- The bicentennial commemoration of the First Vision — God the Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, appearing to the Prophet Joseph Smith — included a rare Church proclamation, read by President Nelson from the Sacred Grove
- For Latter-day Saints to “Hear Him,” efforts include going to the scriptures, attending the temple and being involved in family history,
The three instances of God the Father introducing His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ — on the Mount of Transfiguration, to the Nephites in ancient Bountiful, and to Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove — included the invitation of “hear him.”
To hear and hearken to Christ, Latter-day Saints can go to the scriptures, attend the temple, participate in family history work, better recognize the whisperings of the Holy Ghost,” and heed the words of prophets, seers and revelators.
“What will happen as you more intentionally hear, hearken and heed what the Savior has said, and what He is saying now through His prophets? I promise you that you will be blessed with additional power to deal with temptation, struggles and weakness. I promise miracles in your marriage, family relationships and daily work. And I promise that your capacity to feel joy will increase, even if turbulence increases in your life.”
Church leaders considered erecting a monument to commemorate the First Vision’s bicentennial. “We felt impressed to create a monument — not of granite or stone, but of words — words of solemn and sacred proclamation — written not to be carved in ‘tables of stone,’ but rather to be etched in the ‘fleshy tables’ of our hearts.”
The reading of the proclamation was recorded in the Sacred Grove and is available immediately.
“Study it privately and with your family members and friends. Ponder the truths and think of the impact those truths will have on your life if you will hear them, hearken to them, and heed the commandments and covenants that accompany them.”
As a benediction to the message and the proclamation, President Nelson invited those watching to join in the Hosanna Shout and singing “The Spirit of God.”
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.