in Every Land

Housewife in a Foreign War Zone

Presented by Kate Holbrook

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The focus of the lecture is the life and service of Carol Gray. Gray, a housewife, mother of seven, and Relief Society president in the Sheffield England 2nd Ward, found a vocation in international aid while watching television. “News coverage of civil war in former Yugoslavia depicted extreme suffering and devastation; she wept as she watched. She also prayed and began to organize relief supplies,” explains Holbrook.

By November 1992, her 20-year-old daughter, Sammy, had joined her mission. They distributed relief supplies to frontline crisis areas in Croatia and Bosnia, a trip Gray would repeat dozens of times in the following decade. The visits gave her added purpose and determination to extend the love of Christ to her suffering brothers and sisters. Through her experiences, she discovered that “her expression of love was as essential to the people she served as were physical supplies. She willingly risked injury, disease, and discomfiture to deliver that priceless commodity.”

Kate Holbrook writes, studies, and interprets history full-time. She holds a master’s degree in world religions from Harvard Divinity School and a PhD in religion and society from Boston University. She was voted Harvard College’s teaching fellow of the year for her work in a course that enrolled nearly six hundred students. She later coedited Global Values 101: A Short Course, based on that class. Holbrook’s published work includes journal articles and chapters in edited volumes for university presses such as Oxford and Columbia. Two of her most recent books will be published next spring: The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History and Women and Mormonism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, both of which she coedited.

This free lecture is part of the 2015 Pioneers in Every Land Lecture Series sponsored by the Church History Library. Lectures are held the second Thursday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square, 50 North West Temple Street. Limited free parking is provided at the Conference Center for those attending this event. Parking may fill quickly and is not guaranteed. As an alternative to parking downtown, please use the UTA transit system.

For those who cannot attend, this lecture will be made available on a few weeks after it is given. All lectures from past years are also available on this site. For more information or to download a brochure listing all of this year’s lectures, please visit the 2015 Lecture Series web page, or call 1-801-240-2272.

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