How the Policy Came About

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 6.41.07 PM

Screenshot from the devotional

President Russell M. Nelson and his wife Wendy held a devotional tonight for young adults, with a focus on millennials in the millennial day. It is likely that President Nelson’s brief comments on the policy changes may receive more attention than the rest of the devotional.

A number of sources have reported slightly different versions of the story of how the policy changes were decided upon and instituted. During his devotional message, President Nelson described in his own words the process through which the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve arrived at the final version of the policies. He reported the following:

We sustain fifteen men who are ordained as prophets, seers, and revelators. When a thorny problem arises—and they only seem to get thornier each day—these fifteen men wrestle with the issue, trying to see all the ramifications and various courses of action, and they diligently seek to hear the voice of the Lord. After fasting, praying, studying, pondering, and counseling with my brethren about weighty matters, it is not unusual for me to be awakened during the night with further impressions about issues with which we are concerned. And my brethren have the same experience. The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counsel together and share all the Lord has directed us to understand and to feel individually and collectively. Then we watch the Lord move upon the President of the Church to proclaim the Lord’s will.

This prophetic process was followed in 2012 with the change in minimum age for missionaries, and again with the recent additions to the Church’s Handbook consequent to the legalization of same-sex marriage in some countries. Filled with compassion for all, and especially for the children, we wrestled at length to understand the Lord’s will in this matter. Ever mindful of God’s Plan of Salvation and of His hope for eternal life for each of His children.

We considered countless permutations and combinations of possible scenarios that could arise. We met repeatedly in the temple, in fasting and prayer, and sought further direction and inspiration. And then when the Lord inspired his prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, to declare the mind of the Lord and the will of the Lord, each of us during that sacred moment felt a spiritual confirmation. It was our privilege as apostles to sustain what had been revealed to President Monson.

Revelation from the Lord to His servants is a sacred process, and so is your privilege of receiving personal revelation.

You can view the full devotional here: https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/watch/worldwide-devotional/2016/01?lang=eng. To see the portion quoted above, jump to 44:16.

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