Hindus have welcomed the announcement today of Dr. Russell M. Nelson, 93, internationally renowned surgeon and medical researcher, as the 17th president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), also known as Mormon Church.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that they hoped that under Dr. Nelson’s stewardship, LDS would continue and expand its efforts at interfaith outreach, promoting religious liberty, partnering with other faiths on universal values and issues of common interest aimed at improving the human condition; and fostering relationships, promoting tolerance and mutual respect, and building trust with other religions/denominations despite doctrinal differences.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that they also hoped that under Dr. Nelson’s leadership, LDS would continue and expand its relief and development projects for humanitarian purposes worldwide, including emergency response to natural disasters or man-made disasters, alleviating disease, helping people become more self-reliant, clean water projects, etc.
Formally organized in upstate New York in 1830, LDS, now headquartered in Salt Lake City (Utah, USA), has nearly 16 million members and 30,304 congregations worldwide. Nelson, who was president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of LDS, succeeds Thomas S. Monson, who passed away on January 2.