Patricia T. Holland is a Mormon speaker and author known for her talks on subjects related to family and relationships, motherhood, and faith. She is married to Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and his wife Patricia Holland have “acquired empathy,” in the words of the late Elder Neal A. Maxwell, for people who are dealing with health issues. Both people have experienced serious illnesses and health issues over the past few years, which have frequently put them in life-threatening circumstances.

The pair discusses their thoughts on this “acquired empathy” and what it has taught them in a brand-new Church News video.

Sister Holland stated, “I don’t think faith is faith until it’s all you have to hang on to. And because it was really a matter of life or death for both of us, religion was the only thing we had to cling to.

“I am a live witness of what it means for members of the Church to pray for the Brethren,” said Elder Holland. I’ve recovered from hearing that I might never walk normally again.

Elder And Sister Holland's Journey

Elder Holland experienced a non-COVID-19 illness for several days before being brought to the hospital in June 2020.

In the video, he also discussed how he has made a conscious effort to be more open about his illness and age, frequently walking with a cane on missions abroad. He said this because he wants people to be aware of all the challenges that President Nelson and other Church leaders have had to face as they age.

Sister Holland has been more restrained and secretive about her health issues, but at the 2018 Mission Leadership Seminar, she did share a personal story of a condition that nearly killed her.

Elder Holland offered this perspective to anyone dealing with health concerns or issues: “When individuals have a bad day, if their first response is ‘Well, God doesn’t love me,’ I respond, ‘Boy, then you’ve just eliminated a lot of people! most importantly, perhaps, the Living Son of the Living God. For the best people I’ve ever known and undoubtedly the best people I’ve read about, life has been difficult.

Sister Holland remarked, “Everything I’ve done that’s been a challenge has drawn me closer and closer to the Lord. “That type of hope carries you,” the speaker said. “I don’t think you can have light without darkness.”


In summary, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and his wife Patricia Holland have experienced serious health issues in recent years, which have given them “acquired empathy” for others facing health challenges. They have both turned to their faith to help them through these difficult times and have learned to find hope and strength in their struggles.

Elder Holland has made a conscious effort to be more open about his illness and age, and Sister Holland has shared her personal story of a health condition that nearly killed her. Both believe that facing challenges can bring one closer to God and that hope can be found in even the darkest of times.

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