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President Jeffrey R. Holland set apart as Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Set apart Wednesday, Nov. 15, he succeeds President Ballard as Acting President following the latter’s Nov. 12 death

President Jeffrey R. Holland is now the Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He was set apart to this new assignment by President Russell M. Nelson, the Prophet and President of the Church, on Wednesday, Nov. 15, on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

President Holland succeeds the late President M. Russell Ballard, the previous Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who died Sunday, Nov. 12.

President Holland, 82, was ordained an apostle on June 23, 1994. He is the Church’s third-most-senior apostle, after President Nelson and President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, who both were ordained in 1984.

The new assignment and setting apart were first announced Nov. 16 on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

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About President Holland

Before his call as a General Authority Seventy, President Holland served as president of Brigham Young University from 1980 to April 1989. Five years later, he was called as an apostle by President Howard W. Hunter, during the latter’s short tenure as President of the Church.

The St. George, Utah, native is a former Church commissioner of education and dean of the BYU College of Religious Education. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and religious education, respectively, from BYU and master’s and doctor of philosophy degrees in American studies from Yale University.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Sister Patricia Holland, walk at the Benbow family farm in Castle Frome, England.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Patricia Holland, walk at the Benbow family farm in Castle Frome, England, on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

President Holland was born Dec. 3, 1940, to Frank D. and Alice Bentley Holland. In 1963, he married Patricia Terry; Sister Holland died earlier this year, on July 20. They are the parents of three children.

President Holland, who missed October general conference while recovering from illness, has returned to work at Church headquarters. In an Oct. 11 social media post he reported that he is coping with the loss of his wife and drawing strength from his family and his faith in the Savior.

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Who becomes the ‘Acting President’?

The title and assignment of President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is given to the Church’s second-most senior apostle after the President of the Church. But when the apostle who is second in seniority is called to serve as a counselor in the First Presidency — as is the case currently with President Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency — the third-longest-serving apostle becomes the Acting President of the Twelve.

Seniority is not based on age but on tenure in the quorum.

Like President Holland now, President Ballard was the Acting President with President Oaks serving in the First Presidency since January 2018.

Another example in the past quarter-century was President Boyd K. Packer, who was Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve from June 1994 to January 2008, when President Thomas S. Monson served as a First Presidency counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley. When President Hinckley died and President Monson became President of the Church, the “acting” title was removed as President Packer — then being the second-most-senior apostle — became the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

President M. Russell Ballard and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland laugh prior to the Sunday morning session of general conference.
President M. Russell Ballard and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland laugh prior to the Sunday morning session of the 192nd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

As the senior member of the quorum and its Acting President, President Holland will direct the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — the second-highest presiding body in the Church’s governance. The quorum and its members serve under the direction of the First Presidency.

The primary responsibility of members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is to be “special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world,” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:23) with additional significant administrative responsibilities in overseeing the development of the global Church.

Similar to their counterparts in ancient times being sent throughout the world, apostles today travel the world to strengthen, encourage and minister to Latter-day Saints across the globe, while also organizing new congregations, conducting Church business and meeting with leaders of nations and other faiths.

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