Transcript for Andrew Jenson, "Netherlands Mission," Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City: Deseret News Publishing Co., 1941, pages 569-71

NETHERLANDS MISSION (The) consists of the Latter-day Saints residing in the Netherlands, also called Holland, a small country with a total area of 12,648 square miles, and over eight million inhabitants. Part of the country is below the level of the sea, but is protected from the North Sea by dunes and dykes. These sea dykes are built along the north coast, the coast of the provinces which border on the Zuider Zee, and the coast of the islands of the provinces Zeeland and South Holland, wherever the coast is not protected by dunes. The elevation of the surface of the country ranges from 650 feet above to 20 feet below sea level. The seat of government and the residence of the Royal family is at The Hague, and the two largest cities are Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Amsterdam is the legal capital of the Netherlands.

The Netherlands Mission is divided into four conferences, or districts, namely, Amsterdam, Groningen, Rotterdam and Utrecht, and the total membership in the mission, according to the official report of Dec. 31, 1930, was 2,631, including 62 Elders, 50 Priests, 61 Teachers, 94 Deacons, 2,066 lay members, and 289 children.

Apostle Orson Hyde, who was called on a mission to Jerusalem in April, 1840, arrived in Rotterdam in June, 1841, on his way to Palestine. During his short sojourn in that city he became acquainted with a Jewish Rabbi, to whom he explained the object of his intended trip to the Holy Land, and also testified of the restored gospel. Thus it happened that Orson Hyde was the first Latter-day Saint Elder to proclaim the fullness of the gospel, both on the continent of Europe and in far-off Asia, among the nations of the East.

While Holland, occasionally, was visited by Elders of the Church who traveled between Great Britain and Germany, Switzerland, and Scandinavia, it is not known that any attempt was made on the part of these Elders, thus passing through, to preach the restored gospel to the inhabitants of Holland until the spring of 1861, when Elders Paul Augustus Schettler and A. Wiegers van der Woude were set apart to preach the gospel in the Netherlands. These two Elders, together with other missionaries, called about the same time to preach the gospel in the United States and Europe, left Salt Lake City, Utah, April 23, 1861, and arrived in Rotterdam Aug. 5, 1861. Elder Schettler was a German by birth, born Aug. 13, 1827, emigrated to America in 1858, became a convert to Mormonism in New York City in 1860, and soon afterwards migrated to Utah. Elder Van der Woude, a native of Holland and a master mariner, became a member of the Church in Cardiff, Wales, in 1852 and emigrated to Utah.

After spending a week in Rotterdam, Elders Schettler and Van der Woude proceeded to Amsterdam, where they commended their missionary labors. Elder Van der Woude soon afterwards went to Friesland to visit his relatives, and on Oct. 1, 1861, he baptized three persons, residents of Broek, near Akkerwoude, two of whom were Van der Woude's relatives. These were the first fruits of the preaching of the restored gospel in Holland. In the meantime Elder Schettler labored faithfully in Amsterdam, and on Dec. 23, 1861, he baptized three persona in that city. Soon the two Elders extended their missionary labors to other provinces, and after baptizing 14 persons in Amsterdam, they organized the first branch of the Church in that city early in 1862. Fifteen persons were baptized in Holland in 1862. These, together with the six persons baptized the previous year, raised the total membership in Holland to 21 persons at the close of 1862. In October, 1863, John L. Smith, who presided over the Swiss and German Mission, visited Holland, which, at that time, constituted a part of said mission. During his visit a number of people were baptized.

Among the first converts to Mormonism in Holland was Timothy Mets, who afterwards became prominent in the Church. As work of proselyting was continued in 1863, by Elder Van der Woude and others, more converts were made and baptized in Gorinchem, Leeuwarden, Rotterdam, Werkendam and Heukelom. In September, 1862, Elder Paul A. Schettler was transferred to Basel, Switzerland, while Elder Van der Woude continued his missionary labors in Holland till about June 1, 1863. In October, 1864, Elder Joseph Weiler arrived in Rotterdam as a missionary to Holland. On his arrival he found 25 persons in the country belonging to the Church. In the summer of 1864 the first organized company of converts to the Church from Holland emigrated to Utah, numbering 61 souls, men, women and children. When Apostle Orson Pratt and Elder William W. Riter passed through Holland in January, 1865, on their way to Austria, they found Joseph Weiler very sick with typhoid fever at the home of Brother Timothy Mets, presiding Elder of the small branch in Rotterdam.

The first regular conference of the Church in the Netherlands was held Oct. 22, 1865, in Gorinchem, a city of about 8,000 inhabitants. At that time there were three organized branches of the Church in Holland, namely, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Gorinchem. Important business was attended to at that conference and Willem Verhey was ordained an Elder and appointed to preside over the Gorinchem Branch. Pieter J. Lammers was ordained an Elder and appointed to labor in the ministry in Holland. About the same time others of the native brethren were ordained to the Priesthood.

On Nov. 1, 1864, the branches of the Church in the Netherlands were separated from the Swiss and German Mission and organized as a separate mission known as the Netherlands Mission. In 1891 Belgium was added to the Netherlands Mission, after which the missionaries labored among Netherlands, German and French-speaking people. In 1866 twenty-one souls emigrated to Utah from the Netherlands Mission.

In the meantime other Elders were called to labor in the mission, tracts were published in the Netherlands and French languages, and German Church literature was also circulated among the saints and their friends in the Netherlands. Francis A. Brown, who in March, 1867, succeeded Joseph Weiler as president of the Netherlands Mission, commenced a successful missionary labor in the Netherlands. That year the "Stem tot Waarschuwing" (Voice of Warning) was translated from the German and published in the Netherlands language. In 1896 a periodical entitled "De Ster" was commenced in the Netherlands Mission. During the first year it was published as a monthly, and since that as a semi-monthly periodical in the interests of the Netherlands Mission, and Netherlands-speaking people in other parts of the world.

Belgium, which constituted a part of the Netherlands Mission from 1891 to 1923, was in 1923 transferred to the French Mission.

Following the advice of Pres. John A. Widtsoe, that on account of business depression in America the saints in the foreign missions should not be urged to emigrate, but rather be encouraged to build up branches of the Church in their own lands, the auxiliary organizations of the Church have therefore been fostered with considerable care by the missionaries, in which movement the Netherlands Mission stands in the foremost ranks.

Following is a list of the Elders who have presided over the Netherlands Mission: Paul Augustus Schettler, 1861-1862; A. W. Van der Woude, 1862-1863; Samuel Mets, 1863-1864; Joseph Weiler, 1864-1867; Francis A. Brown, 1867; Marcus Holling, 1867-1869; Jan F. Krumperman (pro tem), 1869-1871; Sybren Van Dyk, 1871-1874; Dirk Bockholt, 1874-1875; Peter J. Lammers, 1875-1877; Johannes Hansink (pro tem), 1877; Bernhard H. Schettler, 1877-1878; Frederik Peters (pro tem), 1878-1880; Sybren Van Dyk (serving a second term), 1880-1882; Zwier Willem Koldewyn (pro tem), 1882; Peter J. Lammers (serving a second term), 1882-1884; Zwier W. Koldewyn (second term), 1884-1885; John W. F. Volker, 1885-1889; Francis A. Brown (second term), 1889-1891; Timothy Mets, 1891-1892; Alfred L. Farrell, 1892-1893; Edwin Bennion, 1893-1895; Asa W. Judd, 1895-1896; George S. Spencer, 1896; Frederick Pieper, 1896-1897; Alfred L. Farrell (second term), 1897-1900; Sylvester Q. Cannon, 1900-1902; Willard T. Cannon, 1902-1905; Jacob H. Trayner, 1905-1906; Alexander Nibley, 1906-1907; Sylvester Q. Cannon (second term), 1907-1909; James H. Walker (pro tem), 1909; Brigham G. Thatcher, 1909-1911; Roscoe W. Eardley, 1911-1913; Thomas C. Hair (pro tem), 1913-1914; LeGrand Richards, 1914-1916; John A. Butterworth, 1916-1920; John P. Lillywhite, 1920-1923; Charles S. Hyde, 1923-1926; John P. Lillywhite (second term), 1926-1929, and Frank I. Kooyman, 1929-1930.