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Jeffrey R. Holland
Jeffrey R. Holland was born on December 3, 1940, and grew up in St. George, Utah. As a boy he enjoyed sports (especially baseball) and played on every kind of team he could. He attended Dixie High School where he was on the state championship football and basketball teams and lettered in football, basketball, track, and baseball. Patricia Terry, who later became his wife, was a cheerleader there. They dated for two years before Elder Holland was called on a mission to England. While on his mission, Elder Holland realized that he wanted to pursue a profession in teaching. His parents were called on a mission to England at the same time he was serving there. His mother noted that he claimed to be the only missionary who ever said farewell to his parents at both ends of his mission.
Elder Holland returned home from his mission and married Patricia in the St. George Temple on June 7, 1963. Elder Holland graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University in 1965 and was given the opportunity to teach part-time at BYU while he worked on his master’s degree. In 1966 he completed his graduate work in religious education and was hired as an institute teacher by the Church Educational System.
In 1970, Elder Holland was accepted to a doctoral degree program at Yale. He was also called to be in the stake presidency. By this time the Hollands' had two children, Matthew and Mary Alice. David Frank followed soon after in 1973.
In 1974 Jeffrey R. Holland was called as dean of Religious Education at BYU. This was followed by an appointment as commissioner of education for the Church, and then in 1980 he was called to be President of Brigham Young University. While president, he directed a number of projects and helped in the building of the BYU Jerusalem Center.
On April 1, 1989, Jeffrey R. Holland was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy, and on June 23, 1994, he was called to be an Apostle. Other accomplishments in the life of Jeffrey R. Holland include serving, “as president of the American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities (AAPICU), on the board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Presidents Commission. For his work in improving understanding between Christians and Jews, he was awarded the "Torch of Liberty" award by the Anti-Defamation League of B'Nai B'rith. He has served on the governing boards of a number of civic and business-related corporations. He is the author of six books, one of which he co-authored with his wife, Patricia” (Biography of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, www.lds.org/newsroom).
Jeffrey R. Holland Explains Mormonism at Harvard
Mormon apostle Jeffrey Holland addressed students at Harvard Law School on Tuesday, March 19, 2012, during the annual Mormonism 101 series sponsored by the school's Latter-day Saint Student Association.
- “What brings me to you today is not a message of reformation but of restoration,” he said, “the restoration of that church Christ established by His hand in the meridian of time and which He has reestablished by His hand in this present time.” (See Apostasy, Reformation, and Restoration.)
Elder Holland explained the centrality of Jesus Christ to Mormon worship and Mormon doctrine. He explained that Mormonism is the full restoration of the primitive Church of Jesus Christ with authority and power derived directly from the Savior and guidance through revelation from Him.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not accept the doctrine of the trinity, since it is non-biblical and the contrivance of councils (however sincere) held hundreds of years after the ministry of Christ:
- “We are not considered ‘Christian’ by some, I suppose because we are not fourth-century Christians, we are not Athanasian Christians, we are not creedal Christians of the brand that arose hundreds of years after Christ,” he said. “No, when we speak of ‘restored Christianity’ we speak of the Church as it was [before] ... great councils were called to debate and anguish over what it was they really believed.”
Elder Holland took a few minutes to address the amount of attention the LDS Church has been receiving during what some call "the Mormon moment" in the U.S., beginning with an obscene satire of the Church, the Book of Mormon Musical and continuing with questionable coverage in the press during the presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney, a Mormon.
- "I confess I did not believe I would live to see the day that taxi cabs in Times Square would be scurrying about with 'taxi toppers' saying, 'See the Book of Mormon,'" he said. "Of course our quick rejoinder has been, 'Now you have seen the show, read the book.'"
*Click here to read a complete transcript of the talk.
*Click here to listen to the question and answer session that followed his talk.
To watch a video of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland at the Garden of Gethsemane talking about the atonement, click here.
Quotes from Jeffrey R. Holland
- "In the gospel of Jesus Christ you have help from both sides of the veil, and you must never forget that. When disappointment and discouragement strike--and they will--you remember and never forget that if our eyes could be opened we would see horses and chariots of fire as far as the eye can see riding at reckless speed to come to our protection. They will always be there, these armies of heaven, in defense of Abraham's seed."
- "For Times of Trouble," BYU Speeches, 1980
- "In a world of unrest and fear, political turmoil and moral drift, I testify that Jesus is the Christ--that He is the living Bread and living Water--still, yet, and always the great Shield of safety in our lives, the mighty Stone of Israel, the Anchor of this His living Church. I testify of His prophets, seers, and revelators, who constitute the ongoing foundation of that Church and bear witness that such offices and such oracles are at work now, under the guidance of the Savior of us all, in and for our very needful day."
- "Prophets, Seers, and Revelators," Ensign, Nov. 2004
- "Speak hopefully. Speak encouragingly, including about yourself. Try not to complain and moan incessantly. As someone once said, 'Even in the golden age of civilization someone undoubtedly grumbled that everything looked too yellow.' I have often thought that Nephi's being bound with cords and beaten by rods must have been more tolerable to him than listening to Laman and Lemuel's constant murmuring (See 1 Nephi 3:28–31; 18:11–15). Surely he must have said at least once, 'Hit me one more time. I can still hear you.' Yes, life has its problems, and yes, there are negative things to face, but please accept one of Elder Holland's maxims for living—no misfortune is so bad that whining about it won't make it worse."
- "The Tongue of Angels," Ensign, May 2007, 16–18