I received a Facebook challenge to read every General Conference talk given by Elder Russell M. Nelson from the time that he was called to be an Apostle. The idea was to read the seventy talks in seventy days. I accepted the challenge and started to read the very first day. I read for nearly a week before I changed my focus.
One morning just as I awoke a thought came to me that I am fairly certain did not originate with me. The idea was for me to start studying Elder Nelson’s talks again. However, I was to get a notebook and take notes from his talks as I read them. I found a notebook and began my project once again. My plan is to read each of the seventy talks and take notes on them. Then I will continue with now-President Nelson’s talks.
One of the first things that I learned concerns the seniority of the Apostles at the time of Elder Nelson’s call. The fifteen men were led by Spencer W. Kimball, followed by Ezra Taft Benson, Marion G. Romney, Howard W. Hunter, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas S. Monson. Five of these men became the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the sixth served as a counselor.
Elder Monson was followed by seven other Apostles before Elder Nelson, and then Dallin H. Oaks. In checking a list of Apostles, Kimball and Benson were together, then there were ten Apostles between Benson and Hunter, Hunter was followed by Hinckley, who was followed by N. Eldon Tanner, and then Monson. So this means that there were approximately nineteen Apostles called between Kimball and Nelson, but there were only four Prophets between them.
I found the above information to be quite interesting. It reinforced for me the fact that Heavenly Father knows who He has chosen to be His prophets. Who would have thought that President Nelson would outlive President Monson – especially more than thirty years ago?
In October 1984 then-Elder Nelson spoke on the topic of “Protect the Spiritual Power Line.” In his talk Elder Nelson says that “Power, if misused, can cut into the very source of that power.” He continues, “Proper use of our spiritual power lie allows us to learn, to labor, to be obedient to law, and to love.” He then speaks about each of those powers.
Elder Nelson says that the source of spiritual power is the Lord, Jesus Christ, and ultimately Heavenly Father. The messenger of this power is the Holy Ghost. “The use of His spiritual power replenishes our power ... spiritual power can be used for time and eternity.” He continues, “Spiritual power line is strengthened through prayer… spiritual power line conveys revelation …. These lines are well insulated, and they are not scrambled!” He warms this power can be misused by doing the right things for the wrong reasons. He says that we can strengthen our spiritual power line to deity through worship.
I am grateful to know that there is a Prophet of God living on earth today through whom God communicates with His children. I am also grateful that Heavenly Father saw fit to confirm to me that Russell M. Nelson is His chosen prophet at this time. I thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet to lead and guide us through these dangerous days.