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How President Russell M. Nelson celebrated his 99th birthday

See photographs of President Nelson marking his landmark birthday at the Church Administration Building

President Russell M. Nelson celebrated his 99th birthday on Friday, Sept. 8, with his family and other Church leaders in the Church Administration Building.

Born to Marion C. and Edna Anderson Nelson on Sept. 9, 1924, just five years before the stock market crash of 1929, President Nelson grew up in Salt Lake City. 

President Russell M. Nelson, celebrating his 99th birthday, poses with his wife, Sister Wendy W. Nelson, and eight of his 10 children.
President Russell M. Nelson, celebrating his 99th birthday on Sept. 9, 2023, poses with his wife, Sister Wendy W. Nelson, and eight of his 10 children. Two of his daughters, Emily Nelson Wittwer and Wendy Nelson Maxfield, died of cancer in 1995 and 2019. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

President was set apart as the 17th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Jan. 14, 2018, after serving 34 years in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He was a world-renowned heart surgeon and medical researcher before entering full-time Church service in 1984. He received doctoral degrees from the University of Utah and University of Minnesota and additional advanced work residencies in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. He helped pioneer the development of the artificial heart-lung machine.

President Nelson married Dantzel White in the Salt Lake Temple on Aug. 31, 1945. They are the parents of nine daughters and one son. She died Feb. 12, 2005, just shy of the Nelson’s 60th wedding anniversary.

President Nelson married Wendy L. Watson on April 6, 2006.

President Russell M. Nelson, celebrating his 99th birthday on Sept. 9, 2023, poses with birthday cards.
President Russell M. Nelson, celebrating his 99th birthday on Sept. 9, 2023, poses with birthday cards from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in his office in the Church Administration Building. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

As president of the Church, President Nelson has traveled to 35 nations, changed Church organizationutilized technology, led the Church through a pandemic, issued historic invitations and built bridges of understanding while overseeing the continuing restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

President Russell M. Nelson and his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring.
President Russell M. Nelson sits with his counselors in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Dallin H. Oaks on the left and President Henry B. Eyring on the right, at a small gathering in honor of his 99th birthday in his office at the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Friday, September 8, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“The Lord always has and always will instruct and inspire His prophets,” he declared while addressing Church members after being set apart as President of the Church. “The Lord is at the helm! We who have been ordained to bear witness of His holy name throughout the world will continue to seek to know His will and follow it.”

President Russell M. Nelson, celebrating his 99th birthday on Sept. 9, 2023, poses with his wife, Sister Wendy W. Nelson, and many of his children and their spouses in the Church Administration Building. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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