“Now is not only a time for us to look back, it is the time to look forward with excitement to the future,” said President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during a visit to the Republic of Singapore. “What a glorious future is in store for you.”
The prophet of the global Church spoke at a devotional Wednesday evening originating from the Bukit Timah Singapore stake center during a visit the island nation, the third stop on his Southeast Asia ministry. The meeting was translated and transmitted live to all congregations in Singapore and Malaysia.
He is traveling with his wife, Wendy, and Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Katherine.
“This country has come a long way since it became an independent republic in 1965,” remarked President Nelson. “Only four years later, on April 14, 1969, an apostle of the Lord, Elder Ezra Taft Benson, dedicated Singapore for the preaching of the gospel. Now we are celebrating 50 years since that sacred event.”
He said 2020 will be a historic year because it will mark the bicentennial anniversary of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ.
“Just imagine those 200 years of amazing growth and progress started with that First Vision,” said President Nelson.
There are currently about 3,500 Latter-day Saints in 10 congregations in Singapore, including multigenerational families who are members of the Church.
“On behalf of all the leaders of the Church, may I express our gratitude for the goodness and faithfulness of members who hear our message tonight,” said President Nelson. “Many of you are endowed in the temple, even though a temple is far away.”
The prophet reminded the audience that the Church currently has 166 temples around the world, and more are coming.
“I pray for the day when we will have a temple here in Singapore,” said President Nelson. He released an artistic rendering of a new temple in Cambodia during his visit to Phnom Penh earlier this week.
“Let the blessings of the temple be the supreme objective for your families,” he taught.
“These precious children are an heritage from the Lord,” added President Nelson. He told them to “help your children to understand that ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son.’” He also encouraged parents to help their children understand the importance of prophets, to read the scriptures “aloud” and to teach the importance of family history. He reminded parents to “teach your children to be exemplary citizens of their community and of their country.”
This was President Nelson’s third visit to Singapore. His first trip was in 1992, followed by a visit in 2010. The first Church president to visit Singapore was President Gordon B. Hinckley in 2000.
President Nelson is traveling to four countries in seven days. He has been to Vietnam and Cambodia and will wrap up his Southeast Asia ministry with a devotional in Indonesia on Thursday.