VIDEO: How I #HearHim | Elder Neil L. Andersen

Neil L. Andersen and Pelé | In memoriam


Nearly 20 years ago, while serving in the Area Presidency in Brazil, I had the privilege of having lunch with Pelé in a restaurant in São Paulo, Brazil. We spoke of things that matter eternally.
We spoke of our Heavenly Father and of the gifts we receive from heaven. He acknowledged that his athletic ability was a special gift that had come to him. We agreed that we should use our gifts from God to bless the lives of others.

He was aware of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and knew Church members. He spoke of his respect for the important service of the Church of Jesus Christ. We also shared a copy of the Book of Mormon with him.
He loved his children very much and spoke of the joy of watching them grow and develop. I shared as a gift with Pelé this small statue of a family together. We spoke of the eternal foundation of families and the important role of fathers and mothers.

Pelé was very warm and kind. He signed jerseys for my sons and expressed his appreciation for the conversation we shared.

It was an honor for me to spend two hours with someone who had brought so much happiness to millions as they watched him play the game they loved. We spoke little about his football ability or history, but of course it followed him wherever he was.

He now has moved through the veil where football will mean very little. Our lives will be measured by our faith in the Savior, our willingness to follow Him, and the love and goodness we have shared with our family and those who encircle us.

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