VATICAN CITY, March 9, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, met on Saturday with Pope Francis, leader of the Catholic Church.
It was the first time in history that leaders from the two churches met face-to-face.
“We had a most cordial, unforgettable experience,” Nelson said after the 33-minute meeting in the Vatican.
“His Holiness, he was most gracious and warm and welcoming. What a sweet, wonderful man he is, and how fortunate the Catholic people are to have such a gracious, concerned, loving and capable leader.”
The meeting was set for one day before Nelson is scheduled to dedicate the LDS Church’s first temple in Rome. Accompanying Nelson was President M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“We talked about our mutual concern for the people who suffer throughout the world and want to relieve human suffering,” Nelson said, according to the statement.
“We talked about the importance of religious liberty, the importance of the family, our mutual concern for the youth of the Church, for the secularization of the world and the need for people to come to God and worship Him, pray to Him and have the stability that faith in Jesus Christ will bring in their lives.”
Ballard spoke to Pope Francis about the faiths’ shared work.
“We explained to His Holiness that we work side by side, that we have projects with Catholic Relief Services all over the world in over 43 countries. (We’ve) been shoulder to shoulder as partners in trying to relieve suffering. He was very interested in that.”
Elder Alessandro Dini-Ciacci, a local leader in Rome, said the meeting was history-making.
“How inspiring it was for me to witness two of the leaders of the leading faiths in the world meet together and share brotherhood,” he said. “This is beautiful to witness and something we can sure learn from in our association with people of other faiths.”
Immediately below is a video shared by the LDS Church. Additional photos follow.