To better reach Spanish-speaking members and friends around the world, President Russell M. Nelson has launched an Instagram account in Spanish — the first Spanish-only social media account by a senior Church leader.
On Wednesday, Sept. 15 — the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States — he posted a video, reel and story on Instagram of him speaking in Spanish.
“Do you want to know the secret for a life full of peace and prosperity?” the 97-year-old Prophet wrote on Instagram. “The answer is very simple.”
In the video, President Nelson urges Latter-day Saints to keep the commandments. “Teach your children and also each other about the Lord Jesus Christ,” he says. “As you do, you will prosper on the Earth and have joy in your posterity.”
Footage comes from President Nelson’s address to members in Lima, Peru, during his South America ministry in October 2018.
In the Instagram reel, a short-form video, President Nelson says, “With your permission, I would like to address you in Spanish.” At that moment, the entire audience of some 6,000 in Lima’s Coliseo Mariscal Caceres begin clapping.
“It is a very historic moment in the lives of the members of the Church here,” Elder Enrique Falabella, a General Authority Seventy and then-president of the South America Northwest Area, told the Church News during that ministry visit.
As the Instagram reel footage continues, President Nelson says that several years ago he had the desire to learn the language of his Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters.
“Although my Spanish is not perfect, I desire to speak with you in your own language. I testify that our Savior Jesus Christ invites all to come unto Him, regardless of the language they speak, because all are alike unto God” (2 Nephi 26:33).
President Nelson’s Instagram story — a short clip on his profile that expires after 24 hours — features the same clip from Lima of him speaking in Spanish.
President Nelson also published a Facebook post on Sept. 15 targeted to Spanish speakers and invited them to follow his new Spanish Instagram account.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a global church,” he wrote. “Because the Church has so many wonderful and faithful Spanish-speaking members and because the Lord has blessed me with the ability to speak a little Spanish, I would like to start sharing occasional thoughts in Spanish on a new Instagram account.
“If you use Instagram, please join me at @russellmnelson.esp. I love you and your Heavenly Father loves you.”
Elder Gary E. Stevenson, the member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who accompanied President Nelson throughout South America in October 2018, called the love of Latter-day Saints for President Nelson “palpable.”
“It’s been just remarkable,” said Elder Stevenson. “I never imagined that I would come and have to wear a headset, through translation, to listen to the words of President Nelson. That was a surprise to me.”
He said that as President Nelson speaks in Spanish, “it just touches your heart. There’s a reverence. There’s a silence, and then everyone’s wiping their eyes. Tears are flowing, and it’s just a remarkable thing. It’s an indication that the Latter‑day Saints love their Prophet, and the Prophet loves the Latter‑day Saints.”
Latter-day Saints who speak Spanish or are from Spanish-speaking countries account for the Church’s second-largest language group.