Elder Holland Shares One of the Most Incredible Missionary Stories of All-Time

elder holland

Elder Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke on June 27, the fourth day of the 2017 Seminar for New Mission Presidents being held at the Provo Utah Missionary Training Center. His topic was “the Divine Companionship.”

Elder Holland closed by relating a story — being careful to protect the privacy and anonymity of the participants — of a young man from southern Idaho. One night the young man stormed out of the house and set off to join an infamous motorcycle gang. He succeeded in that resolve and for 20 years became immersed in a culture “of temptations yielded to and degradations explored,” never contacting his parents, who feared that he was dead.

Eventually ending up in Southern California, he one day was sitting on the porch of a rented home when he saw two LDS missionaries making their way up the street.

“With a rush of memory and guilt, regret and rage, he despised the very sight of them,” Elder Holland recounted. “But he was safe, because he kept all visitors at bay by employing two Doberman Pinschers who viciously charged the gate every moment that anyone came near.”

The dogs startled the missionaries as they passed by and continued on, “our man on the porch laughing at the lovely little drama he had just witnessed, wishing only that the gate hadn’t restrained his two dogs.”

Then, the two elders stopped, looked at each other, conversed a little, “likely said a silent prayer,” then turned around and approached the gate.

“The Dobermans on cue charged the gate again, hit it, snarling, frothing, and then stopped in their tracks,” Elder Holland said. “They looked at the missionaries, dropped their heads, ambled back to the front steps and lay down.”

The man on the porch was speechless as the missionaries opened the gate, walked up the path and greeted him.

“One of the elders said, ‘Are you from this part of California?’

“The man said, ‘No. If you want to know, I’m from Pocatello, Idaho.’

“There was a pause. ‘That’s interesting,’ the elder said. ‘Do you know the [such-and-such] family in Pocatello?’

“With a stunned look, our biker paused, and then, in very measured words, said, ‘Yeah, I know them. They are my parents.’

Read the amazing conclusion of R. Scott Lloyd’s article posted on DeseretNews.com.


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  • Wow, some people would try to explain this away as coincidence. It seems to me, that would require far more faith than believing in the holy Spirit and giving the credit to God.

  • I always feel the holy spirit whenever I listen to or read articles of inspiration especially from our leaders of the church, thank you.

  • Such a beautiful story. It reminds me of another one. A senior couple put in their papers to serve a mission, but they wanted a visitor’s center or temple. Proselyting scared them. When the call came, it was a proselyting mission, and they considered not accepting it, but they did. It was to Tallahassee, FL. They settled in their RV in a park; the day came when they knew they had to start knocking on doors. They were frightened, but they prayed, selected a trailer across from theirs, and knocked on the door. Their own son, estranged from the family for 17 years, answered it. Tears were shed, and they healed their wounds. What if they had not accepted that call? Yes, the Lord directs this church.

  • As a sister missionary, I had some miraculous experiences happen. You’d almost not believe it unless you were there. This could absolutely happen, Jeremy.

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