The Power of Prophetic Promises
President of Brigham Young University
January 10, 2023
President of Brigham Young University
January 10, 2023
Encountering a new year can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. As we imagine what lies ahead, one of the few certainties is that some things will be uncertain. In the challenging times in which we live, such uncertainty can sometimes be anxiety inducing, almost paralyzing. If you find yourself in that position, if uncertainty threatens to overwhelm you—as it does all of us from time to time—I invite you to tap into the power of promises.
I believe we vastly underestimate the importance and power of promises in our lives, especially in uncertain times and situations. Political philosopher Hannah Arendt observed, “Promises are the uniquely human way of ordering the future, making it predictable and reliable to the extent that this is humanly possible.”1 The belief that we can rely on promises creates the kind of trust that allows us to order our relationships, whether they be economic, political, or intimate. It also allows us to order our day-to-day lives in ways that we often take for granted.
But not all promises have equal value. Some of the most common promises we make at this time of year are “resolutions”—a form of what philosophers call “self-promises.”2 For many of us, this is the least reliable promise. In fact, philosophers heatedly debate whether the moral obligations that attach to most promises even apply to things like New Year’s resolutions, because with self-promising resolutions, the promisee and the promisor are the same person. As Thomas Hobbes put it, “He that is bound to himself only, is not bound.”3 Thus many view a New Year’s resolution as what the fictitious nanny-philosopher Mary Poppins called “a piecrust promise. Easily made, easily broken”4—these are not so much resolutions as “casual promises to myself that I am under no legal obligation to fulfill.”
Now I am not discouraging or disparaging New Year’s resolutions. I would hope that each of us is constantly striving to assess and improve our life—and New Year’s resolutions can be an effective way of engaging in that process. However, if we rely exclusively—or primarily—on our own self-promises, we will not be fully utilizing the power of promises in our lives.
Some more reliable promises take the form of legally binding contracts, in which the promisee can invoke the judicial system to ensure that the promise is kept. But even these promises have their limits, for there are situations in which the law will not require adherence to the terms of a contract.5 So legally binding contracts, while valuable to society, are not the most powerful form of promise.
A higher form of promise—one that is more sure and powerful than New Year’s resolutions, legally binding contracts, or any other form of promise—is a promise made by God. God’s promises are more certain—and therefore more powerful—than any promise made by any mortal being. We can rely on God’s promises not because they are enforceable in a court of law or through social or moral pressure but because God is God, a being who the scriptures tell us “lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words.”6 Because God is both perfectly honest and all powerful, there is no chance that His promises—His words—will not come to pass. Thus, His words automatically turn into action. When He says, “Let there be light,”7 light appears. When He promises something, it will happen. That is the power of God’s promises.
Because He so deeply wants us to rely on His most important promises, God confirms them with an oath—a unilateral declaration of intent to keep a promise. As Paul put it in Hebrews 6, “God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath.”8 More specifically, Paul noted, “when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself.”9 In other words, God provides His status as God—putting His godhood on the line—as a surety or warranty that He will keep His promises.10 No guarantee of a promise could be more reliable. As the Primary song reminds us, we are children of God, and “His promises are sure.”11
But God’s promises, like God Himself, operate in accordance with eternal laws. We therefore have to do our part to receive the blessings of His promises. As He stated in the well-known promise in section 82 of the Doctrine and Covenants, “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.”12
God’s promises are found in the scriptures. They are contained in sacred temple ordinances. And they are also provided through God’s living prophets. As God stated in His preface to the Doctrine and Covenants:
What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.13
This verse, coupled with the promise in section 82, provides great insight into a key source of God’s promises for our specific time and place. As Elder Daniel G. Hamilton, an Area Seventy, recently explained:
Drawing together the principles in these two verses assures us that as living prophets, seers and revelators say, “I promise,” the Lord is bound by that promise, if we live by the prerequisites upon which the promised blessings are predicated.14
With that in mind, I have paid particular attention the last few years when the words “I promise” have been spoken by those fifteen men who are prophets, seers, and revelators, especially President Russell M. Nelson, who is the Lord’s prophet authorized to exercise all priesthood keys on earth.
In the Sunday morning session of the first general conference at which he presided as president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Nelson stated:
I promise that as you continue to be obedient, expressing gratitude for every blessing the Lord gives you, and as you patiently honor the Lord’s timetable, you will be given the knowledge and understanding you seek. Every blessing the Lord has for you—even miracles—will follow.15
Notice the three-part pattern:
1. The direct and specific expression “I promise.”
2. The identification of the prerequisites for obtaining the promised blessings—in this case, being “obedient, expressing gratitude for every blessing the Lord gives you, and . . . patiently honor[ing] the Lord’s timetable.”
3. The description of the promised blessings—in this case, “the knowledge and understanding you seek” and “every blessing the Lord has for you—even miracles.”
Since that time, by my count, President Nelson has made sixteen other specific promises in his general conference addresses following the same pattern of an express promise that if certain prerequisites are met, specific blessings will ensue—often more than one. That is a total of seventeen specific prophetic promises16 made in general conference17 by President Nelson in the last five years. Let me suggest that deep study and the application of these seventeen prophetic promises will provide the direction, peace, strength, and increased faith you will need to face challenges and uncertainties during this coming year—and beyond.
A partial list of the promised blessings should provide ample incentive for such an undertaking. Consider, for example, the first blessing promised in President Nelson’s April 2018 general conference address: “the knowledge and understanding you seek.” I suppose that at some point in the coming semester each of us engaged in this academic enterprise—whether as students, faculty, or staff—would find this promised blessing of great benefit. But the other sixteen prophetic promises contain numerous other important blessings, including but not limited to
“joy even amid uncertainty”20
“a burst of spiritual momentum”21
“additional power to deal with temptation, struggles, and weakness”23
“increased inspiration and revelation”24
improved “ability to hear Him”25
“greater unity in your families”26
Wouldn’t we all want to have each of these blessings in our lives? They are each made available with all the surety and promise that the living authorized spokesman for God can provide. As we study these promises—and act to make them operative in our lives—we will be changed in remarkable ways.
As you engage in this process, take special note of the different actions that you must take to receive the different blessings. You will notice that four different sets of promises relate to temple worship;30 three to using the correct name of the Church,31 three to increasing our ability to receive inspiration,32 and two to shifting to a more home-centered, gospel learning mode.33 That emphasis may provide some insight into what gospel activities ought to occupy our time and focus during the coming year.
You will also notice that some promises build on one another. For example, in the April 2020 general conference, President Nelson stated, “I promise that as you increase your time in temple and family history work, you will increase and improve your ability to hear Him.”34
Later in the same talk, that increased ability to hear the Lord became the prerequisite to other promised blessings. President Nelson said:
As you more intentionally hear, hearken, and heed what the Savior has said and what He is saying now through His prophets . . . , I promise that you will be blessed with additional power to deal with temptation, struggles, and weakness. I promise miracles in your marriage, family relationships, and daily work. And I promise that your capacity to feel joy will increase even if turbulence increases in your life.35
Thus temple work is linked to three other blessings that flow, in succession, from the increased ability to hear the Savior’s voice that comes from spending more time doing temple and family history work. One simple but powerful prophetically promised blessing thereby blooms into three deeper and more specific blessings.
Now, just as one prerequisite can give rise to several different promised blessings,36 there are several kinds of promised blessings that result from more than one prerequisite activity. For example, in five different prophetic pronouncements we are provided assurance that meeting different individual prerequisites will result in an increased ability to receive revelation and inspiration.37 The separate prerequisites for that one particular blessing vary; they range from prayerful study of the Book of Mormon38 to increased “time in temple and family history work”39 to “increased desire and ability to obey the laws of God.”40
Similarly, four separate prophetic declarations made by President Nelson in general conference promise an increase in faith41 or a decrease in fear,42 which I believe are essentially the same thing. After all, as President Gordon B. Hinckley once observed, “Fear is the antithesis of faith.”43 Again, the prerequisites for that particular promised blessing vary; they range from “rigorous attention to us[ing] the correct name of the Savior’s Church”44 to beginning “anew . . . to hear, hearken to, and heed the words of the Savior”45 to striving to “create places of security, prepare our minds to be faithful to God, and never stop preparing.”46
At first glance, some might find the fact that more than one prerequisite act is associated with one particular blessing to be discouraging—viewing these acts as a cumulative list of things, each of which must be met before the promised blessing comes to pass. But I believe just the opposite is true. Compliance with any one of these particular prerequisites is enough to bring forth the promised blessing. God is so anxious to bless us that He provides numerous ways to qualify for a particular blessing—though the blessing can certainly be enhanced through adherence to each of the particular prerequisites. Moreover, there is likely a link between the different prerequisite acts that lead to a particular blessing. For example, prayerful study of the Book of Mormon will likely increase one’s desire and ability to obey God’s law and to spend more time in temple and family history work—each of which is a prerequisite to the promised increase in the ability to receive and recognize revelation. God is remarkably efficient and remarkably generous.
One promised blessing contained in three different prophetic promises from President Nelson is miracles. The first time President Nelson promised miracles was in the very first general conference he presided over as president of the Church in April 2018. Let me quote once again:
I promise that as you continue to be obedient, expressing gratitude for every blessing the Lord gives you, and as you patiently honor the Lord’s timetable . . . , every blessing the Lord has for you—even miracles—will follow.47
The second time he promised miracles was in the next general conference in October 2018:
I urge you to find a way to make an appointment regularly with the Lord—to be in His holy house—then keep that appointment with exactness and joy. I promise you that the Lord will bring the miracles He knows you need.48
Notice the direct tie to temple attendance, including making an appointment that is kept with exactness. Note also the more specific promise—not just that miracles will follow but that the Lord will bring the miracles He knows we need. The latter is much more important than the former.
The third time he promised miracles was two years later in the Sunday morning session of the April 2020 general conference. In that session, President Nelson stated:
As you more intentionally hear, hearken, and heed what the Savior has said and what He is saying now through His prophets . . . , I promise miracles in your marriage, family relationships, and daily work.49
Note the specific settings in which the miracles are promised to occur: our day-to-day activities and our most important relationships.
We live in a time and setting in which many scoff at the possibility that miracles are real, and yet miracles very often happen right around us without our notice. Just two years ago, at a BYU devotional, Elder David A. Bednar powerfully reminded us that, as promised in the Book of Mormon,50 miracles have not ceased. Elder Bednar cited simple examples that occurred in a few-day period when temple work was about to be suspended in one area during the pandemic. These were miracles involving seemingly small things that some would consider coincidences but that were, for those involved, faith-strengthening reminders of God’s love for them.51
Some thirty years earlier, in their last BYU devotional address, President Rex E. Lee and his wife, Janet G. Lee, taught the same principle, noting that because “we tend to think of miracles in terms of history-making, dramatic events for which there is no mortal explanation,” we sometimes forget that “miracles come in all sizes” and that “very often these more individually focused miracles come in ways that we may not recognize . . . unless our spirits are particularly attuned to recognize them.”52
In that light, President Nelson’s exhortation this past April for all of us to “seek and expect miracles”53 takes on deeper meaning. Miracles are more common than we often recognize, and the angels who bring them often reside on this side of the veil. Prophetic promises identify ways in which we can more readily recognize and benefit from those miracles.
Let me share a small personal example involving you—or at least someone like you. Some time ago, I had one of those days in which nothing seemed to be going right. The issues I was facing seemed to have no solutions. No one seemed happy with what was happening, and I was completely unsure why I was in the position that I am in. Fortunately those kinds of days are rare. But this was one of them. I just wanted to go home and be left alone.
However, several weeks earlier, Peggy and I had made an appointment to attend a temple session that evening. I recall hearing in my head President Nelson urging us to not only make an appointment to be in the Lord’s holy house but also to “keep that appointment with exactness and joy.” So I went to the temple, trying to be joyful and pleading to know what to do and to feel what I needed to feel.
I felt calmer during the endowment session, but I was still somewhat unsettled when the session ended. Peggy and I spent some time in the celestial room talking about tender mercies she had encountered in the session. Then a young couple came over and introduced themselves as BYU students. They just wanted to thank us for all that we did to make BYU a great place. They were full of joy and gratitude; it was clear that BYU had impacted them in a powerful way. This was its own tender mercy—maybe a miracle—to me.
Later, after changing into my street clothes and heading to the lobby to leave, I thought I should add someone’s name to the prayer roll—a practice I usually follow.
At first I thought: “No name comes to mind. Maybe I should just skip it this time.”
But then I thought, “Surely someone can use a temple blessing.”
So I went over to the area where there are both individual slips of paper and a notepad for adding names to the prayer roll. I wrote a name on one slip and put it into the box. I then glanced down at the list of names on the notepad that had been entered by different people. I usually pay no attention to that list, but, for some reason, this time I scanned the list, and partway down I saw my name: “Kevin Worthen.” I was almost overcome. Someone, maybe one of the students in the celestial room, had entered my name on the prayer roll that day. I felt a feeling of complete peace and a deep reassurance that everything would work out. And it did.
Some might think it was just a coincidence that someone wrote my name on the prayer roll list that day, that weeks earlier I had made an appointment to attend the temple on that day, and that on that day I happened to glance at the list. But for me it was a miracle—one God knew that I needed and that, consistent with President Nelson’s promise, God provided.
And so, to paraphrase the well-known hymn: We thank Thee, O God, for a prophet whose promises guide us in these latter days. And we thank Thee for every blessing bestowed from heeding those prophetic promises.54
I promise that as you diligently study and apply the prophetic promises that the Lord has provided through President Nelson—and the other living prophets—your ability to meet and benefit from the challenges and uncertainty you will face in the coming year will be greatly enhanced. Your life will be more joyful and productive, and you will advance on the covenant path that will lead you to exaltation and a fullness of joy. That is my promise and also my prayer for you in this coming year, and I offer it in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
© Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.
Since April 2018, President Russell M. Nelson has given seventeen prophetic promises in general conference talks (italics from original; bold indicates the prerequisite of each promise):
I promise that as you continue to be obedient, expressing gratitude for every blessing the Lord gives you, and as you patiently honor the Lord’s timetable,
 you will be given the knowledge and understanding you seek.
 Every blessing the Lord has for you—even miracles—will follow.
I invite you to read the Book of Mormon between now and the end of the year. . . . And, as you prayerfully study, I promise that
 the heavens will open for you.
 The Lord will bless you with increased inspiration and revelation.
I promise you that if we will do our best to restore the correct name of the Lord’s Church,
 He whose Church this is will pour down His power and blessings upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints [see Doctrine and Covenants 121:33], the likes of which we have never seen.
 We will have the knowledge and power of God to help us take the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people and to prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Lord.
I promise that as you diligently work to remodel your home into a center of gospel learning,
 over time your Sabbath days will truly be a delight.
 Your children will be excited to learn and to live the Savior’s teachings, and
 the influence of the adversary in your life and in your home will decrease.
 Changes in your family will be dramatic and sustaining.
I promise you that our rigorous attention to use the correct name of the Savior’s Church and its members will lead to
 increased faith and
 access to greater spiritual power for members of His Church.
I urge you to find a way to make an appointment regularly with the Lord—to be in His holy house—then keep that appointment with exact- ness and joy. I promise you that
 the Lord will bring the miracles He knows you need.
I promise that as you increase your time in temple and family history work,
 you will increase and improve your ability to hear Him.
As you more intentionally hear, hearken, and heed what the Savior has said and what He is saying now through His prophets . . . , I promise that
 you will be blessed with additional power to deal with temptation, struggles, and weakness. I promise
 miracles in your marriage, family relation- ships, and daily work. And I promise that
 your capacity to feel joy will increase even if turbulence increases in your life.
We pray that you will begin anew truly to hear, hearken to, and heed the words of the Savior. I promise that
 decreased fear and increased faith will follow.
I promise that as you increase your capacity to receive revelation,
 the Lord will bless you with increased direction for your life and with
 boundless gifts of the Spirit.
I promise that as we create places of security, prepare our minds to be faithful to God, and never stop preparing,
 God will bless us.
 He will “deliver us; yea, insomuch that he [will] speak peace to our souls, and [will] grant unto us great faith, and . . . cause us that we [can] hope for our deliverance in him [Alma 58:11].”
I bless you with an increased desire and ability to obey the laws of God. I promise that as you do,
 you will be showered with blessings, including greater courage,
 increased personal revelation,
 sweeter harmony in your homes, and
 joy even amid uncertainty.
If you don’t yet love to attend the temple, go more often—not less. Let the Lord, through His Spirit, teach and inspire you there. I promise you that
 over time, the temple will become a place of safety,
 solace, and
If forgiveness presently seems impossible, plead for power through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ to help you. As you do so, I promise
 personal peace and
 a burst of spiritual momentum.
As you act on these pursuits [five positive spiritual momentum concepts], I promise you
 the ability to move forward on the covenant path with increased momentum, despite whatever obstacles you face. And I promise you
 greater strength to resist temptation,
 more peace of mind,
 freedom from fear, and
 greater unity in your families.
As you let God prevail in your life, I promise you
 greater peace,
 joy, and yes,
I promise that increased time in the temple will
 bless your life in ways nothing else can.
1. Hannah Arendt, Crises of the Republic: Lying in Politics; Civil Disobedience; On Violence; Thoughts on Politics and Revolution (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972), 92–93.
2. See Allen Habib, “Promises,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP), 5.2 (10 October 2008; substantive revision 17 June 2022).
3. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (1651), part II, chapter 26; quoted in Habib, SEP, 5.2: “Nor is it possible for any person to be bound to himselfe; because he that can bind, can release; and therefore he that is bound to himselfe onely, is not bound.”
4. Mary Poppins, IMDb’s pages for quotes for Mary Poppins (1964), imdb.com/title/tt0058331/quotes/qt3657893.
5. As one example, the law excuses performance when an intervening event makes it impossible to perform the promised act. Taylor v. Caldwell, 122 Eng. Rep. 309 (1863): “In contracts in which the performance depends on the continued existence of a given person or thing, a condition is implied that the impossibility of performance arising from the perishing of the person or thing shall excuse the performance.”
6. 3 Nephi 27:18.
7. Genesis 1:3. See also Lectures on Faith (1985), 72 (7:3): “It is by words, instead of exerting his physical powers, with which every being works when he works by faith. God said, ‘Let there be light: and there was light.’”
8. Hebrews 6:17.
9. Hebrews 6:13. See also Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 14:30–33.
10. Insight into the powerful nature of God swearing by Himself because He could swear by no greater is found in Thomas Scanlon’s assertion that
in an oath a person says, in support of a claim . . . to have a sincere and reliable intention to do a certain thing, “I swear to you by . . . ,” naming here something to which he or she is assumed to attach great value. . . . What is claimed is simply that the speaker’s sincerity in making the present claim is comparable to the sincerity of his or her devotion to the value named. [“Promises and Practices,” Philosophy and Public Affairs 19, no. 3 (Summer 1990): 223, appendix; quoted in Habib, “Promises,” 5.3]
11. From verse 4 of “I Am a Child of God,” Songbook, 2–3.
12. Doctrine and Covenants 82:10.
13. Doctrine and Covenants 1:38.
14. Daniel G. Hamilton, “Area Leadership Message: Prophetic Promises,” Australia Local Pages, digital, Ensign, October 2020, churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2020/10/aus-eng-local-pages/local-news-001?lang=eng; see Doctrine and Covenants 130:21.
15. Russell M. Nelson, “Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” Ensign, May 2018; emphasis added.
16. See table at the end of this talk of President Russell M. Nelson’s general conference prophetic prerequisites and promises.
17. In this talk, I focus solely on the express promises (specifically labeled as such) made by President Nelson in general conference addresses since he became the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Equally powerful are express promises President Nelson has made during that period of time in other settings (see, e.g., “The Future of the Church: Preparing the World for the Savior’s Second Coming,” Ensign, April 2020; “Choices for Eternity,” worldwide devotional for young adults, 15 May 2022) and promises he made as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles prior to serving as president of the Church (see, e.g., from the Saturday afternoon session of the October 2017 general conference, “The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like Without It?” Ensign, November 2017).
18. Russell M. Nelson, “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints,” Ensign, November 2018; also “Go Forward in Faith,” Ensign, May 2020. See also “Embrace the Future with Faith,” Ensign, November 2020.
19. Nelson, “Go Forward in Faith”; see also “Embrace the Future with Faith.”
20. Nelson, “A New Normal,” Ensign, November 2020.
21. Nelson, “The Power of Spiritual Momentum,” Liahona, May 2022.
23. Nelson, “Hear Him,” Ensign, May 2020.
24. Nelson, “Sisters’ Participation in the Gathering of Israel,” Ensign, November 2018.
26. Nelson, “The Power of Spiritual Momentum.”
27. Nelson, “Overcome the World and Find Rest,” Liahona, November 2022.
28. Nelson, “Overcome the World”; see also “The Power of Spiritual Momentum”; “Embrace the Future with Faith.”
29. Nelson, “Revelation for the Church”; “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints”; “Hear Him.”
30. See Nelson, “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints”; “Hear Him”; “The Temple and Your Spiritual Foundation,” Liahona, November 2021; “Focus on the Temple,” Liahona, November 2022.
31. See Nelson, “The Correct Name of the Church,” Ensign, November 2018; “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints”; “Opening the Heavens for Help,” Ensign, May 2020.
32. See Nelson, “Sisters’ Participation”; “Hear Him”; “Embrace the Future with Faith.”
33. See Nelson, “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints”; “Embrace the Future with Faith.”
35. Nelson, “Hear Him”; emphasis added.
36. In some instances, there are as many as four blessings promised from one single but critical prerequisite:
I promise that as you diligently work to remodel your home into a center of gospel learning,  over time your Sabbath days will truly be a delight.  Your children will be excited to learn and to live the Savior’s teachings, and  the influence of the adversary in your life and in your home will decrease.  Changes in your family will be dramatic and sustaining. [Nelson, “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints”; emphasis in original]
In one instance there were five specific promised blessings, but they were the result of acting in pursuit of five positive spiritual momentum concepts:
As you act on these pursuits [five positive spiritual momentum concepts], I promise you  the ability to move forward on the covenant path with increased momentum, despite whatever obstacles you face. And I promise you  greater strength to resist temptation,  more peace of mind,  freedom from fear, and  greater unity in your families. [Nelson, “The Power of Spiritual Momentum”]
37. See Nelson, “Sisters’ Participation”; “Hear Him”; “Embrace the Future with Faith”; “A New Normal”; “The Temple and Your Spiritual Foundation.”
38. See Nelson, “Sisters’ Participation.”
41. See three general conference prophetic declarations promising an increase in faith: Nelson, “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints”; “Go Forward in Faith”; “Embrace the Future with Faith.”
42. One general conference prophetic declaration promises a decrease in fear if we “hear His Son” (Nelson, “Hear Him”). Another such promise in a general conference address included both “decreased fear and increased faith” (Nelson, “Go Forward in Faith”).
43. Gordon B. Hinckley, “First Presidency Message: ‘God Hath Not Given Us the Spirit of Fear,’” Ensign, October 1984.
44. Nelson, “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints.”
45. Nelson, “Go Forward in Faith.”
46. Nelson, “Embrace the Future with Faith.”
47. Nelson, “Revelation for the Church”; emphasis added.
48. Nelson, “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints”; emphasis added.
49. Nelson, “Hear Him”; emphasis added.
50. See Moroni 7:35–37.
51. See David A. Bednar, “As Long as the World Shall Stand,” BYU devotional address, 19 January 2021.
52. Rex E. Lee and Janet G. Lee, “‘Lift Up Thine Eyes’: Miracles Large and Small,” BYU devotional address, 12 December 1995. As Willa Cather once put it:
Miracles . . . seem to me to rest not so much upon . . . healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always. [Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927), book I, chapter 4]
53. Nelson, “The Power of Spiritual Momentum.” Seeking and expecting miracles is one of the prerequisite actions for one of President Nelson’s most recent prophetic promises.
54. See “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet,” Hymns, 2002, no. 19. We should also remember that God’s promises—and only His promises—have their ultimate fulfillment not in this life but in the eternities. No promise that He has not authored will survive beyond this life. As the scriptures explain, no kind of promise—no covenant, no contract, no bond, no obligation, oath, vow, performance, association, or expectation—that He does not bless will be of any “efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:7). And fittingly, God gives His approval on His promises through the Holy Ghost in the role of “the Holy Spirit of promise” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:7). See Guide to the Scriptures, s.v. “Holy Spirit of Promise,” Church of Jesus Christ:
The Holy Ghost is the Holy Spirit of Promise (Acts 2:33). He confirms as acceptable to God the righteous acts, ordinances, and covenants of men. The Holy Spirit of Promise witnesses to the Father that the saving ordinances have been performed properly and that the covenants associated with them have been kept.
Kevin J Worthen, president of Brigham Young University, delivered this devotional address on January 10, 2023.