Video link at LDS.org titled “A Message from President Nelson.” The official announcement of President Nelson taking office is posted at the Newsroom, which notes, “He was sustained and set apart in the Salt Lake Temple on Sunday, January 14, 2018.” In this live blog post, the most recent entries are at the top. Quotations in quotes, summaries in plain text, my commentary (if any) in italics.
Eric Hawkins closes the news conference and invites Pres. Nelson’s large family to enter the room.
Q7 – Dan, KUTV reporter – What do you say to those who are leaving the Church because they feel the Church is not transparent about its history and because they have problems with early LDS leaders? Response by Nelson: I know your brother Art in Houston. Members should know the difference between what is doctrine and what is human. All humans are imperfect, so give your leaders some leeway to make mistakes. Don’t be offended by what may have been said or transpired in the past. Commandments aren’t restrictive, they are empowering and they liberate you from the bondage of sin and error. Stay on the covenant path. Response by Oaks: Looking back on LDS history, statements of one single leader do not represent the Church. We don’t believe in infallibility. Praises councils, acting under the leadership of the President. Some policies are doctrine, some policies are practices, but they all come out of councils. As to transparency, we have published many volumes of the Joseph Smith Papers, showing our dedication to transparency.
Q6 – Sam, KSL reporter – What message do you have for the next generation and those growing up now in the Church? Response by Nelson: Sam is a great friend. “How can the youth follow an old man?” “Age is a good thing. I hope you all live to be old people.” Response by Oaks: Elder Nelson says he has 116 grandchildren. Praises the youth and strength of Pres. Nelson, who often passes up the elevator to use the stairs at a brisk pace. Don’t underestimate the vitality and capacity of Pres. Nelson. He still skis. Response by Erying: Praises the optimism of Pres. Nelson as an example to the youth.
Q5 – from Brazil, what is the future of the Church in Brazil? Response by Nelson: Brazil is a seedbed of future leadership for the Church. More than one hundred stakes in Brazil and in Mexico. “In the year I was born, there were no members of the Church in South America.”
Q4 – Tad Walch, Deseret News – More than 1 in 3 Millennials don’t belong to a church. What can you do for the Millennials? Response by Nelson: They should appreciate the experiences of life as a gift of God. Response by Eyring: The press describes Millennials as doubters, but I meet our LDS missionaries and they are powerful, more so than in prior years. Rock solid faith. “It’s the best of times” with these Millennials. Response by Oaks: Praises marriage and notes young men and young women are stronger when they marry. He suggests marriage cures Millennial problems.
Q3 – Peggy Fletcher Stack, Salt Lake Tribune – LDS leadership is still white, male, and American. What will you do to bring women into decisionmaking in the Church? Response by Nelson: Notes that he knows Peggy’s parents and family. For diversity, look at the Seventies and the local leadership around the Church. “The Twelve and the Seventy are not a representative assembly.” “Someday there will be other flavors in the mix.” Response by Oaks: Don’t label yourself with ethnic labels, etc. We are all children of God. Shouted question: What about the women? Response by Nelson: “I love ’em.” My wife taught the kids and my daughters are now all grandmothers. “We have women in our councils” and serving in the temples. We need their voices and input. Response by Eyring: We need their influence. My four sons have all been bishops because of the positive influence of their mother. I do understand how lack of office and recognition does trouble some people but women have a lot of influence in the Church.
Q2 – in Spanish, what are the Church’s challenges for troubled places like Mexico? Response by Nelson: Our hearts go out to those in places with natural disasters. Prepare the people with faith in God and knowledge of God’s plan. Response by Oaks: We have many LDS leaders who have served in Mexico and speak Spanish. Many natural disasters in the Philipines, where there are 700,000 Mormons. Pres. Eyring: My father was born in Mexico. Latter-day Saints love their neighbors (reference to Helping Hands).
Q1 – How will you address LGBT issues? Response by Nelson: We know there are challenges with the commandments of God. “There is a place for everyone … to be with us in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Response by Oaks: Commandments from God, a plan; as leaders we have a responsibility to teach love but also the commandments.
Pres. Eyring – Says nice things.
Pres. Oaks – Speaking distinctly, praises Pres. Nelson and Pres. Eyring.
Pres. Nelson – “I feel confident about the fundamental goodness of humankind.” Endorses humanitarian efforts by the Church and its members. The LDS gospel has answers to the challenges facing the world today. Temple covenants strengthen your family and protect you from the adversary. “Go forward with faith in Jesus Christ.”
Part Two: “First Presidency News Conference.” Eric Hawkins, LDS Director of Media Relations, welcomes all. A fairly small group in the room. Cuts to a view of Pres. Nelson’s large family, gathered in a separate room. After the FP speaks,
pre-selected media reps will ask questions. I’m guessing the questions as well as the journalists asking them were pre-selected. No gotcha questions in this well-planned media presentation.
Singing until 10 am.
Elder Christofferson closes this oh-so-brief presentation, reminding listeners to return at 10 am MST for a news conference with the new First Presidency. Wow, that was quick.
President Eyring, 2d Counselor – “The Lord has prepared and chosen President Nelson” to lead the growth of the Church and the spiritual growth of members of the Church. “This is the Lord’s true church.” Bears testimony to the keys that Pres. Nelson holds, passed down from Joseph Smith. “The best is still to come.”
President Oaks, 1st Counselor – Praises Pres. Nelson and Pres. Eyring. “I pledge my loyalty and support” to Pres. Nelson. Very brief testimony.
President Nelson – “Stay on the covenant path.” If you have strayed, “please come back.” “There is a place for you in this, the Lord’s church.” Bears testimony.
Elder Christofferson gives a brief welcome. President Nelson has chosen Elder Oaks as 1st Counselor and Elder Eyring as 2d Counselor. Elder Uchtdorf resumes his place in the Quorum of the Twelve. Elder Ballard becomes the Acting President of the Twelve (technically, Elder Oaks is the President of the Twelve).