Patricia Terry Holland
Patricia Terry Holland is the wife of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. She also served as a counselor in the Young Women general presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1984 to 1986, while simultaneously fulfilling obligations at Brigham Young University where her husband was serving as president.
Sister Holland was born on February 16, 1942, and was raised on a farm in Enterprise, Utah, a small pioneer-founded community located 40 miles northwest of St. George, Utah.
As is often the case in life on a farm, she helped on the farm herding and milking cows, driving farm trucks, and helping with the harvests. She recalls that she was “quite a tomboy.”
She was the only girl with five brothers until a sister was born when Pat was 16 years old. The family moved into St. George at the beginning of her high school years. At Dixie High, she made friends, including Jeffrey R. Holland, whom she called “the handsomest boy in the school.”
She attended LDS Business College and graduated from Dixie College in St. George. She received training from Juilliard in New York City as a piano and voice student.
“She literally put me through school while she continued to go and had walked away from a musical career to come home and marry me,” Elder Holland said. “I can’t overstate the incredible gift that a companion can give to another.”
In a tribute to her, Sheri L. Dew noted, “Sister Holland was a spiritual giant among women, though I don’t think she ever saw herself that way. When Deseret Book approached her about writing a book, she seemed utterly shocked that anyone would think she had something to say worth publishing. Her book, “A Quiet Heart,” won awards; but more importantly, it built faith.”
She also wrote Quiet Moments, God’s Covenant of Peace, Strength and Stillness: A Message for Women. With her husband, she wrote To Mothers, and On Earth as it is in Heaven. He addresses at BYU can be found at BYU Speeches and she spoke at BYU Women’s Conference in 2007 and 1999.
In 2012 Sister Holland received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from LDS Business College for her community, familial, and church service.
Sister Dew also said,
- As just one example of her depth and gospel insights, she articulated the vital impact women have in families, society and the Church in one brilliant sentence: “If I were Satan and wanted to destroy a society,” she said, “I think I would stage a full-blown blitz on women.”
- That simple truth made my mind explode with new impressions. I was a young stake Relief Society president at the time, and I quoted her again and again to help the sisters of our stake appreciate the importance and gravity of their distinctive divine role. Pat Holland had a penchant for saying things that opened my eyes.
- But her influence wasn’t confined to what she taught. It also radiated from who she was — a woman of grace, intellect, articulate persuasion and strength wrapped in meekness. A woman of sophistication who nonetheless always radiated warmth. A woman who had a backbone of steel when it came to standing for truth and doing what the Lord asked her to do. A woman of profound faith.
Sister Holland passed away on July 20, 2023, after a brief hospitalization.
- Church News, “Sheri Dew: A tribute to Sister Patricia T. Holland, a woman for the ages,” by Sheri L. Dew