President Russell M. Nelson set a new precedent Wednesday.
President Nelson opened his new account — @russellmnelson.esp — in timing with the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs this year from Wednesday, Sept. 15, until Oct. 15. His objective is to better reach Spanish-speaking members and friends worldwide.
“Years ago, I had the desire to learn the language of my Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters,” President Nelson said in his first Instagram Reel. “Although my Spanish is not perfect, I desire to speak with you in your own language.”
Latter-day Saints who speak Spanish or are from Spanish-speaking countries account for the global faith’s second-largest language group, the news release said.
President Nelson’s first video includes footage from his South America ministry tour in 2018 in which he surprised Peruvian Latter-day Saints by addressing them in their native language of Spanish. He encouraged individuals and families to keep the commandments.
“Now I’d like to speak to you from my heart in a language not my own,” President Nelson said to a crowd of thousands gathered in Lima before switching to their language. “With your permission, I would like to speak in Spanish.”
President Nelson consistently shared his testimony of Jesus Christ in the Spanish language when he and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, along with other church leaders, toured Latin American countries in recent years.