“It was my pleasure today to meet with national officials of the NAACP to affirm the fundamental doctrine—and heartfelt conviction—of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that all people are God’s precious children and are therefore brothers and sisters. Nearly a quarter century ago, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles proclaimed that “all human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.”
Today, in unity with such capable and impressive leaders as the national officials of the NAACP, we are impressed to call on people of this nation and, indeed, the entire world to demonstrate greater civility, racial and ethnic harmony, and mutual respect. In meetings this morning, we have begun to explore ways—such as education and humanitarian service—in which our respective members and others can serve and move forward together, lifting our brothers and sisters who need our help, just as our Savior, Jesus Christ, would have us do. These are His words: “I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine” (D&C 38:27).
Together we invite all people, organizations, and governments to work with greater civility, eliminating prejudice of all kinds, and focusing more on the many areas and interests that we all have in common. As we lead our people to work cooperatively, we will all achieve the respect, regard, and blessings that God seeks for all of His children.
Considering the toxic environment of most social media, the online public square and the real public square, this is good council for all people to follow. Latter-day Saints can and should lead the way in promoting civility. Let’s get to it!
If you missed this morning’s announcement about the newly organized First Presidency, you can watch the video below. The First Presidency announcement starts at the 52 minute mark and the press conference, which began at 10am this morning starts at the 1:51 (one hour, fifty-one) minute mark.
President Russell M. Nelson was called and set apart on Sunday as the 17th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dallin H. Oaks has been called as the First Councelor and Henry B. Eyring has been called as the Second Councelor. Elder M. Russell Ballard has been called to be the acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve.
Elder Christofferson conducted the meeting and took a few minutes to explain the process of how the new president is chosen and how things are organized, he also bore his testimony of the meeting, “As a participant, it was sweet, sacred experience in which the Lord’s will was clearly manifest and all were in full accord. This experience confirmed once again that Jesus Christ directs His church.”
He also explained that by choosing the senior most apostle to be the president of the church, posturing or campaigning for position is eliminated, that this process provides continuity and that the one who becomes the new president has been prepared for this calling. He also quoted Elder John A. Widtsoe, “This is a wise procedure. It places at the head of the church the apostle who has been the longest in service. He is known well to the people and trusted by them. He himself knows the procedure of church affairs. He is no novice to be trained for the position.”
From the Mormon Newsroom: “Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from around the world are invited to participate in a live message from President Russell M. Nelson on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time. This message will be shared on all Church broadcast, internet and social media channels in 29 languages. President Nelson’s message will be followed by a press conference at 10:00 a.m. MST.”
When I hear good things like this, my heart swells with gratitude for the years of hard work by missionaries and for their sacrifice. I also have a deep appreciation for the members of the Church in this part of the world. They face persecutions and sacrifice so much to be members of the Church, and yet they continue on, because they know the Gospel is true. I’m also very grateful for the protection the Lord has given to those in his service and for the ongoing march of the Gospel into all the nations of the world. We have witnessed another miracle with the organization of this stake. Finally, if you’re looking for a bit of history on the Church’s presence in Eastern Europe, I’d recommend, Mormon Missionaries Enter Eastern Europe by Kahlile B. Mehr. It’s out of print now, but can be found in the used book marketplace on Amazon.com.
My hope is that each of us will rejoice with the members of the Church in the new Russia Moscow Stake and continue to pray for the gospel to go forward in the world. Miracles happen all the time, and they are right around the corner. I know the Lord still has many more miracles to reveal in different and unexpected parts of the world. Let’s be ready to go when they present themselves!