President Russell M. Nelson of the First Presidency penned an opinion article that was featured in an Arizona newspaper on Feb. 10.
According to the Church’s newsroom, the Arizona Republic asked President Nelson to write an op-ed piece in preparation for his devotional, which was held at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, for an estimated audience of 68,000.
“If there is anything I’ve learned in my 94 years of living, it is that a life with God is far better — more filled with hope — than one without Him. Faith in God is, and has always been, the pre-eminent force for good in this world. It is the most enduring source of peace for minds and hearts,” President Nelson wrote in the Arizona Republic.
He uses his experience of visiting Paradise, California, with his wife, Wendy, after the devastation left behind by the Camp Fire. In his article, President Nelson says just 40 hours prior to the trip, tragedy struck their own lives as their daughter passed away after a long, difficult and “courageous” battle with cancer.
In his article, President Nelson reflects upon the tragedy of both the fire and death of his daughter and how his faith in God and Jesus Christ has gotten him through the most difficult times.
“But the most profound thing I’ve witnessed is the unrivaled difference that belief in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, has in a person’s life. There is simply nothing to compare with the refining, ennobling strength and meaning that come into the life of a devoted believer and servant,” President Nelson said in the article.
This is not the first time a president and prophet of the Church has been asked by a major publication to submit writings. In March 1842, President Joseph Smith published 13 Articles of Faith in the Church’s Times and Seasons newspaper. According to the Church, this was in response to a request from John Wentworth of the Chicago Democrat. In this letter, President Smith wrote a list of statements about what members of the Church believed.