The wife of
Elder Russell M. Nelson said she felt a comforting peace that helped
her remain calm during an attack by armed robbers last spring.
Sister Wendy Watson Nelson described the experience Friday during a
speech to 3,300 women at the Time Out for Women event in Salt Lake
City. The robbery occurred in May at an LDS mission home in Mozambique.
"The four armed robbers had one intention," Sister Nelson said, "to (harm) my husband and to take me hostage."
Sister Nelson described finishing taco salads with Mozambique Maputo Mission
President Blair Packard and his wife and two other couples when a
stranger came in the door.Sister Nelson said Cindy Packard, the Mormon mission president's wife, identified the situation —
announcing "This is a robbery" to her guests — and eventually ran
outside to shout for help in Portuguese, which only she among the group could speak
well. Sister Packard suffered cuts and bruises and a broken arm in the attack.Sister Nelson said the attempted robbery and abduction was a sobering
experience that confirms that "life is a spook alley," but she takes
comfort in the scripture that advises the righteous to "fear not
what man can do."Her account of the attack helped illustrate several points. She said the first of the four robbers didn't barge in but sauntered casually,
exactly like the adversary does.Sister Nelson said she had not previously understood the phrase "Here I raise my Ebenezer" in the hymn "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" before that night."Little did we know before that evening the Lord would pile up stones of help," Sister Nelson said, noting that the Bible dictionary defines an "Ebenezer" as a stone of help.Sister Nelson said she felt comforted just prior to the incident, comfort that helped her keep calm during a tense time."Just before that man walked in, an intense, beautiful peace came upon me," she said. "If you're ever in a situation where you doubt God, just call me. I will tell you. I have felt that peace."Sister Nelson said righteous women everywhere need to be as vigilant and bold as the mission president's wife."We therefore as women need to be hypervigilant about what's coming into our homes, on the Internet, the computer and the TV," she said."Back to the mission president's wife, she labeled the problem and the second thing she did was to free herself and get out. She brought the hideous situation to a close," Sister Nelson said."We need to be like her and get over it (being slow to take action). Our spiritual strength of the past won't be enough in the future. We need to increase the intensity of our prayers and of our scripture study."