Elder Matthew S. Holland: ‘The Exquisite Gift of the Son’

General Authority Seventy

Notable quotes:

“[Alma’s] talk of exquisite pain caught my attention partly due to my battle that week with a seven-millimeter kidney stone. Never has one man experienced such ‘great things’ when such a ‘small and simple’ thing was ‘brought to pass.’”
“Guard against the satanic whispering that if you were a better person, you would avoid such trials.”
“Through the staggering goodness of Jesus Christ and His infinite Atonement, we can escape the deserved agonies of our moral failings and overcome the undeserved agonies of our mortal misfortunes.”

Summary points:

  • The very purpose of repentance is to take certain misery and transform it into pure bliss.
  • Sometimes an individual’s pain comes not from sin but honest mistakes, the actions of others, or forces beyond his or her control.
  • “Regardless of the causes of our worst hurts and heartaches, the ultimate source of relief is the same: Jesus Christ. He alone holds the full power and healing balm to correct every mistake, right every wrong, adjust every imperfection, mend every wound, and deliver every delayed blessing.”

Talk summary: 

The very purpose of repentance is to take certain misery and transform it into pure bliss. “Thanks to His ‘immediate goodness’ (Mosiah 25:10), the instant we come unto Christ — demonstrating faith in Him and a true change of heart — the crushing weight of our sins starts to shift from our backs to His. This is only possible because He without sin suffered the ‘infinite and unspeakable agony’ of every single sin in the universe of His creations, for all of His creations — a suffering so severe, blood oozed out of His every pore.”

Sometimes an individual’s pain comes not from sin but honest mistakes, the actions of others, or forces beyond his or her control. “Regardless of the causes of our worst hurts and heartaches, the ultimate source of relief is the same: Jesus Christ. He alone holds the full power and healing balm to correct every mistake, right every wrong, adjust every imperfection, mend every wound, and deliver every delayed blessing.”

There may be no family member, friend or priesthood leader who knows exactly what someone is feeling or knows how to heal him or her. “But know this: There is One who understands 

perfectly what you are experiencing, who is ‘mightier than all the earth’ (1 Nephi 4:1) and who is ‘able to do exceeding abundantly above all that [you] ask or think’ ” (Ephesians 3:20).

As individuals allow Him to heal them, they will discover their suffering was not in vain. “The very nature of God and aim of our earthly existence is happiness, but we cannot become perfect beings of divine joy without experiences that test us, sometimes to our very core. … So, guard against the satanic whispering that if you were a better person, you would avoid such trials.”

Through the goodness of Jesus Christ, “We can escape the deserved agonies of our moral failings and overcome the undeserved agonies of our mortal misfortunes.”

About the speaker:

  • Elder Matthew S. Holland is the oldest son of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  • Born in Provo, Utah, he also spent time in his growing up years in California, Washington and Connecticut before his family returned to Utah where his father eventually became president of Brigham Young University.
  • He has spent two periods of his life in North Carolina: first as a young graduate student at Duke University and then again when he and his wife were called to head the North Carolina Raleigh Mission in 2018.
  • He served as president of Utah Valley University from 2009 until 2018.
  • He is married to Paige Batemen and they are the parents of four children.