News Release

Elder Jeffrey R Holland visits Edinburgh during Church’s Scottish Anniversary Year

Elder Jeffrey R Holland, from the worldwide Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), traveled to Edinburgh (Sat 6 Jun and Sun 7 Jun) for a visit with local Church members and missionaries that coincided with the 175th Anniversary of the Church’s first baptisms in Scotland.  Elder Holland paid tribute to the Christian faith of thousands of early pioneers who joined the Church in Scotland and their legacy to the Church’s modern-day Scottish membership.

In 1840, Elder Orson Pratt – an early apostle – dedicated Scotland for the preaching of the gospel, with dramatic results.  Over the twenty years that followed, more than 10,000 Scots joined the Church.

During a Sunday address broadcast live across 56 stakes [dioceses] throughout Northern Europe, Elder Holland spoke of his faith in the scriptures and the spiritual conviction that kindled within him while serving as a missionary in Britain:

“The spiritual experiences and holy affirmations I have had regarding the Saviour and His restored church first came to me as a young man on a mission here in the United Kingdom when I read the Book of Mormon.”

He continued: “The Book of Mormon stands preeminent in my intellectual and spiritual life, the classic of all classics, a reaffirmation of the Holy Bible, a voice from the dust, a witness for Christ, the word of the Lord unto salvation.”

Those attending the Sunday broadcast spoke enthusiastically about the gathering in Edinburgh:

“A sign of a good meeting is to leave better than when you arrived – I’m leaving feeling enthusiastically renewed.”  (Penny Casey from Dalkeith)

“It was truly special to have an apostle of the Lord in Scotland bearing his testimony so strongly of the Saviour Jesus Christ, His gospel and the importance of the Book of Mormon…I plan to share this experience with my friend.”  (Simon Beveridge from Edinburgh)

One well-known early missionary preaching in Scotland during the 1890’s was David O McKay who later became President of the Church.  He was once feeling homesick on his mission and said that while walking around he saw an inscription chiselled in an arch – ‘What E'er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part’ – which buoyed him up.  The words are now found on an inscription in the grounds of the Church’s mission headquarters in Edinburgh.

Elder Holland lived in the United Kingdom from 1990-1993 when serving as President of the Church’s Europe North Area.  He was ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1994. At the time of this call, Elder Holland was a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, to which he had been called in 1989.  From 1980 until his call as a worldwide church leader in 1989, Jeffrey R Holland served as the ninth president of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, USA. He is a former Church commissioner of education.

There are over 26,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Scotland within the UK’s total membership of 186,000.

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