News Release

The Prophet Says Latter-day Saints Can ‘Change the Future of Europe’ with the Gospel of Jesus Christ

President and Sister Nelson join Elder and Sister Bednar in virtual broadcast to 48 countries

In a devotional broadcast on Sunday to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout Europe, President Russell. M. Nelson called on the European Saints to lead out in the gathering of Israel.

“Pray and watch for opportunities to share the joy that you have in the gospel,” the prophet said. “You may be surprised how the Lord will answer your prayers. … You are perfectly positioned to find the children of Israel who are living in or are coming to Europe.”

This kind of action “will literally change the future of Europe,” President Nelson said. “I have complete faith in you, my dear brothers and sisters. You were born to do this. Europe has an unparalleled future — because of you!”

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The prophet was joined in the broadcast to 48 countries by his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, as well as Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Susan Bednar, and Elder Massimo De Feo of the Europe Area Presidency. The broadcast included a brief video presentation on the history of the Church in Europe.

Though in Europe secularism is ascendant, President Nelson expressed unwavering optimism for the days ahead.

“I am not naïve about [current realities],” he said. “But, brothers and sisters, never forget that the Restoration of the gospel commenced so that all men and women might know that it is true! The Restoration took place so that all could have the privilege of understanding the magnificent breadth and depth of the Lord’s gospel in its fulness. The gathering of Israel — foretold throughout scripture — is occurring right now in every nation. That includes those of Europe!”

President Nelson, who oversaw the work of the Church in Europe between 1985 and 1990, gave special attention Sunday to youth and young adults.

“Many of your friends are seeking to understand why they are here on earth. They want to know if life has any meaning and purpose. They want to make a difference in the world. They wonder whom they can trust,” President Nelson said. “Do you realize that you have the answers that those friends are seeking?”

To those who do not have a strong conviction of the truth of the Church’s teachings, President Nelson encouraged them “to ask and to seek! … Having questions does not mean that you don’t have a testimony. If you know that Jesus is the Christ and that His gospel has been restored, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that prophets walk the earth today, you have a testimony. Your continued study and searching will bless you over time with increased understanding.”

The prophet also cautioned youth and young adults to “stay focused on what you do know. … Listen to sources you can trust. Seek for answers to your questions through prayer, searching the scriptures, and studying the words of prophets, seers, and revelators.”

Elder David A. Bednar speaks to Latter-day Saints throughout Europe.2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Elder David A. Bednar

Elder Bednar urged Latter-day Saints to remember the covenants they have made with God. Doing so, he said, “is the source of spiritual direction and strength in every season.”

Quoting previous addresses from President Nelson, Elder Bednar said covenants with God should be the “focus of our lives.”

“In a world of increasing confusion, disorder and commotion, covenants and ordinances are essential to help us to maintain a proper focus on the Savior and His doctrine — regardless of our challenges and circumstances,” Elder Bednar said. “And covenants and ordinances that are honored steadfastly, remembered always, and written ‘with the Spirit of the living God … in the fleshy tables of the heart’ provide purpose, joy, and the assurance of blessings in mortality and for eternity.”

Just as a Wi-Fi booster amplifies an existing internet signal and then transmits a stronger one, receiving, remembering and honoring our covenants enhance God’s power in our lives, Elder Bednar said. Covenants strengthen “us to press forward and overcome the various obstructions we encounter on the covenant path” and enlarge “our capacity to reach out to, serve, and bless other people.”

Sister Wendy Nelson addresses Church members living in Europe.2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sister Wendy Nelson

Sister Nelson provided a key to discerning truth in our information-saturated culture.

“How can we protect ourselves amid the war of words that rages all around us?” she asked. “I suggest we compare anything and everything we read, view or hear with the teachings of the prophets. If it isn’t in harmony, we should run away. … Prophets testify of Christ. Their sole desire is to help us find and stay on the covenant path that leads back to Him and our Heavenly Father.”

In a spirit of New Year’s resolutions, she invited the Saints of Europe to, for 30 days, put an exclamation mark after every statement from a prophet and a question mark after anything else they read.

“You may notice a decrease in the amount of stress you feel as you are able to see through the false philosophies of men that produce a kind of tension and anxiety that can almost immobilize us,” she said. “What would happen to your level of peace, clarity of thinking, joy, experience of love and spiritual prosperity if, for 30 days, you started to question everything the world’s media, and all other sources, offer you — and — instead, prayerfully studied, fully embraced and lived by every prophetic teaching you could find? What would happen in only 30 days if you chose to follow the prophets with exactness?”

She offered several traits of President Nelson’s that are worth emulating. These include being attentive and alert to the needs of others; espousing an awe of God’s laws; finding joy in service; paying the price to accomplish difficult things; and not delaying important actions.

“As you follow the prophets, your love for your Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will grow, as will your desire to keep your covenants with Them,” Sister Nelson said. “Your ability to discern between what is true and what is not will increase. You will long to be in the temple, more than ever before, because you love whose house it is, and who teaches you supernal truths there.”

Sister Susan Bednar delivers a spiritual message to Latter-day Saints in Europe.2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sister Susan Bednar

Sister Bednar shared three experiences from her time in Europe that have blessed her and her family.

The first came during a trip to Germany. After their 13-year-old became ill, a priesthood blessing from Elder Bednar, combined with faith and prayer, helped the son recover. The second came during a son’s missionary service in England. He became acquainted with a fellow missionary who is the son of a man whom his father, Elder Bednar, baptized when he was a young missionary decades ago. The third came in 2006, when Sister and Elder Bednar were in Slovakia. The Church of Jesus Christ received official recognition during their visit — a milestone that required the signatures of 20,000 citizens. The region of the country where people most readily signed the petition for recognition, Sister Bednar said, was an area from which some of Elder Bednar’s ancestors came.

Sister Bednar said the tender feelings she and Elder Bednar have for the Saints of Europe goes deeper than ancestral ties.

“We are all a part of a larger work,” she said. “This is the work of the Lord. We are bound together as Saints through the ordinances and covenants available in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.”

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