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Elder Russell M. Nelson: 'Catch the Wave'

Church News

Published: Saturday, April 6 2013 4:00 p.m. MDT

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks during the afternoon session Saturday, April 6, 2013 of the 183th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Conference Center.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

In his Saturday afternoon address, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve encouraged members of all ages to "catch the wave" of unprecedented enthusiasm for missionary work that is sweeping the earth.

"More of you young men and women will catch this wave as you strive to be worthy of mission calls," he said. "You see this as a wave of truth and righteousness. You see your opportunity to be on the crest of that wave."

Elder Nelson also counseled teenagers to embrace their new learning curriculum and teach one another Christ's doctrine, saying that now is the time to prepare to teach others about the goodness of God. He also spoke of the importance of education. Where feasible, young men and young women should apply to a college or university before beginning missionary calls, he counseled. Many institutions of higher learning are granting deferrals to prospective missionaries.

Parents and teachers can also "catch the wave" as they prepare the rising generation to be worthy of missionary service. "Meanwhile, your exemplary lives will attract the interest of your friends and neighbors. Be ready to give an answer to those who ask why you live as you do. Be ready to give a reason for the hope and joy that they see in you. When such questions come, you might respond by saying, 'Let's ask the missionaries! They can help us!'"

Young adults, he added, can "catch the wave" with help for the spiritual, physical and financial preparation of future missionaries. "Pinching pennies for piggy banks becomes part of your practice. You senior couples plan for the day when you can go on your mission. ...Until then, perhaps some of you could send your dollars on missions by contributing to the General Missionary Fund, as suggested by President Monson."

Stake presidents and bishops can also catch the wave of missionary enthusiasm as they spend more time interviewing prospective missionaries. Priesthood leaders hold keys of responsibility for missionary work in their units and they inspire members to participate, Elder Nelson noted.

Also, he emphasized the importance of ward mission leaders, who are the connecting link between members and missionaries, telling them: "Along with others on the ward council, you identify less-active members, part-member families and interested neighbors. You meet regularly with assigned full-time missionaries. You advise and assist the missionaries. Please help them to fill their daily planners with focused and meaningful teaching opportunities."

Even inquiring friends and neighbors who are not members can catch the wave.

"We encourage them to keep all that is good and true in their lives," he said. "And we invite them to receive more, especially the glorious truth that through God's eternal plan, families can be together forever."

Elder Nelson then testified of the Restoration that is being taught by the missionaries around the world. The Restoration brought about increases in sacred knowledge, it fulfills biblical prophecies, restores divine teachings such as tithing and clarifies New Testament scriptures such as baptism for the dead. The Book of Mormon, he said, is the centerpiece of the Restoration.

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