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President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

“We live in a most difficult dispensation,” President Russell M. Nelson said in his Saturday morning conference address.

“Challenges, controversies and complexities swirl around us,” said the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “These turbulent times were foreseen by the Savior. He warned us that in our day, the adversary would stir up anger in the hearts of men and lead them astray. Yet, our Heavenly Father never intended that we would deal with the maze of personal problems and social issues on our own.

“God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son to help us. And His Son, Jesus Christ, gave His life for us. All so that we could have access to godly power — power sufficient to deal with the burdens, obstacles, and temptations of our day.”

President Nelson then spoke about “how we can draw into our lives the power of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. We begin by learning about Him.”

He said that the more people know about the Savior’s ministry and mission, and the more they understand His doctrine and what He did for them, the more they know that He can provide the power they need for their lives.

He said that earlier this year, he asked young adults in the Church to consecrate a portion of their time each week to study everything Jesus said and did as recorded in the standard works — to let the scriptural citations about Jesus Christ in the Topical Guide become their personal core curriculum. He said that when he finished the exercise himself, he was “a different man,” that he felt a renewed devotion to Jesus Christ.

President Nelson said the importance of the Savior’s mission was emphasized by the Prophet Joseph Smith, who declared emphatically that “the fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], p. 49).

It was that statement that provided the incentive for 15 prophets, seers and revelators to issue and sign their testimony to commemorate the 2,000th anniversary of the Lord’s birth. “That historic testimony is titled, ‘The Living Christ,’ ” President Nelson said as he urged members to study it.

Another key element to accessing the Lord’s power is to choose to have faith in Him and follow Him, President Nelson said.

“True disciples of Jesus Christ are willing to stand out, speak up, and be different from the people of the world. They are undaunted, devoted, and courageous. ... Our focus must be riveted on the Savior and His gospel. It is mentally rigorous to strive to look unto Him in every thought. But, when we do, our doubts and fears flee.”

President Nelson said, “We also increase the Savior’s power in our lives when we make sacred covenants and keep those covenants with precision. Our covenants bind us to Him and give us godly power. As faithful disciples, we repent and follow Him into the waters of baptism. We walk along the covenant path to receive other essential ordinances. And gratefully, God’s plan provides for those blessings to be extended to ancestors who died without an opportunity to obtain them during their mortal lives.”

Another element in drawing on the Savior’s power is to reach up to Him in faith.

“When you reach up for the Lord’s power in your life with the same intensity that a drowning person has when grasping and gasping for air, power from Jesus Christ will be yours,” President Nelson declared. “When the Savior knows you truly want to reach up to Him — when He can feel that the greatest desire of your heart is to draw His power into your life — you will be led by the Holy Ghost to know exactly what you should do. ...

“The gospel of Jesus Christ is filled with His power which is available to every earnestly seeking daughter or son of God. It is my testimony that when we draw His power into our lives, both He and we will rejoice.”

gerry@desnews.com

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