Church members urged to ’embrace new normal’ in Sunday afternoon session of General Conference

Leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speak to people around the world in the Sunday afternoon session of General Conference. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

President Russell M. Nelson, prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encouraged members to embrace the new normal that has come because of the COVID-19 pandemic in the last session of the October 2020 General Conference.

“I invite you to turn your heart, mind and soul increasingly to our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ,” President Nelson said.  “Let that be your ‘new normal.'” He told listeners of General Conference to embrace their new normal by repenting daily, ministering to others and keeping an eternal perspective. 

President Nelson also announced six new temples, including one in Lindon, Utah. The other locations included Guatemala, Bolivia, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Brazil.

Elder Jeremy R. Jaggi of the Quorum of the Seventy said Heavenly Father may be allowing members time to reflect and consider their understanding of patience and their decision to choose joy through this pandemic.

“Just as the trying of our faith works patience within us, when we exercise patience, our faith increases,” Elder Jaggi said. “As our faith increases, so does our joy.”

Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said “we have been highly favored of the Lord during the challenging times we have encountered during the past several months.”

He gave three examples of how members have been highly favored of the Lord during the pandemic: becoming more home centered and Church supported, ministering in a higher, holier way and finding heightened joy in the return of temple ordinances.

“I believe that one day, each of you will look back at the canceled events, the sadness, disappointments and loneliness attendant to the challenging times we are passing through to see it overshadowed by choice blessings and increased faith and testimonies,” Elder Stevenson said.  

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Brother Milton da Rocha Camargo, first counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency talked about the importance of prayer in this trying time.

“As we open our hearts in prayer, we will feel the comfort that comes from our Father in Heaven and the assurance that He loves and values us,” Brother Camargo said.

Elder Holland told members while they are working and waiting for answers to prayers, they are heard and they are answered, but not always at the time or in the way they want. “But they are always answered at the time and in the way an omniscient and eternally compassionate parent should answer them.” Elder Holland said.  

Other speakers included Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Kelly R. Johnson of the Quorum of the Seventy.

Elder Johnson talked about the covenants members of the Church have made in the temple, even though temples are temporarily closed. “These covenants, if kept, give us vision and expectations regarding the future and a clear determination to qualify to receive all that the Lord has promised through our faithfulness,” Elder Johnson said.

Elder Renlund also spoke about covenants. “Even after we have made sacred covenants, there is a possibility that we may ‘fall from grace and depart from the living God.'” Elder Renlund said. “So, we should ‘take heed and pray always’ to avoid falling ‘into temptation.'”

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