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President Russell M. Nelson's 2018 Global Ministry Tour

The 2018 global ministry tour of President Russell M. Nelson and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland covered eight cities in 11 days in Europe, Africa and Asia. Below is a summary of coverage from each city.

London, England 

“We're bringing the love of the Lord to the people, and they will learn to love each other,” said President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as he began his global ministry tour in London, England, Thursday, April 12, 2018.

“You read the paper and see how angry people are with one another. The Lord's way is the way of peace. He said love one another as I have loved you,” President Nelson said.

London is the first destination on his worldwide travels to cities in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Hawaiian Islands. This is President Nelson’s first official trip outside of the United States since he was named in January as the Church’s 17th prophet. 

“This is a global, international trip around the world,” President Nelson said. “We just realized we will meet all the world's population right here in London. We don't need to go anywhere else. We have people in London from all countries of the world.”

President Nelson is joined on the tour by his wife, Wendy, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Patricia.

         

Jerusalem, Israel 

“The reason why prophets are needed is because Heavenly Father wants His children to have the opportunity to come home to Him,” said President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as he continued his global ministry tour in Jerusalem, Saturday, April 14, 2018.

“God has always dealt with His children on the earth through prophets, but He wants them to choose to come home. So those people who choose to obey the commandments [given through prophets] will have that opportunity to return home with their families in eternal life together,” said President Nelson.

The remarks were made before a gathering of members and friends of the Church, along with students at the Brigham Young University Jerusalem Center at a district devotional.

“As the new president to the Church, I felt that there were two messages that I would like to convey to our people,” President Nelson said. “One is that Jesus is the Christ and He has a message for all of God's children. And the second is that His is a global invitation. We invite all of God's children to come unto their Savior.”

      

  Nairobi, Kenya 

President Nelson, his wife, Wendy, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Patricia, flew to Africa following a visit to Jerusalem during their global ministry tour of three continents.

Kenya, home to nearly 14,000 Latter-day Saints and a future temple, is President Nelson’s third destination on his worldwide tour to cities in Europe, Africa, Asia and Hawaii. The tour began in London, England, Thursday, April 12.

This is the new president’s first official trip outside of the United States since he was named the Church’s 17th prophet in January.

“You perhaps don't think of yourself as pioneers, but you're just as much pioneers here now as Brigham Young and his associates were following the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith in the 1800s,” said President Nelson. He spoke to Latter-day Saints and invited guests at a meeting that was broadcast to congregations throughout Kenya.

“Membership in the continent of Africa is about the same as it was for the whole Church in the year I was a boy,” he added.

Those in attendance included civic, government, business and academic leaders, as well as media.

     

Harare, Zimbabwe 

“This is a sight that I shall always remember,” said President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during a visit to Harare, Zimbabwe, Tuesday, April 17, 2018. More than 4,000 people gathered to hear President Nelson speak, including hundreds of children who sang a verse of “I Am a Child of God,” a popular Primary song, at the beginning of his address.

“These precious children, how I love them,” said President Nelson. “Help them to understand about the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, … to know how to pray to Heavenly Father, … to understand why we partake of this sacrament on the Sabbath day. … Help them to understand about prophets. … I would like to suggest that you read the scriptures to your children. … I hope you'll teach these children to be good citizens of this wonderful country."

His remarks were given at a devotional that was broadcast to congregations throughout Zimbabwe. This is his second stop in Africa and fourth destination on his global ministry tour. On Monday, President Nelson was in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi.

President Nelson is joined on the worldwide tour by his wife, Wendy, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Patricia.

Attendees began arriving at 8:00 a.m. before the scheduled 5:00 p.m. devotional. “That shows that everyone is ready and doesn't want to miss this historic event,” said Gibson Guzha of Harare.

Pretty Mukweya said, “I can't even express it, I'm just super excited. I couldn't even sleep. I couldn't wait.”

Lovemore Tenganani added, “I'm really excited because when a prophet visits a nation, better things start happening. Most of us haven't had the opportunity to have a prophet grace our great nation.”

    

Bengaluru, India 

During the recent general conference, President Nelson announced that a new temple would be built in Bengaluru, the first Mormon temple to be built in India, a country with more than 1.3 billion people of many faiths, including Hinduism, Islam and Christianity.

“It was a thrill for me to receive the real impression that I should announce that there will be a temple here in India,” he explained in an interview. “The temple is our ultimate destination here on planet earth. All the blessings that God has in store for His faithful people come in the temple.”

Bengaluru, the capital of India's southern Karnataka state, is the fifth of eight cities on his global ministry tour. The Latter-day Saint prophet traveled to Asia following a series of meetings in Europe and Africa.

President Nelson is joined on the worldwide tour by his wife, Wendy, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Patricia.

“In a way, it's easier for us to build a temple than it is to build a people who are ready for the ordinances and covenants of the temple,” said President Nelson at a meeting for Latter-day Saints, missionaries and visitors in Bengaluru. “It's going to take you a little while to get ready. It will take us a little while to build it as well. … Now, I'm 93 years old. You better hurry.”

Prior to the meeting, the delegation looked at potential sites in the area for the new sacred structure.

“It's going to be a national treasure,” added Elder Holland. “It will be revered and admired and loved by these millions of people and bless them in a wonderful, wonderful way.”

“I think our Church is growing fast in our country, and this will bring many blessings to our nation,” said Paul Vijayakumar, who served a mission in the area in 1988. “Those days here, very few people [were] able to bless the sacrament and pass the sacrament and partake [of] the sacrament. So today I'm happy that this hall was filled with a lot of members. And it was a dream for us that our prophet, President Nelson, came here.”

“The temple is coming. I'm so happy,” said Mercy Lyuas, who also expressed her excitement to see President Nelson.

“I'm really excited to see the prophet myself, in my own eyes, in [the] India Bangalore Mission,” said her brother, Jerry Lyuas.

“It was wonderful to meet up with him and shake hands and say, ‘Welcome to India,’” said Pericho Prabhu of the United Christian Forum for Human Rights. “Keeping him in our special prayers, and he's globetrotting, he's traveling today, tomorrow, the day after.”

Prabhu continued, “It's been a great thing being amidst all of you and meeting some of your officials here and the brothers, sisters and bishops.”

   

Bangkok, Thailand

“The future for the Church is bright here in Asia,” said President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as he met with members in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, April 20, 2018, the sixth stop on his eight-city global ministry tour. The Latter-day Saint prophet is in Asia following visits to Europe and Africa.

“My goodness, if there's anything that's been impressed on my mind [it] is to see what great transformation has come in the more than 50 years that I've been in and out of Asia,” said President Nelson, who first visited Thailand as a medical doctor in 1966.

“My desires for the people of Thailand [are] the same as my desires for people of Taiwan or any other city [or] country. We invite all of God's children … to come unto the Savior and enjoy the blessings and benefits of their temple and have everlasting life [and] joy,” he said.

  

Hong Kong, China

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invites all people “to come unto their Savior, to be blessed by the ordinances of the temple and have enduring joy and qualify for that greatest of all blessings — that of eternal life,” said President Russell M. Nelson. These comments were made as he concluded his visit to Asia Saturday, April 21, 2018.

The prophet spoke to some 4,000 members in Hong Kong, the seventh location on his eight-city global ministry tour. President Nelson was in Bengaluru, India, on Thursday, April 19, and Bangkok, Thailand, on Friday. The final stop on the tour is Honolulu, Hawaii, United States.

In his remarks to Latter-day Saints, President Nelson, a former surgeon and medical researcher, spoke of the wonder of the human body, as well as the importance of education, prayer, tithing, family and worship in temples.

“Everything we do in the Church is to make life better for other people, to bring them joy,” President Nelson said. “And how do you that? By building strong families. Those families are made stronger because of covenants made in the holy temples.”

Prior to President Nelson’s remarks, Elder Holland taught the gathered Saints about Joseph Smith’s 1839 Liberty Jail experience — one of the most difficult periods of Joseph’s life but one that yielded some of the Church’s choicest and most comforting passages of scripture.

“God can turn every disadvantage to your opportunity and your advantage,” Elder Holland said. “Whatever the difficulty, whatever the heartache, whatever the deprivation, if we seek our Father in Heaven, He can turn that setting and that moment into divine instruction.”

Such instruction comes more readily in the Church’s temples, Elder Holland added. Like President Nelson, he encouraged the people of Hong Kong to continue to focus on the temple — especially because they have such a sacred structure in their midst.

 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

“Our message to you tonight is the same as the message we've given to others, that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that this is His Church restored in its fullness,” said President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as he finished his global ministry tour Sunday, April 22, 2018, on the Brigham Young University–Hawaii campus in Laie, Hawaii.

A special devotional was held at the Cannon Activities Center on campus, located outside of Honolulu on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

President Nelson’s wife, Wendy, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Patricia, met with Latter-day Saints in eight cities in 11 days on the continents of Europe, Africa and Asia.

“We don’t allow jet lag,” said President Nelson. In fact, his wife, Wendy, said the tour has energized the prophet. “He is now doing what he was foreordained to do. … I have seen him change right at the pulpit. I have heard him become [clearer] in professing certain doctrine, to use phrases I've never heard him use in 12 years. I've seen him even look younger.”

This is the first international trip for President Nelson since he was named the Church’s 17th prophet in January.

Sister Nelson told the audience about a recent powerful experience, confirming her husband’s prophetic call. “Because of that sacred experience I can take any witness stand in any nation on earth and testify that I know that President Russell Marion Nelson has been called by God to be the living prophet of the Lord on the earth today.”

“Really everything we’ve done in these last few days together circling the globe could be summed up in two words — the temple,” said President Nelson, speaking at a devotional with members at BYU–Hawaii.

Global Tour

The senior Mormon leaders, who stand as witnesses of the Savior, left Salt Lake City on April 10 to meet with members around the globe. Cities on their tour included London, England; Jerusalem, Israel; Nairobi, Kenya; Harare, Zimbabwe; Bengaluru, India; Bangkok, Thailand; and Hong Kong, China.

Global Church

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, has more than 16 million members around the world.

Hawaii is home to more than 74,000 Mormons, who are part of 141 congregations. The first converts were baptized in Hawaii in 1851.

The Church has 159 temples worldwide with 30 others announced or under construction, including two temples in Hawaii. The Laie Hawaii Temple was dedicated by President Heber J. Grant in 1919. The Kona Hawaii Temple was dedicated in January 2000 by President Gordon B. Hinckley.

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