Latter-day Saint Life

Happy birthday! Here are 5 of our favorite President Nelson moments from the last year

On September 9, 2022, President Russell M. Nelson turns 98 years old. The previous 12 months have seen several heartwarming and inspiring moments in the prophet’s life. Here are just a few of our favorites.

January—Sister Wendy Nelson shares what it’s like to be married to the prophet

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Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

In January, the Church News podcast featured an interview with Sister Wendy W. Nelson, wife of President Russell M. Nelson. The episode in part explored what it has been like for Sister Nelson to watch her husband’s historic ministry as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In the interview, Sister Nelson shared several stories that give listeners a view into President Nelson’s vibrant character and personality, including in his roles as husband, father, and grandfather. LDS Living shared four of our favorite stories from that interview, including these gems:

Spending time at home. “We love just talking together, playing Scrabble, working on a jigsaw puzzle for another great-grandchild or other children we love. I love listening to him play the piano. He’ll say ‘I’m wooing you.’ It’s wonderful. He’ll play everything from Elégie by Massenet to a great song out of the 60s by Connie Francis that says, ‘If it takes forever, I will wait for you.’ I tell him: ‘That’s what I did for 55 years, dear. I waited for 55 years.’”

His voice at home. “If I’m seeking his opinion on something that might be good for us to do, he uses it as an opportunity to let me know how much he trusts me. I’ll give you an example: I might say, ‘Honey, do you think it would be good if we—’ and then he doesn’t even let me finish the sentence before he enthusiastically responds, ‘Yes.’

“And usually, when he did that, I said, ‘Oh, how can you say yes when you haven’t even heard of what I’m proposing?’ His response was, and I love this: ‘Because I know you. I know you’ve thought it through, and if you think it’s a good idea, so do I.’ So, he’s really easy to love.”

February—Church News reports on President Nelson scaling the Salt Lake Temple scaffolding to inspect its roof

Nelson Temple
President Russell M. Nelson tours the renovation work at the Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 22, 2021.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

In an episode of the Church News podcast, Brent Roberts, managing director of the Church’s Special Projects, discussed how engaged President Russell M. Nelson has been in the renovation of the Salt Lake Temple. So engaged, in fact, that during a tour of construction, President Nelson even wanted to inspect the roof.

“I’m not sure any prophet has ever done that before or been that high before,” Roberts says. “[As] we examined the roof … his questions, specifically about the roof trusses, were amazing. … He was very interested in that [and] every aspect.”

President Nelson’s careful involvement seems to be, in part, a fulfillment of a promise he made during the announcement of the project in April of 2019. He said, “We promise you that you will love the results. They will emphasize and highlight the life, ministry, and mission of Jesus Christ in His desire to bless every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.”

Roberts has seen firsthand how deeply committed President Nelson is in keeping that promise.

“When we have discussed the project, [President Nelson] reiterates to us that Temple Square itself needs to be focused on the Lord Jesus Christ. … That emphasis has helped each one of us look a little differently [at] this construction project,” he says.

Hear more from Roberts about his experience overseeing the Salt Lake Temple renovation on the Church News podcast.

April—President Nelson becomes the oldest President of the Church

In April, President Russell M. Nelson became the eldest President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With this milestone, President Nelson surpassed President Gordon B. Hinckley, who died in 2008, also at age 97.

President Nelson’s longevity has also allowed him to see the births of many descendants, and in 2020 he became a great-great-grandfather.

Nelson descendants
President Nelson, depicted with his daughter, Marsha Nelson Workman; her son, Nathan McKellar, bottom right; and his son and grandson, Jacob and Duncan McKellar, bottom left.
Courtesy Nelson family, via Church News

President Nelson is the father to nine daughters and one son and has 57 grandchildren. As of January 2021, he had 116 great-grandchildren.

When President Nelson was born, there were about 600,000 members of the Church and 6 operating temples. That means Church membership has grown about 27 times in his lifetime, and temples have grown about 28 times.

You can find more details and milestones about President Nelson’s years of dedicated service here.

August—President Nelson rededicates the Washington D.C. Temple

Church News

On Sunday, August 14, 2022, President Nelson rededicated the Washington D.C. Temple. During the dedication prayer, he said, in part:

“We ask Thee to accept this house as our offering to Thee and Thy Son as a place worthy of Thy holy habitation,” prayed President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “And we ask Thee to … make [this house] a refuge for all who enter its precincts. Please bless all who step onto these grounds, for whatever purpose, to feel Thy presence and to leave with a renewed sense of hope and an increased desire to draw close to Thee and Thy Son.”

Read more about President Nelson’s dedicatory prayer here.

October and April—President Nelson announces 30 new temples

President Nelson announced 30 new temples during his 98th year of life during the October 2021 and April 2022 general conferences:

  • Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  • Tacloban City, Philippines
  • Monrovia, Liberia
  • Kananga, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Antananarivo, Madagascar
  • Culiacán, México
  • Vitória, Brazil
  • La Paz, Bolivia
  • Santiago West, Chile
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Cody, Wyoming
  • Rexburg North, Idaho
  • Heber Valley, Utah
  • Wellington, New Zealand
  • Brazzaville, Republic of Congo
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Cusco, Peru
  • Maceió, Brazil
  • Santos, Brazil
  • San Luis Potosí, Mexico
  • Mexico City Benemérito, Mexico
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Wichita, Kansas
  • Austin, Texas
  • Missoula, Montana
  • Montpelier, Idaho
  • Modesto, California

► You may also like: Which Latter-day Saint temples are under construction around the world?

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