Saturday, March 4, 2017

Face to Face with Elder Holland

The church scheduled a world-wide broadcast for youth originating at the Joseph Smith Farm Visitor Center on March 4th featuring President Eyring and Elder Holland.

They arrived on Friday, spent some time at the sites, conducted a fireside meeting for the Palmyra Stake (we are assigned to Batavia Branch in the Rochester Stake), and inserted our missionaries into their schedule Saturday morning before the program Saturday afternoon.

Unfortunately, President Eyring had a bout with pneumonia the previous weekend and needed to conserve his strength by resting Saturday morning and was not with us.  We learned subsequently that a snow plow cleared the driveway of the house he was staying in at 5:30 am and he was not able to go back to sleep.  He remarked he worked very hard to forgive the plow driver.  

However, our missionaries were richly blessed by the visit from Elder Holland.  He arrived at 9:30 am and we were all situated for a group picture with him as soon as he arrived. (pictures by individuals were not allowed)  We then filed out to the sanctuary and shook hands with him as we exited the cultural hall.  We were instructed to only state our name and home town so it went very quickly.  

During his remarks, Elder Holland said that this was in effect a missionary interview. As he looked into each missionaries' eyes, he could discern if the missionary was struggling or on track.  Fortunately, he said that only a few were struggling. 

In his remarks,  I was most impressed that he is a master teacher.  Since we almost always see the general authorities making their formal presentations at conferences,  we seldom think of them as quick witted, engaging, interactive, humorous, or animated.  Elder Holland was all of these.  He made a wonderful explanation that the Book of Mormon is a revelation about revelation.  He used the first 14 pages of 1 Nephi to show that it is a pattern for all the subsequent revelation through prophets. 

I was proud of our missionaries who displayed great spiritual depth from their study, pondering, and prayer in preparation for the meeting.  

Elder Holland was scheduled to leave at 10:30, but stayed with us until 10:45 in spite of needing to go and prepare for a broadcast to 500,000 young saints.  Such is his concern for the missionaries serving the Lord. 

One of our talented missionaries, Sister Croft, was part of the special music for our meeting and the subsequent Face to Face broadcast with her violin.  

After our meeting, we stayed at the office and watched the broadcast with the Spencers and Jefferies. 

Needless to say, this day was the highlight of the mission thus far. 

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