Last week, President M. Russell Ballard, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, and Elder Quentin L. Cook visited the British Isles on a special ministry assignment.
“I love this great land,” President Ballard said at a special stake conference broadcast to members in the UK and Ireland, reports Newsroom. “I love you, sons and daughters of God, who follow and love the Lord in the great land of England and Ireland and Scotland and Wales—the British Isles. Cherish the gospel and give it away by helping others understand the gospel message.”
The senior Church leaders addressed Saints in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. They also met with full-time missionaries serving throughout England, missionaries in the Scotland-Ireland mission, and young single adults.
“The great days of the United Kingdom are still ahead of us,” Elder Holland said. “We don’t look to the past to say, ‘Oh, only if it were yesterday.‘ The great, great days of this island are still ahead of us in the gospel.”
Toward the end of their trip, all three men took to their social media pages to share emotion-filled stories and testimonies as they’ve visited the land where they served missions as young men. It was here that they had so many powerful witnesses to the truth of the gospel and where their spiritual roots began to deepen.
President Ballard visited Nottingham, England, where he spent a significant portion of his time as a young missionary, and the Trent River where he received a confirmation of his testimony early on in his mission. He remarked:,
“I knew that the Lord was aware of me, and I received a spiritual witness that I was on His errand.
“As I testify of the Savior now at age 93, that testimony has its roots in my experience at the Trent River. As followers of Christ, our testimonies of Him and His divine mission will be strengthened bit by bit each day as we commit to follow Him and live His gospel.”
Elder Holland and Elder Cook, who served as missionary companions in England, visited the River Ribble together. Elder Cook said of the experience:
“It was on a January day in 1961 when our mission gathered along the banks of the River Ribble for a testimony meeting that I first met Elder Holland.
“Today—60 years later—Elder Holland and I reflected on our missionary service and the time we served together as missionary companions. What a joy it has been to spend much of my life sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. I cannot think of anything more important.”
Elder Holland said, “It is especially wonderful to be here with Elder Quentin L. Cook, who was one of my missionary companions decades ago. ... For each of us, time has only increased our missionary zeal and the gratitude we possess to share the message of the Savior’s gospel to all of God’s children.”
See each of their Facebook posts below.