In Winter, the brown earth appears lifeless, dead. The vibrant colors of last year’s tulip blossoms are a faded memory, and next year’s flowering is a matter of faith. For now, the bulbs are sleeping, buried in the cold ground.
In spring, the warm sun gently coaxes the green growth back to the surface. Blossoms burst forth again. Fields are awash with life and color.
Spring flowers are traditional symbols of birth, life, and resurrection. At Easter time, Latter-day Saint youth in The Hague Netherlands Stake are surrounded by tulips, daffodils, and crocuses. The blossoms are magnificent reminders that life does not end with the temporary separation we call death—and that all will live again because of the glorious resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
These young Dutch Saints are proud of their land and its beauty. And although they are faced with many worldly challenges, the beauty of the gospel is mirrored in their lives and faces.
What helps them stay strong? Their first answer is usually seminary. Other responses include prayer, scriptures, parents and family, patriarchal blessings, Young Men and Young Women activities, service projects, youth conferences, trips to the temple (in Germany), and working with the full-time missionaries. According to Jan Prins, below, the Latter-day Saint youth stick together and strengthen one another.
You won’t find many traditional wooden shoes being worn in the Netherlands these days, except by field workers. But many windmills—old picturesque ones and new high-tech ones—are still hard at work. The windmills pump water from land that is below sea level, canals carry the water out to the sea, and dikes hold the sea back. Through this method, the Dutch have claimed much land from the sea—turning it into useable, productive farmland.
In a similar way, when people fully embrace the gospel and turn their lives over to the Lord, they are reclaimed—transformed through his infinite power, mercy, and grace.