Hawaii may be one of the world’s most popular vacation spots, but for visiting LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson, the island paradise posed just another workday — the last one in an 11-day, eight-city, three-continent global tour.
“We don’t allow jet lag,” the 93-year-old Nelson joked during a devotional Sunday at Brigham Young University-Hawaii.
His wife, Wendy, who accompanied Nelson, along with apostle Jeffrey R. Holland and his spouse, Patricia, told the audience that, rather than draining her 93-year-old husband, the worldwide journey full of meetings with members, missionaries and civic leaders invigorated him.
“He is now doing what he was foreordained to do,” she said. “ … I have seen him change right at the pulpit. I have heard him become [clearer] in professing certain doctrine, to use phrases I’ve never heard him use in 12 years. I’ve seen him even look younger.”
Nelson said the message of his international trip, his first since becoming the 17th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in January, can be summed up in two words: the temple.
“In Jerusalem, we talked about the temple Jesus loved. And in several cities, we talked about the [Mormon] temple that is going to come to their place,” Nelson said, according to an LDS Church new release, “and here in the shadows of the temple in Hawaii, we talked about temples again.”
“We are very sorry for the nations we didn’t get to visit, so in a way it was symbolic,” Nelson stated. “It’s a global ministry and a global message — faith in the Lord Jesus Christ [and] strengthening your own families as they qualify for eternal life in the presence of deity.”
Nairobi, Harare, Bengaluru and Bangkok are poised to get their nations’ first LDS temples.
“When you’re not in the temple here in Hong Kong,” Holland told thousands of Mormons assembled for the stop in China, “make sure the temple is in you.”