Video: President Nelson turns 96 this week. Here’s a glimpse of his fast-paced ministry, historic leadership

President Russell M. Nelson, the 17th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will celebrate his 96th birthday on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

A birthday “is just another day for me,” he told the Church News last year while visiting Brasilia, Brazil. “I hope I will be busy. 

“It is wonderful though to be able to look back and see the various stages of life. … But you know, I really don’t spend any time at all looking back. I did the best I could in each one of those phases. And I am just looking forward to the many challenges that lie ahead.”

A new Church News video, titled “Celebrating 96 years” and honoring President Nelson’s 96th birthday, was filmed before the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. It offers a small glimpse into his fast-paced ministry and historic leadership.

Born Sept. 9, 1924, President Nelson is the son of Marion C. and Edna Anderson Nelson. He and his wife, the former Dantzel White Nelson, have ten children. Sister Nelson passed away in February 2005. In April 2006, President Nelson married Wendy L. Watson.

“I cannot get him to act his age,” Sister Wendy Nelson said. “In fact, I am highly suspicious of his birth certificate.”

President Nelson’s family gathered virtually to celebrate his birthday and hear his hopes for them

An internationally renowned surgeon and medical researcher, President Nelson is often the center of attention, said Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “But he doesn’t call attention to himself. He is always sending the love and the concern back to the people. And I think that is what they feel.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland called President Nelson “uniquely fit and lively. He is going to go to all the world.”

Added Elder Quentin L. Cook, “There is something very personal about seeing the Prophet and having him speak in your own country.”

Looking forward, President Nelson said there are “exciting things ahead.”

“This work is moving forward at an accelerated pace,” he said. “I can just hardly wait to bounce out of bed each morning and see what the day will bring.” 

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