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President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks April 2 during the General Priesthood Session of the 186th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In his general conference message six months ago, President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles related the devastating experience he had as a heart surgeon many years ago when he was unable to save the lives of two young girls in a family who were beset with congenital disease.

"Over time, I learned that they harbored lingering resentment toward me and the Church," President Nelson said to the priesthood session congregation during te 186 Annual General Conference.

One night last May, he was awakened by those two little girls from the other side of the veil, he said. "Their message was brief and clear: 'Brother Nelson, we are not sealed to anyone! Can you help us?'"

Soon thereafter, he learned their mother had passed away, but their father and younger brother were still alive and living together. In June, President Nelson reached out to the father, now 88 years old, and told him of the daughters' pleading and said he would be honored to perform the sealing ordinances for the family.

Father and son worked diligently to prepare themselves for temple ordinances, and not long ago, in the Payson Utah Temple, President Nelson officiated in the sealing ordinances for the family.

"If I could have the wish of my heart," President Nelson said, "it would be that each man and young man in this Church would demonstrate the courage, strength, and humility of this father and son. They were willing to forgive and let go of old hurts and habits. They were willing to submit to guidance from their priesthood leaders so that the Atonement of Jesus Christ could purify and magnify them. Each was willing to become a man who worthily bears the priesthood “after the holiest order of God.”

He said he fears that too many men have been given the authority of the priesthood but lack its power because the flow of power has been blocked by sins such as laziness, dishonesty, pride, immorality or preoccupation with things of the world.

"I urgently plead with each one of us to live up to our privileges as bearers of the priesthood," he said. "In a coming day, only those men who have taken their priesthood seriously by diligently seeking to be taught by the Lord Himself, will be able to bless, guide, protect, strengthen, and heal others. Only a man who has paid the price for priesthood power will be able to bring miracles to those he loves and keep his marriage and family safe, now and throughout eternity."

President Nelson said the price to develop such power is to seek qualities of faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity and diligence.

"Are you willing to pray to know how to pray for more power?" he asked. "The Lord will teach you."

rscott@deseretnews.com

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