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11 Life-Changing Lessons from Elder Holland

Elder Holland: 10 Forgotten Gems of Wisdom

Photo from Elder Holland's Facebook page.

Here are some of our favorite Elder Holland talks along with some killer takeaways. Check out his newest book, To My Friends, which features some of his greatest sermons. Available at Deseret Book and DeseretBook.com.

“The Laborers in the Vineyard”

Then this piercing question to anyone then or now who needs to hear it: “Why should you be jealous because I choose to be kind?” Brothers and sisters, there are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt— and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another person?

“Lessons from Liberty Jail”

We are not alone in our little prisons here. When suffering, we may in fact be nearer to God than we’ve ever been in our entire lives. That knowledge can turn every such situation into a would-be temple.

“How Do I Love Thee?”

No serious courtship or engagement or marriage is worth the name if we do not fully invest all that we have in it and in so doing trust ourselves totally to the one we love. You cannot succeed in love if you keep one foot out on the bank for safety’s sake. The very nature of the endeavor requires that you hold on to each other as tightly as you can and jump in the pool together.

“Personal Purity”

On your wedding day the very best gift you can give your eternal companion is your very best self—clean and pure and worthy of such purity in return. 

“Israel, Israel, God Is Calling”

“We check our religion at the door”? Lesson number one for the establishment of Zion in the twenty-first century: You never “check your religion at the door.” Not ever. That kind of discipleship cannot be—it is not discipleship at all.

“Remember Lot’s Wife”

Apparently what was wrong with Lot’s wife was that she wasn’t just looking back; in her heart she wanted to go back. . . .

When something is over and done with, when it has been repented of as fully as it can be repented of, when life has moved on as it should and a lot of other wonderfully good things have happened since then, it is not right to go back and open up some ancient wound that the Son of God Himself died trying to heal. Let people repent. Let people grow. Believe that people can change and improve. . . .

God doesn’t care nearly as much about where you have been as He does about where you are and, with His help, where you are willing to go. . . .

“The Ministry of Angels”

My beloved brothers and sisters, I testify of angels, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face.

“Considering Covenants: Women, Men, Perspective, Promises”

On those days when we think life is harder to bear than we can endure, and when we may think God has somehow forgotten us, that is the time most of all when we should remember our covenants. . . .

In times of difficulty and stress ahead, it will be the women of the Church—as well as the men—who will speak persuasively of God’s plan, of His eternal government, and of His priesthood assignments. In the years ahead, some of the great defenders of priesthood roles for men will be women speaking to other women.

“None Were With Him”

For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone. . . . 

One of the great consolations of our mortality is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. 

To My Friends by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Elder Holland: To My Friends Who Want to Believe


"If you need a burden lifted, I want you to imagine I am in a personal, private, closed-door chat with you. I want to help you if I can." With those words, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland invites every reader of his latest book to become a friend, to receive instruction and encouragement, counsel and comfort, in any circumstance.