The following statement was printed in the Deseret News on May 30, 2009
Statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
Elder and Sister Russell M. Nelson were on a church assignment in Mozambique, where they were accompanied by Elder William W. and Sister Parmley of the Africa Southeast Area Presidency and President Blair J. and Sister Packard, mission president of the Mozambique Maputo Mission.
On Friday evening they were having dinner together in the mission president’s home when armed assailants entered the home and robbed them. We don’t have complete information yet, but we understand that Sister Packard’s arm was broken. In addition, she and others suffered some superficial injuries, mainly cuts and bruises.
Elder and Sister Nelson will continue their assignment over the weekend as planned. Local authorities are investigating the matter.
The Rest of the Story
A few days ago, I learned that Elder Nelson recently spoke at a regional conference in Utah county and related more details about the robbery. Elder Nelson spoke about angels and how they watch over us. Elder Nelson then applied his teachings about angels to what happened during the robbery. He said that when the robber held the gun to his head and pulled the trigger the gun didn’t discharge.
I would say this experience is an important part of church history. I decided to look into it further and contacted someone who is close to Elder Nelson and they verified the account.
Update: In Elder Nelson newest book, Accomplishing the Impossible, on page 25, he provides more details about what happened at the mission home.
He begins his account with the following scripture. “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up (3 Nephi 28:30).
“My wife Wendy and I are the beneficiaries of that promise. On one occasion, we were attacked by armed men with malicious intent. They announced their purpose: to kidnap her, and to kill me. After they maliciously molested us in those evil objectives, they became totally foiled. A gun to my head failed to fire. And my wife was suddenly released from their hideous grasp. Then they disappeared as quickly as they had appeared.”