Sunday, February 12, 2017

14 Favorite Takeaways and Action Steps from President and Sister Nelson's 2017 Worldwide Devotional

A year ago I went nuts over President and Sister Nelson's Worldwide Devotional talks and blogged about them here.
They've done it again this year! Two power-packed talks full of bold truth and action items.

Three powerful action items from President Nelson.

These invitations are to help the young adults increase their discipleship, prepare to be tomorrow's leaders of the Church, and to get the world ready for the Savior's return.
1. First, focus on your marriage and family. Implement the impressions you had as you heard "Aunt Wendy’s' four truths about love and marriage." [See her talk below.]
2. I urge you to study the lives and teachings of these 16 prophets of God. That study will change your life. [Look for leadership qualities and lessons, as they are what President Nelson called, "the finest leaders to have walked the earth.]
3. Consecrate a portion of your time each week to studying everything Jesus said and did as recorded in the [standard works].
  • Study everything Jesus Christ is by prayerfully and vigorously seeking to understand what each of His various titles and names means personally for you. For example, He really is your Advocate with the Father. He will take your side. He will stand up for you. He will speak on your behalf, every time, as you choose to be more like Him.
  • Get to know Him by studying all He continues to teach through His living prophets and apostles. Study 'The Family: A Proclamation to the World.' Study 'The Living Christ' document. These were both received by revelation. Post them online and where you can see them daily.
  • Pray for a witness that those truths represent divine law. Learn to articulate those truths in your own words. Practice! Then pray and look for opportunities to speak about what you believe. Your ability to lead and to have righteous influence will increase as you do so.
Click here to see the part of this study project I'm doing that's bringing the scriptures to life for me!

President Nelson promised four beautiful blessings for doing this study project. 
If you proceed to learn all you can about Jesus Christ, I promise you that your love for Him, and for God’s laws, will grow beyond what you currently imagine. I promise you also that your ability to turn away from sin will increase. Your desire to keep the commandments will soar. You will find yourself better able to walk away from the entertainment and entanglements of those who mock the followers of Jesus Christ.
Here are some other favorite quotes from his talk.

Christ is our ultimate mentor.
As members of His restored Church, we know that Jesus Christ, our Master, is our ultimate Mentor. As a true millennial, you were born to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. In fact, the only way to be a true millennial is to be one of His true disciples! How can you increase in your discipleship? I have an invitation for you that will help—it’s an assignment, actually—if you choose to accept it. [Then he introduced the study project above]. 
The more we know and live divine law, the better leaders we will be. Truth is truth, no matter what popular opinion says. 
The more of God’s laws you may know—and more importantly, the way you live them—the more effective your righteous leadership will be. Divine law is incontrovertible and irrefutable. Divine law cannot be denied or disputed. And when God’s laws are obeyed, relevant blessings always result! Blessings are always predicated upon obedience to applicable law.
Existentialists can expound; relativists can rationalize with their constricted views of reality—that truth is only a subjective experience—laws are laws! God’s truth is really true! What God says is right is right! And what He says is wrong is wrong!
As an Apostle, I plead with you to learn God’s irrevocable laws. Learn them by study and by faith. That means, among other things, “[living] by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.”
Avoid Lucifer's snares and entrapments. 
Pray to discern between God’s laws and the philosophies of men, including those cunning counterfeits of the adversary. Through eons of time, Lucifer has honed his craft. He is skilled at distraction, distortion, deception, and misdirection. I plead with you to avoid his cunning snares as you would avoid a plague!
Entrapments designed by Satan can only bring to you misery, spiritual captivity, and death. This is true everytime. The sad consequences of yielding to Lucifer’s lures are predictable, dependable, repeatable, and regrettable.
Keeping God's laws brings freedom and power. 
Conversely, I promise that as you keep God’s commandments, as you live by His laws, you will become increasingly free. This freedom will unveil to you your divine nature and allow you to prosper personally. You will be free from the bondage of sin. You will be free to be you—an effective, righteous leader. You will be prepared to lead by precept and by example wherever you are needed. Happily, the blessings of keeping God’s commandments are also predictable, dependable, and repeatable.

I love that President Nelson ended his talk by invoking a priesthood blessing on the audience.
Now, as one of His Apostles, I invoke those keys to leave a blessing upon each of you. I bless you to learn God’s laws and live by them. I bless you to be a good example, in word and deed, of a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I bless you to be free from sin, to radiate goodness and light in a way that will attract others to want to know and feel the source of your light. I bless you with success in your educational and occupational endeavors. I bless you to seek for and care for your virtuous companion. And I bless you each to be a righteous leader in your family, community, country, and in the Church.
Click here to watch or read President Nelson's talk.

Here is what President Nelson said on Facebook that day about his talk: 
During my devotional address this evening, I invited you to accept an important assignment to begin to consecrate a portion of your time each week to studying everything Jesus said and did as recorded in the Old Testament, for He is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. Study His laws as recorded in the New Testament, for He is its Christ. Study His doctrine as recorded in the Book of Mormon, for there is no book of scripture in which His mission and His ministry are more clearly revealed. And study His words as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, for He continues to teach His people in this dispensation.
For help completing this assignment, see the Topical Guide, “Jesus Christ.” In addition to the text under that major heading, there are 57 subtitles about Him. ... Let this resource become your personal core curriculum.
This may seem like a large assignment. But I encourage you to accept it. If you proceed to learn all you can about Jesus Christ, I promise you that your love for Him and for God’s laws will grow beyond what you currently imagine. I promise you also that your ability to turn away from sin will increase. Your desire to keep the commandments will soar. You will find yourself better able to walk away from the entertainment and entanglements of those who mock the followers of Jesus Christ. I can recommend this assignment to you because I recently completed it myself and I know it has blessed my life.
I would like to follow up with you at a later point to learn how your study is going and hear how it is changing your lives. (Emphasis added). 

Sister Nelson gave a power-packed ten minutes of the truth about love and marriage at the same meeting here. 

Sister Nelson urged us to seek to understand the truth about love and marriage. She gave four truths. 

Truth #1: Truths about love and marriage are brought to you by the Holy Ghost from our Heavenly Father.
Truth #2: Personal purity is the key to true love.
The more pure your thoughts and feelings, your words and actions, the greater your capacity to give and receive true love.
So, if you’re single and wonder how best to prepare for true love, the answer is: Do whatever it takes to keep your thoughts, feelings, words, and actions pure. Invite the Spirit to guide you. He will help you! And if you’re married, my counsel is exactly the same!
Truth #3: As an important part of the expression of their love, the Lord wants a husband and wife to partake of the wonders and joys of marital intimacy.
...Marital intimacy is sacred. In fact, a husband and wife can be drawn closer to God when joined in true marital intimacy. So, how can you prepare for such intimacy? You will need to live righteously so the Spirit can be the companion to you and your spouse.
Truth #4: For true marital intimacy, the Holy Ghost needs to be involved.
It is simply not possible to have the kind of intimate experiences outside of marriage that you can have within because the Spirit will not be present.

Elder Parley P. Pratt taught that the Holy Ghost has the ability to increase, enlarge, expand, and purify “all the natural passions and affections.”5 Just imagine: He can purify your feelings! Therefore, anything that invites the Spirit into your life, and into the life of your spouse and your marriage, will increase your ability to experience marital intimacy. It really is as simple, and as profound, as that!

On the other hand, anything that offends the Spirit will decrease your ability to be one with your spouse. Things such as anger, lust, unforgiveness, contention, immorality, and unrepented sin will reduce your attempt for marital intimacy to be something that is nothing more than a sexual experience.
I testify that marriage is one of the greatest privileges God gives to His children, that marriage can be the source of unparalleled joy, and that personal purity is the key to that joy. 

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