For months now, members around the world have been concerned about the health of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, who has been dealing with the effects of COVID-19 and other health challenges.
In April 2023, Elder Holland was excused from attending general conference, as he and Sister Holland had tested positive for COVID. An official Church statement on April 6 also related that Elder Holland had begun dialysis for a kidney condition and that the First Presidency had “excused him from all Church assignments and meetings for at least two months.”
But while he was on a break from assignments, Elder Holland continued to share his voice, writing a piece for Church News when President Henry B. Eyring turned 90 years old. The Second Counselor in the First Presidency’s birthday made history in the Church as four of the senior-most leaders in the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were officially 90 years old or older.
Most recently, Elder Holland spoke about the health challenges he’s been facing and expressed his gratitude for the Saints who have been praying for him. He shared his thoughts in a Church News video recorded at the 2023 Seminar for New Mission Leaders in Provo, Utah.
“I’ve believed all my life about prayer,” he says in the video. “In many, many cases a lot of the people in the Church, maybe most, pray for the Brethren. And I just want to somehow take that up a notch in people’s hearts where they understand that that really, really matters.”
In the video, the Apostle explains more about his health, saying, “All the things that could be wrong with somebody who shouldn’t get COVID—that’s who I was. And I should’ve been, probably, taken—but I wasn’t. And I think, with all my heart, that it was the prayer of little kids in Kansas, and sweet colleagues that I met in Zimbabwe, and someone praying in a Japanese language that I don’t even understand—but that they do, and God does—I believe that I’m the beneficiary of that. And so here I am.”
Elder Holland concludes, “I’m staggering toward the finish line. I refuse to get off the track. I'm still in the race. And I'm grateful to the Saints for that, for those prayers.”
Watch the video with Elder Holland below.