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LDS Church
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve speaks at the Sunday afternoon session of general conference in Salt Lake City, Oct. 6, 2013.

Each day is a day of decision and decisions determine destiny, said Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve.

“One day each of us will stand before the Lord in judgment,” said Elder Nelson. “We will each have a personal interview with Jesus Christ. We will account for decisions that we made about our bodies, our spiritual attributes and how we honored God’s pattern for marriage and family.

“That we may choose wisely each day’s decisions for eternity is my earnest prayer.”

Speaking during the Sunday afternoon session, Elder Nelson told Church members that the wise use of freedom to make their own decisions is crucial to their spiritual growth, now and for eternity.

“You are never too young to learn, never too old to change. Your yearnings to learn and change come from a divinely instilled striving for eternal progression. Each day brings opportunity for decisions for eternity.”

Elder Nelson said his professional years as a medical doctor gave him a profound respect for the human body. “Created by God as a gift to you, it is absolutely amazing,” he said.

The body protects and repairs itself, he explained. “With your body being such as vital part of God’s eternal plan, it is little wonder that the Apostle Paul described it as a temple of God. Each time you look in the mirror, see your body as your temple. That truth — refreshed gratefully each day — can positively influence your decisions about how you will care for your body and how you will use it. And those decisions will determine your destiny.”

Elder Nelson said some of the decisions that will determine a person’s destiny include: “How will you choose to care for and use your body? What spiritual attributes will you choose to develop?”

Elder Nelson told the worldwide congregation that their Heavenly Father has known them for a long time. “You, as His son or daughter, were chosen by Him to come to earth at this precise time, to be leaders in His great work on earth. You were chosen not for your bodily characteristics, but for your spiritual attributes.”

A pivotal spiritual attribute is that of self-mastery — the strength to place reason over appetite, he said.

“It is not surprising then, that most temptations to stray from God’s plan of happiness come through the misuse of those essential, God-given appetites.”

Elder Nelson said a person can change behavior, but that true change can come only through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. “He allows you to access His power as you keep His commandments, eagerly, earnestly and exactly.”

Marriage between a man and a woman is fundamental to the Lord’s doctrine and crucial to God’s eternal plan. “Regardless of what civil legislation may be enacted, the doctrine of the Lord regarding marriage and morality cannot be changed. Remember: sin, even if legalized by man, is still sin in the eyes of God.

“While we are to emulate our Savior’s kindness and compassion, while we are to value the rights and feelings of all of God’s children, we cannot change His doctrine. It is not ours to change. His doctrine is ours to study, understand and uphold.”

Elder Nelson said the Savior’s way of life is good. “His way includes chastity before marriage and total fidelity within marriage. The Lord’s way is the only way for us to experience enduring happiness.”