SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — President Russell M. Nelson, the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has donated his medical journals and research to the University of Utah School of Medicine, according to a press release.
President Nelson donated 35 volumes of medical journals and research which includes reports on more than 7,000 surgeries to the University of Utah in a meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 31.
President Nelson called the meeting a “historic point in [his] life.”
The meeting was attended by Church leaders and representatives of the University of Utah. Katie Eccles, of the university’s board of trustees, said that these records can be used to further medical research.
“They will be there to motivate new pioneering efforts in cardiology and, perhaps most importantly, to inspire young physicians for generations to come to use their gifts and talents as you did to improve the human condition,” Eccles said.
The records include surgical reports, Nelson’s scientific publications, a master patient index, and his Ph.D. thesis, according to the press release. The records were provided both physically and digitally to the university.
“As we appropriately allow individuals to study your records, they will see how you were inspired and [will] remember that you were not only a great healer of people but you’ve been a great healer of souls,” University of Utah President Randall said. “And [they will read] that you felt inspiration the entire time that you were performing your profession, which I think the world in general is in great need of.”
Nelson worked as a world-renowned heart surgeon prior to becoming a member of the Quorum of Apostles for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1984.
He is best known for contributing to the development of a heart-lung machine that later allowed him to perform Utah’s first open-heart surgery in November 1955.
President Nelson attended the University of Utah School of Medicine in 1944 and later served as the university’s director of Thoracic Surgery Residency for 17 years.
“I am deeply grateful for the important role the University of Utah played in my education and surgical career,” the Church leader said. “Wendy and I are pleased to donate these valuable records to the University of Utah. Thank you for accepting these tangible tracts of my surgical career.”
For more information, read the Church’s news release.