ST. GEORGE — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, one of the apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was submitted to a hospital last week due to illness, the church announced Wednesday.
In a brief statement posted on the church’s news site, church spokesman Eric Hawkins confirmed Holland had been taken a hospital “following several days of illness.”
Holland, 79, was tested for COVID-19 with negative results, Hawkins said. Other diagnostic studies are currently being done, he added.
Holland, who hails from St. George, was called to be a member of the LDS church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1994. Prior to that, he had served as a member of the church First Quorum of the Seventy. As an apostle in the church, Holland is one of 15 men – the quorum and three-member First Presidency combined – who make up the top leaders of the church.
Before being called to serve as a general authority – a term used for high-ranking leaders in the LDS church – Holland had a career as a professional educator and served as the ninth president of Brigham Young University, according to his profile on the church news site.
Like his fellow apostles and other high-ranking church officials, Holland routinely gives sermons during the church’s biannual General Conference generally held in April and October. During the most recent General Conference, Holland gave a sermon titled “A Perfect Brightness of Hope,” in which he spoke of the virtues of faith and hope during times of uncertainty.
Concerning the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other pressing issues of the day, he said the following:
When we have conquered it (COVID-19) — and we will — may we be equally committed to freeing the world from the virus of hunger and freeing neighborhoods and nations from the virus of poverty. May we hope for schools where students are taught — not terrified they will be shot — and for the gift of personal dignity for every child of God, unmarred by any form of racial, ethnic or religious prejudice. Undergirding all of this is our relentless hope for greater devotion to the two greatest of all commandments: to love God by keeping His counsel and to love our neighbors by showing kindness and compassion, patience and forgiveness. These two divine directives are still — and forever will be — the only real hope we have for giving our children a better world than the one they now know.
Locally, Holland has been honored by the community in recent years as he had a building on the campus of Dixie State University named after him in 2012 and received a “manhood award” from Washington City in 2013.
At the time, Holland joked that, “I didn’t know I was qualified. I’m glad they at least think I’m in the running for it.”
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