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98 statements of counsel from President Nelson in honor of his 98th birthday

Born Sept. 9, 1924, President Nelson was set apart as the 17th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Jan. 14, 2018

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President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Ephraim Utah Temple in Ephraim on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. President Nelson celebrated his 98th birthday on Sept. 9, 2022.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News


President Russell M. Nelson will celebrate his 98th birthday on Friday, Sept. 9.

Born to Marion C. and Edna Anderson Nelson in 1924, just five years before the stock market crash of 1929, he grew up in Salt Lake City. He pursued his career in medicine, which included receiving doctoral degrees from the University of Utah and University of Minnesota and additional advanced work residencies in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. He helped pioneer the development of the artificial heart-lung machine.

With his wife, Dantzel White Nelson, whom he married in 1945, he raised nine daughters and one son. After her death, he married Wendy L. Watson in the Salt Lake Temple in 2006.

President Nelson was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1984 and was set apart as the 17th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Jan. 14, 2018.

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President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, are interviewed in Salt Lake City on Friday, May 29, 2020.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

In honor of President Nelson’s 98th birthday, following are 98 pieces of counsel, listed in random order, that he has shared as the leader of the Church:

1. “The temple is central to your spiritual foundation.”

2. “I have complete faith in you.”

3. “The power of Jesus Christ will heal us, strengthen us, comfort us and renew us.”

4. “Seek truth.”

5. “Make covenants with God and keep them.”

6. “Whatever your concerns, whatever your challenges, there is a place for you in this, the Lord’s Church.”

7. “As you make your testimony your highest priority, watch for miracles to happen in your life.”

8. “Never forget that the Restoration of the gospel commenced so that all men and women might know that it is true!” 

9. “The name of the Church is not negotiable.” 

10. “Your potential is divine.”

11. “Are you willing to let God prevail in your life? Are you willing to let God be the most important influence in your life?”

12. “Spend more time in the temple and in family history work.”

13. Remember “God loves all of His children and has a vision for each of us.”

14. “Resolve to strengthen your spiritual foundation.”

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President Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, tours the renovation work at the Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 22, 2021.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

15. “Resolve to be kind to others.”

16. “Resolve to be resolute.”

17. “Take charge of your testimony of Jesus Christ.”

18. “The Lord does not require perfect faith for us to have access to His perfect power. But He does ask us to believe.” 

19. “We call upon people everywhere to pray for those in need, to do what they can to help the distressed, and to seek the Lord’s help in ending any major conflicts.”

20. “Know the truth about who you are.”

21. “Know the truth about what Heavenly Father and His Son have offered you.” 

22. “Know the truth related to your conversion.”

23. “You are literally spirit children of God.” 

24. “It is now time that we each implement extraordinary measures — perhaps measures we have never taken before — to strengthen our personal spiritual foundations.”

25. “We are witnesses to a process of restoration. If you think the Church has been fully restored, you are just seeing the beginning. 

26. “Give thanks.”

27. “Though our world is filled with serious challenges, I am optimistic about the future and confident about the fundamental goodness of humankind.”

28. “We live in the most vibrant era in the history of the world.”

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President Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, tours the renovation work at the Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 22, 2021.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

29. “Look forward to the future with hope.” 

30. “No greater influence exists in the kingdom than the women of the Church.”

31. “Whenever I’m comfortably situated in my home, I’m in the wrong place. I need to be where the people are.

32. “Keep on the covenant path.”

33. “Eat your vitamin pills. Get some rest. It’s going to be exciting.”

34. “Bounce out of bed each morning and see what the day will bring.”

35. “You can get personal revelation for your own circumstances, just as naturally as I can for my circumstances.”

36. “Flood social media with a wave of gratitude.”

37. “Gratitude provides us with a greater perspective on the very purpose and joy of life.”

38. “Faith in God is, and has always been, the preeminent force for good in this world.” 

39. “Let us unite in thanking God through daily prayer.”

40. “We believe in freedom, kindness and fairness for all of God’s children!”

41. “With all the pleadings of my heart, I urge you to get on the covenant path and stay there.”

42. “Experience the joy of repenting daily.”

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President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, walk the grounds of the Washington D.C. Temple in Kensington, Maryland, on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

43. “Learn about God and how He works.”

44. “Seek and expect miracles.”

45. “Strive to end conflict in your life.”

46. “The adversary never sleeps. There will always be opposition to the truth.”

47. Share “the message of the ongoing Restoration of the Savior’s gospel.”

48. “Having questions does not mean that you don’t have a testimony.”

49. Read “afresh Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision as recorded in the Pearl of Great Price.”

50. “Engage in daily, earnest, humble prayer.”

51. “Ask the Lord to teach you how to hear Him better.”

52. “We plead with leaders of nations to find peaceful resolutions to their differences.”

53. “The gospel of Jesus Christ has never been needed more than it is today.”

54. “Contention violates everything the Savior stood for and taught.”

55. “The Holy Ghost will testify to you — and to every sincere seeker of truth — that the gospel is true.”

56. “Every person who has made covenants with God has promised to care about others and serve those in need.”

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20190113 President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints looks over destroyed LDS chapel with his wife Wendy Nelson in Paradise, California on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, two months after the Camp Fire destroyed 1,400 homes and hundreds of businesses.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

57. “I reaffirm strongly that the Lord has asked every worthy, able young man to prepare for and serve a mission. … For you young and able sisters, a mission is also a powerful, but optional, opportunity.”

58. “The blessings of the gospel are for every race, language and people.”

59. “There is room for each person who will fully embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

60. “Regardless of relationship status, there is one source to whom we can all turn to either enhance the love we feel for others or mend our hearts when they feel broken — the Savior Jesus Christ.”

61. “If we have any hope of reclaiming the goodwill and sense of humanity for which we yearn, it must begin with each of us, one person at a time.”

62. “The Church of Jesus Christ is a global Church.”

63. “Whenever any kind of upheaval occurs in your life, the safest place to be spiritually is living inside your temple covenants!”

64. “Things are going to move forward at an accelerated pace. The Church is going to have an unprecedented future, unparalleled.”

65. “Partake of sacred ordinances worthily.”

66. “I plead with you to counter worldly ways by focusing on the eternal blessings of the temple.”

67. “Faith in Jesus Christ is the foundation of all belief and the conduit of divine power.”

68. “Everything taught in the temple, through instruction and through the Spirit, increases our understanding of Jesus Christ.”

69. “It is imperative that we each have a firm spiritual foundation built upon the rock of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.”

70. “The Restoration is a process, not an event, and will continue until the Lord comes again.”

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President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hugs children after a devotional in Asuncion, Paraguay, on Monday, Oct. 22, 2018.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

71. “The Lord, in His wisdom, has reserved each of you — regardless of age — to come to earth at this crucial time.”

72. “The ultimate objective of the gathering of Israel is to bring the blessings of the temple to God’s faithful children.”

73. “The ongoing Restoration needs ongoing revelation.”

74. “I plead with you to seek — prayerfully and consistently — to understand temple covenants and ordinances.”

75. “When you know for yourself that the gospel of Jesus Christ contains the most important truths available on earth — absolute truths — nothing in your social media feeds will confuse you.”

76. “We need to work tirelessly to build bridges of understanding rather than creating walls of segregation.”

77. “Arm in arm and shoulder to shoulder, may we strive to lift our brothers and sisters everywhere, in every way we can.” 

78. “Decide what kind of life you want to live forever.”

79. “Now is your time ‘to prepare to meet God.’”

80. “The first great commandment — to love our God — is inexorably yoked to the second great commandment, to love our neighbor.”

81. “To remove the Lord’s name from the Lord’s Church is a major victory for Satan.”

82. “There has never been a time in the history of the world when knowledge of our Savior is more personally vital and relevant to every human soul.”

83. “His love for you is unfailing. He and His Beloved Son ‘will not leave you comfortless’ (John 14:18).”

84. “God’s laws are gifts to His children.”

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President Russell M. Nelson and Sister Wendy Nelson greet children in the congregation following the May 16, 2019, devotional in the Kona Hawaii Stake center.

Mike Foley

85. “With your diligent seeking, God will give you glimpses of who you may become.” 

86. “Nourish yourself in the words of ancient and modern prophets.”

87. “The pure doctrine of Christ changes the life of everyone who understands it and seeks to implement it.”

88. “I assure you that your standing before God is not determined by the color of your skin.”

89. The Savior’s “gospel is the only answer when many in the world are stunned with fear.” 

90. “The Lord has never needed His faithful Saints more than right now.”

91. “The gospel net to gather scattered Israel is expansive.”

92. “Taking the Savior’s name upon us includes declaring and witnessing to others — through our actions and our words — that Jesus is the Christ.”

93. “Everything we believe and every promise God has made to His covenant people come together in the temple.”

94. “I promise you that if we will do our best to restore the correct name of the Lord’s Church, He whose Church this is will pour down His power and blessings upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints, the likes of which we have never seen.”

95. “My prayer is that the Spirit has spoken to you directly about things the Lord would have you do.”

96. “Ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, for help.”

97. “Living in accord with the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way to experience sustained joy — now and forever.”

98. “There’s much more to come.”

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President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, greet missionaries in Asuncion, Paraguay, on Monday, Oct. 22, 2018.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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