Elder Jeffrey R Holland visits Europe
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland – a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ second-highest presiding body – recently paid a visit to several European countries. His visit began on Saturday, Feb. 23 in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, where he spoke at a meeting of several congregations in the Apeldoorn area. According to Lisette Dalliga, a member of the Church’s congregation in nearby Zwolle, Elder Holland spoke to the members about the importance of spreading the Church’s beliefs and referred to the Church’s recent creation of 58 new missions across the world.
“Elder Holland stressed the fact that Christ’s work does not take place in church buildings, but just the opposite,” Dalliga said. “Christ spoke to the people on the streets, on the market square and along the shore of the lake. Everyone needs the gospel (and) we should reach out our hands to them.” Dalliga said those in attendance during Elder Holland’s address enjoyed the messages of love and inspiration that he shared.
He spent time in England on Feb. 25-26, during which he spoke to missionaries at the Church’s Missionary Training Center, met with several members of Parliament and participated in an interfaith dinner and outreach focus group. Elder Clifford Herbertson, a church leader from Great Britain, expressed: “An important part of Elder Holland's visit to London was to meet with a number of influential political, faith and community leaders. One particular event, a private dinner held in the BYU London Centre, created tangible goodwill and understanding that was recognised and appreciated by all those that attended. Doors were opened during Elder Holland's visit that will greatly bless the lives of many.”
Elder Holland also visited London’s Hyde Park Chapel, which was recently remodeled to function as a church meetinghouse and a visitors’ center for those interested in learning about the LDS Church. The building was rededicated on June 30, 2012. Visiting the Hyde Park Chapel was particularly special for him, as he completed a two-year Mormon mission in Britain during the early 1960s. “It is a wonderful memory just to be in this building. … I was in this building when it was dedicated, so my memories in this building and in this mission mean everything to me,” Elder Holland said during his visit. “I go all over this world telling missionaries how much my mission meant to me, and to be home, to be in the land of my mission and in the building where I served so much of it is a very, very special experience.”
He spent several days in Germany, where he instructed mission presidents during a seminar in Frankfurt on Feb. 28-March 1. He spoke to members of the Church in Berlin on March 2, and also participated in an outreach focus group. Elder Holland concluded his time in Germany by speaking to members of the Church from the Leest and Potsdam congregations during Sunday meetings on March 3. He said he thought he was the first member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to visit those congregations and that he felt like home.
He spoke about the congregations’ importance in the LDS Church’s work, including bolstering missionary numbers and building temples across the world and assured the members that all the work they do is important. Vivienne Meier, a member of the Potsdam congregation, said she was grateful for Elder Holland’s visit to her congregation.
“I was very surprised when I heard he was coming, but very happy, too,” Meier said. “His message just really touched my heart. … We were all just in a different dimension hearing him speak. We all felt so good and so happy.”
Elder José Teixeira, President of the church in the Europe Area, said having Elder Holland in Europe was a special experience for all involved. “As we traveled throughout Europe with Elder and Sister Holland, we saw the goodness of an Apostle of the Lord,” Elder Teixeira said. “The members of the Leest and Potsdam branches in Germany, in particular, will never forget the blessing it was to have Elder Holland in their midst and the blessings and love he left with them.”