Conference Center packed for worldwide young adult devotional

Married and single young adults filled the conference center for President Russell M. Nelson and Sister Wendy W. Nelson’s devotional Sunday night. The devotional was broadcast across the world. (Abigail Gunderson)

For the first time in two years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Conference Center was filled to capacity as President Russell M. Nelson and Sister Wendy W. Nelson spoke to young adults Sunday evening. 

Seats were available on a first-come, first-served basis, and crowds filled the block waiting for the doors to open. Some who came hours early didn’t make it into the 21,000 seat Conference Center and moved to overflow areas — which quickly filled. 

Attendees walk from the Conference Center to get refreshments after the devotional. More than 20,000 young adults came to Temple Square for the event. (Abigail Gunderson)

President Nelson said with his extensive life experience, he has shifted his focus in life away from things that don’t matter. The Conference Center erupted with laughter as President Nelson mentioned as part of his new paradigm, he no longer buys green bananas. 

Unlike green bananas, President Nelson said to him, the young adults of the Church are part of the things that do matter. He said his purpose as prophet of the Church is to teach them how to live their life now to prepare for eternity.

“This life really is the time when you get to decide what kind of life you want to live forever,” he said.

To combat the challenges of realizing their full potential, President Nelson encouraged young adults to focus on their divine identity, Christ and His Atonement and their personal conversion. 

In his remarks, President Nelson emphasized the power and danger of labels. As young adults find their place in the world, he said he worries Church members who have grown up singing “I am a Child of God” may see it as a “slogan,” rather than an eternal truth. 

“The way you think about who you really are affects almost every decision you will ever make,” he said. He encouraged the audience to understand their identity and live accordingly. 

Of all the labels one can have in life, he said first and foremost, each is a child of God. He warned young adults not to limit themselves or others with labels, and to avoid prejudice.

“With your diligent seeking, God will give you glimpses of who you may become,” President Nelson said.

Sister Nelson focused on becoming a holy young adult, sharing an experience she had with 30 young adults from around the U.S. and Canada. She invited the young adults to find one situation a day, for three days, and ask themselves “What would a holy young adult do in this situation?”

Sister Nelson shared their experiences trying to be a little holier every day, and invited the audience to try the same experiment. 

President and Sister Nelson wait for the devotional to begin. They spoke to the young adults about fulfilling their divine potential and becoming more holy. (Abigail Gunderson)
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