SALT LAKE CITY — LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson, currently on a world tour to visit church members across the world, has left Jerusalem a bit early due to U.S.-led military strikes in neighboring Syria.
Doug Anderson, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, issued the following statement Saturday morning:
"President Nelson has left Jerusalem ahead of schedule. Due to concerns pertaining to tension in the region, and available airspace, he and Sister Nelson departed after today’s district conference.
"Elder and Sister Holland are with them and will commence the Africa portion of this trip sooner than planned."
KSL's Carole Mikita is traveling with the church leaders on their world tour and spoke with President Nelson about the most recent military developments.
"This part of the world has always been contested," President Nelson said Saturday. "It's an interesting paradox, isn't it, that there's contention, but the message of the Lord is so simple: 'Love one another as I have loved you.' Our message is more important than ever. So, it's underlined in this time of a little heightened tension here in this area."
President Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy W. Nelson, are accompanied by church apostle Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and his wife, Sister Patricia Holland, on the tour. The couples visited London, England, on Thursday; Jerusalem, Israel, on Friday and Saturday; and plan to travel to Nairobi, Kenya; Harare, Zimbabwe; Bengaluru, India; Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong and Honolulu, Hawaii, according to church officials.
The U.S., France and Britain launched the military strikes in Syria to punish President Bashar Assad for an apparent chemical attack against civilians and to deter him from doing it again, President Donald Trump said Friday.