“This is a sight that I shall always remember,” said President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during a visit to Harare, Zimbabwe, Tuesday, April 17, 2018. More than 4,000 people gathered to hear President Nelson speak, including hundreds of children who sang a verse of “I Am a Child of God,” a popular Primary song, at the beginning of his address.
His remarks were given at a devotional that was broadcast to congregations throughout Zimbabwe. This is his second stop in Africa and fourth destination on his global ministry tour. On Monday, President Nelson was in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi.
President Nelson is joined on the worldwide tour by his wife, Wendy, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Patricia.
Attendees began arriving at 8:00 a.m. before the scheduled 5:00 p.m. devotional. “That shows that everyone is ready and doesn’t want to miss this historic event,” said Gibson Guzha of Harare.
Pretty Mukweya said, “I can’t even express it, I’m just super excited. I couldn’t even sleep. I couldn’t wait.”
Lovemore Tenganani added, “I’m really excited because when a prophet visits a nation, better things start happening. Most of us haven’t had the opportunity to have a prophet grace our great nation.”
The senior leaders, who stand as witnesses of the Savior, are traveling to eight cities on three continents in 11 days. The tour began last week with meetings in London and Jerusalem.
Elder Holland acknowledged the rapid growth of the Church in Zimbabwe. “What a wonderful, wonderful growing, dramatic, significant component you are of this Church, the restored Church of Jesus Christ. Your history has only begun, and really the Church’s history has only begun in terms of what it will yet be. But I’m thrilled to be with you, observing history.”
“I have had an experience to see how you worship,” said Sam Phiri, who works for the Times of Zambia newspaper in the country of Zambia, 250 miles away from Harare. “It’s quite exciting and it clears all the myth and misunderstanding which was also in my mind.”
Phiri was impressed with the prophet’s message for parents to guard their children. “Today we have seen a lot of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and we’ve also seen a lot of substance abuse, including [offensive] language among the youthful people. … That to me was a very important and kind message because the future lies in the hands of the youth.”