A powerful message from President Nelson in the recently concluded General Conference sets an important pattern for all Latter-day Saints to help face the future with faith and look forward to living in the new normal. As we near the end of this year, we can look back and see the hand of the Lord guiding us throughout this pandemic. His hand is also paving a way for us to live with faith and to embrace the future with optimism.
In General Conference, President Nelson said he was led to a new insight for the word “Israel”. He said “With the help of two Hebrew scholars, I learned that one of the Hebraic meanings of the word Israel is ‘Let God Prevail.’” Thus the very name of Israel refers to a person who is willing to let God prevail in his or her life. That concept stirs my soul!”1.
As we join our prophet in pondering this new meaning and finding ways to apply this definition in our daily lives, we will discover new levels of happiness and peace in Christ. Consider with me three ways to “Let God Prevail” in our lives.
- Letting God Prevail by Being United
As the Saviour appeared to the people of Nephi and taught them his doctrines and showed them the right way to perform ordinances, he used the words “…there shall be no disputations among you.”2 He did this because disunity and disputations had been common among them. Only when the people became united and had no disputations, were they able to be one with Christ and receive direction from the Holy Ghost. 200 years of peace ensued. My invitation to all is to be united. The Lord has admonished us to be “One”. He also said “…if you are not one then you are not mine.”3
I promise that if we are united and become one in Christ, we will experience the same joy the Nephites experienced.
“In the culture of Christ, there is perspective—and eternal focus and direction. This culture is concerned with things of lasting worth! It comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is eternal and explains the why, what, and where of our existence. (It is inclusive, not exclusive.) Because this culture results from the application of our Saviour’s teachings, it helps provide a healing balm of which our world is in such desperate need.”Elder William K. Jackson of the Seventy
- Letting God Prevail by Adopting the Culture of Christ
Elder William K. Jackson of the Seventy said “In the culture of Christ, there is perspective—and eternal focus and direction. This culture is concerned with things of lasting worth! It comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is eternal and explains the why, what, and where of our existence. (It is inclusive, not exclusive.) Because this culture results from the application of our Saviour’s teachings, it helps provide a healing balm of which our world is in such desperate need.”4
When we entered the waters of baptism, we were washed clean from our sins and reborn in Christ. We repented and forsook significant habits and practices that were contrary to the teachings of the Saviour. We may, however, carry minor habits or accept less significant teachings from our birth cultures that are unbecoming of our reborn culture in Christ.
I invite all to examine our lives and look for things we may carry from our birth cultures that are not of God and do not enhance our eternal worth and progression. By identifying and eliminating these cultural carryovers, we can let God prevail in our lives.
- Letting God Prevail by Waiting Upon the Lord
In this fast-moving world, we want everything to happen fast. With this view, we fail to learn patience and take time to enjoy life. When we are afflicted with pain, sorrow, and suffering, we desire an end to come soon or even immediately. We learn from the life of the Saviour that even in his deepest pain and suffering, he bore it with patience and said to His Father, “…thy will be done.”5 Learning patience through our trials is letting God prevail in our lives.
This season of the year is very special. We remember the Son of God and His birth. We remember the gift that was given to all mankind by a loving Father in Heaven.
Christ is the reason for our joy during this season. Many of us have faced personal loss and heartaches as we have lost a loved one or been afflicted in some other way. The birth of the Saviour of the World brings peace and hope to all of God’s sons and daughters. His birth gives meaning and purpose to our lives. He endured every trial, sorrow, pain, and suffering that was, is, or will be experienced by ALL of mankind; individually and collectively. This He did so He could “…know how to succour [us] his people.”6
I bear witness of the living Christ. I know that He is our Saviour and Redeemer. I also know that when we are united, adopt the culture of Christ, and bear with patience our afflictions, we become his sons and daughters. We let God prevail in our lives. I bear this witness in the name of Jesus Christ.
- “Let God Prevail” By President Russell M. Nelson, 2020 October General Conference.