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Russell M. Nelson
Works at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Attended University of Utah
Lives in Salt Lake City, UT
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Russell M. Nelson

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I would like to comment on a song in our hymnbook. The text of “How Great Thou Art” was first written by a young minister in Sweden. His name was Carl Gustav Boberg. He was only 25 years old. After attending a church meeting, he walked two miles along the southeastern coast of Sweden in a thunderstorm. The experience inspired him to write the words, which were later translated into English by Stuart K. Hine:

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy pow’r thru-out the universe displayed;
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
How great thou art! How great thou art!

On one occasion I was in a mission conference when a missionary with great compassion, with tears in his eyes, asked me, “Why did the Savior have to suffer so much?” I reached for our hymnbook, turned to this song, and answered his question with this verse:

And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,
Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Jesus suffered so much because of His love for you and me. What a message! Worthy music is powerful. It has power to make us humble, prayerful, and grateful.
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Russell M. Nelson

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Let us do the best we can and try to improve each day.
When our imperfections appear, we can keep trying to correct them. We can be more forgiving of flaws in ourselves and among those we love. We can be comforted and forbearing.

The Lord taught, “Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now … ; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected.”
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How you deal with life’s trials is part of the development of your faith. Strength comes when you remember that you have a divine nature, an inheritance of infinite worth.

The Lord has reminded you, your children, and your grandchildren that you are lawful heirs, that you have been reserved in heaven for your specific time and place to be born, to grow and become His standard bearers and covenant people.

As you walk in the Lord’s path of righteousness, you will be blessed to continue in His goodness and be a light and a savior unto His people.
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God gave us this special day, not for amusement or daily labor but for a rest from duty, with physical and spiritual relief.
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Express your love to your wife, to your mother, and to the sisters. Praise them for their forebearance with you even when you are not at your best. Thank the Lord for these sisters who—like our Heavenly Father—love us not only for what we are but also for what we may become. Humbly I thank God for my mother, my sisters, my daughters, my granddaughters, and my special sweetheart, companion, and friend—my wife! May God bless us to honor each virtuous woman.
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There is no other individual to compare with Jesus Christ, nor is there any other exhortation equal to his sublime expression of hope: “I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.”
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We can change our behavior. Our very desires can change. How? There is only one way. True change—permanent change—can come only through the healing, cleansing, and enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
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Russell M. Nelson

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To appreciate—to say “I love you” and “thank you”—is not difficult. But these expressions of love and appreciation do more than acknowledge a kind thought or deed. They are signs of sweet civility.

As grateful partners look for the good in each other and sincerely pay compliments to one another, wives and husbands will strive to become the persons described in those compliments.
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How do we hallow the Sabbath day? In my much younger years, I studied the work of others who had compiled lists of things to do and things not to do on the Sabbath. It wasn’t until later that I learned from the scriptures that my conduct and my attitude on the Sabbath constituted a sign between me and my Heavenly Father.

With that understanding, I no longer needed lists of dos and don’ts. When I had to make a decision whether or not an activity was appropriate for the Sabbath, I simply asked myself, “What sign do I want to give to God?” That question made my choices about the Sabbath day crystal clear.
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Gratefully and positively, I affirm that there is life after life, first in the spirit world and then in the Resurrection, for each and every one of us. I know that God lives and that Jesus the Christ is His Son. He is the resurrection, and the life. He lives.
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The gift of resurrection is the Lord's consummate act of healing. Thanks to Him, each body will be restored to its proper and perfect frame. Thanks to Him, no condition is hopeless. Thanks to Him, brighter days are ahead, both here and hereafter. Real joy awaits each of us—on the other side of sorrow.
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Life does not begin with birth, nor does it end with death. Prior to our birth, we dwelled as spirit children with our Father in Heaven. There we eagerly anticipated the possibility of coming to earth and obtaining a physical body. Knowingly we wanted the risks of mortality, which would allow the exercise of agency and accountability. “This life [was to become] a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God.” But we regarded the returning home as the best part of that long-awaited trip, just as we do now. Before embarking on any journey, we like to have some assurance of a round-trip ticket. Returning from earth to life in our heavenly home requires passage through—and not around—the doors of death. We were born to die, and we die to live. As seedlings of God, we barely blossom on earth; we fully flower in heaven.
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  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, 1984 - present
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Salt Lake City, UT
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Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Introduction

Elder Russell M. Nelson was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 7, 1984.

An internationally renowned surgeon and medical researcher, Dr. Nelson received his B.A. and M.D. degrees from the University of Utah (1945, 47). Honorary scholastic societies include Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha. He served his residency in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and at the University of Minnesota, where he was awarded his Ph.D. degree in 1954. He also received honorary degrees of Doctor of Science from Brigham Young University in 1970, Doctor of Medical Science from Utah State University in 1989, and Doctor of Humane Letters from Snow College in 1994.

His professional work included the positions of research professor of surgery and director of the Thoracic Surgery Residency at the University of Utah and chairman of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City.

Author of numerous publications and chapters in medical textbooks, Elder Nelson lectured and visited professionally throughout the United States and in many other nations prior to his call as a General Authority. A host of awards and honors have come to him, including the Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Utah; the Heart of Gold Award from the American Heart Association; a citation for International Service from the American Heart Association; and the Golden Plate Award, presented by the American Academy of Achievement. He has been awarded honorary professorships from three universities in the People’s Republic of China.

Dr. Nelson has served as president of the Society for Vascular Surgery, a director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, chairman of the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery for the American Heart Association, and president of the Utah State Medical Association.

He is listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in Religion.

Elder Nelson has held numerous positions of responsibility in the Church. He served as stake president of the Bonneville Stake from 1964 to June 1971, when he was called as general president of the Sunday School. Prior to his call to the Quorum of the Twelve, he was serving as a regional representative assigned to the Kearns Utah Region. He had previously served as regional representative for Brigham Young University.

Born September 9, 1924, Elder Nelson is the son of Marion C. and Edna Anderson Nelson. He and his wife, the former Dantzel White, have ten children. Sister Nelson passed away in February 2005. In April 2006, he married Wendy L. Watson.

Education
  • University of Utah
    M.D., 1947
  • University of Minnesota
    Ph.D., 1954
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Birthday
September 9, 1924