Elder Orson Hyde visited Jewish communities in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and The Hague in 1841, but it was not until 1861 that Elders Anne W. van der Woude and Paul A. Schettler baptized the first converts in the Netherlands. A few branches were established, but many early converts immigrated to the western United States to build up Latter-day Saint communities there and to escape persecution. Some Dutch Saints returned to the Netherlands to preach the restored gospel. In 1890 the Book of Mormon was published in Dutch, leading to unprecedented growth for the Church in the country.
In a 1907 Christmas greeting to the Saints in the Netherlands, the First Presidency encouraged members and converts to stay and build up the Church in the Netherlands. During both world wars, members continued to preach the gospel to their friends and neighbors, despite limited contact with the Church headquarters. Dutch Saints worked to turn wartime tribulation to “the furtherance of the gospel” (Philippians 1:12), and several future Church leaders were converted in a German prisoner-of-war camp.
After the war, Saints in the Netherlands modeled Christlike love and forgiveness when they sent their welfare crops to starving members in Germany. In 1961 the Holland Stake, the first in continental Europe, was organized in Rotterdam. Over the years, Dutch Saints have served their communities and neighboring countries. In 2002 The Hague Netherlands Temple was dedicated.
Official Name: Netherlands/Nederland
Largest City: Amsterdam
Official Languages: Dutch
Land Area: 41,543 km2 (16,040 mi2)
Church Area: Europe
Missions: 1 (Part of the Belgium Brussels/Netherlands Mission)
Temples: 1 (The Hague)