LDS First Presidency pleads for peace without naming Russia or Ukraine


Jesus “can calm and luxury our souls even within the midst of horrible conflicts,” President Russell Nelson and his counselors write. “He taught us to like God and our neighbors.”

(Emilio Morenatti | AP) Ukrainian troopers take place on a bridge inside the town of Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022.

The governing First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a information launch Friday calling for peace “amongst nations and inside our personal hearts,” whereas stopping in need of naming Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We’re heartbroken and deeply involved by the armed battle now raging,” says the three-paragraph assertion from President Russell M. Nelson and counselors Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has members in every of the affected areas and all through the world. Our minds and hearts have been turned towards them and all our brothers and sisters.”

The message doesn’t element the “affected areas,” nevertheless, as a substitute pivoting to a message of peace.

“We proceed to hope for peace,” the church leaders state. “We all know that enduring peace will be discovered by means of Jesus Christ. He can calm and luxury our souls even within the midst of horrible conflicts. He taught us to like God and our neighbors.

“We pray that this armed battle will finish rapidly, that the controversies will finish peacefully and that peace will prevail amongst nations and inside our personal hearts,” they conclude. “We plead with world leaders to hunt for such resolutions and peace.”

The message comes after the presidency of the Europe East Space issued a press release of its personal, acknowledging that “these are tough occasions” and that high Latter-day Saint leaders “are totally conscious of” the scenario.

“Prophets, seers and revelators pray for you and for the hearts of the leaders to be softened for peace,” space President Hans T. Increase and his counselors, Scott D. Whiting and Kyrylo Pokhylko, wrote in a information launch dated earlier than Russia’s invasion started however circulated Thursday.

That very same day, church spokesperson Sam Penrod confirmed that the Utah-based religion’s temple in Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv has now closed.

The 16.6 million-member church has greater than 11,000 Latter-day Saints and about 50 congregations in Ukraine, in accordance with its web site.

Final month, the church moved its full-time missionaries out of Ukraine because of the rising tensions, briefly reassigning them to different components of Europe.

The church doesn’t checklist its statistics for Russia, although it reportedly had about 23,000 members there in 2018 scattered amongst practically 100 congregations.

Nelson stated in spring 2018, throughout his first Common Convention as the religion’s prophet-president, that the church plans to construct a temple in a “main metropolis” in Russia. A location has by no means been introduced.

Russian troops invaded Ukraine early Thursday morning.

Tetiana Koval-Ievdokymova is a mom of three younger youngsters and a Latter-day Saint who was dwelling in Kyiv when the combating broke out. She and her household quickly discovered shelter earlier than deciding to pack up and head west, though they’re not sure the place they may find yourself.

She stated native Latter-day Saints have been lively on social media, providing assist and checking on each other’s security. She additionally has obtained an outpouring of assist from worldwide members, who she stated have been reaching out in concern over Fb — a reassuring gesture for which she stated she is “grateful.”

First Presidency asks world leaders to seek peace in Ukraine as church closes Kyiv temple


Because the warfare over Ukraine intensified once more Friday, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a press release pleading with world leaders to hunt a swift, peaceable decision. (Steve Griffin, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 4-5 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Because the warfare over Ukraine intensified once more Friday, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a press release pleading with world leaders to hunt a swift, peaceable decision.

What did the First Presidency say about Russia and Ukraine?

“We’re heartbroken and deeply involved by the armed battle now raging. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has members in every of the affected areas and all through the world. Our minds and hearts have been turned towards them and all our brothers and sisters.

“We proceed to wish for peace. We all know that enduring peace will be discovered via Jesus Christ. He can calm and luxury our souls even within the midst of horrible conflicts. He taught us to like God and our neighbors.

“We pray that this armed battle will finish shortly, that the controversies will finish peacefully, and that peace will prevail amongst nations and inside our personal hearts. We plead with world leaders to hunt for such resolutions and peace.”

The assertion was launched by Presidents Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring on the church’s newsroom web site.

What in regards to the Kyiv Ukraine Temple?

Earlier this week, earlier than Russian troops invaded Ukraine by land and sea, church leaders closed the Kyiv Ukraine Temple close to the nation’s capital as a precaution, church spokesman Sam Penrod mentioned.

“This temple has suspended all operations and ordinances till additional discover,” in keeping with a word posted on the temple’s web site.

The Kyiv temple is the one Latter-day Saint temple between Germany and the Pacific Rim.

“In case you have an current appointment for a sealing or your individual endowment, you’ll be contacted by temple employees,” the temple’s web site mentioned.

Combating in Ukraine intensified once more on Friday as Russian troops superior on Kyiv, the nation’s capital. Ukrainian troops proceed to supply stiff resistance, nevertheless, ABC Information reported.

Ukrainians fled Kyiv and different main cities as hostilities grew. In the meantime, Russia additionally started to see the impacts of the worldwide sanctions. The Russian inventory market fell by 33%.

What is going on with Latter-day Saint missionaries in Ukraine and Russia?

The church introduced in January, as tensions on the border grew, that it had reassigned all non-Ukrainian Latter-day Saint missionaries to different nations. Some who had been close to the top of their assignments returned house. Others now are serving in Germany, Croatia, Poland, Sweden, Spain, Canada and in a number of U.S. states, together with Alaska, Illinois, Washington and at Temple Sq. in Salt Lake Metropolis.

On Friday afternoon, a church spokesman confirmed that all the church’s non-Russian volunteers had left Russia greater than every week in the past.

“As of mid-February, roughly 50 younger volunteers have taken assignments outdoors of Russia, given the latest advice of many overseas governments advising in opposition to journey to Russia,” spokesman Sam Penrod mentioned. “Native church conferences and companies stay beneath the path of native members, who function lay leaders of their congregations. The message of peace, love and hope in our Savior Jesus Christ continues to be lived and practiced in strict observance of all authorized laws.”

In July 2016 Russia carried out an anti-terrorism legislation that included a provision banning public missionary work. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints instantly complied, redesignating its younger missionaries as volunteers and directing them to comply with the legislation’s provision that each one proselytizing happen in homes of worship.

The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake Metropolis and Catholic Group Companies additionally issued the next assertion:

“We be a part of with Pope Francis in his name for prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine and the safety of harmless lives. We encourage our authorities leaders to welcome any Ukrainian refugees displaced by these mindless acts of aggression and urge individuals to assist our Ukrainian brothers and sisters by donating to the efforts of Catholic Aid Companies, which is already serving individuals in want in Ukraine. Ought to the scenario escalate to the purpose of resettling Ukrainian refugees in the US, Catholic Group Companies of Utah’s Migration and Refugee Companies crew is keen to help.”

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