In January 2018, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints elected a new president, a stern looking 94 year old named Russell M. Nelson. [120], "Russell Nelson" redirects here. While on duty, he was assigned to a research group formed by the commandant of the Graduate School at Walter Reed, Col. William S. Stone and led by Dr. Fiorindo A. Simeone, a professor of surgery at Western Reserve University in Cleveland who had been a clinical investigator in the Mediterranean Theater during World War II. [40], Nelson later served for four and a half years as a regional representative. Russell M. Nelson; Nelson in 2012. With his 96th birthday approaching, President Russell M. Nelson promised his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that “great spiritual growth, faith and joy” can be theirs as they keep the commandments of God. “Brighten the room the moment you enter it. Visiting Professorship in Cardiothoracic Surgery. As of April 2020, Nelson has announced a total of 43 new temples to be built in several countries around the world. [83] On June 18, the First Presidency created committees assigned to form a unified hymnbook and children's songbook for the worldwide church membership, with each language edition having the same hymns (and songs) in the same order, and that these committees would be taking submissions and collecting surveys until July 2019. President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, center, and his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, left, and President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, right, walk through the South visitors’ center prior to a press conference in Salt Lake City on Friday, April 19, 2019. [45] He also made several other visits to that continent, including one to Kenya in 2011. Nelson was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on April 7, 1984, during the church's general conference. He next served as member of the Bonneville Stake YMMIA superintendency (a position roughly equivalent to a modern counselor in the stake young men's presidency) and then as a counselor in the bishopric of the Garden Park Ward. Families can be together forever. [5], A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, Nelson attended the University of Utah for his undergraduate and medical school education. [51] The following month, Nelson dedicated the renovated Aaronic Priesthood Restoration Site in Pennsylvania, where LDS Church members believe the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods were restored. He and his late wife, Sister Dantzel Nelson, have 10 children. [82] That same weekend Nelson gave a devotional to LDS youth in which he urged them to more fully commit to the church. 1972). First, the high priests groups at the ward level were dissolved, making all Melchizedek priesthood holders in wards and branches part of the elders quorum. Nelson told members that the use of nicknames such as Mormon or LDS was "a major victory for Satan. [41][4], Nelson was called as an apostle by church president Spencer W. Kimball, to whom he had served as a personal physician for many years. In May 2018, the church announced it would end its sponsorship of Scouting troops in the United States and Canada at the end of 2019. [90], In December 2018, the church's First Presidency changed the process of youth class progression and priesthood ordination. Russell M. Nelson, “A Plea to My Sisters,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 96; see also Russell M. Nelson, “Children of the Covenant,” Ensign, May 1995, 33. Neither Nelson nor … As part of this change, young women ages 14–18 may be assigned as ministering sisters, similar to the-long standing policies of young men ages 14–18 serving as home teachers. Video: In honor of President Nelson’s 96th birthday, here’s a glimpse of his fast-paced ministry and historic leadership. 1950) in the Salt Lake Temple. Think what a smile can do.”, President Nelson told his family that their physical appearance reflects their spiritual feelings. During his tenure the Sunday School developed a unified 8-year-cycle of covering the LDS Church's scriptures in its curriculum. Approximately half of this time, he was assigned to oversee the fourteen stakes at BYU, while he worked with the stakes in Kearns, Utah for the other time. In closing, he added, “Wendy joins with me and expressing our deep feelings of love and gratitude for each one of you now and forever.”. “Virtue also means power, including strength and morality. [65], In June 2018, Nelson traveled to Alberta, Canada, where his second wife was born and raised, and gave three devotional addresses in three consecutive evenings. Members of President Russell M. Nelson’s family participate in a virtual birthday party — via video conferencing — three days before his 96th birthday on Sunday Sept. 6, 2020. [96] Following the December 2018 dedication of the Barranquilla Colombia Temple by Dallin H. Oaks, Nelson presided over the three-day dedicatory services for the Rome Italy Temple from March 10–12, 2019. Next, Nelson announced the end of home teaching and visiting teaching, replacing the programs with a focus on ministering, and shifting both the focus and methods of tracking them. In Washington DC, he was a counselor in the bishopric of the ward Ezra Taft Benson, then an apostle, regularly attended while serving as Secretary of Agriculture to Dwight D. Eisenhower. Russell M. Nelson was sustained and set apart as the 17th president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday, January 14, 2018, in the upper room of the Salt Lake Temple. [57], Nelson's only son, Russell M. Nelson Jr., served as an LDS missionary in Russia. Nelson and Oaks filled the vacancies in the Quorum created by the deaths of LeGrand Richards and Mark E. [58], When he was Sunday School General President, Nelson attended a meeting where Kimball urged those present to learn Chinese. Be obedient.”, President Nelson praised Latter-day Saints across the globe. [94] In announcing a temple in Nicaragua, Nelson fulfilled an apostolic promise he had made to church members there six years earlier. She spoke of an experience last year in Alaska when a dense fog moved in just before President Nelson’s plane was to take off to return to Salt Lake City. [33] He was also a director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. Bring a little Christmas light into your life this holiday season. It is anticipated that the process of creating the new unified hymnbook and children's songbook will take several years. [110], In June 2018, the University of Utah endowed a chair in cardiothoracic surgery named after Nelson and his first wife, Dantzel. Family members shared love and memories through music, photographs and handwritten messages. “He will bless your children and your children’s children through the third and fourth generation.”. The proclamation coincided with the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s First Vision and is the sixth proclamation issued by the church in its history.[92][93]. [85] At the church's general conference in October 2018, he reiterated his position, declaring, "It is a correction" and "It is the command of the Lord." program ranked first in his class after only three years of study. Four of Russell M. Nelson's sons-in-law have been called as mission presidents (one was additionally called as a temple president), potentially saving his family thousands of dollars in tuition money if his grandchildren chose to attend a church school . … Your strong faith will bring spiritual power to you.”. The article, written by Latter-day Saint journalist McKay Coppins, is a personal essay that explores the history of the Church, both the Church at large and the life of just one of its 16 million members worldwide. And be patient with yourself while you are learning and growing. President Joy D. Jones had a video vignette in her talk where she sat in the replica log home of Joseph Smith Sr. with President Russell M. Nelson and eight primary children. SALT LAKE CITY — Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, offered some tough love on Sunday during … Together they had ten children: nine daughters—Marsha, Wendy (1951–2019), Gloria, Brenda, Sylvia, Emily (1958–1995), Laurie, Rosalie, and Marjorie—and a son, Russell Jr. (b. [107] Dantzel White was a native of Perry, Utah, where her father was for a time mayor. A temple for American Samoa had been originally announced in October 1977, and was intended to be a regional temple to serve American Samoa, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, and Fiji. [23] His patient was a Latter-day Saint stake patriarch. [10][11] His parents were not active in the Latter-day Saint faith while he was a youth, but they did send him to Sunday School,[12] and he was baptized a member of the LDS Church at age 16. 4. [89] At the end of the month, Nelson toured five south American countries, during which he met with Peru's president, Martín Vizcarra, gave a major address in Peru in Spanish, and dedicated the Concepción Chile Temple. During a 45-minute virtual gathering on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Wendy W. Nelson, watched as Nelson family members sang Christmas carols and shared photographs of family members recreating the Christmas Nativity. [42] Early in his service as an apostle, Nelson was an adviser to the church's Young Women organization and was supportive of the developing of the Young Women values and Personal Progress program. [4] He was chair of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at LDS Hospital. [76], In March 2018, the First Presidency issued a letter on preventing and responding to abuse. [16][17] He then attended the University of Utah School of Medicine, graduating in 1947 with a Doctor of Medicine degree. Sister Nelson said President Nelson is compassionate, resilient and undaunted. Many spoke of President Nelson’s influence as they served as missionaries, welcomed spouses and children to the family, and faced challenges. In May 1982 he was a visiting professor at the Hospital de Clinicas in Montevideo, Uruguay. With the death of Monson on January 2, 2018, Nelson became the anticipated successor to the church's presidency. In 1964, he set up his own private practice with him as the lead and Conrad Jenson as an associate. You prayed,” said Sister Nelson. Dallin H. Oaks, then a law professor at Chicago and a fellow Latter-day Saint, actively worked to recruit Nelson. [60] In 1995, Nelson went to Beijing, along with Neal A. Maxwell and other LDS Church leaders, on an official invitation of Li Lanqing, the Vice Premier of China.[61]. Petersen. Nelson was set apart as the quorum president on July 15, 2015, by Thomas S. The Psalmist stated: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou has ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? He was ordained an apostle on April 12, 1984, by Gordon B. Hinckley. Photo courtesy of the Nelson family. [22], Following his military service, he did a year of work and surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital. [98] This was the first time all ordained apostles of the church had been gathered in one location outside the United States. At the top of the list is faith. President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, wave to attendees during a devotional in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Nov. 19, 2019. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News. In 2018, Nelson announced 19 new temples, seven in April and 12 in October, among which were the first in India, Nicaragua, Russia, and Cambodia. “You pleaded with the Lord, and suddenly, for just a few minutes, a hole opened up in the dense fog, and your plane took off. [70], On March 9, 2019, Nelson met with Pope Francis at the Vatican. They contribute that as free will offerings, more every year. This letter reiterated existing policies, but also explicitly stated that no one should ever be counseled against reporting abuse to legal authorities. With his 96th birthday approaching, President Russell M. Nelson promised his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that “great spiritual growth, faith and joy” can be theirs as they keep the commandments of God. 32-34) I n introducing the topic "children of the covenant,"1 I will reflect upon events I experienced as a colleague of Pr esi dent Howar d W . She was preceded in death by one daughter. She asked the children if they had any questions for the prophet. “God has made a timeless promise to those who keep His commandments,” he said. A lawsuit filed in Salt Lake City’s federal court in 2018 alleging sexual abuse and a cover-up involving family members of the president of … [56], In August 2010, Nelson journeyed to the dedication of the Kiev Ukraine Temple. The call to serve in this position had been extended to Nelson by Richard L. Evans, an apostle and the lead figure over publicity efforts on Temple Square. President Nelson turned 96 on Sept. 9, 2020. The historic, first-of-its-kind broadcast will include music and activities as well as messages by President Russell M. Nelson, Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and members of the Primary General Presidency. [7] In 1984, Nelson and the American jurist Dallin H. Oaks were selected to fill two vacancies in the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Sister Wendy Nelson: Yeah, there was a lot, a lot, that I stepped into. As a boy, his interests varied. [74][75], The first few months of Nelson's leadership of the LDS Church saw many significant changes to church policy, although many had at least been heavily discussed before he became church president, and some were continuations of policies instituted by his predecessors. In 1985, President Russell M. Nelson outlined that abortions resulting from rape or complications that could be life-threatening make up a minority of abortions: President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. ", "Meet LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson, a Renaissance man with perfect pitch and pure faith", Listing of presidents of the Society for Vascular Surgery, "Pamela Atkinson: President Nelson's work has been saving lives and souls", "President Nelson Honored as "Pioneer" of Heart Surgery - Church News and Events", "Elder Russell M. Nelson Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles", article by Ardeth Kapp on Nelson's role as Young Women Adviser, "Elder Russell M. Nelson Celebrates 90th Birthday - Church News and Events", "LDS Church Apostle, his wife and 2 other couples attacked in Mozambique - KSL.com", "Elder Nelson Completes Trip to Africa in Kenya - Church News and Events", "LDS Business College appoints new president", "Inauguration for LDS Business College's 13th president", "President Boyd K. Packer Dies At Age 90", President Nelson counsels Central American members to claim the blessings of the temple, live the gospel, LDS Apostle dedicates newly developed Priesthood Restoration Site, "New Mormon President: Who is Russell M. Nelson, set to become 17th Leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Nelson began his presidency two days after his ordination with a short broadcast to church members in January 2018 before then holding a press conference. Sister Wendy Nelson and President Russell M. 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