SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Nov. 17, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has embarked on a trip to Asia to continue his worldwide ministry.
Nelson — accompanied by his wife, Wendy, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Christofferson’s wife, Katherine — will visit four countries in seven days, with trips to Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore and Indonesia, from Nov. 15 to Nov. 22, said a news release from the Church.
“Wendy and I are looking forward to traveling with Elder D. Todd Christofferson and his wife Kathy to Southeast Asia,” said Nelson by way of a news release from the LDS Church. “We will have the privilege of visiting two countries celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Church being organized in their lands—Singapore and Indonesia—and two countries where the Church is much younger—Vietnam and Cambodia.”
The Nelsons and Christoffersons will visit nations that are collectively home to some 36,000 Church members, the news release said. The four will speak at devotionals and meet with government and religious leaders and media from Nov. 17 through Nov. 21.
“We have been honored by officials from Vietnam and elsewhere who have visited us in Salt Lake City, and we look forward to becoming better acquainted in their countries,” Nelson said. “This is a vibrant corner of the world, one that has seen plenty of strife through the years but also a region filled with valiant, resilient, determined souls. We hope to share a message of hope, peace and love for the Lord Jesus Christ to all who are willing to listen.”
No other Church president except Gordon B. Hinckley has visited these countries, the news release said. Hinckley visited Vietnam and Cambodia in 1996 and Singapore and Indonesia in 2000. Nelson visited Singapore and Indonesia as an Apostle in February 2010; this is his first visit to Vietnam and Cambodia as a Church leader.
Sunday, Nov. 17 and Monday, Nov. 18
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Nelson spoke Sunday to assembled Saints in Hanoi’s JW Marriott Grand Ballroom of his gratitude to the government for the privilege to gather and worship, the news release said.
He recounted the short history of the Church in Vietnam— from the dedication of the land in 1966 by Hinckley to the Vietnamese government’s official recognition of the Church in 2016. Nelson also noted that he met in Salt Lake City this past summer with a delegation headed by Vietnam’s Committee for Religious Affairs.
Tuesday, Nov. 19
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
After a VIP reception and a small gathering with Latter-day Saint youth, a devotional will be held in Cambodia Tuesday evening and transmitted to all congregations in Cambodia. The country is home to some 15,000 Latter-day Saints spread throughout 29 congregations. The Phnom Penh Cambodia Temple was announced by Nelson in October 2018.
Wednesday, Nov. 20
Nelson and Christofferson will greet guests at a VIP reception and then speak at an evening devotional Wednesday evening that will be transmitted to all congregations in Singapore and Malaysia. Some 14,000 members of the Church reside in Singapore and Malaysia, where the Church has 43 congregations.
Thursday, Nov. 21
The final stop on the Asia ministry is Jakarta, Indonesia, where Nelson and Christofferson will host a reception and speak at a devotional Thursday evening that will be transmitted to all congregations in the country. The Church’s 24 congregations comprise approximately 7,500 members.