On Aug. 18, 1998, then-Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints delivered a speech at Brigham Young University about Jesus Christ’s ministry and atonement.

During the BYU devotional, President Nelson — who became the church’s president on Jan. 14, 2018 — said that he wanted to discuss two different objectives of the life of Jesus Christ: his ministry and his mission. He said, “During his relatively brief sojourn in mortality, the Savior accomplished two overarching objectives: One was his ‘work and [his] glory — to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.’ The other he stated simply: ‘I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done.’”

Here are some of the important points President Nelson made in his speech:

  • The atonement of Jesus Christ was for the salvation of all mankind.
  • The ministry of Jesus Christ is an example of love and kindness. President Nelson invited everyone to follow his example. “To facilitate our desire to follow him, perhaps we could consider qualities of his life that we can emulate,” he said. “Time would not permit us to list all of them, but perhaps we could identify five specific aspects that would be helpful to us.”
  • Love, ordinances, prayer, knowledge and endurance to end are five aspects of Jesus Christ’s example that President Nelson invited others to follow.
  • President Nelson said, “A commitment to endure to the end means that we will not ask for a release from a call to serve. It means that we will persevere in pursuit of a worthy goal. It means that we will never, no never, give up on a loved one who has strayed. And it means that we will always cherish our eternal family relationships, even through difficult days of disease, disability, or death.”

At the end of his speech, President Nelson gave a series of questions that are meant as a quiet quiz for those listening. Some of the questions he asked the audience included what they do with their eyes, what they do with their ears and how does Jesus impact the way they use their time. He closed with his testimony and the hope that Jesus could be transformative in the lives of those who were present at the speech.

President Nelson’s speech is available on BYU’s speeches website.