SALT LAKE CITY — President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has sent a personal note of sympathy to Pope Francis after the Notre Dame Cathedral fire.
President Nelson said he was heartbroken by the damage to the 800-year-old church and that he prays it will rise again in "newness of life," according to a news release.
A tweet about the letter was posted on President Nelson's Twitter account.
"Upon learning of the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral," the tweet said, "I wrote @Pontifex Pope Francis to express that Latter-day Saints are remembering our Catholic brothers and sisters. We pray that Notre Dame will rise again in newness of life."
President Nelson and Pope Francis met for the first time last month at the Vatican, and in his letter, President Nelson said he immediately thought of his new acquaintance when he saw news of the fire.
The church’s Europe Area Presidency has also expressed its sympathy to the archbishop of Paris. Elder Paul V. Johnson, Elder Gary B. Sabin and Elder Massimo De Feo told Archbishop Michel Aupetit that they hope Notre Dame will be restored as a symbol of faith for the people of France and the entire Christian world.
Additionally, other Latter-day Saint church leaders sent a letter to Bishop Oscar A. Solis, the leader of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City. In the letter, President Ballard and Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, along with Elder Craig C. Christensen of the church’s Utah Area Presidency, expressed to Bishop Solis their deep sadness at the damage done to Notre Dame.
The church's Europe Area Presidency released the following statement in French on Facebook.
"With the image of flames ravaging the Our Lady of Paris Cathedral fresh in our minds, we share the sadness of our Catholic brothers and sisters, even the whole Christian world, as well as all who see in this magnificent building the greatness of God and what is best in the hearts and hands of all who believe in him and in his son Jesus Christ.4 comments on this story
"What a symbol the week before Easter to see this cathedral 'die' and to know that it will 'revive' thanks to the gifts of all people of good will. But what a blessing to know that by the greatest gift that was made by the Son of God, who accepted to die and take upon himself the sins of the world and through his resurrection each of God's children, who we all are, will also be resurrected
"May this tragic event be for each of us an opportunity to reflect on the profound significance of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and to see in the more or less tragic occasions of our life an opportunity to revive and to turn to the one who gave us life, and even the promise of eternal life. We testify of the resurrection of Christ. He lives and through him death is conquered, we pray that the world will be filled with this hope."
The Deseret News will update this story.