SALT LAKE CITY – President Russell M. Nelson of Latter-day Saint Church of Jesus Christ exhorted members on Sunday to reject “the temptation of the world” and instead focus on the rewards of gospel teachings. He also announced 14 temple projects, including the reconstruction of the Provo temple and a new temple in Hebertal.
“Too many voices are deceptive, seductive, and can lead us off the covenant path,” Nelson said at the end of the Church’s two-day general conference. “To avoid the inevitable heartache that follows, I ask you today to meet the temptation of the world by making time for the Lord in your life – every day.”
Nelson and other speakers cited various topics such as repentance, forgiveness, patience, clean living, and strict discipline in the Sunday afternoon session.
“When most of the information you get comes from social or other media, your ability to hear the whisperings of the mind becomes diminished,” said Nelson. “If you do not seek the Lord through daily prayer and gospel study, you become vulnerable to philosophies that may be fascinating but are not true. Even the most loyal saint can be derailed by the steady beat of Babylon’s band. “
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said the Church will be a light as unbelief in Christ spreads throughout the world. He also described the Church’s campaign to remove references to the Church as “Mormon” or “LDS” as a success three years ago. Maintaining the Church’s focus on Jesus Christ has borne fruit, he said – more than 1,000 products previously labeled as Mormons or LDS have been indicted.
Another apostle, Elder Gerrit W. Gong, advised members to be less forgiving and less judgmental of themselves and one another so that the Church can “be a place to feel at home whether we are visiting for the first time or return ”. He spoke about questions about church history or politics, and some members felt they didn’t belong or felt judged. “Many today have a great need to restore confidence in human relationships and modern society,” said Gong.
Elder Anthony D. Perkins of General Authority Seventy shared his ongoing battle with cancer and the knowledge that its life may be shortened. “No matter where you live, physical or emotional suffering from a multitude of trials and deadly weaknesses is now or some day will be part of your life,” he said. “Emotional suffering can arise from fear or depression; the betrayal of a spouse, parent, or trusted leader; Employment or financial reversals; unfair judgment by others; the decisions of friends, children, or other family members; Abuse in its many forms; unfulfilled dreams of marriage or children; the illness or death of loved ones; or so many other sources. “
Perkins said he found comfort and support in Christ’s faith to endure the suffering well. “The Spirit gives us strength to endure trials and do what we cannot possibly do on our own,” he said. “The Spirit can heal us, although, as President James E. Faust taught, ‘Some of that healing may take place in another world.'”
Incremental improvements, not sweeping changes, might be the secret to making their lives better for some people, said another Seventy, Michael A. Dunn. He cited the example of the once ridiculed British cycling team that became famous after a new coach launched a program of small but consistent and long-term changes. Spiritually, he said, it was not easy to switch from “Attila the Hun” to Mother Teresa overnight. He added, “Look for humble but doable solutions in your life that could lead to the sweet joy of being a little better.”
Elder Carlos G. Revillo Jr., a Seventy from the Philippines and chemical engineer who once worked in a soap factory, compared repentance to detergent. “It gives us the opportunity to get rid of our impurities and our old rubble so that we are worthy to be with God, as no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God,” he said.
When his family joined the Church, “we changed our way of life and culture to align with the gospel,” he said. “We had to let go of wrong traditions. I saw this in my father when he learned the gospel and repented. He was a heavy smoker, but he threw away his cigarettes and never touched one again. “
President Nelson said the Provo Temple, built in 1972, will be rebuilt after the Orem Temple is dedicated.
The newly announced temples will be built in:
- Kaohsiung, Taiwan
- Tacloban City, Philippines
- Monrovia, Liberia
- Kananga, Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Antananarivo, Madagascar
- Culiacan, Mexico
- Vitória, Brazil
- La Paz, Bolivia
- Santiago, Chile
- Fort Worth, Texas
- Cody, Wyoming
- Rexburg, Idaho
- Heber Valley, Utah