LDS Leader Cuts Holy Land Visit Short After Missile Strike

President Nelson gave a speech at BYU Jerusalem Center

Russell M. Nelson, the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, left Jerusalem in a hurry due to escalating tensions in the region. The decision to cut short his Jerusalem visit was taken only hours after the Trump administration ordered the U.S. military to attack Syria. The prophet departed the ancient city after conference sessions at BYU Jerusalem Center.

The prophet's planned itinerary included a visit to the Western Wall, Sea of Galilee, and the Garden Tomb. Over 300 students of Brigham Young University (BYU) Jerusalem Center and Jerusalem District members attended meetings in the venue. The Sea of Galilee gathering was canceled. A priesthood session was attended by President Nelson with Elder Holland in tow. The women's meeting equivalent was addressed by Sister Holland and also Sister Nelson.

Elder Holland told the congregation the day is the one for building faith and the location of building it is immaterial, whether inside a conference hall or on the Sea of Galilee.

The Utah-headquartered LDS Church issued the statement that its president and Wendy, his wife, accompanied by Jeffrey R. Holland, his apostle, and Patricia, Holland's wife, started their Africa trip a little earlier than the planned date.

The 93-year-old prophet has embarked on a world tour, leaving Utah on April 11. He will visit a total of eight countries, giving a speech to Mormons in every location. London was the group's first halt location. The second was Jerusalem. Nelson gave a speech to “district conference” members of the LDS Church. He said that as a new president of LDS, he wants to convey two messages to church members. The first message is that Jesus is Christ and he carries a message for all the God's children. The second is the worldwide invitation. He invited all children of God to come into the arms of the savior.

Holland, who once held the position of president in BYU, and instrumental in setting up Jerusalem Center, told the audience to be aware of the symbolism of Nelson's visit to a city which has felt the presence of Christ. He admitted to the audience that his spine tingled when he realized that he is working alongside President Nelson, a prophet in the modern world, and the latest in the long line of successors from Biblical times.

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