News Release

Elder Gary B Sabin Addresses Diplomats in London

by Elder Mark Dransfield - Church Communication Department


Elder Gary B Sabin of the Europe Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stood before Ambassadors, High Commissioners and senior diplomats gathered from 17 Latin American and Caribbean countries to hear him speak on Latter-day Saint Charities. The event featured a brief reception followed by a luncheon at the London BYU Centre. His Excellency Ivan Romero, the Ambassador of Honduras, Dean of the Latin American Countries, and host of the event, started the meeting by welcoming his peers. “I want everyone in this room to understand that Latter-day Saint Charities is actively engaged in each of our countries to bring relief to the poor and the needy.” Then looking to Elder Sabin he said, “Elder Sabin, on behalf of my country and on behalf of all those gathered here today, we want to sincerely thank you for all your Church does.” Support for the event was also provided by High Commissioner Dr Kevin Isaac, Chairman of CARICOM [Caribbean Community] for London.


Elder Sabin helped the audience understand that handouts are not sustainable, and that when humanitarian aid is administered properly, it can promote dignity and self-reliance. He gave personal examples of his and Sister Sabin’s work in India in the leper colonies, where, for example, those lepers who had received treatment, in turn provided assistance to other lepers. He talked about how micro loans help unemployed people create incomes. 

Elder Sabin quoted several scriptures, including Psalm 82, “Defend the poor and the fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.” He then continued to explain that “We are all the children of Heavenly Parents. We are all brothers and sisters.”

In his remarks, Elder Sabin also quoted government and ecclesiastical leader Ezra Taft Benson, “The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mould men by changing their environment. Christ changes men who then change their environment. The world would shape human behaviour, but Christ can change human nature.” 


Elder Sabin concluded by saying, “This improves society’s productivity, raises the standard of living and the quality of life, lowers the crime rate, increases education and makes better and more prosperous citizens.”

This luncheon and other diplomatic receptions are hosted by Elder and Sister Dransfield from the Church Communication Department in London as part of the Church’s Ambassador Outreach Programme. By building friendships with Ambassadors and High Commissioners, the Church has been able to create important relationships with the nations of the world. This is the case with the Latin American and Caribbean Nations.

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