Did You Miss The Most Incredible Thing President Nelson Said During General Conference?

russell m nelson challenges the dead

You know how occasionally when you listen to General Conference, there will be one of those moments where the Spirit just pricks your heart? It might be that you actually had ears to hear, and something just sticks out.

During President Nelson’s concluding message¹ of the Sunday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference, that is exactly what happened to me. That talk is getting most of its publicity due to the fact that he announced 7 new temples, but what he said right before that was more incredible to me.

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When I heard President Nelson say what he did, I turned to my wife and asked, “Do you realize what he just said?”

It was big. It was awesome! It was something I can’t personally remember a prophet of the Lord ever saying – or at least it didn’t prick my heart like this did.

My wife and children didn’t notice it, but I want to play you this short 35-second clip to see if anything sticks out to you.

Did you hear it?

It’s a statement that blew me away. President Nelson just extended an invitation to everyone in the Spirit World!

Our message to the world is simple and sincere: we invite all of God’s children on both sides of the veil to come unto their Savior, receive the blessings of the holy temple, have enduring joy, and qualify for eternal life.

Our prophet didn’t just ask us to repent and come unto the Savior, he invited those who right now are on the other side of the veil and considering their options, to come unto Christ and receive the blessings of the temple.

This reminds me of Doctrine and Covenants section 138 that explains the very principles that those who have passed on are learning, and it’s slightly different from the missionary discussions they would have been taught on earth.  Section 138 speaks of Christ and His organization of missionary work among the dead. Verses 32-34 read:

32 Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets.

33 These were taught faith in God, repentance from sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands,

34 And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

Those on the other side of the veil are taught the fullness of the gospel, but they are taught about vicarious baptism, the vicarious reception of the gift of the Holy Ghost, and vicarious ordinance work in the temples of God.

russell m nelson challenges the dead

I find it incredible that President Nelson was addressing not just the living, but those on the other side of the veil. He was inviting those in the spirit world, he was challenging them to come unto the Savior and follow His gospel plan. As they do so, they are afforded the opportunity to receive every blessing of the Atonement through sacred covenants.

“The Lord has so arranged his plan of redemption that all who have died without this opportunity shall be given it in the spirit world. There the elders of the Church who have died are proclaiming the gospel to the dead. All those who did not have an opportunity here to receive it, who there repent and receive the gospel, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:132).

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God be thanked for a living prophet, Russell M. Nelson. It is such a joy to have a prophet who is in good health and is able to speak to us and inspire us with his testimony and wisdom. Truly the Lord is hastening his work on both sides of the veil.

If those on the other side of the veil were able to listen to General Conference from wherever they are, I hope they will accept President Nelson’s invitation so that they may have enduring joy and qualify for eternal life.

Before you take off, you might want to discover why the announcement of a new temple in India was so spectacular > Why was the India Temple announcement so incredible?

1- Let Us All Press On

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  • Nothing you do qualifies you for eternal life. Don’t mock what Jesus did for you on the cross. Jesus qualifies you for eternal life.

  • I did miss this when we watched, which surprises me because over the last two weeks or so, I’ve been REALLY reflecting on temple work and mulling it all over that I would have thought this sentence by him would have stuck out to me. Here is a brain dump of a ton of thoughts I’ve had on this subject over the last couple of weeks:

    What do you make of D&C 76:71 And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament.

    72 Behold, these are they who died without law;

    73 And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh;

    74 Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it.”

    But then in section 137, speaking of the celestial kingdom it says: 8 Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it (the law), who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;

    9 For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.

    10 And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven.

    And how would people on the other side of the veil ‘qualify for eternal life’? Have you ever thought how odd it is that we say such things? They are dead, and though I’m fine with them being taught new things they didn’t know on earth, thinking they have to qualify for eternal life just doesn’t feel right. They can’t do ordinance work. We do that for them. No baptism, no washing and anointings, no endowments, no sealings. All they have to do is accept and reject all the work done for them. Which if you think about it, is the very idea, that of ‘just believe!’, we as members mock the Evangelicals for, isn’t it? And have you ever thought about the promises we make in the temple on behalf of our dead? They are all promises rooted in mortality: no inappropriate sex, donate all time, money, etc to the building up of the kingdom on the earth, no loud laughter and no speaking ill of the Lord’s anointed. How do any of those things pertain to dead people? Why make such promises on their behalf for such things? And have you ever thought about the handshakes? If we learn them for the dead, along with the new names, then how do those dead people come to know them? And if they can be taught them there once they accept the work, then why not just be taught them there directly, avoiding all the middle-men down here? And have you ever thought about why it is God couldn’t have resurrected people do their own work? If resurrected beings can make babies in the celestial kingdom then SURELY resurrected beings can get baptized and sealed on their own behalf, yeah?

    Also, what you do you make of being sealed to parents and/or a spouse in order to inherit the celestial kingdom being a mandatory condition? Have you ever thought that HAVING to be sealed puts exaltation in the hands of mortals instead of our Savior? President Nelson’s 2016 talk https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04/the-price-of-priesthood-power?lang=eng about the 2 little girls coming to ask for his help because they weren’t sealed to anyone and they needed to be sealed to someone makes it seem that these two girls, even though they died before 8 years old, could not receive exaltation because they were not sealed. Even though as mentioned above, section 137:10 says that little children who die without the law will inherit the celestial kingdom. Why then did those two little girls need to come to Pres. Nelson and get his help to get them sealed if they were going to inherit the celestial kingdom anyways? What are your thoughts on that? Can Jesus’ atonement only brings us so far, that of being resurrected and being forgiven of sins upon baptism and repentance? But to be exalted we need mortal men to construct temples and to either seal us to someone while we are in mortality, or hunt down dead ancestors and bring their name to the temple on their behalf and seal them to the people we hope are the right names we found? Doesn’t that limit our scope on the power of Jesus? Doesn’t that put our ability to be exalted in the hands of men and not our God? When Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but by Him, do you really think He had in mind all the temple ceremonies and doing hours and hours and hours and hours of temple work for our dead as being ‘the way, the truth and the life that leads to the Father?’

    Obviously, most of these musings are rhetorical, but they are all thoughts I’ve had very recently about temple work for the dead and the oft times confusing and contradicting theology surrounding it.

  • I noticed this: “in order to qualify for eternal life they must come unto the Holy Temple, which means the LDS Temple.”

    We are suppose to come to Christ not the LDS Temple. =( Jesus said he is the way, the truth, and the life. John 14:6

  • I absolutely did not miss that. My baby sister died of an overdose nearly 5 years ago and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her. I’m always wondering about the heavenly missionary work that is going on on the other side of the veil. I saw that as a direct message to my little sis when President Nelson said it. I loved it.

  • Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father. When Jesus died on the cross, the barrier (the veil) was torn in half. We can approach God with confidence and boldness and through NO ONE else and NO OTHER WAY. There is no veil.
    Hebrews 10:19-20
    Hebrews 4:14-16

  • Thanks for your comment. The veil that is being referred to in this talk in the veil between this earth and the next. If there were no veil, then we would be able to see those departed spirits. Thanks again!

  • Millie, thanks for you comment. All that happens in the temple teaches people of Christ and points us towards Him. So you are correct, we do come unto Christ. Thanks for the comment!

  • I think they are great thoughts, and some that I don’t have answers to. However, I don’t think us having to obey covenants puts limits on the Savior. I think it supports the principle of agency, that we all get to choose whether we want to follow God’s plan. Christ can take us as far as we want to go. Part of the reason we have temples is so we can be one with the Savior and also be saviors on Mount Zion. You definitely given some great thought to it and I appreciate you bringing these things up.

  • Jesus qualifies us to be saved from the first spiritual death and physical death. He restores us to the presence of God so that we can be judged by our works as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:10. I don’t mock my Christ. He is my Savior and he allows me limitless chances to repent and continue trying to be more like Him. Thanks for your comment.

  • Thank you so much, Ben, for sharing this and making us aware of how truly blessed we are to have President Nelson leading, guiding, directing and teaching us, under the direction of our ever-loving Heavenly Father and His son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. It was truly an amazing weekend of feasting on the words of our prophets, seers, and revelators, as well as wonderful auxiliary leaders!!!!! I can hardly for October general conference!!!!!!

  • Trenna, you’re welcome. There always is an excitement before and after conference and this year it just seems to be magnified. I think October will be something special as well! I’ll be excited to hear from Elders Gong and Soares after they’ve had 6 months to be among the saints.

  • It is Jesus Christ himself who gives this knowledge to his prophets. He is the one that instructs on temples and gave us the covenants that need to be made with him and God. How can one fully come unto Christ but refuse to do what he instructed? If we truly love him, then we do what he has asked us to do.

    There are 3 degrees in the celestial kingdom, not just one. When little children die without the law and without baptism, they can be saved in the celestial kingdom… at least in the lowest degree. However, to reach the highest degree, one must qualify himself and make sacred covenants in God’s and Christ’s holy temples… again, what THEY have instructed us to do. If they require that we qualify for the highest degree by making sacred covenants in the temple and being sealed, then this we must do. Just like baptism is a requirement to get into the celestial kingdom at all… again according to the instruction of Christ himself. If one decides to get baptized but refuses to get sealed, they can still be in the celestial kingdom but not in the highest degree where sealing is required.

    Those who simply love Jesus and believe him to be their Lord and Savior but refuse to do what he asked… not being baptized, they will receive a terrestrial glory where he will come and visit them and still be with them from time to time, but they will not be able to go to the celestial kingdom Christ is the lawgiver.

  • Not to try and take away anything from the spirit you felt our heard this, but I think you maybe misunderstood his statement. He wasn’t speaking to the world and those in the celestial Kingdom and personally inviting them to do these things, but rather he was making a declaration about our doctrine. He was saying “Our message to the world is…” such and such doctrine. In other words then he explained what our message to the world is, and that is to invite all of God’s children to receive the blessings of the gospel, whether it’s through missionary work, or temple work for the dead. In other words he could have phrased it like this: “our message to the world is simple and sincere: the goal of the gospel and the church is to perfect the saints, redeem the dead, and provide missionary work for the living.

    What he said is still a great statement, but it is far different from him saying,

    “I invite all of God’s children on both sides of the veil to receive the blessing of the temple…etc”

    But I can see how you got all excited because it sort of seemed like he was extending that invitation to the souls in the spirit world directly.

  • Jer, thanks for your comment. I see where you are coming from, but in my eyes, it is not far different. The bottom line is that his focus is on what is going on in this earthly sphere, and also the other side of the veil. President Nelson realizes this work is much bigger than a monthly ministering visit or earthly ordinances, he has reminded us all to expand our view that every man and women, no matter if they are on the earth or in the spirit world, must come unto Christ and accept Him as their Savior. Thanks again for your comment.

  • I loved this too. Our stake is currently doing an adult Institute class. The teacher works for the church, reviewing all things to be published to make sure the doctrine and principles are correct. So he is very knowledgeable. His last class will be on the plan of salivation. He said it is one of the most Misunderstood, and taught incorrectly in the church. Our time of probation does not end with death. Until Christ comes again, those in the spirit world have the chance to repent and come unto Christ.
    Super awesome!

  • I prayed fot new names to get to the temple, and ask for who were ready, and found in my family search account 30 new names, and the next days more and more, of my family I didn’t know they exist, so is my testimony they were prepared and want the ordinances! So President Nelson know what he is saying.

  • It has been the message from the beginning. President Nelson just reminded us where our focus should be. Some of us have always understood the focus, and some have gotten sidetracked by other good but not essential things.

  • My husband recently passed away. He was 49 and so full of life until the day before I let him go. I have studied a little about what is going on while he is on that side and I am on this. The Spirit World is right here, we just cannot see them. I feel him all of the time. That said, and on a VERY personal note, we were really struggling before he passed. We had JUST started to straighten ourselves out when he passed away. I have found through prayer and the Spirit that the veil is extremely thin. That I am constantly caught between what I need to know for this life, and what my day-to-day reality is, and what he is doing while I do this. My husband was a convert, and out of the 25 years he was a member, he was a Ward/Stake Missionary Leader 14 of them! He was the best missionary. President Nelson, he IS calling upon those people on BOTH sides to prepare themselves. We truly are running out of time before the Savior comes, but more importantly, we need to ALL be ready for what is to come prior. This is my own, personal revelation, not doctrine, but we are NOT instantaneously perfect when we get to the Spirit World. No, that is why we say, “No one is perfect, perfection comes I the NEXT life.” That is our common saying for a reason. Maybe not doctrinally sound, but there is definitely truth there. We cannot “eat, drink and be merry,” and then hope that tomorrow when we die we are just fine because we are in Heaven now. No, I don’t believe that. My husband had some work to do on himself. I had some repenting to do here as well. One of the blessings of the Gospel is, we know this! The power of the Atonement is infinite! It goes on in our life here and then continues forever and ever. We KNOW that this is true. And President Nelson IS calling upon both sides to prepare themselves. We do the initial work for the dead, but it is up to them to return to the temple frequently to participate. We only do our personal work once, and when those things are finally recited in the Spirit World, at the Judgment Bar most likely, we will have our bodies once again. Bodies are a BIG part of the plan, one we sort of overlook as being just of THIS world. If they were NOT important, why would we get them back? AND we MUST have them before we stand before God to be Judged, at least the scriptures say as much. I was a returned missionary, and have attended church since before I can remember, but it wasn’t until this tragedy, as I have looked for ways to try and explain something impossible to explain to my children, I have found peace in knowing EXACTLY these things. When you have a spouse or a child (and not even my father’s death at a young age), suddenly the Spirit World is no longer a “nice idea that we hope in,” it becomes very real very very quickly. (Sorry so long-easier to pour my heart out to strangers it would seem).

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You know how occasionally when you listen to General Conference, there will be one of those moments where the Spirit just pricks your heart?...
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