A glorious day in Moscow. We visited the Kremlin and stood in the Aleksandr Gardens where on August 9, 1903, Elder Francis M. Lyman of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles offered a prayer of dedication. Joseph J. Cannon recorded: “He prayed that the other peoples of this country, in whose veins the blood of Israel flows generously, might accept the truth, that Ephraim and Judah might thus become reconciled. He besought the Lord to touch the hearts of the Gentiles that they might be grafted into the true olive tree, that their branches might become fruitful. He called upon the Lord to bless this great empire, in many respects greatest in the world, and endow its rulers with wisdom and virtue, that there may be peace and progress here, that darkness may flee and the voices of His servants may sound the glad tidings to the uttermost parts of this great land.”
An incredible spirit filled our souls as we were taught by James Miller [with glasses] and Matthew Heiss [back turned], our supervisors in the Church History Department in Salt Lake City, who are visiting to continue our training and instruction. Dimitry and Svetlana Marchenko also accompanied us. The Marchenko's have been called to serve as the Europe East Area Church History Advisors. They are two of the earliest members of the church in Russia. Svetlana was baptized in 1991, just one year after the church was established in Moscow. Dimitry joined in 1992.
We believe this to be the exact spot where the prayer was offered. Seventy-five yards from the Trinity Tower. Just pinch me now. We are in Russia.
On 25 June 1991, Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve offered a second prayer of rededication for Russia near the Water Conveyance Tower of the Moscow Kremlin. He prayed: “Wilt Thou cause the light of Thy gospel to reach the hearts and the souls of the people of this republic and of this great union. Wilt Thou thwart the efforts of the adversary who would make it difficult for Thy work to prosper.” Elder Nelson was accompanied by Dallin H. Oaks and Hans B. Ringger.
Oh, and by the way, these gardens are breathtakingly beautiful.