LDS prophet speaks at BYU

Russell M. Nelson, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, waves to students after concluding a devotional talk on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, at the Marriott Center at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. (Natalie Behring, special for the Daily Herald)

On New Year’s Day, President Russell M. Nelson used his social media accounts to encourage members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to up their missionary game. The message is in preparation for celebrating the bicentennial of the First Vision.

In the history of the church, 2020 marks the bicentennial of Joseph Smith’s First Vision in which Smith said he saw God and his son, Jesus Christ. The significance of the event for members of the church is part of a basic belief and doctrine they adhere to of God and Christ being two separate and distinct individuals.

“This is a hinge point in the history of the Church and your part is vital,” Nelson said.

This is not the first time Nelson has used the term hinge point in discussing the future of the church. Just under a year ago, at the dedication of the Rome Temple, the same term was used.

When asked about the opportunity to have the full First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles present for the Rome temple dedication last spring — something that has never happened before — Nelson said, “I think the Lord is pleased. He wanted it done that way. It will be a blessing for the people all over the world. Because these apostles now will go all over the world and recount the experiences that they have felt here as this holy house was dedicated.”

Nelson added at the time, “This is a hinge point in the history of the Church. Things are going to move forward at an accelerated pace of which this is a part. We think the Church is an old Church. It’s 189 years old. But it’s only the beginning. Just project out what the next future will be and the Church is going to have an unprecedented future. Unparalleled. We’re just building up to what’s ahead now.”

Since that hinge point reference last spring, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve has visited numerous countries, kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates and have picked up the pace in sharing the gospel message with thousands.

Nelson is now asking individual members to do the same thing.

“When I spoke during last October’s general conference, I designated 2020 as a bicentennial period commemorating 200 years since God the Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph Smith in a vision,” Nelson said on social media. “That singular event in human history initiated the restoration of the Lord’s gospel – an unfolding Restoration that continues today.”

Nelson laid out a plan prior to the April General Conference, inviting members to be a major part of sharing the message of the ongoing restoration, reading Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision as recorded in the Pearl of Great Price, a book of canonized scripture of the church and to ask themselves how that knowledge has changed their life.

Nelson added there would be more information on this subject in the coming days but to get started now.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter

@gpugmire

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