Sister Holland urges students to look to God to find peace and confidence

In spite of difficulties in life, it is important to stay close to a loving Heavenly Father, Sister Patricia T. Holland told students gathered in the Salt Lake University Institute of Religion adjacent to the University of Utah on Nov. 22.

Having arrived during a snowstorm, students attended a fireside during which Sister Holland, wife of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve, shared personal experiences.

"I remember vividly how I felt at your age," she said. "I remember that some days were absolutely fabulous, but I also remember that there were many that seemed downright horrible … not knowing which way to turn or where to go."

Regardless of the difficulties in life, Sister Holland said, individuals can find peace and confidence as they look to their Heavenly Father.

"There are many reasons that young people at your age feel anxious, get down on yourselves, or just feel pretty lonely," she said. "When I look back at myself in those years, I poignantly remember that I felt all of that. ... It is that kind of anxiousness and disappointment in ourselves that I want to counter tonight."

Sister Holland spoke of the external experiences individuals internalize, and the potential isolating, depressing and unhealthy effect they can have on an individual's view of his or her personal worth.

Although people can't control many parts of their lives that can cause pain and suffering — whether it is family, friends or classmates — they can distance themselves from people and experiences that are potentially damaging.

"My message to you tonight, my young friends, is to break this cycle by withdrawing from damaging people and ... damaging experiences if you can," she said. "But make certain you do not withdraw from the people and experiences that heal and people who truly, honestly, genuinely love you — especially your Father in Heaven."

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