Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Jeffrey Roy Holland (born December 3, 1940) is an American educator and religious leader. He served as the ninth President of Brigham Young University and is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). As a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, Holland is accepted by the church as a prophet, seer, and revelator. Currently, he is the fourth most senior apostle in the church.[2]

Jeffrey R. Holland
Jeffrey R. Holland2.jpg
Holland, while commissioner of the Church Educational System (1977)
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
June 23, 1994 (1994-06-23)
Called by Howard W. Hunter
LDS Church Apostle
June 23, 1994 (1994-06-23)
Called by Howard W. Hunter
Reason Death of Ezra Taft Benson; reorganization of First Presidency
First Quorum of the Seventy
April 1, 1989 (1989-04-01) – June 23, 1994 (1994-06-23)
Called by Ezra Taft Benson
End reason Called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
9th President of Brigham Young University
In office
September 1980[1] – 1989
Predecessor Dallin H. Oaks
Successor Rex E. Lee
Personal details
Born Jeffrey Roy Holland
(1940-12-03) December 3, 1940 (age 77)
St. George, Utah, United States
Alma mater Brigham Young University (B.A., M.A.)
Yale University (M.A., Ph.D.)
Spouse(s) Patricia Terry (1963–present)
Children Matthew Scott (b. 1966)
Mary Alice (b. 1969)
David Frank (b. 1973)
Parents Frank D. and Alice Holland
Signature of Jeffrey R. Holland
A former president of Brigham Young University. Member, Boards of Trustees/Education of the Church Educational System; Member, CES Executive Committee of the Board.


Early life and educationEdit

Holland was born in St. George, Utah. His father, Frank D. Holland, was a convert to the LDS Church while his mother, Alice, came from a long line of Latter-day Saints.[3] As a young man, Holland served a mission to England; his mission president was Marion D. Hanks, a general authority of the church. He and Quentin L. Cook were missionary companions.[4]

Holland graduated from Dixie High School. He helped the Flyers capture state high school championships in football and basketball.[3] He began his college education at Dixie College before his mission. After returning from his mission, he served as co-captain of the Dixie basketball team.[5] In 2011, the school broke ground for the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons Building, a building to honor both Holland and the school's 2011 centennial.[6] The completed building was dedicated in September 2012.[7]

Holland transferred to Brigham Young University (BYU) where he graduated with a BA in English. He wrote a thesis on selected changes to the text of the Book of Mormon to complete his MA in Religious Education from BYU,[8][9] while also teaching religion classes part-time.[3] After earning his master's degree, Holland became an Institute of Religion teacher in Hayward, California. He worked as an institute director in Seattle, Washington. Holland attended Yale University and earned a second master's degree in American Studies, and later a Ph.D in the same subject.[10] At Yale, Holland studied with American literary scholar and critic R. W. B. Lewis and authored a dissertation on the religious sense of Mark Twain.[11]

While studying at Yale, Holland served as a counselor in the presidency of the LDS Church's Hartford Connecticut Stake.[12]

Leadership at BYU and the Church Educational SystemEdit

Holland served as an institute director in Salt Lake City after earning his Ph.D. He served as director of the Melchizedek Priesthood MIA.[5] In 1974, Holland was appointed Dean of Religious Education at BYU; during which period of time, he was the youngest dean at BYU. He served as the eleventh commissioner of the Church Educational System from 1976 to 1980.

In 1980, Holland was appointed to succeed Dallin H. Oaks as president of BYU. A significant achievement during Holland's presidency was the founding of the BYU Jerusalem Center. Holland also led a $100,000,000 fundraising campaign.[3] During his presidency, the BYU Center for International Studies was renamed the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies and had its role at BYU re-emphasized.[13]

As president of BYU, Holland encouraged academic excellence in an atmosphere of faith. Like future BYU president, Cecil O. Samuelson, Holland emphasized that BYU could not do everything, but would seek excellence in what it did choose to do.[14]

Holland served as the president of the American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities (AAPICU) and as a member of the NCAA's presidents' committee. He also received the "Torch of Liberty" award from the Anti-defamation League.[15]

LDS Church leadershipEdit

Holland was called as a general authority and member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 1, 1989, bringing an end to his term as president of BYU.[16] As a member of the Seventy, Holland was a counselor in the general presidency of the church's Young Men organization from 1989 to 1990. Prior to his call as a general authority, Holland served as bishop of a single adult ward in Seattle, as a counselor in the presidency of the Hartford Connecticut Stake,[3] and as a regional representative.[16]

Holland was ordained an apostle of the LDS Church on June 23, 1994, by Howard W. Hunter.[17] He was selected as an apostle following the death of church president Ezra Taft Benson and was sustained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on October 1, 1994. In 2000, Holland became the chair of the Missionary Curriculum Task Force which worked to develop Preach My Gospel.[18]

Holland lived in Santiago and served as president of the church's Chile Area from 2002 to 2004.[19][20]

In church general conferences in the fall of 2007 and spring of 2008, Holland gave sermons that directly answered accusations that Latter-day Saints are not Christians. At the April 2009 general conference, Holland gave a sermon about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the importance of Christ's statement, "my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me". This talk was later reformatted with music and put on an LDS Church website, where by August 2009 it had been viewed over 500,000 times.[21]

In 2012, Holland was the member of the Quorum of the Twelve with responsibility for the affairs of the LDS Church in Africa. In early 2012, he went to Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ghana to meet with members and missionaries. He also met with the Vice President of Sierra Leone, Samuel Sam-Sumana.[22] In December 2012, Holland organized the LDS Church's 3000th stake in Freetown, Sierra Leone.[23][24] On March 12, 2012, the Harvard Law School hosted Holland for a Mormonism 101 series.[25] On June 10, 2015, he addressed the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Foreign Affairs in the House of Lords at the UK Parliament.[26] As of August 2017, among his other assignments, Holland continues his service on the Church Board of Education and Boards of Trustees, where he also serves as a member of the Executive Committee.[27]


Holland and his wife, Patricia Terry, were married on June 7, 1963, in the St. George Temple. They are the parents of three children. Their son, Matthew S. Holland, was appointed in 2009 as president of Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. A younger son, David F. Holland, is a professor at Harvard Divinity School.




See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bergera, Gary James; Priddis, Ronald (1985). "Chapter 1: Growth & Development". Brigham Young University: A House of Faith. Salt Lake City: Signature Books. ISBN 0-941214-34-6. OCLC 12963965. 
  2. ^ Apostolic seniority is generally understood to include all ordained apostles (including the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Seniority is determined by date of ordination, not by age or other factors. If two apostles are ordained on the same day, the older of the two is typically ordained first. See Succession to the presidency and Heath, Steven H. (Summer 1987). "Notes on Apostolic Succession" (PDF). Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 20 (2): 44–56. .
  3. ^ a b c d e Searle, Don L. (August 1995), "Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles", Liahona: 26 
  4. ^ Holland, Jeffrey R. (April 2008), "Elder Quentin L. Cook: A Willing Heart and Mind", Ensign 
  5. ^ a b Godfrey, Kenneth W. "Jeffrey R. Holland" in Garr, Arnold K., Donald Q. Cannon and Richard O. Cowan (eds.). Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 2000) p. 506.
  6. ^ "Dixie State College Officially Breaks Ground for New Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons Building", Dixie Today, Dixie State College of Utah, 21 March 2011 
  7. ^ Dixie State dedicates commons named for Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Deseret News, 8 September 2012 
  8. ^ Holland, Jeffrey R (1966). An Analysis of Selected Changes in Major Editions of the Book of Mormon - 1830-1920. Master's Thesis: Brigham Young University. 
  9. ^ Quinn, D. Michael (1997). The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power. Signature Books. 
  10. ^ 2003 Deseret News Church Almanac (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News, 2002).[page needed]
  11. ^ Holland, Jeffrey R. (1973). Mark Twain's Religious Sense: The Viable Years -- 1835-1883 (Ph.D. thesis). Yale University. OCLC 367235370. 
  12. ^ Holland, Jeffrey R. (April 1983), "Within the Clasp of Your Arms". 
  13. ^ Holland, Jeffrey R. (17 November 1983), The Mission of the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, archived from the original on 10 February 2008 
  14. ^ "Jeffrey R. Holland", Past Presidents, BYU Office of the President, Brigham Young University, archived from the original on 2007-07-15 
  15. ^ "Homecoming 2009" (PDF), Dixie State Magazine, Dixie State College of Utah: 8, Fall 2009 
  16. ^ a b 2006 Deseret News Church Almanac (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News, 2005) p. 26
  17. ^ Church Educational System (2003). "Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles In the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times", Church History in the Fulness of Times (Salt Lake City, Utah: LDS Church) p. 660.
  18. ^ "History of the development of Preach My Gospel".
  19. ^ "Two Apostles Will Serve Overseas", Ensign, May 2002 
  20. ^ "New area assignments: Service begins Aug. 15 for 30 area presidencies", Church News, June 14, 2003 
  21. ^ Shill, Aaron (8 October 2009), "LDS Church using the Internet to its advantage", Deseret News 
  22. ^ Holman, Marianne (February 23, 2012), "A bright future for members in African nations: Apostle visits, blesses countries in West Africa", Church News 
  23. ^ "Historic Milestone: Sierra Leone Stake Marks Church's 3000th",
  24. ^ "Historic milestone: Sierra Leone stake marks LDS Church's 3000th", Deseret News, December 2, 2012.
  25. ^ "Harvard Hosts Mormon Apostle as Speaker". 2012-03-21. 
  26. ^ "Mormon Apostle Addresses All-Party Parliamentary Group in UK House of Lords". 2015-06-10. 
  27. ^ Church Education: About CES Administration, Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  28. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-05. Retrieved 2014-04-13. 
  29. ^ "Jeffrey R. Holland". Organization: General Authorities. Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  30. ^

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit