President Russell M. Nelson, president of the Council of the Twelve, was the first speaker of the priesthood session of the 186th Annual General Conference for the LDS Church. He invited the audience to remember their responsibilities as priesthood holders.
He referred to his message given to the women of the church just six months ago, with an anecdote from his years as a heart surgeon. He had been unable to save the lives of two young sisters. Their family harbored resentment toward President Nelson, who was grieved by the situation for many decades.
“Then, one night last May, I was awakened by those two little girls from of the other side of the veil,” President Nelson said. “Though I did not see or hear them with my physical senses, I felt their presence. Spiritually, I heard their pleadings.”
They asked him to make sure they were sealed as an eternal family. Emboldened, President Nelson reached out to the surviving father and brother (the mother had since passed away), who were less active in the church. He pleaded with them to seek for the temple blessings and to be sealed together as a family.
Though the process was long and involved the assistance of numerous church leaders and missionaries, the family was recently sealed in the Payson Utah Temple by President Nelson.
“Wendy and I participated in that sublime experience,” President Nelson said. “Many hearts were healed that day!”
Referring to the two men of the story as “heroes,” President Nelson urged the church’s priesthood holders to “demonstrate the courage, strength and humility of this father and son.” He spoke of bearing the priesthood as an immense responsibility.
“I fear that there are too many priesthood bearers who have done little or nothing to develop their ability to access the powers of heaven,” he said.
President Nelson reiterated that actions like reading the scriptures, praying, asking for guidance and worshiping in the temple would bring access to greater priesthood power.
“If all this sounds excessive, please consider how different our relationships with our wife, children and associates at work would be if we were as concerned about gaining priesthood power as we are in progressing at work or increasing the balance in our bank account,” he said.
He explained that priesthood power would not only work physical miracles but also heal hearts and minds.
“Because two little girls were so eager to be sealed to their family, their father and brother were willing to pay the price to bear the holy Melchizedek Priesthood,” President Nelson said.