How President Nelson’s Teachings Were Present at Conference Even Though He Wasn’t
November 2023

How President Nelson’s Teachings Were Present at Conference Even Though He Wasn’t

Even though President Nelson was not physically present at conference, he was still fulfilling His role as the Lord’s prophet on the earth today.

President Nelson looking up and smiling

During this five-session, two-day conference, President Russell M. Nelson was cited more than 65 times. The General Authorities and Officers of the Church who spoke sustained President Nelson and his role as the living prophet by reiterating his prophetic direction.

Here are just a few of his inspired words that were quoted this conference:


President Nelson has focused heavily on the importance of covenants and the idea of the covenant path. President Emily Belle Freeman included this simple, profound explanation from President Nelson:

“The covenant path is all about our relationship with God.”1

Elder J. Kimo Esplin included this beautiful promise that the prophet has taught:

“The reward for keeping covenants with God is heavenly power—power that strengthens us to withstand our trials, temptations, and heartaches better. This power eases our way.”2


Many speakers echoed instruction that President Nelson has given to members of the Church. Elder Gary B. Sabin quoted a talk from 1986, when then-Elder Nelson had only been serving as an Apostle for two years:

“Each new morning is a gift from God. Even the air we breathe is a loving loan from him. He preserves us from day to day and supports us from one moment to another. Therefore, our first noble deed of the morning should be a humble prayer of gratitude.”3

President Eyring and Elder Stevenson both redeclared this quote from President Nelson’s first message as President of the Church, powerfully reinforcing President Nelson’s urgent warning that we need the Holy Ghost in our lives.

“In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.”4

Testimony of Christ

President Nelson’s primary responsibility as a prophet is to bear witness of Jesus Christ. Both Bishop W. Christopher Waddell and Elder Robert M. Daines referenced this exhortation from President Nelson:

“Whatever questions or problems you have, the answer is always found in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Learn more about His Atonement, His love, His mercy, His doctrine, and His restored gospel of healing and progression. Turn to Him! Follow Him!”5

Elder Daines also reiterated this promise given by President Nelson:

“The more you learn about the Savior, the easier it will be to trust in His mercy, His infinite love.”6

Following the Prophet

Even though President Nelson was not in person at this conference, his direction was present. His words taught doctrine, bore witness of Christ, and continued to guide the church.

The Lord has told us that those who believe the words of His prophets shall have eternal life (see Doctrine and Covenants 20:26).

We can follow the example of the leaders of the Church by studying the words of President Nelson. Start today by studying his talk, “Think Celestial!,”7 which is now the most recent communication that Jesus Christ has had with the world through His prophet.