In his April 2023 conference talk, President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints delivered a powerful message titled “Peacemakers Needed”. He urged members of the Church to choose reconciliation over contention, emphasizing the importance of being peacemakers in today’s world.
A Call to Be Peacemakers
President Nelson began his talk by expressing his joy at being with the members of the Church and sharing that they have been constantly on his mind and in his prayers. He then shared a personal experience from his surgical internship many years ago, where he witnessed a surgeon lose control of his emotions during a difficult operation. This experience left a lasting impression on him and led him to make a vow never to lose control of his emotions or throw anything in anger.
Drawing parallels between this incident and the current state of civic dialogue and personal relationships, President Nelson expressed concern over the disappearance of civility and decency in today’s era of polarization and passionate disagreements. He noted that vulgarity, faultfinding, and evil speaking have become all too common, with many people believing it is acceptable to condemn, malign, and vilify anyone who does not agree with them.
We happened to visit the church office building last year on the day of President Nelson’s birthday. How did he celebrate? He spent the day at work. It was the same this year. How many other 99 year olds celebrate by spending their birthday at work? pic.twitter.com/DxwP8KMXes— Scott Adams 📖🛻🏔️🍿🏎️ (@PTSPentax) September 28, 2023
The Role of Disciples of Jesus Christ
President Nelson emphasized that as disciples of Jesus Christ, Latter-day Saints should be examples of how to interact with others, especially when there are differences of opinion. He stated that one of the easiest ways to identify a true follower of Jesus Christ is by how compassionately that person treats other people.
Quoting from the Sermon on the Mount, President Nelson reminded listeners of Jesus Christ’s teachings: “Blessed are the peacemakers,” and “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
In conclusion, President Nelson invited everyone to examine their hearts and lay aside anything that prevents them from being peacemakers. He urged members to choose to be peacemakers now and always. This powerful message serves as a timely reminder for all to promote dignified dialogue in today’s contention-soaked world.