With the Persian Jews facing extermination, Queen Esther’s uncle turned to her for help. He explained: “Who knoweth whether thou art come to the [Persian] kingdom for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14)
Example: Prophetic Preparation of Brigham Young
One prime example of prophetic preparation is Brigham Young. He was co-leaderof the 200 men on the 1,000-mile Zion’s Camp march. With Joseph Smith in jail, Brother Brigham led the evacuation of the saints from Missouri to Nauvoo. Next, President Young led the flight of the saints from Nauvoo, and the trek across Iowa. This prepared President Brigham Young for his most challenging task of all, successfully leading 60,000 saints to the Salt Lake Valley. Indeed, the Lord prepared President Brigham Young “for such a time as this.”
Example: Prophetic Preparation of Gordon B. Hinckley
Another example is Gordon B. Hinckley. While serving his mission in England he was assigned to handle media relations for the church. He met with some of the leading media moguls of the time. Afterward, he had a career in media relations and multi-media production. This prepared him to lead the church during the media age. He excelled in his public appearances, like the memorable “60-Minutes” interview. The Lord prepared President Gordon B. Hinckley “for such a time as this.”
Prophetic Preparation of Russell M. Nelson
Likewise, the Lord has prepared President Russell M. Nelson.
In 1978, President Spencer W. Kimball asked LDS Church leaders to “pray for the people of China” and “start learning Mandarin.” Most people ignored the counsel. However, Doctor Russell M. Nelson took it to heart. He immediately hired a Mandarin interpreter, and he learned to converse in Mandarin.
Years later, Dr. Nelson attended a lecture by a Chinese heart surgeon who spoke on the benefits of acupuncture. Afterward, Dr. Nelson and the Chinese doctor chatted. The Chinese expert was impressed that Dr. Nelson knew Mandarin.
Creating Lasting Connections with Chinese
This was the beginning of a decades-long association with the People’s Republic of China. Dr. Nelson, a professor of heart surgery at the University of Utah, often traveled to China to train doctors in heart surgery. A world-renewed heart surgeon, he was formally invited to become a visiting professor of surgery at a university medical school in China. He forged many lasting friendships and developed a special connection with the Chinese people and leaders.
2020 Humanitarian Aid to Shanghai
Before 2020, the relations between China and the USA were strained. Upon hearing of the Chinese coronavirus epidemic, President Nelson made contact with his medical colleagues in Shanghai. He asked, “How can the LDS Church help?”
In January 2020, the LDS Church shipped 79 pallets of medical equipment to the Children’s Medical Center in Shanghai. It included 220,000 respirator masks, 900 pairs of protective gloves, and more than 6,5000 pairs of protective coveralls.
LDS Church Honors the Law of China
Over the years, the LDS Church has been very careful to be transparent and honor the laws of the land in China.
“In every country, this church teaches its members to honor, obey and sustain the law. We teach the importance of the family, of being good parents and exemplary citizens. Because we respect the laws and regulations of the People’s Republic of China, the church does not send proselyting missionaries there; nor will we do so now.” The church has continued to abide by the Chinese regulations that require expatriate and local congregations to meet separately.
Announcement of the Shanghai China Temple
With this background, it is not too surprising that Doctor Prophet Russell M. Nelson announced in the April 2020 general conference the plans for the Shanghai Temple.
Pandemic and the Prophet Doctor
In 2020, the Chinese epidemic became a worldwide pandemic. Who better to lead the church through this trying time than a Prophet Doctor. He has the medical and spiritual background to make wise and inspired decisions. He can offer sincere, comforting, and true hope.
Clearly, the Lord prepared President Russell M. Nelson “for such a time as this.”
(“President Nelson Sends Protective Equipment to China,” Church News, Jan. 31, 2020; “President Nelson Facilitates Donation to China to Aid with Coronavirus,” Deseret News, Jan. 29, 2020; “President Nelson: Church Sending Aid to China,” KSL News Radio, Jan. 29, 2020; “President Nelson Announces 8 New Temples,” Deseret News, Apr. 5, 2020; “President Nelson Shares Message of Hope During COVID-19 Outbreak,” Rexburg Standard Journal, Mar. 14, 2020)