The word that defines counsel and direction from President Nelson during general conference — ‘faith’

Faith in Jesus Christ is the greatest power available in this life, said President Russell M. Nelson, speaking to a global congregation gathered for the 191st Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Easter morning.

“Your growing faith in Him will move mountains — not the mountains of rock that beautify the earth — but the mountains of misery in your lives,” said President Nelson in one of four remarks offered April 3-4. “Your flourishing faith will help you turn challenges into unparalleled growth and opportunity.”

The topic of faith defined the spring conference, held amid unusually warm weather and broadcast from Temple Square to 16.6 million Latter-day Saints across the globe. President Nelson closed the global gathering — the third held amid restrictions on gathering brought by the global COVID-19 pandemic — with the announcement of 20 new temple locations, the largest number announced on any single day in Church history.

President Russell M. Nelson speaks during the Sunday morning session of the 191st Annual General Conference on April 4, 2021.
President Russell M. Nelson speaks during the Sunday morning session of the 191st Annual General Conference on April 4, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Temples are a vital part of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness,” he said. “Ordinances of the temple fill our lives with power and strength — available in no other way. We thank God for those blessings.”

President Nelson announces 20 new temples during April 2021 general conference

President Nelson asked members to do what they can “to bring COVID numbers down in your area so that your temple opportunities can increase” and to “keep your temple covenants and blessings foremost in your minds and hearts.” 

“I pray that your desire to worship and serve in the temple burns more brightly than ever,” he said.

At a time when the Church continues to build temples across the earth, the blessings of the gospel are for every race, language and people, he said. 

“The Church of Jesus Christ is a global Church,” said President Nelson during the Sunday morning session. “Jesus Christ is our Leader.”

President Nelson said the gospel of Jesus Christ is exactly what is needed in this confused, contentious and weary world.

Temple Square in Salt Lake City is pictured during the 191st Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 3, 2021.
Temple Square in Salt Lake City is pictured during the 191st Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 3, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Each of God’s children deserves the opportunity to hear and accept the healing, redeeming message of Jesus Christ,” he said. “No other message is more vital to our happiness — now and forever. No other message is more filled with hope. No other message can eliminate contention in our society. Faith in Jesus Christ is the foundation of all belief and the conduit of divine power.”

See a list of talk summaries, photo galleries and session highlights from April 2021 general conference

Everything good in life — every potential blessing of eternal significance — begins with faith,” said President Nelson. “Allowing God to prevail in our lives begins with faith that He is willing to guide us.”

And yet, he said, exercising faith can seem overwhelming. 

“The Lord understands our mortal weakness. We all falter at times. But He also knows our great potential,” he said. “The mustard seed starts small but grows into a tree large enough for birds to nest in its branches. The mustard seed represents a small, but growing, faith.The Lord does not require perfect faith for us to have access to His perfect power. But He does ask us to believe. 

“My dear brothers and sisters, my call to you this Easter morning is to start today to increase your faith. Through your faith, Jesus Christ will increase your ability to move the mountains in your life, even though your personal challenges may loom as large as Mount Everest.”

A family in Sheffield, England, participates in a session of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 191st Annual General Conference, broadcast on Saturday, April 3, and Sunday, April 4, 2021.
A family in Sheffield, England, participates in a session of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 191st Annual General Conference, broadcast on Saturday, April 3, and Sunday, April 4, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

President Nelson offered five suggestions to help Latter-day Saints develop that faith and trust.

  • First, study. Become an engaged learner.
  • Second, choose to believe in Jesus Christ.
  • Third, act in faith.
  • Fourth, partake of sacred ordinances worthily.
  • And fifth, ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, for help.

President Nelson said faith takes work. “Truly, faith is the power that enables the unlikely to accomplish the impossible.

“Do not minimize the faith you already have. It takes faith to join the Church and remain faithful. It takes faith to follow prophets rather than pundits and popular opinion. It takes faith to serve a mission during a pandemic. It takes faith to live a chaste life when the world shouts that God’s law of chastity is now outmoded. It takes faith to teach the gospel to children in a secular world. It takes faith to plead for the life of a loved one, and even more faith to accept a disappointing answer.”

Mountains do not always move “how or when we would like. But faith will always propel us forward.”

Faith always increases access to godly power, said President Nelson.

“Please know this: If everything and everyone else in the world whom you trust should fail, Jesus Christ and His Church will never fail you.”

Flowers on Temple Square in Salt Lake City are pictured during the Sunday morning session of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 191st Annual General Conference on April 4, 2021.
Flowers on Temple Square in Salt Lake City are pictured during the Sunday morning session of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 191st Annual General Conference on April 4, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

On Easter Sunday and “with my deep feelings of love and gratitude,” President Nelson declared his witness that Jesus Christ is indeed risen. “He is risen to lead His Church. He is risen to bless the lives of all of God’s children, wherever they live. With faith in Him, we can move the mountains in our lives.”

President Nelson opened the historic conference by assuring the global congregation that the Lord directs the affairs of His Church. 

“Often, my counselors and I have watched through tear-brimmed eyes as He has interceded in extremely challenging circumstances after we had done our best and could do no more. We do indeed stand all amazed…. Over and over again I have rejoiced as He has directed and executed the hastening of His work — even during a global pandemic.”

The strength of the Church lies in the efforts and ever-growing testimonies of its members, he said. “Testimonies are best cultivated in the home.  During this past year, many of you have dramatically increased the study of the gospel in your homes. I thank you, and your children will thank you.”

President Nelson waves to members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gathered in the Conference Center Theater before the priesthood session of the 191st Annual General Conference on April 3, 2021.
President Nelson waves to members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gathered in the Conference Center Theater before the priesthood session of the 191st Annual General Conference on April 3, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of LaThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of repentance. Because of the Savior’s Atonement, His gospel provides an invitation to keep changing, growing and becoming more pure. It is a gospel of hope, of healing and of progress,” he said. “Thus, the gospel is a message of joy! Our spirits rejoice with every small step forward we take. Part of the gathering of Israel, and a very important part, is the charge for us as a people to be worthy and willing to help prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Lord.”