President Nelson’s Visit to the Holy Land Is “Significant,” Says Elder Holland

  • 16 April 2018

President Russell M. Nelson and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles look out at Jerusalem from the BYU Jerusalem Center. The visit is the second stop on their global ministry tour.

Jerusalem was President Nelson’s second destination on his worldwide tour to cities in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Hawaiian Islands. The tour began in London, England, on Thursday, April 12. (See related story.)

Due to concerns pertaining to tension in the region and available airspace following the air strikes on Syria by the US, UK, and France on April 14, the Church leaders left Jerusalem ahead of schedule and are now commencing the Africa portion of their trip.

President Nelson is traveling with his wife, Sister Wendy W. Nelson, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Patricia Holland. This is Pesident Nelson’s first official trip outside of the United States since he was named the Church’s 17th prophet in January.

President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Wendy, greet Latter-day Saints at the BYU Jerusalem Center April 14, 2018.

Elder Holland was instrumental in the establishment of the Jerusalem Center when he was president of Brigham Young University. He spoke Saturday of the tremendous symbolic importance of President Nelson’s presence at the center and in a city with such significant biblical heritage.

President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Wendy, along with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and his wife, Patricia, prepare to depart the BYU Jerusalem Center following a district conference held April 14, 2018.

“This is a legendary land,” Elder Holland said. “It’s a spine-tingling thrill for me to realize that I’m in the company of President Russell M. Nelson, a modern prophet in every sense that they were ancient prophets [in Jerusalem in biblical times] with the same authority and the same priesthood and teaching the same gospel.”

Elder Holland continued: “Our living testimony today is we have a living prophet this very hour on this soil standing in this land teaching that same doctrine. The significance of that for Latter-day Saints and for the world cannot be overstated. That’s at the heart of the thrill I feel today.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks at a Jerusalem district conference in the BYU Jerusalem Center on April 14, 2018. He and President Russell M. Nelson made the visit as part of their global ministry tour.

During their visit to the Holy Land, the senior Church leaders shared their feelings and witness of the Savior. “Gethsemane is a significant name because it means place of the oil press,” President Nelson said. “On the Mount of Olives, olives were brought to be pressed for their precious oil, so symbolically, under the weight of the sins of all mankind, Jesus was pressed. He sweat drops of blood, His precious oil, as our Redeemer, our Savior. So Gethsemane is very important. It’s where the agony of the Atonement began,” he continued.

Global Ministry Tour

The global ministry tour runs April 10–23, 2018. Next, President Nelson will participate in a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, that will be broadcast to all members in that African country. Other destinations include Harare, Zimbabwe; Bengaluru, India; Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong, China; and Honolulu, Hawaii, United States.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland speaks in Jerusalem from the BYU Jerusalem Center April 14, 2018. The visit is the second stop on his and President Nelsons global ministry tour.

The view of the Dome of the Rock from the BYU Jerusalem Center on April 14, 2018.

President Russell M. Nelson speaks in Jerusalem from the BYU Jerusalem Center April 14, 2018. The visit is the second stop on his global ministry tour.

President Russell M. Nelson and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland at the BYU Jerusalem Center April 14, 2018. The visit is the second stop on his global ministry tour. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

President Russell M. Nelson at the BYU Jerusalem Center April 14, 2018. The visit is the second stop on his global ministry tour. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

President Russell M. Nelson talks with Kendall, Maren, and Reese Branson after the Jerusalem District Conference at the BYU Jerusalem Center in Jerusalem on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

President Russell M. Nelson peaks with Ella Bautista after the Jerusalem District Conference at the BYU Jerusalem Center in Jerusalem on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

President Russell M. Nelson greets attendees at a district conference held at the Brigham Young University Jerusalem Center, April 14, 2018.

The north side of the BYU Jerusalem Center. President Russell M. Nelson and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke to Latter-day Saints here April 14, 2018.