New Testament verses used by Church leaders in 2022, part 1 — 4 Gospels

In April and October general conferences, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles referenced the four Gospels multiple times

The importance for Latter-day Saints to know and be familiar with the New Testament was emphasized by its use by Church leaders just in the past year. Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cited the words of Jesus Christ and the apostles through New Testament scriptures, stories and parables in general conference talks in April and October 2022 to teach doctrine and testify of the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Leaders read from Matthew the most, and also referenced Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1 John and Revelation. The scriptures were often used in conjunction with the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants to testify of Jesus Christ and His teachings, ministry and gospel.

As Church members prepare to study the New Testament with “Come, Follow Me” in 2023, here are some of the scriptures Church leaders used from the four Gospels in 2022. Part 2 will include the other books in the New Testament.

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In his October 2022 general conference Sunday morning talk, “Overcome the World and Find Rest,” President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Church, said that in the coming days, “we will see the greatest manifestations of the Savior’s power that the world has ever seen.” 

Quoting Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:36, President Nelson said, “Between now and the time He returns ‘with power and great glory,’ He will bestow countless privileges, blessings and miracles upon the faithful.”

Speaking Saturday morning in October’s general conference, President Nelson made it clear that: “Abuse constitutes the influence of the adversary. It is a grievous sin.” The footnote referenced Matthew 18:6, where Jesus Christ taught, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

In “The Power of Spiritual Momentum” from April 2022 general conference, President Nelson referenced Matthew 6:14 as he called for people to end conflicts in their lives. “The Savior has promised that ‘if [we] forgive men their trespasses, [our] heavenly Father will also forgive [us].’”

President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, gave a talk in April titled “Steady in the Storms,” where he said, “We want with all our hearts not to shrink but rather to look up at Him, see Him smile, and hear Him say, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: … enter [in]’” (Matthew 25:21).

In his October address, “Lifted Up Upon the Cross,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles quoted the Savior: “If any man [or woman] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

In April, Elder Holland gave a talk titled “Fear Not: Believe Only!” where he spoke of ”the cross Jesus said we would have to take up in order to follow Him.” The footnote refers to Matthew 16:24

In the same talk, Elder Holland said, “Bask in His light and lend your candle to the cause,” and footnotes reference Matthew 5:15–16 — the verses about lighting a candle and letting light shine before men.

In his October talk, “Jesus Christ Is the Strength of Youth,” Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said the Savior assures all to “Be of good cheer” (Matthew 14:27).

In his April message, “Our Heartfelt All,” Elder Uchtdorf said, “The Savior reassures us: ‘Your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you’” (Matthew 6:32-33).

Elder Uchtdorf also said in that talk, “We receive the talents that the Lord has given us and strive to increase them, manifold, to become even more helpful in building the Lord’s kingdom.” Footnote 11 points to Matthew 25:14–30, the parable of the talents.

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained in his October general conference talk, “Put On Thy Strength, O Zion”: “Parables are a defining feature of the Lord Jesus Christ’s masterful approach to teaching.” He used verses from Matthew 7, Matthew 13, Matthew 20, and Matthew 25, with much of his talk coming from Matthew 22 — the parable of the wedding feast.

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in his April talk, “Conversion to the Will of God”: “The Savior taught His disciples, ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,’” (Matthew 28:19).

In his April address, “Our Relationship With God,” Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said Jesus Christ “possesses all power in heaven and in earth,” referring to Matthew 28:18.

In his April message “Following Jesus: Being a Peacemaker,” Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles quoted Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

He explained how strength comes from faith in Jesus Christ and His words: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, … and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. … For great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:11–12).

Elder Andersen gave the example from Matthew 12:1-15, when the Pharisees confronted Jesus, and He withdrew from them and performed miracles among the multitudes. 

Elder Andersen also used Matthew in his October talk, “Drawing Closer to the Savior.” “Toward the end of His ministry, Jesus’s disciples asked Him to tell them of ‘the sign of [His Second Coming], and of the end of the world’” (Matthew 24:3). Jesus told them of the conditions that would precede His return and concluded by declaring, ‘When ye shall see all these things, [you will] know that [the time] is near’” (Matthew 24:33).

He said, “The Savior commended His valiant disciples: ‘Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear’” (Matthew 13:16). Elder Andersen also spoke about the wheat and the tares growing side by side in the last days (Matthew 13:30, 38).

Feed My Sheep, by Kamille Corry
“Feed My Sheep,” by Kamille Corry | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles used Matthew 24:7 as a reference when he spoke of “famines and pestilences” prophesied in the last days in his April message, “To Heal the World.” He shared examples from Matthew 14:15–21; 15:32–38; and 19:13–15 when he spoke of things Jesus Christ did during His ministry.

In his April general conference talk, “Love, Share, Invite,” Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said Jesus Christ gave a “solemn charge to ‘go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost’” (Matthew 28:19).

Using Matthew 5:16, Elder Stevenson also said, “By demonstrating Christ’s love to others, we may cause those who see our good works to ‘glorify [our] Father which is in heaven.’”

Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared the promise from Matthew 7:7-8 in his October general conference message, “A Framework for Personal Revelation.” He quoted, “Ask, and it shall be given you; … for every one that asketh receiveth.”

Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles referred to the Golden Rule from Matthew 7:12 in his October talk, “Happy and Forever.”

In Elder Gong’s April address, “We Each Have a Story,” he said, “with heaven’s help, we can come to understand our family and make peace with each other.” In the footnote he explained, “Hard as it may be, as we forgive ourselves and each other with Christ’s help, we become ‘the children of God’” (Matthew 5:9).

In a talk in April general conference called “In Awe of Christ and His Gospel,” Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained that distancing from the Lord weakens the ability to “hear Him.” The footnote points to Matthew 17:5 when God said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”

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Matthew 11

In an October message titled “Overcome the World and Find Rest,” President Nelson spoke of the direct connection between temple covenants and the Savior’s promise in Matthew 11:28–30, adding emphasis on the word “rest”:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; … and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

These same verses were referenced by several other leaders in conference talks.

President Eyring also quoted Matthew 11:28 in his April 2022 general conference talk: “I bear you my solemn witness that the Lord Jesus Christ has given you the invitation ‘Come unto me.’”

Elder Bednar explained in his April message, “But We Heeded Them Not,” more about these verses: “Entering into sacred covenants and worthily receiving priesthood ordinances yoke us with and bind us to the Lord Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.”

And in his October general conference talk, Elder Uchtdorf said covenants with Jesus Christ made at baptism give a special connection with Him. “The kind of connection the scriptures describe as being yoked together so that, with His help, you can carry any burden,” pointing to Matthew 11:28-30 in his footnotes.

Matthew 22

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, spoke of the loving doctrine and policies Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have established in the Church, in his April talk, “Divine Love in the Father’s Plan.” 

“When Jesus was asked, ‘Which is the great commandment in the law?’ He taught that to love God and to love our neighbors are the first of God’s great commandments (Matthew 22:36-40). Those commands are first because they invite us to grow spiritually by seeking to imitate God’s love for us.”

In his April message, Elder Rasband said religious freedom honors the first and second great commandments, “placing God at the center of our lives.”

Elder Stevenson also referred to Matthew 22:39 in April’s talk, when he said, “Love for others is the eloquent expression of the second great commandment to love our neighbor.” 

And Elder Soares referenced the same verses in his April message: “At the core of our effort in this journey are, of course, the two great commandments: to love the Lord our God and love our neighbor as ourselves.”


President Nelson opened April general conference with a talk titled “Preaching the Gospel of Peace.” Quoting Mark 16:15, he spoke of the urgent need for Church members to “go … into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

When Elder Holland spoke of difficult issues and challenges in his April talk, a footnote referred to Mark 10:21, which says, “come, take up the cross, and follow me.”

Elder Uchtdorf quoted the story of the widow’s mite from Mark 12:41-44 in his April address. “For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

Widow’s Mite, by Sandra Rast
“Widow’s Mite,” by Sandra Rast. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In teaching about how Jesus Christ used parables in the New Testament, Elder Bednar in October quoted Mark 4:34: “During part of the Lord’s Galilean ministry, the scriptures indicate that ‘without a parable spake he not unto them.’”

In his October talk, “The Doctrine of Belonging,” Elder Christofferson said, “We strive to follow the Savior’s doctrine: ‘Whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister. … For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many’” (Mark 10:43,45).

Elder Rasband taught in April that Jesus Christ is the perfect example of love and service. “During His ministry, He cared for the poor, healed the sick and the blind. He fed the hungry, opened His arms to little children, and forgave those who wronged Him, even crucified Him.” Besides Matthew, Luke and John references, the footnotes also point to Mark 10:21–22; 12:41–44; 6:31–44 and 8:6–9.

In his April message, Elder Soares said, “Those who heard Jesus preaching in the synagogue at Capernaum were astonished at His doctrine and the strength with which He taught,” referencing Mark 1:22.

Then Elder Soares used Mark 12:31 as a reference in his October talk, “In Partnership With the Lord,” as he spoke about the Golden Rule, which he said is based on the second great commandment: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

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In his April address, “Preaching the Gospel of Peace,” President Nelson said, “His gospel is the only answer when many in the world are stunned with fear.” The footnote points to Luke 21:26, which reads, “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”

Elder Holland in April told the story from Luke 8 when Jairus pleaded for Jesus to heal his 12-year-old daughter. “The surrounding crowd waylaid the Savior so long that a servant soon came saying to this anxious father, ‘Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.’ “But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, ‘Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.’”

In the same address, Elder Holland had a footnote for Luke 9:23 after the sentence, “If some are not resolved to the satisfaction of everyone, perhaps they constitute part of the cross Jesus said we would have to take up in order to follow Him.”

Elder Uchtdorf quoted “fear not” from Luke 5:10 when he spoke of the Savior’s assurances, in his October talk. In the same talk, he used Luke 18:22 when he explained, “The Lord is not saying, ‘Do whatever you want’... He is saying, ‘Come, follow me.’”

In April, Elder Uchtdorf spoke about following the Savior, and in the footnotes he pointed out, “Our children and youth are invited to grow in a balanced way as they follow Jesus Christ, who as a young man ‘increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man’” (Luke 2:52).

Elder Soares also referenced the same verse in footnotes for his April talk when he said, “We also gain additional understanding, wisdom, divine character and grace toward God and our neighbors.” 

To understand parables, Elder Bednar said in October, “an individual must exercise moral agency and actively ‘ask, seek, and knock’ to discover the truths embedded in a parable.” The footnote points to Luke 11:9–10.

In October, Elder Christofferson quoted Luke 14:21. “Let us ask Him to show us the way, day by day, to ‘bring in … the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind’ — that is, everyone — to the great feast of the Lord.”

Elder Andersen drew from Luke 23:9-11 when he described in April how to be a peacemaker by following Jesus’ example. “Some of the attacks upon the Savior were so malicious that He said nothing. “And the chief priests and scribes … vehemently accused him … and mocked him,” but Jesus “answered [them] nothing.”

Sermon on the Mount, by Harry Anderson 
“Sermon on the Mount,” by Harry Anderson | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In April, Elder Rasband shared the story in Luke 7 of when Jesus reached out to the widow of Nain and raised her only son from the dead. Later in the talk, he quoted Luke 10:37: “Who will respond to the Savior’s plea ‘Go, and do thou likewise’? We will! Yes, brothers and sisters, we will.”

His footnotes also referenced Luke 16:19–25; 4:40; 8:43–48 and 23:33–34 when speaking of Jesus Christ’s perfect example of love and service.

Elder Gong in April referenced Luke 4:18 when he said, “In all our generations, Jesus Christ heals the brokenhearted, delivers the captives, sets at liberty them that are bruised.”

In October, Elder Soares quoted the Savior’s teachings in the Sermon on the Mount from Luke 6:31: “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”

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In his October Sunday morning talk, “Overcome the World and Find Rest,” President Nelson said, “Before the Savior submitted Himself to the agony of Gethsemane and Calvary, He declared to His apostles, ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world’” (John 16:33).

President Nelson in April’s “The Power of Spiritual Momentum” said, “Every book of scripture demonstrates how willing the Lord is to intervene in the lives of those who believe in Him.” His footnote says, “John the apostle declared that he recorded the Savior’s miracles so ‘that [we] might believe that Jesus is the Christ’” (John 20:31).

In his October message “Helping the Poor and Distressed,” President Oaks said Jesus Christ is “the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9). 

Elder Holland also referred to that verse in his April talk when he said, “Before you ever received the gift of the Holy Ghost, you had the Light of Christ planted in your soul.” And he drew from John 8:12 and other references when he referred to Jesus as the Light of the World in that same address.

In April, Elder Bednar quoted from John chapter 1, which described Jesus Christ as “the Word,” and also pointed out Joseph Smith Translation, John 1:1, which reads, “In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son. And the gospel was the word, and the word was with the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was of God.”

In the same talk, Elder Bednar said, “If we abide in Christ, then He will abide in and walk with us.” The footnote references John 15:4-8

Portrait of Jesus Christ from Bible videos.
Portrait of Jesus Christ from Bible Videos. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In April, President Oaks referenced John 14:2 — “In my Father’s house are many mansions” — and said modern revelation conveyed that those mansions are in three different kingdoms of glory.

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, also referenced John 14 in a talk titled, “Follow Jesus Christ With Footsteps of Faith” in October. “Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me’ (John 14:6). He has promised to not leave us comfortless; He will come to us in our trials” (John 14:16-18).

John 14:6 was a footnote reference in Elder Bednar’s April message when he said the Savior is the Mediator, and Elder Uchtdorf quoted the verse as well in his October talk.

Elder Uchtdorf also quoted the Savior in John 16:33 and 14:1 in his October talk by saying: “Be of good cheer” and “Let not your heart be troubled.”

In Elder Andersen’s April instruction, “Following Jesus: Being a Peacemaker,” he quoted from John 17:3. “‘This is life eternal,’ Jesus prayed, ‘that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.’”

Elder Andersen also quoted John 15:18, 21, when the Savior said to His Apostles, “If the world [hates] you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. … All these things will they do … because they know not him that sent me.”

He also mentioned how some of Jesus’ disciples who witnessed miracles later determined to “[walk] no more with him” (John 6:66). 

And he said, “Each time I read John chapter 13, I am reminded of the Savior’s perfect example as a peacemaker.” Elder Andersen remarked that Jesus “was troubled in spirit” (John 13:21) as He thought about one He loved preparing to betray Him. Then, He said: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you. …By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34-35).

Elder Christofferson in April’s address quoted John 15:1-2, when Jesus said: “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit [the Father] taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”

In October’s talk, Elder Christofferson said, “we can ‘be of good cheer; [for Christ has] overcome the world,’ (John 16:33) and we are with Him. Being one with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is without doubt the ultimate in belonging.” He put a footnote on the word “belonging” to John 17, which is the great Intercessory Prayer. 

Elder Soares directly quoted the Intercessory Prayer in his October message. “He prayed in behalf of His disciples, saying, ‘That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: … that they may be one, even as we are one’” (John 17:21-22).

In April’s talk, Elder Rasband said that in the New Testament, “we read of many turning away from Jesus Christ, murmuring of His doctrine, ‘This is an hard saying; who can hear it?’” (John 6:60).

He referenced John 6:1-14 in a footnote to a paragraph of examples of Jesus Christ loving and caring for others. 

Bible Dictionary

Elder Holland in his April talk said, “At precisely the moment many in the world are asking deep questions of the soul, we ought to be answering with the “good news” of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” The footnote for “good news” linked to “Gospels” in the Bible Dictionary.

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