News Release

President Nelson Continues South America Ministry Tour in Uruguay

Latter-day Saints in Montevideo receive instruction from living prophet

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met with missionaries and members during a visit to Uruguay’s capital city of Montevideo, Thursday, October 25, 2018, the fourth location in his five-country ministry tour of South America. The port city is home to colonial architecture and the country’s only Latter-day Saint temple.  


President Nelson, regarded as a prophet of God by Latter-day Saint faithful, embarked on a nine-day journey nearly a week ago with his wife, Wendy, and Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Lesa.

Missionaries from the Montevideo and Montevideo West Missions were able to spend some time with the global Church leaders Thursday afternoon. In the evening, a devotional was held at the Landia Complex, which was broadcast throughout Uruguay.

“What a wonderful sight you are,” said President Nelson. “I can hardly believe what I'm seeing — hundreds and hundreds of faithful Latter‑day Saints who have transformed this tent into a chapel.”

The prophet asked the children in the congregation to briefly stand. “All these precious children, they’re grand treasures,” he said. “They’re the future of the country. They’re the future of the Church.”

“For the children to have an interactive experience with the prophet is something that they’ll never forget,” said Elder Stevenson. “It might be one of the takeaways for me is the way he’s connected to the children in every place that we’ve been.”

Much of President Nelson’s instruction in Uruguay was to the parents as he urged them to teach their children to understand the teachings of Jesus Christ. “Teach them about their Heavenly Father and to pray to Him in the morning and in the evening and other times when needed. … They are created in the very image of their Father in Heaven. … Help them to understand that literally their body is a temple of God.”

“Help them to understand that as they learn to follow the Lord, they will be happy,” he added. “The Lord’s way will bring them joy, and Satan’s way will bring them misery.”

President Nelson also encouraged the parents to teach their children to be missionaries, learn another language, get a good education and be good citizens of their country. “In my position, it’s often my opportunity to meet with government leaders. Rather routinely they say that ‘your members are our very best citizens.’ That pleases me very much.”

“He was teaching parents how to teach their children,” said Elder Stevenson, during an interview. “We see the living prophet who has taught the whole Church a new balance, a balance that’s going to be more home-centered and Church-supported.”  

"We know him," said father and grandfather Eduardo Risso, who has met President Nelson on several different occasions during his 45 years of Church service. "He's a man filled [with] wisdom. ... He's a great man and we feel his love all the time."

Risso first met President Nelson in 1983 when Risso was a young bishop and the prophet was a doctor teaching in a public hospital in Uruguay. He was looking forward to having his children and grandchildren meet the prophet.

"I feel grateful because all of us can receive President Nelson's words," expressed Risso. "This is a ... special opportunity to have him as a teacher for our family." 

Santiago Risso is a third-generation member of the Church in Uruguay. "I have many great examples of my family to follow," he said. "It's a privilege to be able to serve others and to learn from others."  

During their travels, the senior Church leaders have met with missionaries and spoken at devotionals in Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay before resting for a couple of days. Their journey has also included meetings with religious leaders and dignitaries, including Peru President Martín Vizcarra. Their schedule ends with the dedication of the Concepción Chile Temple on Sunday, October 28.

Ministry Tour

The South America ministry tour runs October 19–28, 2018. The senior Church leaders are meeting with Latter-day Saint members and missionaries, government and religious leaders and friends in Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile before returning to Salt Lake City. The ministry to the people of South America ends with the dedication of the Concepción Chile Temple on Sunday, October 28.

Global Church

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, has more than 16 million members worldwide. There are more than 4 million Latter-day Saints in South America. The first congregation of the Church in Uruguay was organized in 1944. Today, there are nearly 105,000 Latter-day Saints and two missions in the country.

More than 200 temples are either in operation, announced, under construction or being renovated around the world, including 17 temples in South America. The Montevideo Uruguay Temple was dedicated in March 2001.

President Nelson has ministered to Latter-day Saints in many locations in Europe, Africa, Asia, North America and South America since he was sustained as the 17th president and prophet of the Church in January.

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