Fasten Your Seatbelt (No. 11)
From his talk Overcome the World and Find Rest
Part of the President Nelson Series
All blue quotes by President Russell M. Nelson (unless otherwise noted).
What Was That Blessing Again?
This article looks at each remarkable piece of the apostolic blessing President Nelson bestowed on us last October. What does it mean in our current lives, and how do we take advantage of it?
President Nelson invoked his power as a prophet and blessed you with capacity, added strength, and promise. The blessing is a modern-day miracle in its own right and touching to review — especially now!
The crazy uncertainty of our world is noticeably increasing instead of stabilizing. Wars, disasters, failing infrastructure, and unhappiness steadily march across our lives.
Can you feel the emphasis the prophet puts on these words?
I call upon you, my dear brothers and sisters, to become this righteous people.
call upon you: this is the clarion call (call for immediate action accompanied by trumpets)
become: shift, change into, heighten
this righteous people: A moment earlier in his talk, President Nelson defined what he meant by that phrase – “a people who have already chosen Jesus Christ over this fallen world, a people who rejoice in their agency to live the higher, holier laws of Jesus Christ.” (see The Playbook for 2023)
It might be tempting to think we are already there – so let’s look at that a little closer together. I asked myself the following (and trust me, some things have changed).
Perhaps reflect for a moment:
- What is your day filled with?
- How do you typically start your day?
- In what direction do you look throughout the day?
- What do you mostly spend time and thought space on every day?
- What usually occupies your strategies and plans?
That is what you have chosen above all. That’s your lifestyle. Those pursuits and actions define us and our true priorities. And often, those are good, worthy priorities and have been for a long time. But our era is changing fast.
It might also be tempting to think he is talking to others with more significant gaps in Sainthood. Nonetheless, as we look closer at his words, we realize he’s appealing to you and me and our current level of Sainthood.
That’s because we’re not there yet. Our days and habits are not at the level he is describing.
If they were, he wouldn’t have to say it.
It takes some humility to acknowledge and assess our lives and resolve new priorities, but thankfully, he expresses faith in our ability to step it up.
Covenants Save the Day
Cherish and honor your covenants above all other commitments. As you let God prevail in your life, I promise you greater peace, confidence, joy, and yes, rest.
covenants: we make them at baptism, we make them each week during the sacrament and again at the temple. Listen to the prayers and promises closely whenever you have the chance. Each spirals us upward as we embrace them more entirely and bind our lifestyle to them.
above all other commitments: whoa – that is significant. We have work commitments, we have family commitments, we have leisure commitments, we have academic responsibilities, we have house and home commitments, we have social obligations, and the list goes on. And yet Russell M. Nelson, our prophet, is calling it out – above all other commitments. That means our covenants come first — if something has to fall by the wayside due to a lack of time or resources.
the promise: greater peace, confidence, and joy than your other commitments can provide you – plus rest (a lack of worry, angst, and consternation).
Our traditional commitments cannot and will not bring us the greatest satisfaction. They are good things, and we take care of our lives and others – but physical, traditional commitments are no longer the most significant consideration of our chaotic world. Not if we are to survive what is coming.
If you’re thinking, ‘what about family’? That’s a great question and topic! It’s a vital precept to balance. (Please see “The Sneaky, False God of Family First” for helpful quotes from the Brethren.)
I close this article with the actual blessing – see what impressions you get and what stands out for you today.
With the power of the holy apostleship vested in me, I bless you in your quest to overcome this world. I bless you to increase your faith in Jesus Christ and learn better how to draw upon His power. I bless you to be able to discern truth from error. I bless you to care more about the things of God than the things of this world. I bless you to see the needs of those around you and strengthen those you love. Because Jesus Christ overcame this world, you can too. I so testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.
To review, the prophet blessed you
- and your quest* to overcome this world
- to increase your faith** in Jesus Christ
- learn better to draw on Jesus’s power
- discern truth from error
- care more about the things of God than the things of this world
- see the needs of others
- strengthen those you love
*quest: a typically adventurous journey made in search of something (i.e., a quest for lost treasure)
**Joseph Smith said faith is the principle of action and [added] power.
Rest and Well-Being Are Possible
Here’s what I hear the prophet saying: We seek this Jesus more than we ever have. We make our covenants (promises made) a central, daily focus. We demonstrate our dedication by following steps 5, 6, and 7 above; the blessings are mighty. We get through this tumultuous time and end up with a close-knit, powerful relationship with Christ.
May we all succeed.
For teaching helps – please see “5 Highlights for “Overcome the World and Find Rest” by President Nelson.