News Release

Elder Holland Speaks to Argentine Congress, Meets With Country’s Jewish Leaders

“What strengthens the family strengthens society,” Elder Holland says

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke to members of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies in Argentina May 31, 2018, on how to strengthen families and communities in Argentina. The visit was a part of a six-day trip (May 26 to May 31) that included stops in Argentina and Uruguay.


“I am here to offer a faith-based perspective on one of the most pressing needs in society — the strengthening of families, the foundation stone of civilization,” Elder Holland told the group of government leaders. “As families go, so go neighborhoods, communities and nations. So what strengthens the family strengthens society, and what weakens family weakens it.”

Elder Holland encouraged the congress to create policies that strengthen families, with a special focus on laying a firm foundation for youth.

“The evidence is clear: a solid foundation in children’s early years sets them up for success in school and beyond, paving the way for higher test scores, fewer behavioral problems, better job opportunities and greater income,” he said. “High-quality care for the child and early education that intentionally foster healthy growth and development are essential to these formative years.”

Elder Holland also introduced the group to the Church’s landmark document “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”

The day before, Elder Holland met with many Jewish leaders in Buenos Aires — a group representing roughly 80 percent of the Jewish community in the country. It was the first formal outreach between the two faiths in Argentina.

“I have been the Church’s principle contact with the Jewish community for just over 40 years, and it has been one of the sweetest associations in my life,” Elder Holland told the group. “We feel we have special compassion for the persecution your people have suffered, for we too have a history of religious persecution.”

Noting his recent visit to Jerusalem with President Russell M. Nelson, Elder Holland added that “we pray for the preservation of the Jewish people and for their peaceful association with all who dwell in what is truly the Holy Land.”

Read more about the Church’s interfaith efforts.

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