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Church Leaders Echo President Nelson’s Invitation to Reach Out to ‘the One’ for His 100th Birthday

Here’s what Church leaders are saying on social media about President Nelson’s invitation

President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, shared this image of President Russell M. Nelson with the numbers "99+1" in a social media post on June 3, 2024, about the Prophet's invitation to reach out to someone in need ahead of his 100th birthday. President Nelson will turn 100 years old on September 9.© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Updated June 20, 2024

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By Sydney Walker, Church News

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are echoing President Russell M. Nelson’s recent invitation to spread the Savior’s love by reaching out to someone in need.

One hundred days before his 100th birthday on September 9, President Nelson posted a message on social media highlighting the parable of the lost sheep — where Jesus uses the number 100 to teach about love and service.

“Though 99 of his flock were safely by his side, the shepherd went in search of the 1 who was lost,” President Nelson explained in a June 1 social media post. “At age 99, I have no need of physical gifts. But one spiritual offering that would brighten my life is for each of us to reach out to ‘the one’ in our lives who may be feeling lost or alone.”

In the days following this invitation, Church leaders are reiterating President Nelson’s counsel on their social media channels using the hashtag #99plus1 and sharing insights about serving closely with him.

‘Unfailingly Kind and Compassionate’

President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, said this year marks 40 years since he and President Nelson were both called, sustained and set apart as Apostles in the Quorum of the Twelve.

In the many years he has known him, “President Nelson has consistently taught me how to selflessly and lovingly serve others through his example,” President Oaks wrote in a June 3 social media post.

“I appreciate the invitation he recently shared with us to reach out to ‘the one’ as part of our efforts to be like the Savior Jesus Christ. President Nelson is an exemplary follower and servant of the Savior. He is a great role model for all members and leaders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is always very open and easy to approach, and he is unfailingly kind and compassionate,” President Oaks continued.

“May we follow the counsel of the Lord’s prophet and seek ways to improve our efforts to minister to ‘the one.’”

‘Incredible, God-given Love’

President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, commented on President Nelson’s “incredible, God-given love” for everyone he meets.

“I’ve always been impressed that his love for people leads him to learn and remember their names,” President Eyring said of President Nelson in a June 4 social media post. “I’ve watched him interact with countless individuals over many years, and it’s remarkable how he remembers when he met them and even the names of their spouse and children. The very sound of his voice as he speaks their names seems to convey his great love.

“May we all accept President Nelson’s recent invitation to reach out to someone just as the Savior would. This is a special opportunity to show our love to others, just as our dear prophet shares his Christlike love with all of God’s children.”

A True Gentleman

President Jeffrey R. Holland, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, described President Nelson as “the kindest man I have ever been associated with” and “the man for whom the word ‘gentleman’ was created.”

“One of the virtues I have seen President Russell M. Nelson portray unfailingly is his genuine, heartfelt kindness, which has often led him to leave the ninety and nine to go after the one,” President Holland wrote in a June 5 social media post.

In the more than 40 years President Holland has known him, he said he cannot think of a time when President Nelson was unkind, abrupt, rude or insensitive. “As we strive to follow the Savior, let us follow the example of President Nelson’s Christlike character,” he wrote.

The Recipient of an Effort to Seek After ‘the One’

In a June 17 social media post, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared an experience of when he was the recipient of someone’s efforts to seek after “the one.”

When Elder Cook was beginning junior high school, his family moved to a new home in a different congregation. He was still adjusting to the new ward when a father-son event was announced for Bear Lake, about 40 miles away.

“My father was exceptional in every way but was not an active member, so I did not think I would be able to attend,” Elder Cook wrote. “However, one devoted leader, Brother Dean Eyre, issued a special invitation for me to go with him. ... I decided to go with Brother Eyre and had a wonderful experience.”

Elder Cook described Brother Eyre as “a marvelous example of Christlike love” who was a mentor to him.

“There are many ‘ones’ out there for us to find and minister unto. May we all strive to be shepherds over the Lord’s flock in our individual realms of stewardship,” Elder Cook concluded.

The Story of Abinadi and Alma

Sunday School General President Mark L. Pace said President Nelson’s invitation to minister to “the one” reminds him of Abinadi’s story in the Book of Mormon.

Standing in the Book of Mormon gallery in the Conference Center on Temple Square in front of a painting of Abinadi preaching the gospel to King Noah, President Pace recounted how Abinadi faced rejection and death. Yet his words reached Alma. Alma believed, fled, and later spread the gospel, impacting numerous lives.

“This story teaches us that even if we don’t see the immediate results of our efforts, our faith and courage could spread through generations,” President Pace wrote in a June 18 Instagram post.

“You might be the one who makes a lasting difference in someone’s life. Embrace the prophet’s invitation to seek out and minister to the one who needs you. Your efforts, seen or unseen, can have profound impacts.”

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