Pray, read scriptures, pay tithes to grow closer to God, President Russell Nelson tells Colombian Latter-day Saints

In the second stop of his five-nation Latin American tour, President Russell M. Nelson rattled off steps Colombian Latter-day Saints can undertake to grow closer to Christ.

“Study the scriptures as families. Pray together. Renew your baptismal covenants by regularly participating in the sacrament [the weekly communion],” the 94-year-old leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told thousands of members at an arena in Bogota, according to a church news release. “Pay your tithes with grateful hearts. Attend the temple as often as your circumstances allow. There you can receive the blessings God has for his faithful children.”

The trip marked Nelson’s fifth visit to Colombia, home to more than 205,000 Latter-day Saints and two of the Utah-based faith’s temples, since the heart-surgeon-turned-faith-leader became an apostle 35 years ago.

“We receive great comfort from God when he says: ‘This is my work and my glory — to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man,’” Nelson told the crowd in Spanish, quoting a Mormon scripture. “Both of his objectives are possible by the atonement of his beloved son, Jesus Christ.”

Nelson is traveling with his wife, Wendy, and apostle Quentin L. Cook and his wife, Mary.

Wendy Nelson, who has been at her husband’s side during his journeys to six continents since he took the church’s helm in January 2018, hinted at the many changes taking place in the faith.

With so much happening, she said, “you and I don’t have time for things that don’t really matter. We only have time to understand truth and to do exactly what we came to earth to do. In order to do so, we need to do things the Lord’s way.”

(Photo courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Latter-day Saints gather to hear President Russell M. Nelson speak at the Movistar Arena in Bogotá, Colombia, on Aug. 25, 2019.

Elder Cook encouraged members to learn for themselves of the divinity of Jesus.

“Many of you, if not most, have a testimony,” he said. “We each need to strive for a personal testimony. President Joseph F. Smith [the church’s sixth president during the early 20th century] said, ‘One fault to be avoided by the saints, young and old, is the tendency to live on borrowed light [and] to permit … the light within them to be reflected, rather than original.”

On Saturday, the delegation visited Guatemala, where Nelson urged members to live God’s commandments. Next up: A devotional scheduled for Monday night in Quito, Ecuador, at General Rumiñahui Coliseum, the release noted, followed by treks to Argentina and Brazil.

The tour wraps up Sept. 2.