‘How music helps refugees’ video features Elder Holland, Sister Eubank

20141016 Yazidi women gather in Bajed Kandala 2, a camp near the Syrian border housing some 8,000 internally displaced people. LDS Charities worked with other humanitarian organizations to provide white dresses for Yazidi women. In August 2014 the Yazidis were targeted by the Islamic State of Iraq. Credit: Sarah Jane Weaver
Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, center, and conferencegoers sing at the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 21, 2022. Credit: Mengshin Lin, Deseret News
Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, left, and conferencegoers sing at the Tabernacle at Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 21, 2022. Credit: Mengshin Lin, Deseret News
Sister Sharon Eubank, president of Latter-day Saint Charities, right, speaks at the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 21, 2022. Credit: Mengshin Lin, Deseret News

Through the words of songs and the power of melody, music can help sustain the faith of the oppressed, said Latter-day Saint leaders who participated virtually in the seventh Windsor Dialogue Conference in London, United Kingdom.

“In every religion, certainly in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, music is a powerful, powerful force,” said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

He and Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency and president of Latter-day Saint Charities, participated in the July 8 meeting held at Westminster Abbey and hosted by the AMAR Foundation.

A report on how the music can help build resilience and assist emotional healing and accompanying video were posted the same day on the Church’s United Kingdom Newsroom site.

Sister Eubank spoke of how ISIS fighters and local collaborates in 2014 attacked religious minorities in Northern Iraq, including the ancient Yazidi people fleeing their ancestral lands. The displaced Yazidi “need the healing and the resilience of their music,” she said.

Baroness Emma Nicholson, AMAR Foundation Chairman, said: “Music is the song of God. It’s the voice to heaven and back again.”

She recalled how in April, members of the multinational AMAR gathered in Salt Lake City with the two-day conference exploring how music therapy might improve the mental health of refugees who are under incredible stress and duress. During the Salt Lake City conference, participants met with Elder Holland and other Church leaders and sang together sitting in the choir seats of the historic Salt Lake Tabernacle.

Read more: How music is an unlikely tool that could help ease the burden of refugees in Europe

The video showed clips of the April gathering in the Tabernacle and Baroness Nicholson sharing recollections of the moment.

Elder Holland noted the heritage of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and the suffering of early Latter-day Saints — including choir members. “Our Tabernacle Choir is known throughout the world. That developed because of our dislocation in our Church’s history,” the Apostle said.

“I hope we’ll continue this idea of ‘musical therapy’ and a musical contribution in our work with not just the Yazidis but any other outreach to any group in need.”

Read more: Faith is just as important to refugees as water, food, air, says Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

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