Devoted members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came from across the state to hear Mormon President Russell M. Nelson deliver a devotional speech at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
The 94-year-old Nelson has traveled to 15 countries including China, India and Chile since becoming president.
An estimated 68,000 members and friends of the faith came to the February 10 event. According to a press release from the Church, “President Nelson’s historic visit is believed to be the single largest gathering of Latter-day Saints in Arizona and among the largest crowds to hear a president of the Church.”
Nelson was accompanied by President Dallin H. Oaks, who is one of his counselors in the faith’s First Presidency.
Prior to his visit, Nelson penned an op-ed at the request of the Arizona Republic newspaper. In it, Nelson encouraged the people of Arizona to seek healing by placing first things first. “I invite you to seek to know for yourself that [Jesus Christ] is the Master Healer,” President Nelson writes. “He has the capacity to heal you from sin and sadness, from despair and heartache. I saw this healing balm among the people of Paradise, California, and I have felt it personally again and again, including recently in the passing of our precious daughter.”
“Whatever your faith tradition or personal circumstances,” he concludes, “as a servant of the Lord I invite you to look to Him and make Him the center of your life. Pour out your heart to God and ask Him for His help. He will infuse your life with meaning and fill your heart with hope that transcends anything the world can offer.”
More than 428,000 Latter-day Saints, spread throughout 895 congregations, live in Arizona, according to the Church. The state has five operating temples with a sixth, the Mesa Temple, under renovation.
Arizona values our relationship with the @LDSchurch. Grateful for their collaborative spirit and legacy of service to communities across our state. An honor to meet with @LDSchurch President @NelsonRussellM and Sister Nelson. pic.twitter.com/4TArEcYWxF
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) February 11, 2019