In the midst of three days of dedicatory ceremonies for the Rome Italy Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, all members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (15 in all) gathered Monday for a historic group photo. These four days in Rome are believed to be the first time in Church history that all 15 leaders have gathered in one location outside the United States — and the first group photo taken in two decades.
President Russell M. Nelson and his counselors in the First Presidency, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring. Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are President M. Russell Ballard, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Elder David A. Bednar, Elder Quentin L. Cook, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Elder Neil L. Andersen, Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Elder Gary E. Stevenson, Elder Dale G. Renlund, Elder Gerrit W. Gong and Elder Ulisses Soares.
As the first of seven dedicatory sessions scheduled over the next three days came to a completion, President Nelson offered the dedicatory prayer. He said, “In this ancient and great city that has stood since biblical times — in this historic nation of Italy — we acknowledge the ministry of two of Thy Son’s early Apostles, Peter and Paul, who once blessed this land with their labors. May the influence of their abiding testimony of Jesus Christ continue to be felt among the vital values of this great country.”
In continuing his prayer, he said, “We are grateful for the support of church, government and civic leaders who have offered much-appreciated goodwill in our desire to build this holy temple here in Rome. Wilt Thou bless them for their kindness and fortify their continued desire to preserve religious liberty for all.”