Mormon Newsroom

President Nelson Begins Global Ministry Tour in the UK

President Nelson Begins Global Ministry Tour in the UK

News Release

“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. 

 

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“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.

Elder Holland said it is important to remember that President Nelson is more than just the leader of the Latter-day Saints.

“We love him and sustain him [as president of the Church],” Elder Holland said. “But he's the prophet to the world, and he has that view. He has that prophetic seership. We sustain him as a seer and a revelator, and he is looking at the whole world. This trip is part of that.”

On this first stop President Nelson was back in the country of his heritage. His great-grandparents were from Somerset, England. There they heard the message of the restoration of the gospel and were baptized.

Earlier in the day, the senior Mormon leaders, who stand as witnesses of the Savior, taught and greeted missionaries in the England London Mission. They also spoke with several local Latter-day Saint families. Among them were the Winters — a mother, father and three children. The family expressed deep gratitude for the life-changing impact of President Nelson’s visit. “I felt completely overwhelmed [at meeting President Nelson],” said Sacha Winters. “When he looks you in the eye and you feel his love, he is so warm. He just spoke to the children and asked them about school and church and life. He's just such an amazing man. It's just so overwhelming to actually meet him in person.”

“Wow, I just feel like it’s already changed me tons,” said 12-year-old Elizabeth Winters. “Just finding out he is coming to see all of us, and to actually meet him and shake hands with him — it’s changed my life forever. It's absolutely outstanding.”

In the evening, President Nelson spoke to Latter-day Saints at the historic Hyde Park Chapel, located in the heart of London. The meeting was broadcast to Church meetinghouses in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

“No matter what it is, the gospel of Jesus Christ has within it the power to lift and to love, to serve,” President Nelson said during his 30-minute devotional address. “Our doctrine is not complicated or convoluted or complex. It’s so simple: Love God and love your neighbor. … We want people to have a better way of life.”

Many, including Michael Danvers-Walker, said they walked away from Thursday’s devotional with a bolstered desire to serve and to love.

“Oh, I tell you this is the most extraordinary experience I have felt,” he said. “I'm floating in the air, and I can tell you it's wonderful. I really felt the Spirit so strong and still do.”

Global Ministry Tour

The global ministry tour runs from April 10–23, 2018. The next stop on the tour is Jerusalem, Israel, where President Nelson will visit sacred sites where the Savior walked and will bear witness of Christ’s ministry. Other destinations include Nairobi, Kenya; Harare, Zimbabwe; Bengaluru, India; Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong, China; and Honolulu, Hawaii, United States.

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. Nearly 512,000 Latter-day Saints live in Europe.

There are about 186,000 members in the UK and nearly 4,000 members in Ireland. The first missionaries to go overseas were sent to Britain in 1837, only seven years after the Church was founded.

The Church has 159 temples worldwide with 30 others announced or under construction. There are two temples in the UK. The London England Temple was dedicated in the late 1950s. In June 1998, the Preston England Temple was dedicated, in the city where missionaries first preached in that country.

“I think my great-grandparents are probably very surprised,” President Nelson said. “They joined the Church in the western part of England and immigrated in the early days. They were among the earliest converts,” said President Nelson.

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