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‘Tangibilitating’ the Gospel: How President Nelson has made faith real and obtainable

Speaking from the Conference Center Theater on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, President Russell M. Nelson welcomes all those around the world who are watching general conference on Saturday, October 3, 2020. (Photo: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Reverend Amos Brown has a made-up word everyone should learn: Tangibilitate. It means to make something real, perceptible, understandable, touchable and obtainable.

Reverend Brown first used this word during the NAACP National Convention in 2019 to describe the life of President Russell M. Nelson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His actions have proved his faith, according to Brown, and he encourages church members to do the same. 

Boyd Matheson delved into the work Nelson has done over the last three years as both the church president and the 17th prophet. Matheson looked at the different invitations and challenges Nelson has given church members throughout 2020, including worldwide fasts and immersing oneself in the glory of the gospel. 

How President Nelson has actualized the Gospel

Through these challenges, President Nelson has challenged members to focus on gratitude, initiating a 7-day social media challenge in 2020 for members to post things they’re thankful for. 

Amid the vaccine rollout, President Nelson has also strongly encouraged members to get vaccinated — joining into the call for religious leaders to spread confidence within their congregations. 

“Skilled scientists and researchers are laboring diligently to develop and distribute a vaccine against the Coronavirus,” President Nelson has said. “But there is no medication or operation that can fix the many spiritual woes […]  that we face. There is, however, a remedy that may seem surprising because it flies in the face of our natural intuitions. Nevertheless, its effects have been validated by scientists as well as men and women of faith. I‘m referring to the healing power of gratitude.”

Matheson he said he believes President Nelson will continue to offer challenges to members because he believes in the power of doing — something that makes “tangibilitating” possible. 

“President Nelson has responded to invitation after invitation throughout his life, including the ultimate tangibilitating and transformational invitation he received from the Savior of the world,” Matheson said. “Russell M. Nelson wants all of God’s children to experience for themselves what happens when they respond to invitations large and small. President Nelson believes tangibilitating invitations create space for revelation transformation, and miracles.” 

More than just branding: President Nelson centers church on Christ

One big change from the church in recent years was walking back on the casual nickname church members gained throughout the world: Mormons. The Mormon Church. 

By embracing this name, President Nelson warned members it distracted from what the church aimed to do. So, he encouraged worldwide members to use the full name of the church to ensure Christ remained at the center of its mission. 

When we omit his name from his church, we are inadvertently removing him as the central focus of our lives,” President Nelson said. “Taking the Savior’s name upon us includes declaring and witnessing to others through our actions and our words, that Jesus is the Christ. Have we been so afraid to offend someone who called us Mormons, that we have failed to defend the Savior himself? to stand up for him even in the name by which his church is called?”

‘Hear Him’: President Nelson challenges the church to listen to Christ

One of his most influential challenges, Matheson said, was encouraging members to hear the word of Christ. In doing so, they could know what he wants from them as they live out their lives. 

But it’s not enough to just hear, President Nelson said. Members need to take steps to hear him better. 

It’s a “soul-stirring” question, Matheson said as he sat down with church members to learn how they sought to hear Christ better. Many pointed to daily contemplation, while others attributed prayer as their go-to. 

One of the best ways to hear Christ better? Personal revelation, President Nelson said, as members look to the future to always do better. 

Listen to the full discussion

Host Boyd Matheson explores the facets of the transformational impact of tangibilitation in individual lives and how President Russell M. Nelson’s tenure as president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a model for how a leader can tangibilitate the gospel through powerful, personal invitations.

You can listen to the full discussion here.