“The First Presidency and the Twelve are united in endorsing these efforts to strengthen our youth.”

Summary points:

  •  A bishop’s first and foremost responsibility is to care for the young men and young women of his ward.
  •  The cause of the gathering is an essential part of helping to prepare the world and its people for the Second Coming of the Lord.
  •  Elder Quentin L. Cook and Sister Bonnie H. Cordon will discuss the adjustments in their conference addresses.

Talk summary:

Adjustments that pertain to youth and leaders are intended to help young men and young women develop their sacred personal potential. “We also want to strengthen Aaronic priesthood quorums and Young Women classes and provide support to bishops and others adult leaders as they serve this rising generation.”

“You will remember that I have invited the youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to enlist in the Lord’s youth battalion to participate in the greatest cause on earth today — the gathering of Israel. I issued this invitation to our youth because they are unusually gifted  in reaching out to others and sharing what they believe in a convincing fashion. The cause of the gathering is an essential part of helping to prepare the world and its people for the Second Coming of the Lord.”

The First Presidency and the Twelve are united in endorsing these efforts to strengthenour youth. “We express our complete confidence in our youth and our gratitude for them.”

He also referenced changes he announced during the General Conference leadership session regarding who may serve as witnesses to baptism and sealing ordinances.  He highlighted three points: 1) A proxy baptism for a deceased person may be witnessed by anyone holding a current temple recommend, including a limited-use recommend. 2) Any endowed member with a current temple recommend may serve as a witness to sealing ordinances, living and proxy. 3) Any baptized member of the Church may serve as a witness of the baptism of a living person.  This change pertains to all baptisms outside the temple.

“These policy adjustments are procedural. The underlying doctrine and covenants are unchanged and are equally efficacious in all ordinances. These changes should greatly enhance family participation in these ordinances.”

In the news:

  • While he was in Argentina, President Nelson witnessed how a partnership between Latter-day Saint Charities and CILSA — a nongovernmental organization that works in Argentina for the full inclusion of people with disabilities — blesses individuals in need of wheelchairs. 
  • President Nelson gave an address during the 110th annual convention of the NAACP in Detroit on July 21. During his address, the prophet spoke about lifting one another as brothers and sisters and how we are all children of God.
  • Addressing mission presidents at the Provo Missionary Training Center, President Nelson invoked blessings of safety, health, guidance and peace to those in attendance.
  • Speaking to a crowd of 15,500 Latter-day Saints on June 9 in the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, President Nelson shared seven truths about the gospel that have the power to change lives. 
  • President Nelson was part of the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah.
  • While on his visit to New Zealand, President Nelson expressed his love to those who had been impacted by the March 15 shootings in Christchurch. On behalf of the Church, he also donated $100,000 to the two mosques that were damaged in the attacks.

About the speaker:

Recently on social:

  • In a tweet, President Nelson reflected on his ministry to Central and South America and how the Restoration is a continuing process.
  • A video on Instagram shows the prophet during his birthday celebration. In the video President Nelson testified that if there’s one thing he has learned in his 95 years of life, it is the reality that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
  • In an Instagram post, President Nelson showed a picture from Tahiti, his last stop during his Pacific ministry. According to the post, the Church was established in the area 175 years ago before the early pioneers arrived in Utah.