Editor’s note: The full version of this story is published on TheChurchNews.com.
President Russell M. Nelson is now the oldest president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having lived 97 years, seven months and six days.
Born Sept. 9, 1924, in Salt Lake City, Russell Marion Nelson is the son of Marion C. and Edna Anderson Nelson. On Thursday, April 14, 2022, President Nelson turned 97 years, seven months and six days old — surpassing in age President Gordon B. Hinckley, who died on Jan. 27, 2008, at the age of 97 years, seven months and five days.
President Nelson was ordained and set apart as the church’s 17th president on Jan. 14, 2018, becoming the second prophet — the first being Joseph Fielding Smith — to be called as president of the Church while over the age of 90.
In his four years and three months as president of the church, President Nelson has traveled 115,000 miles to 35 nations on six continents — meeting with government and religious leaders and Latter-day Saints in large and small settings — and has led thecChurch through the COVID-19 pandemic, ministering instead through videoconferences and online broadcasts. Asking Latter-day Saints to gather Israel on both sides of the veil, President Nelson has also announced 100 new temples, including 17 at the recent April 2022 general conference.
During a Church News interview just before his 95th birthday, President Nelson took a few minutes to reflect on the past and then characteristically looked forward. “This work is moving forward at an accelerated pace,” he said. “I can hardly wait to bounce out of bed each morning and see what the day will bring.”
President Nelson’s wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, said that the older President Nelson gets, the more enchanted he is with the future. “There is an urgency,” she said. “Yes, there’s an urgency.”
Each birthday, he said then, is “just another day for me.”
He added: “I really don’t spend any time looking back. I did the best I could in each one of those phases, and I’m just looking forward to the many challenges that lie ahead.”
To read more about President Nelson and the history of other church presidents, visit TheChurchNews.com.