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“You’ve come great distances to be here tonight, and so have we,” said President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during a stop in El Alto, Bolivia, Sunday, October 21, 2018, the second country on his five-country South America ministry tour.
President Nelson spoke in English and Spanish at a devotional at the Polideportivo Heroes de Octubre, which was broadcast to all stakes in Bolivia. He had the children in the audience stand and sing one verse of “I Am a Child of God.”
“You parents and teachers have a great responsibility to teach these children,” President Nelson told the audience. “Teach them what it really means to be a child of God. They’re made in His image. … Teach them to pray to Him. … And teach them about the Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us.”
He also encouraged parents to teach their children about the sacrament, to help them qualify for the blessings of temple and to honor their parents.
The prophet, seer and revelator of the global Church is traveling with his wife, Wendy, and Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Lesa. They began their ministry tour on Saturday, October 20, with a visit to Lima, Peru, where they met with missionaries and local members, as well as Peru President Martín Vizcarra and religious leaders.
“It is a spiritually elevating experience to be with you,” expressed Sister Nelson. “You have moved us to tears. It is you, the Saints of Bolivia, not the elevation, that take our breath away. It is you, the Saints of Bolivia, that take our spirits higher and higher.” The elevation of El Alto is 13,615 feet (4,150 meters).
Sister Nelson continued: “The intense brightness of the sun at this elevation tries to match your bright, vibrant faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We love you. And we love being with you tonight. Tonight, my message is that President Russell M. Nelson is the prophet on the earth today.”
“You will find joy in the gospel, even in the midst of your afflictions,” taught Elder Stevenson. “As you keep the commandments, even in your afflictions, the Lord will bring you joy. … I have joy because I know that we have a living prophet who is chosen by the Lord, who speaks to us in our day, for the challenges that we have in our day.”
“I was very happy to be with my family here,” said Alejandro Rojas, a Latter-day Saint father in Bolivia. “One of the parts [of the devotional] that [made us very happy] was to listen [to President Nelson] speak in Spanish, in our language, and he made us a wonderful promise about our families. He [said] that if we teach our children about Jesus Christ, about [the] gospel, about the importance of the temple in our lives, we will have [a] lot of blessings.”
The South America ministry tour runs October 19–28, 2018. So far, the Church leaders have stopped in Peru and Bolivia. They will also minister to Latter-day Saints and meet with government and religious leaders and friends in three other countries this week, including Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile. The ministry tour ends with the dedication of the Concepción Chile Temple on Sunday, October 28.