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Elder Holland reflects on life in Chile   Leave a comment

Latter-Day Apostle encourages members to pray for earthquake victims’ comfort
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve was on a Churchassignment in the African nation of Ghana when he received word of thehistory-making earthquake that sent a portion of Chile into a literalupheaval on Feb. 27.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

He presided over the Church’s Chile Area from August 15, 2002-August 15,2004, and lived in Santiago. He said that in addition to “the wonderfulmembers of the Church in that country,” he met many other Chileans, many ofwhom hold a tender spot in his heart and with whom he has remained friends.

“I got the first indication of the earthquake on CNN and then receivede-mails on my iPhone,” he said in a conversation with the Church News onMarch 3. “I was greatly alarmed. Virtually every community they mentionedwas a community I knew and had been in. It made me think of our people, ourchapels, our missionaries, our friends. I could see faces and think ofnames all over the land, so it was a very emotional thing for me notknowing how they were all doing.

“Fortunately, as the facts have come in, we see many miracles andblessings that have been evident. At this point we know of only one memberwho lost his life. Any loss is tragic, but such a terrible earthquake couldhave been so much worse. So we have mixed emotions. We are grateful that itis no worse than it was, but sad for what it’s done to so many Chileanpeople in terms of death, displacement, fear and despair.”

He said that he has spoken with members of the area presidency inSantiago and with Santiago Chile Temple President Ted Lyon, the latter ofwhom told him that the temple is in operation.

Elder Holland said he had spoken with personal friends in Chile,including one man who is not a member of the Church.

“He is a very distinguished public figure in Chile,” Elder Holland said.”His family was on holiday when the tsunami hit their beach house. His sonand their two oldest children were strong enough to withstand the force,but his daughter-in-law and their two youngest grandchildren were washedout to sea. They found the mother still alive on a small island but, tothis point, they have not found the bodies of the two little children, ages4 and 2. A story like that makes it immensely personal when you knowsomeone who has suffered such a terrible personal loss during the disaster.We know that family so well; they are dear friends.”

Elder Holland said he felt helpless, being in Ghana while hearing of thesuffering in Chile.

“When we feel so limited in terms of things we’d like to do but can’t,it is a wonderful thing to know that we can all pray, we can call downangels and plead for spiritual comfort to descend upon those grieving. Evenfor those who have sustained terrible loss the Spirit can bring peace,tranquility, a hope for the future. Surely it is times like these that makethe gospel so very, very important to everyone.

“I can’t go to Santiago or Concepcion and do anything personally. But Ican help with what the Church does through my fast offerings and my faith.I can pray and I can love the people from afar. With heaven’s help we canalways convey that we care about members and non-members all over the worldand that they’re in our prayers always.”

(Wisdom From Elder Jeffrey Holland)

Paul put it candidly, but very hopefully. He said to all of us:

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but [only] that which is good . . . [and] edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God. . . .

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you. . .

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Ephesians 4:29–32

Posted March 5, 2010 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Chile, Earthquake