More than 5,000 B.C. members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are expected to attend a special devotional in Langley this Sunday.
The church announced Russell M. Nelson, the worldwide leader and president of the church, along with his wife, Wendy Nelson, and one of his counselors, Henry B. Eyring, will be speaking at the Langley Events Centre in Langley on Sunday (Sept. 16) at 6 p.m.
The event is free and will be open to the public, the church said in a written statement.
“This is a rare event and will result in one of the largest gatherings of members of the church in this area since the dedication of a temple (also in Langley) in 2010,” the statement said.
The online Wikipedia entry for Nelson describes him as a 94-year-old former surgeon who is the 17th and current president of the church, who was a member of the LDS Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for nearly 34 years, and quorum president from 2015 to 2018.
As church president, Nelson is accepted by the church as a prophet, seer, and revelator.
“We are excited to welcome President Russell M. Nelson to British Columbia and to hear the special message he will deliver to members of the Church in the Lower Mainland and across the province,” said Neil McKenzie, a Stake President (local regional ecclesiastical leader) for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Fraser Valley.
Nelson’s trip to the Lower Mainland area follows a series of trips to meet church members in various countries including England, Israel, Kenya, Zimbabwe, India, China and several Canadian cities including Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal and Hamilton.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has more than 16 million members around the world.
Among the church’s 159 temples worldwide, nine are in Canada including the Langley temple at 20030 82 Ave, which was dedicated in May, 2010.
It serves 22,000 Mormons from 91 congregations throughout B.C. and northern Washington.
The temple, which is not open to non-members, is reserved for the sacraments of the Mormon church such as baptism and marriage.
Mormons have been in B.C. since 1875, but until the Langley temple was built, they had to travel to Washington State or Alberta for temple services and sacraments.
The church estimates B.C. is home to nearly 31,000 members who live in communities across the province and attend services in 79 different congregations.