BENGALURU, India — Clad in bright clothing showcasing the energy and beauty of this nation, Indian Latter-day Saints line up, hours before a scheduled meeting with President Russell M. Nelson on Thursday.
Collectively they speak of two things: The leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the temple he recently announced for their nation.
Weeks earlier, in the closing moments of general conference, President Nelson said the LDS Church would build seven new temples — including one in Bengaluru.
But it almost wasn’t so.
“Our plans were to announce six new temples at conference time,” said President Nelson. “The Lord told me on the eve of conference: ‘Announce a temple in India.’ … That was the Lord’s doing.”
The new temple is proof of “how much the Lord thinks” about members here and “loves them,” said Robert William, an Area Seventy in India.
President Nelson’s visit to India — the fifth stop on his world ministry tour — marks a return to the nation and people he learned to love 52 years ago. In Bengaluru, he conducted meetings with members and full-time missionaries and also viewed possible temple sites.
Global Missionary Tour
Follow the Deseret News as we chronicle President Russel M. Nelson’s travels through seven countries around the world.
As part of the nearly-two-week trip, President Nelson also visited England, Jerusalem, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. After leaving India, President Nelson — accompanied by his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and his wife, Sister Patricia Holland — plans to visit Thailand on Friday and Hong Kong on Saturday.
An intense nation
Standing on a street corner within walking distance of the LDS church’s member meeting in Bengaluru, visitors view three Hindu temples, two Christian churches, and a Muslim mosque. Motorcycles, auto jeepnees and cars maneuver the street to the constant sound of honking horns. Locals milk cows, then sell the liquid by the cup, along with chickens, produce and spices. The pungent smell of fresh meat lingers.
There is no running water in this neighborhood, home to thousands, yet across the street a high-rise complex houses the nation’s wealthiest residents.
In India “it rains with sweat and insects and floods — and that is just before 10 a.m.,” Elder Holland told missionaries in the church’s India Bengaluru Mission.
A city of deep spirituality, dense populations, spicy food, and bright colors, India’s residents are used to intensity.
“They are not wimpy …read more
Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News