President Nelson attends Sunday afternoon session, invites all to rejoice in priesthood keys

President Russell M. Nelson (center) attends General Conference in Salt Lake City on Sunday afternoon with first counselor President Dallin H. Oaks (left) and second counselor President Henry B. Eyring (right) on April 7. (Lauren Willardson)

After joining all but one of this year’s General Conference sessions virtually, President Russell M. Nelson attended the final Sunday afternoon session at the Conference Center.

Also in attendance were his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring. Although he attended in person, President Nelson’s remarks were prerecorded.

President Russell M. Nelson greets members of the Quorum of the Twelve before the Sunday afternoon session at the Conference Center on April 7. (Lauren Willardson)

President Nelson’s remarks focused on the power of priesthood keys and temple attendance for individual Church members.

At the beginning of his remarks, President Nelson noted that April 7 marks the 40th anniversary of when he and President Oaks were sustained as members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1984.

“Consider how your life would be different if priesthood keys had not been restored to the earth. Without priesthood keys, you could not be endowed with the power of God. Without priesthood keys, the Church could serve only as a significant teaching and humanitarian organization but not much more. Without priesthood keys, none of us would have access to essential ordinances and covenants that bind us to our loved ones eternally and allow us eventually to live with God,” President Nelson said.

He further declared that priesthood keys distinguish The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from any other organization on earth. The significance of these keys returning to the earth cannot be overstated, he said.

“Let us rejoice that priesthood keys are once again on the earth!” President Nelson said.

As priesthood keys bring about essential temple ordinances and covenants, President Nelson also invited members to study the dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland Temple contained in Doctrine and Covenants 109.

Other speakers in the Sunday afternoon session also addressed temple attendance, scripture study and prayer.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve addresses the Conference Center on April 7, 2024. Elder Christofferson was the first speaker of the Sunday afternoon session (Lauren Willardson)

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Elder Christofferson addressed what a testimony of Jesus is, what to do with such a testimony, and how to be valiant to that testimony. He noted that being valiant in the testimony of Jesus includes sustaining the small efforts for righteousness, heeding Christ’s messengers and being an example in word and deed.

Elder Taylor G. Godoy

Elder Godoy related a message based off a hospital sign that read “Call, don’t fall.” He explained how prayer is a means of faithfully communicating with Heavenly Father to prevent painful falls in life.

Elder Gary E. Stevenson

In his address, Elder Stevenson compared the two towers on a suspension bridge to the two great commandments upon which, Jesus taught, “hang all the law and the prophets” (Matt. 22:40).

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square sang at the closing session of General Conference on April 7. They were directed by Mack Wilberg. (Lauren Willardson)

“There is an important interdependency between loving the Lord and loving one another … For any suspension bridge to do what it was built to do, its towers must function together in complete harmony. Likewise, our ability to follow Jesus Christ depends upon our strength and power to live the first and second commandments with balance and equal devotion to both,” Elder Stevenson said.

Elder Mathias Held

“Life is all about making choices. Our Father in Heaven gave us the divine gift of agency precisely so that we could learn from our choices —from the right ones and also from the wrong ones,” Elder Held said.

He focused on the divine part that opposition plays in God’s eternal plan for learning, development and progress. Elder Held reiterated President Nelson’s call to “think celestial.”

Elder Neil L. Andersen

Elder Andersen spoke about the continued construction of temples and their eternal purpose in fulfilling the Lord’s promises before His return.

“In this day of confusion and commotion, I testify that each of our temples is His house, and will help preserve us, protect us, and prepare us for the glorious day, when, with all His holy angels, our Savior returns in majesty, power, and great glory,” Elder Andersen said.

The Quorum of the Twelve sat on the stand throughout the Sunday afternoon session of General Conference in Salt Lake City. Left to Right: Elder Quentin L. Cook, Elder David A. Bednar, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, President Jeffrey R. Holland, President Dallin H. Oaks, President Russell M. Nelson, President Henry B. Eyring, Elder Dale G. Renlund, Elder Gerrit W. Gong, Elder Patrick Kearon. (Lauren Willardson)

Addressing listeners as “beloved friends,” Elder Andersen also gave the following invitations:

“If we are able and have not already increased our attendance at the temple, let us regularly find more time to worship in the house of the Lord. Let us pray for the temples that have been announced throughout the world,” he said.

Elder Mark L. Pace

Elder Pace focused his address on the power of the Book of Mormon. He taught that it is what makes this dispensation without apostasy different from any other.

He also emphasized the power of the Book of Mormon to help each individual avoid personal apostasy.

“The most important copy of the Book of Mormon is our personal copy. It is the copy that we read,” Elder Pace said.

He echoed President Nelson’s promise that “as you prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions —every day.”

View full conference addresses here.

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