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‘Becoming true millennials’

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“Expect and prepare to do impossible things,” President Russell M. Nelson told young Latter-day Saints during a Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults Sunday night.

“My beloved brothers and sisters, you were born to be true millennials,” said the president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “You are a chosen generation, foredetermined by God to do a remarkable work — to help the people of this world for the Second Coming of the Lord.”

Speaking to the generation referred to as millennials, President Nelson counseled young adults and spoke of the important role they have in moving forward the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Held in the Cannon Activities Center on the Brigham Young University-Hawaii campus in Laie, Hawaii, the devotional was translated into many languages and broadcast online and in church buildings around the world. Also speaking was Sister Wendy W. Nelson, President Nelson’s wife. The BYU-Hawaii Concert Choir performed music for the live event.

“The term ‘millennial’ is perfect for you if that term reminds you of who you really are and what your purpose in life really is,” President Nelson said.

Rather than drawing from what experts say about the millennial generation, President Nelson focused on what the Lord has said of this generation.

“A true millennial is a man or woman whom God trusted enough to send to Earth during the most compelling dispensation in the history of this world,” he said.

Encouraging young adults to be morally courageous, President Nelson shared four recommendations to help them stand up and live as a true millennial.

First, “learn who you really are.”

President Nelson encouraged listeners to take the time to think about how they are an elect son or daughter of God created in his image, who was taught and prepared for everything they would encounter in their earthly existence.

“True millennials … know who they really are,” President Nelson said. “They are devout disciples of Jesus Christ who instinctively seize every opportunity to help themselves and others prepare for the millennial reign of our Savior. … I promise you that when you begin to catch even a glimpse of how your Heavenly Father sees you and what he is counting on you to do for him, your life will never be the same.”

Second, President Nelson encouraged listeners to expect and prepare to accomplish the impossible.

“Because you are covenant-keeping sons and daughters of God, living in the latter part of the latter days, the Lord will ask you to do difficult things. You can count on it," he said.

Recognizing that being asked to do something that seems far beyond one’s capacity can be unnerving, President Nelson encouraged listeners to accept challenging tasks and become an instrument in the Lord’s hands.

“As a true millennial whom the Lord can count on ... you will be asked to accept challenging assignments and become an instrument in the Lord’s hands," he said. "And, he will enable you to accomplish the impossible.”

Third, true millennials learn how to access the power of heaven.

“Every one of us has questions,” he said. “Seeking to learn, understand and recognize truth is a vital part of our mortal experience. Much of my life has been spent in research. You, too, will learn best by asking inspired questions.”

Sharing personal experiences he has had working with the First Presidency while serving in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, President Nelson spoke of the process they — the 15 men sustained as prophets, seers and revelators — go through when discussing issues in the church.

“The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counsel together and share all the Lord has directed us to understand and to feel, individually and collectively,” he said. “And then, we watch the Lord move upon the president of the church to proclaim the Lord’s will.”

This prophetic process that also includes fasting, prayer, studying, pondering, counseling with each other as they wrestle with the issue was followed in 2012 with the change in age for missionary service, as well as the recent additions to the church’s handbook, consequent to the legalization of same-sex marriage in some countries, President Nelson said.

“Filled with compassion for all, and especially for the children, we wrestled at length to understand the Lord’s will in this matter,” he said. “Ever mindful of God’s plan of salvation and of his hope for eternal life for each of his children, we considered countless permutations and combinations of possible scenarios that could arise. We met repeatedly in the temple in fasting and prayer and sought further direction and inspiration.

“And then, when the Lord inspired his prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, to declare the mind of the Lord and the will of the Lord, each of us during that sacred moment felt a spiritual confirmation. It was our privilege as apostles to sustain what had been revealed to President Monson. Revelation from the Lord to his servants is a sacred process. And so is your privilege of receiving personal revelation.”

Fourth, President Nelson spoke of the need to “follow the prophets.”

“Prophets see ahead,” he said. “They see the harrowing dangers the adversary has placed, or will yet place, in our path. Prophets also foresee the grand possibilities and privileges awaiting those who listen with the intent to obey. …

“You may not always understand every declaration of a living prophet,” he said. “But when you know a prophet is a prophet, you can approach the Lord in humility and faith and ask for your own witness about whatever his prophet has proclaimed.”

mholman@desnews.com @marianne_holman