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"What Is Heaven Like?": President Nelson Shares the Conversation He Had with a Girl with Cancer, 4 Gifts from Our Savior

President Russell M. Nelson highlighted four gifts offered by Jesus Christ and promised that true followers of the Savior “have the privilege of experiencing unspeakable joy forever” during the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional on Sunday evening, Dec. 2.

The leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said he was recently reminded of the blessings that come from focusing on the life, mission, doctrine, and Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ when he talked with 12-year-old Lydia Terry.


President Nelson met Lydia — who is suffering from a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer — a few weeks ago in his office. “As we talked about her life and what lies ahead, she was calm and at peace. When I asked if she had any questions, she quickly replied, ‘What is heaven like?’”

This question, President Nelson said, led to “a heart-to-heart discussion about the purpose of life” and the blessings that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ “have offered to those who honor and follow Them.”

President Nelson said he was “deeply moved by the faith of Lydia and her family.” With her parents, Kellie and Stephen Terry of Bountiful, Utah, Lydia was able to attend the devotional.

“Though facing a monumental challenge as far as this earth life is concerned, Lydia is filled with faith,” said President Nelson. “She has an eternal perspective. She knows that the Lord loves her and will care for her.”

For Lydia, meeting President Nelson and attending the devotional was literally a wish fulfilled. “It is so amazing just to know the prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” she said after the devotional. “It was probably the greatest experience of my life.”

Lead image by Qiling Wang, Deseret News
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