Elder Jeffrey R. Holland was ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on June 23, 1994.
From 1980 until his call to the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1989, Elder Holland served as the ninth president of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. While he was president of BYU, he helped establish the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. He previously served as the Church commissioner of education and dean of the College of Religious Education at BYU.
Elder Holland was born Dec. 3, 1940. In honor of his 80th birthday today, here are nine quotes from him this year.
“If we haven’t been able to turn here, and we can’t turn there, we can turn up. And I hope that one thing we’ve all done is come closer to God, that we know that He does not move. He is not subject to pandemics. He can not only cure that problem, but He can cure every other problem in our lives. He’s invited us to lay our burdens at His feet and that He is equal to it.”
— Episode 7, Church News podcast, Dec. 1, 2020
‘This is not a fairy tale’
“My testimony to the Church and to the world is that this is true. This is God’s very truth. This is not a fairy tale. This is not something that I get up every morning, and ask myself, ‘How can I go fool another group of people today? How can I go pretend that something’s true? How can I go work a great fiction on the public?’ I would not do that, and my life is worth more to me than that, and my witness to my children and my children’s children is worth more than that, means more than that, my integrity is more than that.”
— “My Testimony,” Church News video, Nov. 30, 2020
“As Joseph did, I believe it is important for us to pray out loud. It is basic to what God intends for us in our communication with Him. He invites a conversation, if you will, and wants so much to ‘hear us.’ We should make every effort to let Him hear us — literally.”
— #HearHim blog post on ChurchofJesusChrist.org, Nov. 8, 2020
When will burdens be lifted?
“COVID and cancer, doubt and dismay, financial trouble and family trials. When will these burdens be lifted? The answer is ‘by and by.’ And whether that be a short period or a long one is not always ours to say, but by the grace of God, the blessings will come to those who hold fast to the gospel of Jesus Christ. That issue was settled in a very private garden and on a very public hill in Jerusalem long ago.”
— “Waiting on the Lord,” October 2020 general conference
Let pain lead you to God
“Use pains, temptations and traumas. Harness them as a moving force to be better, to become better. Allow God-given gifts to come out in you. When you are a creator, you focus more on the positive and less on the things that are destroying or hurting you. Let your pain lead you to your Heavenly Father who loves you.”
— Utah Coalition Against Pornography address, Sept. 12, 2020
“Broken things are made whole. That’s the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It takes broken clouds to nourish the earth. It takes broken earth to nourish grain. It takes broken grain to make bread, broken bread to nourish us. … Things are broken in order to be whole, in order to give life. And the most precious broken thing of all was the broken heart of the Son of God.”
— 25th anniversary of Solihull Ward Chapel, Aug. 16, 2020
‘We should hope’
“Because the Restoration reaffirmed the foundational truth that God does work in this world, we can hope, we should hope, even when facing the most insurmountable odds. … We all need to believe that what we desire in righteousness can someday, someway, somehow yet be ours.”
— “A Perfect Brightness of Hope,” April 2020 general conference
“When we’re alone, those are times of character assessment. That’s when you think about who you really are and what really matters.” It is “a sobering exercise to be quiet, to be alone with yourself. The obvious question then is, ‘Do you like the company you are keeping when you are the only one in the room?’ ”
— “‘Shelter in place’ spiritually and physically, Elder Holland says,” Church News article, April 1, 2020