5 Highlights for “Embrace the Future” by President Nelson

by | Oct 19, 2020

President Russell M. Nelson

5 Quotes Plus Discussion-Promoting Questions

See also Teaching Helps

The guidance and directives from this talk are eye-opening. President Nelson is speaking to us as a prophet, telling us what is to come and to “batten down the hatches.”

batten down the hatches: prepare for trouble. This term originated in the navy, where it signified preparing for a storm by fastening down canvas over doorways and hatches (openings) with strips of wood called battens.

His complete talk can be found here. Unless you opt to spend a lot of time on a particular quote, try to pick around 2 questions per quote. Choose the questions which resonate the most with you and which you feel will make a meaningful discussion for your group of personalities. These highlights and questions fit right in with Lesson Template 1 or Template 2. You can also check out several other General Conference Talks with 5 Highlights.

All quotes by President Nelson and in blue.

Quote #1 (calamity & grandeur)

Admittedly, the Lord has spoken of our day in sobering terms. He warned that in our day “men’s hearts [would fail] them” and that even the very elect would be at risk of being deceived. He told the Prophet Joseph Smith that “peace [would] be taken from the earth” and calamities would befall mankind.

Yet the Lord has also provided a vision of how remarkable this dispensation is. He inspired the Prophet Joseph Smith to declare that “the work of … these last days, is one of vast magnitude. … Its glories are past description, and its grandeur unsurpassable.”

Now, grandeur may not be the word you would choose to describe these past few months! How are we to deal with both the somber prophecies and the glorious pronouncements about our day? The Lord told us how with simple, but stunning, reassurance: “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.”

What a promise! It is one that can literally change the way we see our future…

Throughout religious history, darkness and great hardships are matched with even greater miracles and empowerment from high. Here President Nelson is counseling us if we are prepared both physically and spiritually – we can have wonder and joy.

Possible Questions: What are some sobering events and conditions in our time which concern you right now? What gives you hope? What does it mean to you to be prepared? How prepared do you feel right now? What are some things you can do to feel more prepared? How long will you wait to start?

Quote #2 (places of safety)

Moroni fortified every Nephite city with embankments, forts, and walls. When the Lamanites came against them, they “were astonished exceedingly, because of the wisdom of the Nephites in preparing their places of security.

Similarly, as turmoil rages around us, we need to create places where we are safe, both physically and spiritually. When your home becomes a personal sanctuary of faith—where the Spirit resides—your home becomes the first line of defense.

fortify: brace, secure, build up, entrench, strengthen and protect.

Wow – this really sent our own household into action! For example, my husband ordered more security cameras and we are thinking about items like generators, a better gate and stronger locks on doors. We are also canning more garden produce.

Possible Questions: The visual story of Moroni building embankments, forts and walls is a vivid example of being prepared. In what ways could you follow Moroni’s example? What does the term “places of security” mean to you? In what ways could our homes be a “personal sanctuary of faith”?

Quote #3 (boundless gifts)

Further, few things build faith more than does regular immersion in the Book of Mormon. No other book testifies of Jesus Christ with such power and clarity. Its prophets, as inspired by the Lord, saw our day and selected the doctrine and truths that would help us most. The Book of Mormon is our latter-day survival guide.

Of course, our ultimate security comes as we yoke ourselves to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! Life without God is a life filled with fear. Life with God is a life filled with peace. This is because spiritual blessings come to the faithful. Receiving personal revelation is one of the greatest of those blessings.

The Lord has promised that if we will ask, we may receive “revelation upon revelation.” I promise that as you increase your capacity to receive revelation, the Lord will bless you with increased direction for your life and with boundless gifts of the Spirit.

Possible Questions: President Nelson made several empowering promises – which mean the most to you right now? In your own words, pick 1-2 promises and share how they relate to your own life?

  • survival guide
  • ultimate security
  • peace
  • personal revelation
  • increased direction
  • boundless spiritual gifts

How might you increase these blessings in your own life?

Quote #4 (keep preparing)

Even when things went well, Captain Moroni continued to prepare his people. He never stopped. He never became complacent.

The adversary never stops attacking. So, we can never stop preparing! The more self-reliant we are—temporally, emotionally, and spiritually—the more prepared we are to thwart Satan’s relentless assaults.

Dear sisters, you are adept at creating places of security for yourselves and those you love. Further, you have a divine endowment that enables you to build faith in others in compelling ways. And you never stop. You have demonstrated that once again this year.

Please, keep going! Your vigilance in safeguarding your homes and instilling faith in the hearts of your loved ones will reap rewards for generations to come.

Possible Questions: Name some ways we can be temporally “self-reliant”? Emotionally self-reliant? Spiritually self-reliant? How do you feel about the recent changes like a home-centered church, two-hour meetings, ministering and others?

Quote #5 (embrace the future)

My dear sisters, we have so much to look forward to! The Lord placed you here now because He knew you had the capacity to negotiate the complexities of the latter part of these latter days. He knew you would grasp the grandeur of His work and be eager to help bring it to pass.

I am not saying that the days ahead will be easy, but I promise you that the future will be glorious for those who are prepared and who continue to prepare to be instruments in the Lord’s hands.

My dear sisters, let us not just endure this current season. Let us embrace the future with faith! Turbulent times are opportunities for us to thrive spiritually. They are times when our influence can be much more penetrating than in calmer times.

Possible Discussion Activity: President Nelson bestows a positive, hopeful outlook during a bleak time – how does it make you feel? Have the current world conditions opressed some of your perspectives? What can we do to counteract those feelings? (Get busy taking inventory and preparing ourselves. Busy-ness has a buoyant affect and preparation increases our confidence.) Why are we able to thrive spiritually during difficult times?

Final Comment

Remember, you were called to teach this lesson for a reason. Have faith in what you feel drawn to teach. Thank you for taking the time to prepare yourself! Teaching and instilling faith in others is a divine call.

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