Elder Nelson Concludes Visit to Central America
By Jose Peña Liahona Correspondent
On January 18, 2012, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, accompanied by Elder Enrique R. Falabella, President of the Central America Area, and Elder James B. Martino of the Seventy, met with members in Nicaragua.
Elder Nelson visited Nicaragua more than 20 years ago, in 1990, with fellow Apostle Elder Richard G. Scott, following the dedication of El Salvador. He returned in 1996 with then-President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008).
“Being here today brings back sweet memories,” Elder Nelson said in a meeting with members. He continued, “I know that the Church will continue to grow and bless this nation. You will be the means by which the Lord will pour out His blessings.”
He urged members to become holier and to continue working on their family history records. “I promise you that when you are ready, the Lord will do His part so that you have a temple.”
We should cultivate in ourselves attributes of the Savior, Elder Nelson said, beginning with love.
“We can learn to love through service,” he said. “Another attribute is to pay attention to the ordinances: baptism and the sacrament. They relate to the Crucifixion of the Savior.”
Other attributes Elder Nelson said members should cultivate are to pray as He prayed and to acquire knowledge through scripture study. “Read the scriptures to your children, develop love for [the scriptures], and I assure you, you will come to feel joy as you apply [what you learn] in your lives,” he said.
Finally Elder Nelson said, “Cultivate perseverance; persevere to the end. Jesus Christ suffered more than anyone else and did not give up. He trusted His Father to the end. Remember this when you have to face the challenges of life.”
In closing Elder Nelson expressed gratitude for the faith, devotion, and tithes and offerings of the members in Nicaragua, and he testified of the Atonement.
“The sacrifice of our Lord’s Resurrection assures us and opens the door to eternal life through faith and repentance, if we endure to the end,” he said.
In January, as part of an assignment from the First Presidency, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles traveled to El Salvador to train priesthood leaders and instruct local members.
On Saturday, January 14, Elder Nelson met with bishops, branch presidents, district presidents, and stake presidents from around the country in a meetinghouse on the grounds of the San Salvador El Salvador Temple. He was accompanied by Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy; Elder Enrique Falabella, President of the Central America Area; Elder Carlos Rivas, Area Seventy; Walter Ray Petersen, temple president; and David L. Glazier, El Salvador San Salvador Mission president.
Elder Nelson instructed leaders on ministering and the importance of being shepherds in Israel. He emphasized the importance of studying the scriptures and using the Holy Ghost as a constant guide. He also spoke of the blessing of the new LDS edition of the Bible in Spanish.
Elder Clayton made the meeting interactive, giving leaders an opportunity to express their concerns and ask questions of the visiting authorities.
The next day, Elder Nelson, accompanied by his wife, Wendy, and Elder Rivas, presided over the San Salvador El Salvador La Libertad Stake conference.
In his remarks, Elder Nelson invoked an apostolic blessing upon the members and leaders of El Salvador who live the gospel and are faithful to their covenants.
Before the conclusion of his visit to El Salvador, Elder Nelson will meet with missionaries and young adults across the country as well as leaders in the eastern part of El Salvador.
This is Elder Nelson’s third visit to the country. He first visited in 1990, when he dedicated El Salvador for the preaching of the gospel. The second time was in 1996, when he organized the Atiquizaya El Salvador Stake—the 14th in the country.