Looking back at President Nelson’s accomplishments over the last 5 years
Jan 15, 2023, 10:45 PM | Updated: 10:59 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — Five years ago, President Russell M. Nelson met with the media as the new and 17th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
KSL TV’s Carole Mikita took a look back at his remarkable accomplishments.
“You can face the future with optimism and joy, if you have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his Gospel.”
President Nelson started his ministry as Church president by talking with reporters at the Salt Lake Temple. The setting, said KSL’s Boyd Matheson, would prove to be symbolic of what was to come.
“Here we are five years later, he has announced 118 temples — 300 that are either announced or under construction or renovation. This is a prophet with a temple vision for the people all around the world.”
In 2018, he embarked on his first world tour as president, meeting with hundreds of thousands of Church members in both large gatherings and more intimate one-on-one moments.
The following year, he dedicated the first temple in Italy.
Matheson recalled a striking statement that came from the Church president.
“President Nelson called the visit to Rome — and remember, you had the entire First Presidency and every member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — President Nelson called it a hinge point in history to the Church.”
That trip included an audience at the Vatican with Pope Francis. Standing outside St. Peter’s Basilica, he said, “We had a most unforgettable, cordial experience with his Holiness.”
President Nelson also formed a friendship and partnership with the NAACP and Rev. Amos Brown.
Matheson called it an important moment.
“They’ve been working together to root out racism, to create bridges of understanding.”
And during the pandemic, President Nelson reminded everyone of his career as a heart surgeon, and used social media to send messages to all people, urged everyone to receive vaccines as he had, and also to express gratitude.
“Working together, we can flood social media with a wave of gratitude that reaches the four corners of the earth,” he said.
In five years, President Nelson has made 99 announcements and changes in the Church, leading by example.
Matheson pointed out one specific program.
“I think what President Nelson is doing, both in word and deed, is ministering in the Savior’s higher and holier way — actually looks like and sounds like and feels like and then how everyone else should be able to act like.”