What did President Nelson teach during October 2021 general conference? Strengthen your foundation, make time for the Lord

At the close of the October 2021 general conference, President Russell M. Nelson pleaded with listeners worldwide to counter the lure of the world by making time for the Lord — every day. 

“If most of the information you get comes from social or other media, your ability to hear the whisperings of the Spirit will be diminished,” he said. 

“If you are not also seeking the Lord through daily prayer and gospel study, you leave yourself vulnerable to philosophies that may be intriguing but are not true. Even Saints who are otherwise the most faithful Saint can be derailed by the steady beat of Babylon’s band.”

For the first time in two years, general conference returned to the Conference Center auditorium, with live music from the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and more than just a handful of Church leaders present. Because of COVID-19 restrictions and precautions, the Church’s three previous general conferences have been limited to smaller settings and prerecorded music selections.

Read more: President Nelson announces 13 new temples during October 2021 general conference

Standing from the Conference Center pulpit, President Nelson urged listeners to strengthen their spiritual foundations by doing things that allow the Holy Ghost to be with them — always. “Nothing invites the Spirit more than fixing your focus on Jesus Christ.”

And nothing will strengthen one’s spiritual foundation like temple service and temple worship, he said. 

Strengthen your spiritual foundation

When the major four-year renovation to the Salt Lake Temple is complete, there will be no safer place during an earthquake in the Salt Lake Valley than inside that temple, said President Nelson during the Sunday morning session. 

“Likewise, whenever any kind of upheaval occurs in your life, the safest place to be spiritually is living inside your temple covenants,” the Prophet emphasized. 

“Please believe me when I say that when your spiritual foundation is built solidly upon Jesus Christ, you have no need to fear. As you are true to your covenants made in the temple, you will be strengthened by His power. Then, when spiritual earthquakes occur, you will be able to stand strong because your spiritual foundation is solid and immovable.”

Now is the time to implement extraordinary measures — perhaps measures never before taken — to strengthen personal spiritual foundations, President Nelson said. 

Watch the video and see photos of President Nelson’s inspection of the Salt Lake Temple

“My dear brothers and sisters, these are the latter days. If you and I are to withstand the forthcoming perils and pressures, it is imperative that we each have a firm spiritual foundation built upon the rock of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

“So, I ask each of you: ‘How firm is your foundation? And what reinforcement to your testimony and understanding of the gospel is needed?’”

President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, sister Wendy Nelson, tour the Salt Lake Temple construction site on Saturday, May 22, 2021.
President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, sister Wendy Nelson, tour the Salt Lake Temple construction site on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

The temple lies at the center of strengthening faith and spiritual fortitude, he said, because the Savior and His doctrine are the very heart of the temple.

In explaining how the administration of temple ordinances has been gradually refined over time, President Nelson offered three truths to ponder:

  1. The Restoration is a process, not an event, and will continue until the Lord comes again. 
  2. The ultimate objective of the gathering of Israel is to bring the blessings of the temple to God’s faithful children.
  3. In seeking how to accomplish that objective more effectively, the Lord reveals more insights. The ongoing Restoration needs ongoing revelation. 

“He is the One who wants you to understand with great clarity exactly what you are making covenants to do,” President Nelson said, emphasizing “He.”

“He is the One who wants you to experience fully His sacred ordinances. He wants you to comprehend your privileges, promises and responsibilities. He wants you to have spiritual insights and awakenings you’ve never had before.”

Should distance, health challenges or other constraints prohibit one from attending the temple for a season, “I invite you to set a regular time to rehearse in your mind the covenants you have made.”

For those who don’t yet love to attend the temple, “go more often — not less. Let the Lord, through His Spirit, teach and inspire you there. I promise you that over time, the temple will become a place of safety, solace and revelation.”

President Nelson pleaded with young adults to seek a companion with whom they can be sealed in the temple. “As you marry in the temple and return repeatedly, you will be strengthened and guided in your decisions,” he said. 

For husbands and wives who have still not been sealed in the temple, “I would plead with you to take the necessary steps to receive that crowning, lifesaving ordinance.”

For those who long for marriage but have not yet found an eternal companion, “I would urge you not to wait until marriage to be endowed in the house of the Lord. Begin now to learn and experience what it means to be armed with priesthood power.”

And to each who has made temple covenants, “I plead with you to seek — prayerfully and consistently — to understand temple covenants and ordinances.”

Spiritual doors will open, President Nelson promised. “You will learn how to part the veil between heaven and earth, how to ask for God’s angels to attend you, and how better to receive direction from heaven. Your diligent efforts to do so will reinforce and strengthen your spiritual foundation.”

Truth, doctrine and revelation

President Nelson opened the October 2021 general conference on Saturday morning by inviting those participating worldwide to listen for three things in each talk: pure truth, the pure doctrine of Christ and pure revelation. 

President Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaks Oct. 3, 2021, during the Sunday morning session of the 191st Semiannual General Conference, which was held in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. 
President Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaks Oct. 3, 2021, during the Sunday morning session of the 191st Semiannual General Conference, which was held in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City.  Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Contrary to the doubts of some, there really is such a thing as right and wrong,” President Nelson said. “There really is absolute truth — eternal truth.”

The pure doctrine of Christ is powerful and changes the life of all who understand it and seek to implement it in their life. It also helps God’s children find and stay on the covenant path. 

“Pure revelation for the questions in your heart will make this conference rewarding and unforgettable,” he added. 

There has never been a time when knowledge of the Savior is more personally vital and relevant to every human soul, President Nelson said. “Imagine how quickly the devastating conflicts throughout the world — and those in our individual lives — would be resolved if we all chose to follow Jesus Christ and heed His teachings.”

President Nelson concluded general conference weekend with a personal assurance for each listener: “The Lord knows you and loves you. He is your Savior and your Redeemer. He leads and guides His Church. He will lead and guide you in your personal life if you will make time for Him in your life — each and every day.”

Read more October 2021 general conference coverage