President Russell M. Nelson tells 65,000 of the faith's 'Arizona battalion' to strengthen themselves and others

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  • Wynniscool Norman, OK
    March 28, 2019 5:58 p.m.

    I have been trying to see if there are videos of this entire event; however, all I have been able to find are short clips - if anyone knows where the entire event can be viewed please let me know

  • hbeckett Colfax, CA
    Feb. 12, 2019 12:34 p.m.

    two men who have been called by our Savior Jesus Christ have given sound counsel to all who believe on his name and we should do our best to abide by their wordst will bring forth blessings in our lives

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    Feb. 11, 2019 10:20 p.m.


    Perhaps sheep who didn't know their master's voice were not as discerning or sensitive as other sheep we have heard about.

    Or, perhaps, they might have just had baaaaad hearing.


  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    Feb. 11, 2019 10:11 p.m.

    @The Atheist

    Please check the dictionary for the definition of the word "battalion".

    In addition to its military meaning it can also be used to definine "a large organized group pursuing a common purpose or goal".

    As Casey Stengel who managed the New York Yankees for many years used to say, "you could look it up".

    I did.🤗

  • Neanderthal Springville, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 8:57 p.m.

    @george of the jungle:
    "Sheep know the sound of their masters voice."

    For some reason, I have always been puzzled about calling those who believe in God and follow him as 'sheep.' I would rather have them called as believers in and followers of God.

    I have been around sheep for a small part of my youth. I don't recall them recognizing the sound of my voice.

  • Mayfair Logan, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 8:26 p.m.

    No Atheist--referring to them as the Arizona Battalion was not a Military metaphor..... it was eluding to the Mormon Battalion who was requested by the US government to be a military battalion but which actually never fired a shot nor engaged in any military activity.
    Their contributions differed from military ones and contributed to the strength of the Church in much more important ways than militarily--the same as the Arizona LDS contribute in many kinds of ways to the strength of the rest of the Church.

    I know you're not actually interested--and that you were just trying to give a disrespecting jab to President Nelson--but it was interesting to think about in what ways the members there might mirror the Mormon Battalion.

  • ultragrampa Farmington, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 8:02 p.m.


    Arizona's population is currently approximately 7,235,000.

    65,000 is .89841% of that - just a little under 1%. But thank you for your post.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 7:42 p.m.

    @ConservativeCommonTater: "...legislate their religious beliefs onto people that are not members of their church."

    And how is that materially different than when non-religious people try to legislate their values onto people that do not believe as they do?

    There are competing values on immigration and border security. Anti-theists rarely complain when religious values are used to justify taxing me to support welfare programs rather than allowing me to keep my money to spend or donate as I see fit. Taking over the nation's healthcare system and subjecting us all to government run medical care is a huge imposition of your values onto me. Ditto taking my guns.

    California decides 2nd hand smoke is dangerous and bans all smoking in bars. Utah emulates but is accused of imposing religious beliefs. Secular Europe imposing DUI limits of 0.02 to 0.05% because it reduces DUI. Utah follows suit and is accused of imposing religious values.

    At the end of the day, somebody's values will be reflected in laws. Might just as well be the local majority as anyone else's right? Other than hatred of religion, what does it matter whether values are grounded in religious or anti-theist beliefs?

  • Hockey Fan Miles City, MT
    Feb. 11, 2019 6:54 p.m.

    Re Batallion metaphor: Read the chapter heading for Revelation 12 in the Church's edition of the Holy Bible. Then read Alma 43-63. The metaphor is very fitting.

  • Fred T PHOENIX, AZ
    Feb. 11, 2019 4:06 p.m.

    Approx. 65,000, that's pretty good....

    State Farm Stadium Capacity63,400 (expandable to 72,200; standing room to at least 78,600)
    Largest gathering: On March 28, 2010 72,219 were present for a WWE event.

    Factoid: affectionately known as the Jiffy Pop Stadium to locals because the silver dome looks like an aluminum bag ready to burst over a camp fire full of popcorn and the field tracks sort of resembles the wire handle.

  • Fred T PHOENIX, AZ
    Feb. 11, 2019 3:40 p.m.

    To the Atheist
    The Mormon Battalion NEVER FIRED A SHOT during their march (of a couple thousand miles)

    To others concerning the Mormon Battalion Trail
    They followed the Gila River through Arizona... while not really close to the Jiffy Pop (State Farm) stadium where the talks were given, the trail is close if compared with Salt Lake City.
    You can still drive north east from Gila Bend and find parts of the trail... also Indian artifacts.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 3:23 p.m.

    Sheep know the sound of their masters voice. Ya might want to listen for it. He would be a true friend that will stick by you through thick an thin. He would not drop you because you go to a different church. I hope you will hear His voice. Hint, Jesus loves you. You have to show what
    the New Testament says that is written on your heart. Show the love.

  • Bob Tanner Price, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 2:24 p.m.

    This was not only a wonderful event for the people of Arizona but it was given to members of the faith throughout the world. And what a wonderful message and guidelines for all people , regardless of their faith, to follow. President Nelson does indeed speak for all mankind the world over.

  • medford Ogden, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 2:12 p.m.

    Anyone know where I can find a transcript or video of these remarks? Would love to watch it.

  • Benign Layton, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 1:14 p.m.

    Interesting numbers: 65,000 is 6% of the state's population, which is less than the 7% that are atheist and agnostic, and significantly less than the 27% of Arizona's "nones."

  • HSTucker Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 12:54 p.m.

    "Right is still right, and wrong is still wrong, regardless of what is said or done by movie idols, TV personalities or sports stars."

    Or, one might add, political figures. It is extremely gratifying to be led by leaders, including the incomparable President Russell M. Nelson, who steadfastly refuse to be corrupted by the mass of contradiction that is popular culture, epitomized by the media/entertainment/leftist complex.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 12:15 p.m.

    @Utes-PAC12: "born in Mesa, Arizona late in the 19th century, .... He spoke about the racism, brutality, etc...."

    Would that britality, racism, and other bigotry be at all comparable to what drove the 19th century members of The Church of Jesus Christ to settle in Salt Lake after being driven from New York, Ohio, Missouri (under official government extermination order), and Illinois (where their leaders were murdered while in State custody and under the promised protection of the governor)? Should we continue to judge the people of these States by the actions of their 19th century forebears? Or is it only LDS who are to be condemned because their 19th century ancestors didn't adhere to 21st century mores, and were imperfect even by their own times' standards?

    "He did speak of this "battalion" that is boasted of in the article. It was so tragic, and still is."

    What exactly was so tragic about the Mormon Battalion? It never engaged in combat, was made up of volunteers who enlisted to serve the very nation that had trampled their rights and expelled them.

    Do tell what secret history we're all missing.

  • Jim Mesa, AZ
    Feb. 11, 2019 12:08 p.m.

    What a pity that some have focused on one word battalion and have missed the messaged extended to all religions to "Come Unto Christ".

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Feb. 11, 2019 11:58 a.m.

    The Atheist,
    "Arizona Batallion? Are military metaphors really a good idea?"
    I don't see any good coming from anything that promotes an us vs. them frame of mind. But we need to remember that the LDS Church's origins were as a 19th century sect of apocalyptic millennialism. Although the Church since then has made significant strides forward in integrating into the larger world, vestiges of a chosen people mindset remain strong and continue to inhibit Church membership and thinking to this day.

  • Utes-PAC12 canada, 00
    Feb. 11, 2019 11:18 a.m.

    I saw a documentary of a hispanic fellow that was born in Mesa, Arizona late in the 19th century, a WWII hero, who became the sole commercial photographer for the architect genius god of all-time Frank Lloyd Wright. He spoke about the racism, brutality, etc.... and moved from Mesa, Arizona, never to return. He did speak of this "battalion" that is boasted of in the article. It was so tragic, and still is.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 11:14 a.m.

    @The Atheist: "Arizona Batallion? Are military metaphors really a good idea?"

    Such metaphors have long been used in Christianity to describe the battle between good and evil, God and the Devil. "Onward Christian Soldiers" is probably the canonical hymn using these metaphors. Such metaphors get used more literally in the great English mythologies of Lewis and Tolken that were based on Christianity.

    Of course, since atheists self proclaim as knowing more of the Bible and Christian doctrines than even Christians themselves, you are surely well aware of these facts. Which means your inquiry is not an honest pursuit of knowlege, but is a barbed question intended to convey your own negative views of Christian beliefs and culture rather than to to seek common ground and understanding. In other words, your post is intended to be an uncivil attack, cleverly disuised to make it past the moderators.

    Congrats on the latter. But a real shame you feel compelled to engage in the former behavior at all.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 10:16 a.m.

    The Atheist - Provo, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 7:27 a.m.
    "Arizona Batallion? Are military metaphors really a good idea?"

    Look at the boarder picture. From Old Testament times through the present, the juxtaposition of good and evil has been metaphorically compared to armies or battles. No one is calling for armed conflict.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    Feb. 11, 2019 9:54 a.m.


    "The problem arises when the church tries to legislate their religious beliefs onto people that are not members of their church".

    Don't be offended. There is no legislation going on!

  • ultragrampa Farmington, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 9:33 a.m.

    @Athiest: Yes, a military metaphor is apt and pertinent. You don't have to believe in a God, or a god, or gods, in order to see there is right and wrong in this world, good and bad, law-abiding citizens vs. law-breakers. There is a battle to keep goodness and virtue, kindness and civility, love and respect at the forefront of our lives when we are so absolutely inundated daily - HOURLY! - with news of crimes being committed, unfaithful acts of spouses being reported as if we need to know, racist, misogynistic and judgmental comments from our so-called leaders that are designed to create divisions amongst us.

    Yes, unfortunately a military metaphor is apt and pertinent. No religious affiliation required to choose which side of the battle you are on.

  • Kaladin Northern, CO
    Feb. 11, 2019 9:10 a.m.

    @Atheist - Absolutely. The battle between good and evil is raging. It is a spiritual battle and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints need to gear up and take our positions on the front lines. As evil grows, so does righteousness. As darkness spreads, the light grows brighter in holy places.
    The reports of the Church's demise are greatly exaggerated. Yes, there are those who have lost and left the faith, but there has been an even greater strengthening of faith among those who remain. Events such as this one in AZ demonstrate that faith. But even greater are the small but important steps faithful people are taking to make their lives better. Studying as a family, attending the temple, ministering to others, etc. This is a very exciting time.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 8:51 a.m.

    "Right is still right, and wrong is still wrong," President Oaks said, "regardless of what is said or done by movie idols, TV personalities or sports stars." He repeated the church's position on avoiding tattoos, piercings, immodesty and pornography, calling such things "grafitti on your personal temple."

    That is great and wonderful advice to the members of the church.

    The problem arises when the church tries to legislate their religious beliefs onto people that are not members of their church.

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 11, 2019 8:12 a.m.

    Was wonderful devotional. Grew up associated with the Nelson family. Would have loved to say hello but so would 65,000 others. Funny how you take things for granted as a teenager. Makes you wonder who the next friend or neighbor will be a General Authority.

    We were limited in the number of tickets we could get. I could only take a few of my family. I am sure they could have filled the stadium 3 or 4 times if given the chance. What a wonderful evening to be in Arizona.

    PS. I think this may be the only time Cardinal Stadium will be filled.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 7:27 a.m.

    Arizona Batallion? Are military metaphors really a good idea?

  • LDSAZ Casa Grande, AZ
    Feb. 11, 2019 7:22 a.m.

    "Not far from the Mormon Battalion Trail on Sunday night, President Russell M. Nelson spoke to about 65,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Valley of the Sun and called them the faith's Arizona battalion."

    This is incorrect. There were many thousands more in meetinghouses all over Arizona in addition to the 65K in the stadium. What a glorious event. All four talks will be long remembered. As a result of the invitations given last night, followers of Christ will strive more diligently to follow Him.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Feb. 11, 2019 7:18 a.m.

    The battlefield is obvious and beckoning, but our armies form steadily and as our numbers increase and as the battle is joined by more and more each day—we give a shout and a glorious ooh rah for Presidents Nelson and Oaks—the Ike’s and Patton’s of our people. Oh Captains my Captains, I am only one soldier who has only recently joined the few and the proud, the very different forces you speak of, but who understands—thanks to leaders like You—our enemy—(media, Hollywood, some athletes etc) is at the gates and we are all at General quarters! Lead on!

  • emb Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 11, 2019 6:51 a.m.

    Simply amazing

  • Theinvisibleman GB, 00
    Feb. 11, 2019 3:55 a.m.

    The strength of the saints in Arizona is a strength and testimony to all of us in the UK. One family, one belief, one journey.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 10, 2019 11:09 p.m.

    What a thrilling article. President Russell M. Nelson continues to amaze me with his stamina and dedication and enthusiasm in meeting the Saints everywhere. His message is really for the world because of his calling as a Prophet of God.

    May he be blessed with continued health and strength to do the Lord's work!