Elder S. Gifford Nielsen of the Seventy said in April 2021 general conference:
. . . . our Heavenly Father sees us as fearless builders of His kingdom. That is why He sent us here during this most decisive time in the world’s history. This is our time!
Listen to what President Russell M. Nelson said shortly after becoming President of the Church: “Our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, will perform some of His mightiest works between now and when He comes again. We will see miraculous indications that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, preside over this Church in majesty and glory” (“Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2018, 96).
Mightiest works? Miraculous indications? What will that look like? What role will we play, and how will we understand what to do? I don’t know all the answers, but I do know that the Lord needs us to be ready! Worthily exercising priesthood power has never been more crucial.
Do we believe God’s prophet? Can we find and fulfill our destiny? Yes, we can, and yes, we must, because this is our time!
. . . . Consider the Old Testament hero Joshua. He was a devoted follower of Moses, one of the greatest leaders in history. After Moses departed, it was Joshua’s time. He was to lead the children of Israel into the promised land. How would he do that? Joshua had been born and raised in slavery in Egypt. He had no handbook or instructional videos to help him. He didn’t even have a smartphone! But he did have this promise from the Lord:
“As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
“Be strong and of a good courage” (Joshua 1:5–6).
. . . . When winds blow in our lives, where is our focus? Remember, there is always one reliable source of strength and courage. The arms of Jesus extend to us, just as they extended to Peter. As we reach for Him, He will lovingly rescue us. We are His. He said, “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine” (Isaiah 43:1). He will prevail in your life if you let Him. The choice is yours. (See Russell M. Nelson, “Let God Prevail,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2020, 92–95.)
While I was serving as a bishop, we had a motto in our ward: Good choices equal happiness—eternally. The youth would pass me in the hall saying, “Bishop, I’m making good choices!” That’s a bishop’s dream!
What do we mean by “good choices”? Someone once asked Jesus, “Which is the great commandment in the law?” He answered:
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
“This is the first and great commandment.
“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:36–39).
I don’t know about you, but when I read these two great commandments, I detect a third, implied commandment: to love thyself.
Have you ever thought of loving yourself as a commandment? Can we truly love God and love His children if we don’t love ourselves?
A wise leader recently counseled a man who was trying to overcome years of destructive choices. The man felt ashamed, doubting that he was worthy of anyone’s love.
His leader said to him, “The Lord knows you, loves you, and is pleased [with] you and the courageous steps you are taking.” But then he added, “[You] need to hear the commandment to love yourself so you can feel [God’s] love and love others.”
When this brother heard that counsel, he saw life with new eyes. He later said, “I have spent my whole life trying to find peace and acceptance. I have looked for those things in many wrong places. Only in the love of Heavenly Father and the Savior can I find comfort. I know They want me to love myself; it really is the only way I can feel Their love for me.”
Our Heavenly Father wants us to love ourselves—not to become prideful or self-centered, but to see ourselves as He sees us: we are His cherished children. When this truth sinks deep into our hearts, our love for God grows. When we view ourselves with sincere respect, our hearts are open to treat others that way too. The more we recognize our divine worth, the better we understand this divine truth: that God has sent us right here, right now, at this momentous time in history, so that we can do the greatest possible good with the talents and gifts we have. This is our time! (See Russell M. Nelson, “Becoming True Millennials” [worldwide devotional for young adults, Jan. 10, 2016], broadcasts.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.) For Elder Neilsen’s complete talk see ‘This is Our Time’.