President Nelson leaves Jerusalem ahead of schedule as tensions rise in the Middle East

Apr 14, 2018, 1:38 PM | Updated: Apr 23, 2018, 4:46 pm

JERUSALEM, Israel — President Russell M. Nelson Saturday cut short his visit to the Holy Land. According to a statement released from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the change of plan is “due to concerns pertaining to tension in the region, and available airspace.”

The decision came hours after the United States launched airstrikes in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack by the Syrian regime against their own citizens near Damascus. Forty people died.

A visit to Jerusalem was at the heart of President Nelson’s desire to visit members and missionaries in eight countries.

“We wanted to start in Jerusalem to fortify ourselves with the message of the Lord Jesus Christ right at its very inception here where he was born, where he lived, where he ministered and where he was crucified,” said President Nelson.

“When I had this conversation with him early on, we just talked about what it would mean for a prophet of God to come and be in Jerusalem,” said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, who has accompanied President Nelson on the tour.

The church leaders originally planned to leave Jerusalem on Monday morning, after meeting with members near the Sea of Galilee on Sunday.

“We face this week what we face many, many times here,” said Elder Holland before Saturday conference sessions with members at the BYU Jerusalem Center. “We’re just cutting short the trip a little bit, we’ll have a wonderful day.”

Students at the center will remain in Jerusalem.

“We always are very, very conservative, we’re very safe, we would never put any student at risk,” said Elder Holland.

“In this time of heightened tension in this area, our message is more important than ever,” said President Nelson.

During his visit to the Holy Land, Carole Mikita asked about the significance of Jesus calling his 12 apostles in the Holy Land, and President Nelson recently calling two new Latter-day Saint apostles, Elder Gerrit Gong and Elder Ulisses Soares.

“What I thought would be a formidable task was made easy by the Lord,” said President Nelson. “He made it clear to me that they were to be called because of who they would become. The future will be molded by these two new men.”

After a brief stop in Europe, President Nelson, Elder Holland and their wives will continue their trip with visits to Africa, India and Asia.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Latest News

Madison Swenson, Brooke Williams, Ladd Egan, & Michael Houck, KSL-TV

UPDATE: West Valley City Police found driver of deadly hit and run

Police are searching for the suspect of a fatal hit and run that happened Monday night in West Valley City.
22 days ago
Crime scene tape and a UPD vehicle by a car involved with the shooting, damaged....
Brooke Williams and Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL TV

Woman injured in Murray shooting Sunday

A shooting in Murray between several drivers.
23 days ago
Black plumes of smoke and fire from plane crashing...
LM OTERO and JILL BLEED Associated Press

Two aircraft collide, crash during Dallas air show

The Federal Aviation Administration says two aircraft have collided at air show in Dallas. It was unclear how many people were on board the aircraft and if anyone on the ground was hurt. Emergency crews were responding to the scene at the Commemorative Air Force Wings Over Dallas show at the Dallas Executive Airport. The FAA says a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed around 1:20 p.m. Saturday. Several videos posted on Twitter showed two aircraft appearing to collide in the air before they both rapidly descended, causing a large fire and plumes of black smoke to billow into the sky. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were launching investigations.
24 days ago
A young person is seen with an electronic cigarette in the bleachers....
Brooke Williams

More than 1 in 10 youth report current tobacco use, CDC announced

The CDC and FDA released a study that found 3.08 million, or 11.3% of middle and high school students reported using a tobacco product in the past 30 days.
26 days ago
Tall time clocks in a forest in Germany...
Sandee LaMotte, CNN

Permanent Daylight Saving Time will hurt our health, experts say

Permanent Daylight Saving Time will hurt our health, experts say.
30 days ago
Volkswagen sign in Germany....
Associated Press

Volkswagen recalls vehicles for tire pressure monitoring malfunction

Volkswagen is recalling nearly 225,000 vehicles in the U.S. because the tire pressure monitoring systems may not detect air losses in all four tires at the same time. The recall covers certain 2019 Tiguan, Golf Sportswagen, Golf Alltrack, Golf R, and Audi Q3 and A3 vehicles. Also covered are some 2019 and 2020 Jetta, Golf, Atlas and Audi A3 models and some 2020-2021 Atlas Cross Sport and Atlas vehicles. Documents posted Friday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say a sudden pressure loss in all four tires increases the risk of a crash. Dealers will update the tire pressure monitoring software at no charge to owners. Notification letters will be sent Dec. 30.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
President Nelson leaves Jerusalem ahead of schedule as tensions rise in the Middle East