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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland Shares First Personal Update Since Wife’s Passing

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For Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, 2023 has not been the easiest of years. Plagued with health issues and the surprising death of his beloved wife, Elder Holland has needed to take a step back from his official apostolic duties to recuperate. 

In his first personal message to Church members on social media since July, Elder Holland discussed what the past few months have been like and shared a powerful testimony. 

He wrote: 

Most of you will know that my wife Pat passed away last July with complications from Covid and other respiratory problems. I am brokenhearted and lonely, but that is the price we pay for love in the world. I look forward to rejoining her.

But the wonder of life goes on, including for these two great-grandchildren who, with our other family members, were the delight of Pat’s life. Her passing and their arrival are a reminder that both birth and death are a part of the Savior’s plan of happiness. I dearly, deeply miss Pat, but I am grateful for a new generation in our family. This is why we speak of family so much in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for, as President Russell M. Nelson has said, salvation is an individual experience, but exaltation is a family experience.

I bear witness of the beauty of this plan and that all is well if we live for its promises. I am trying to live worthily of those promises and the trust that those living on Pat’s side of the veil have in those of us who have access to the temple where so many of those promises are revealed. 

Elder Holland also shared this photograph with his new great-grandchildren. 

Church members were quick to show their love and support. 

“Thanks for your words full of love and wisdom even when your heart is aching,” Arleane said. “Praying that you can find the strength you need after your beloved Pat passing. Sending you hugs and my admiration!”

Rick said, “We love you and wish you the best Elder Holland, we are so happy to have you, as a great special witness of our Lord and Savior. By the way, those are two beautiful babies!”

Jeanne-Marie added, “It is SO good to hear from you! You have a way with words like no one else. Thank you for strengthening my testimony of eternal families today. Praying for you!”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints first reported that Elder Holland had health problems in April 2023. He had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and had recently begun dialysis for a kidney condition. He had previously been admitted to the hospital for an undisclosed illness unrelated to COVID-19 in June 2020. 

Elder Holland’s health seemed to be improving by June, but the sudden death of his wife and ongoing complications led to an extended hospital stay in early August. 

On September 10, it was announced he was home and continuing to recuperate there. In a statement, he offered words of thanks: 

Elder Holland and his children are very grateful for the many prayers offered on his behalf during this health challenge and time of sorrow following the passing of Sister Holland. As his health improves, he looks forward to resuming active service in his ministry.

Elder Holland was unable to attend or speak at the most recent General Conference. 

Sister Patricia Terry Holland passed away on July 20, 2023. You can read more about her funeral here.

In a touching tribute to his wife, read by his son at the funeral, Elder Holland said, “This is the 60th year of my marriage to the greatest woman I have ever known. I am heartbroken. I thought the onset of neuropathy and dialysis was enough, but this loss of Pat so unexpectedly has been devastating.”

“I feel the sustaining power of your prayers and I’m grateful. Pat was a great teacher. Among her most resonant messages was that when your back is to the wall and your heart is breaking, you still have three things: your friends, your family, your faith.”

“There is so much more I could say and so much that is beyond my power to convey. I can only offer this: Pat’s love and faith brought divine light to my life and it will do so eternally.”

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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