Closing a historic Saturday evening session, President Russell M. Nelson made two significant announcements.
First, the Church is introducing a symbol that will signify the central place of Jesus Christ in His Church. Graphically, the new symbol includes the name of the Church contained within a cornerstone because Jesus Christ is the chief corner stone.
Second, President Nelson announced a second worldwide fast. “I invite all, including those not of our faith, to fast and pray on Good Friday, April 10, that the present pandemic may be controlled, caregivers protected, the economy strengthened and life normalized,” he said.
The Saturday evening session, in which all members of the Church were invited to participate, also featured two youth speakers, who spoke on how the priesthood has blessed their lives.
Laudy R. Kaouk, 17, said, “Just like God blessed Joseph Smith with the priesthood so that the blessings of the gospel could be restored, we can receive the blessings of the gospel in our lives through the priesthood.”
Joseph Smith was a young man who was called of God to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ, Enzo S. Petelo, 15, explained, “and for that purpose was given the priesthood which he used to bless all mankind.”
The speakers who followed carried on the theme of the priesthood. Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society general president, said achieving unity between men and women will not happen on its own — it requires effort to counsel together — but the resulting decisions will be more inspired.
“When women and men work together we accomplish a great deal more than we do working separately,” she said. “Our roles are complementary rather than competitive.”
A “pivotal moment in the Restoration” and the gathering of Israel occurred on April 3, 1836, in the Kirtland Temple, explained President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency. The veil was “taken from the minds” of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, and they saw the Lord standing “upon the breastwork of the pulpit.”
Subsequent visions of Moses and Elias were followed by an appearance of Elijah, who announced the day had come “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers.”
The Lord envisioned all of the Restoration’s key moments, he said. “He planned for it, step by step, as He has done with other changes in His Church.”
President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, also highlighted the visions of the Savior as well as Moses, Elias and Elijah in the Kirtland Temple, as he explained the importance of priesthood keys.
“The family organization and the Church of Jesus Christ have a mutually reinforcing relationship,” he said. “The blessings of the priesthood, such as the fulness of the gospel and ordinances like baptism, confirmation and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, the temple endowment, and eternal marriage, are available to men and women alike.”
Elder Gerrit W. Gong spoke about how the sacred events between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday are the story of hosanna — a plea for God to save — and hallelujah — praise to the Lord for the hope of salvation and exaltation.
“In celebrating the ongoing Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we also prepare for Easter,” he said. “In both, we rejoice in the return of Jesus Christ.”
President Oaks conducted the session. Elder Kyle S. McKay, General Authority Seventy, offered the invocation, and Sister Cristina B. Franco, second counselor in the Primary general presidency, offered the benediction.
Pre-recorded hymns performed by the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square shared during this session included “Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise,” “Lead, Kindly Light,” “Hark, All Ye Nations!” and “I am a Child of God” as a choir and congregational hymn.