Sunday, September 12, 2010

LDS in Europe

Pres. Monson's involvement with my former missionary stomping grounds is fairly well known. I did not know about Elder Nelson's responsibilities:
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve currently has "first contact responsibility" for the First Presidency over Europe — an assignment he first received a quarter century ago when open borders, recognition of religions and allowance of missionary work were unthinkable.
He recalled the first meeting of the First Presidency and the Twelve after President Benson succeeded President Kimball after the latter's passing in November 1985. At the meeting, the twelve apostles were given their new worldwide supervisory assignments.
"They started at the senior end of the circle and got around to the junior end where I was and said 'Brother Nelson, your assignment is to be in charge of the church in Europe and Africa, with a specific assignment to open all the countries that are now under the yoke of communism,' " he said.
"I'll never forget that day."
I bet he won't! You want me to move which mountain where?
Upon receiving the assignment, Elder Nelson made two lists of European countries — one of nations where the church was then established, and one where it wasn't. "There were more countries where it was not established than where it had been established, even though we as a church had been in Europe for 150 years," he said.
... "Brother Oaks and I told President Benson before he died (on May 30, 1994) that the assignment given me in 1985 was now completed, with the church established in every country in Europe."
As Pres. Monson said in 08, let's go move some more mountains!
There remain, however, areas of the world where our influence is limited and where we are not allowed to share the gospel freely. As did President Spencer W. Kimball over 32 years ago, I urge you to pray for the opening of those areas, that we might share with them the joy of the gospel. As we prayed then in response to President Kimball’s pleadings, we saw miracles unfold as country after country, formerly closed to the Church, was opened. Such will transpire again as we pray with faith.

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