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Comer: Learning from President Holland’s recent social media posts


By Ryan Comer - | Feb 3, 2024

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Ryan Comer

Jeffrey R. Holland, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recently posted a pair of videos on his Facebook page. Like many members of the church, I’ve felt concern for President Holland over the last several months due to his health challenges, so it was uplifting for me to see that he is feeling an increase of energy. We all benefit from the efforts and testimonies of the apostles, and President Holland truly does connect with the members of the church in a unique way.

I felt compelled to highlight these videos because of some of the lessons that I personally learned from them.

In the first video, he was in Phoenix, Arizona, meeting with mission, temple and stake presidents and was responding to a question about his message for anyone who endures difficulties but continues pressing forward.

“That’s life. That’s the savior’s life. It’s the prophets’ lives,” he said. “We’ve all had challenges and face difficulties and you have to remember that we win. This is a victory already registered. This is the only ball game I know of where the score is already on the board but we’re still trying to decide which jersey we wear. It doesn’t make sense to me. Everybody ought to understand that. But that’s why we get up and go forward because we know the end. We know the final result. And this meeting for me is an example of that. I am so delighted to be here and to hear what I’ve heard and see what I see and participate in some small way. I really am childlike in the light and zeal that I feel to be back and get ready and come to a meeting and enjoy every minute of it.”

When I first watched this video, I was impressed by how much President Holland wants to be active in his church service. He isn’t just checking a box or going through the motions. He has genuine love for the savior, the church and all of us, and that love compels him to push forward when perhaps many might say he has every right to simply take it easy.

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald file photo

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his wife, Patricia, acknowledge attendees at the end of the afternoon session of the 192nd Semi-Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022.

I think sometimes it’s easy to look at the leaders of the church and to think of them as just that: leaders of the church. We don’t necessarily see them as human beings. Elder Robert M. Daines spoke of this concept in his own life as it related to his mother at the October 2023 general conference of the church when he said:

“As a young boy, I often saw my mom as the rule-maker. She decided when I could play and when I had to go to bed or, worse, pull weeds in the yard.

“She obviously loved me. But too often and to my shame, I saw her only as ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed.’

“Only years later did I come to see her as a real person. I am embarrassed that I never really noticed her sacrifice or wondered why for years she only ever wore the same two old skirts (while I got new school clothes) or why, at the end of the day, she was so tired and eager for me to go to bed early.”

I’m grateful to be reminded of President Holland’s dedication. To me, he isn’t just a church leader talking about the church. He’s a powerful witness of Jesus Christ and his restored gospel and someone who desires to share what he knows with as many people as he can because of the joy he knows such knowledge will bring into their lives. Watching President Holland’s example served as an important reminder to me of the importance of being more dedicated in my own life.

In the second video, President Holland shared his testimony of prayer.

“It’s been a magnificent experience to be the recipient of prayer, of people asking something for someone else, for someone they hardly know, and to see that realized. … I have a new, renewed, deeper — maybe the way it should have been in the first place — but a whole new view in my heart and my soul about what it means to pray for each other. I don’t know that I understood that that worked that way. Now, I’ve prayed for other people and I’ve said the prayers you’ve said since I was a child. I mean, I do know. I was raised in a prayerful way. I’ve prayed all my life. But it’s taken on something entirely new for me.”

When I heard this message, I was taken aback by the humility. Sometimes I look at the apostles and think I could never have their testimonies. I could never be as strong in the gospel as they are. But knowing that they too still learn important lessons helps me to know that I don’t have to stress about all that I don’t know and all that I am not. I just have to continue pressing forward, living as Christlike a life as I can. As I do so, my faith and knowledge will grow.

Finally, I can’t help but think of the blessing that trials are when I hear President Holland’s words. President Holland has obviously known the importance and benefits of prayer since he was a child, but through his recent experiences, he has learned in a powerful and personal way the impact praying for other people can have. He now has a testimony of prayer in a way that he did not quite have before. What are we learning from our trials? Are we simply dealing with our trials, or are we actively trying to figure out what lesson there is for us to learn from them? I know that a loving Heavenly Father would want to teach us.

These are just a few of many thoughts I had as I watched President Holland’s videos. My advice to anyone reading: Watch the videos yourself. What will you learn?

Contact Ryan Comer at rcomer@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @rbcomer8388 and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rbcomer8388.


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