Establishing our identity, purpose, and divine commission are central to our eternal progression, said Elder Russell M. Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in a worldwide CES devotional broadcasted from Cannon Activities Center. On September 9, Nelson addressed young men and women in his talk titled, “Youth of the Noble Birthright: What will you choose?”
“You as youth of the noble birthright are literally sons and daughters of God, born as this particular time in the world’s history for a most sacred purpose. Although the moral and religious values of society seem to be weakening across the globe, youth of the church are to be standard bearers of the Lord and beacons of light to attract others to him. Your identity and purpose are unique,” said Elder Nelson.
On his visit to Hawaii Elder Nelson attended events for the PCC 50 anniversary, in addition to speaking at the CES devotional and dedicating the newly completed Heber J. Grant Building.
The CAC was again filled to capacity as students and community members eagerly awaited the opportunity to hear an apostle speak.
“It was very sweet to know that even though we are on an island and we’re far away from everything, an apostle of the Lord came to talk to us. It showed that we are just as important the other BYU campuses,” said Shenia Jacobo, a junior from Arizona studying anthropology.
The devotional also featured a special choir of BYU-Hawaii students led by Brother Michael Belnap. “When I walked through the door, I was just blown away by the power and beautiful music of the choir. They sounded so good. It sounded like they were singing with angels,” said Becca Boman, an undeclared sophomore from Pasadena, Calif.
Before departing, Elder Nelson left an apostolic blessing upon those in attendance. He blessed that we may feast upon the words of Jesus Christ and apply what Jesus did do and would do. He also blessed participants that they may be able to obtain education and be blessed with health.
Elder Nelson was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 7, 1984.
Born September 9, 1924, Elder Nelson is the son of Marion C. and Edna Anderson Nelson. He and his wife, the former Dantzel White, have ten children. Sister Nelson passed away in February 2005. In April 2006, he married Wendy L. Watson.
An internationally renowned surgeon and medical researcher, Dr. Nelson received his B.A. and M.D. degrees from the University of Utah (1945, 47). Honorary scholastic societies include Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha. Elder Nelson has held numerous positions of responsibility in the Church. Prior to his call to the Quorum of the Twelve, he was serving as a regional representative assigned to the Kearns Utah Region, says lds.org.