PROVO — “Choose to be one of his true disciples now.”
That was the charge given to young adults by President Russell M. Nelson, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, during a worldwide devotional on Sunday evening.
“As a true millennial, you were born to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ,” he said. “In fact, the only way to be a true millennial is to be one of his true disciples.”
The event, originating from the Marriott Center on the Brigham Young University campus, was broadcast in more than 20 languages to countries worldwide. President Nelson’s wife, Sister Wendy W. Nelson, also spoke during the meeting, and a choir from the Orem Utah LDS Institute provided music.
A year after speaking at a worldwide devotional for young adults, President Nelson referred to the challenge he gave young adults in January 2016 to “rise up as the true millennials you were born to be.”
To build on that, President Nelson focused his remarks on ways young adults can rise to that call and become a “true disciple” of Christ. He focused his remarks on three ways — following the examples of latter-day prophets, understanding God’s divine laws and studying the life and teachings of the Savior — to help millennials in that quest.
Drawing from experiences in his own life, President Nelson shared leadership principles he has learned from his interactions with President Joseph Fielding Smith, President Ezra Taft Benson, President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson.
While each prophet strengthened his faith in a different way, all of them have many attributes in common, he said.
“One is that each prophet understands the importance of divine law. The knowledge of divine law and effective, righteous leadership go hand in hand. The more of God’s laws you know — and more importantly, the way you live them — the more effective your righteous leadership will be.”
Divine law is incontrovertible and irrefutable, he taught. “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. But God’s laws are laws. God’s truth is really true. What God says is right is right. And what he says is wrong is wrong.”
That is why it is imperative that a person knows God’s laws, President Nelson said.
“While the world is filled with uncertainty, there need not be uncertainty in your heart and mind about what is true and what is not,” he said. “Uncertainty is born of imperfect or unknown information.”
President Nelson encouraged listeners to pray to discern between God’s laws and the philosophies of men and Satan.
“I promise that as you keep God’s commandments, as you live by his laws, you will become increasingly free,” he said.
President Nelson invited listeners to study the life and teachings of the Savior as recorded in the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants.
“How can you increase in your discipleship?” he asked. “I have an invitation that will help — an assignment, actually — if you choose to accept it. Commence tonight to consecrate a portion of your time each week to studying everything Jesus said and did. 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.”
Sister Nelson shared “Aunt Wendy’s four truths about love and marriage.”
“I’d like to share four truths I believe will not only save you from unnecessary heartache, but will help you to be, and to choose, a righteous spouse and then to create a happy marriage and a productive family,” she said.
Truth No. 1: “The truths about love and marriage are brought to you by the Holy Ghost from our Heavenly Father who decreed marriage to be an irreplaceable component of that plan,” she said. “The Spirit is the true messenger of these truths.”
In contrast, Satan perpetuates lies about love and marriage.
“The adversary rejoices every time he persuades a victim to embrace anything that defiles or degrades love and marriage,” she said.
Truth No. 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,” she said.
Truth No. 3: An important part of a husband and wife’s expression of love is partaking in “the wonders and joys of marital intimacy.”
“Marital intimacy is ordained by God,” she said. “It is commanded and commended by him because it draws a husband and wife closer together, and closer to the Lord.”
True marital intimacy involves the whole soul of each spouse and represents how united a husband and wife are in all areas of their lives, Sister Nelson taught.
Truth No. 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,” she said.
Sister Nelson compared “worldly sex” to “God-ordained marital intimacy” under the influence of the Spirit.
While “worldly sex” is lustful and kills love, marital intimacy generates more love, Sister Nelson taught.
“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,” she said.