- Striving to become like the Savior brings peace and joy, even during turbulent times.
- The purpose of this and every general conference is to help Latter-day Saints “hear Him.”
- Latter-day Saints will convene a worldwide solemn assembly at the close of the Sunday morning session and give the Hosanna Shout.
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered Church meetings, missionary service and temple work. Speakers during general conference will speak to an empty auditorium. Though such restrictions relate to the virus, “life’s personal trials stretch far beyond this pandemic.”
The Lord has promised those who are prepared shall not fear (Doctrine and Covenants 38:30). “Of course, we can store our own reserves of food, water and savings. But equally crucial is our need to fill our personal spiritual storehouses with faith, truth and testimony.”
Latter-day Saints’ ultimate quest in life is to prepare to meet God. This is done by striving daily to become more like the Savior, Jesus Christ, through daily repentance and receiving “His cleansing, healing and strengthening power.” This is how enduring peace and joy can be felt, even during turbulent times.
This year the Church commemorates the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s First Vision, in which Heavenly Father pointed to Jesus Christ and said, “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Joseph Smith — History 1:17).
“We are to seek, in every way we can, to hear Jesus Christ who speaks to us through the power and ministering of the Holy Ghost. The purpose of this and every general conference is to help us to hear Him.”
Church leaders have prayed and invited members to pray that they can hear messages the Savior has especially for them — messages that will bring peace, heal broken hearts and illuminate minds.
“We pray that this conference will be memorable and unforgettable because of the messages you will hear, the unique announcements which will be made, and the experiences in which you will be invited to participate.”
At the conclusion of the Sunday morning session, Latter-day Saints will convene a worldwide solemn assembly and give the sacred Hosanna Shout.
In the news:
- President Nelson invited Church members and others to participate in a worldwide fast on Sunday, March 29, for “physical and spiritual healing” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Latter-day Saints found peace by doing so.
- In a message of hope during the coronavirus outbreak, President Nelson encouraged members to look to the Savior for peace and comfort.
- President Nelson kicked off 2020 with a message on social media on Jan. 1, asking members to act on invitations he extended in the October 2019 general conference to read the First Vision and ponder questions about the importance of the Restoration.
- He extended a second invitation in February to think about this key question: “How do you hear Him?” A video released by the Church on March 15 emphasized listening to the Savior’s voice.
- Due to travel restrictions and security concerns, President Nelson counseled and uplifted Saints in strife-torn Venezuela via pre-recorded broadcast in February. He and Elder D. Todd Christofferson delivered their remarks in Spanish. Here’s what Venezuelan Saints said about the devotional.
- As the coronavirus was beginning to affect China in January, President Nelson responded by sending a large shipment of protective equipment.
- President Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, traveled to Southeast Asia in November 2019 with Elder Christofferson and his wife, Sister Kathy Christofferson. They ministered to members in Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore and Indonesia.
- In December, President Nelson and 7-year-old Claire Crosby made a music video performing “Silent Night” as part of the Church’s “Light the World” campaign.
- His Excellency Dr. Mohammad Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League and president of the International Organization for Muslim Scholars, met with the First Presidency on Nov. 5, 2019.
- The First Presidency met with Cuba’s Ambassador to the U.S., José R. Cabañas, on Oct. 24, 2019. The ambassador reaffirmed the Church is welcome in his Caribbean country.
About the speaker:
- 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.
- A renowned surgeon, President Nelson assisted on the first-ever human open-heart surgery. In June 2018, the University of Utah honored President Nelson with an endowed chair in surgery.
- He and his late wife, Sister Dantzel White Nelson, who died in 2005, have 10 children, 57 grandchildren, and 119 great-grandchildren.
- He married Sister Wendy Watson in 2006.
- President Nelson turned 95 years old on Sept. 9, 2019.
Recently on social:
- President Nelson extended a warm welcome to all — “regardless of your faith tradition” — to listen to general conference and “rejoice in the comforting power of revealed truth” amid coronavirus fears.
- President Nelson extended a special invitation to Latter-day Saints in February to “hear Him.”
- While in Southeast Asia, President Nelson shared a rendering of the temple that will be built in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. “I promise that as you are worthy to enter the temple, miracles will come into your life,” he wrote on Twitter.
- On Thanksgiving, President Nelson posted a picture of him and Sister Nelson walking through a grove of aspen trees. He encouraged Church members to be mindful of blessings from the Lord.