Patricia Terry Holland, the wife of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles , passed away peacefully on July, 20, 2023, after a brief hospitalization. She was 81. Sister Holland served as a counselor in the Young Women General Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Sister Holland left a legacy of service and humility and left us with some powerful principles throughout the messages she was able to share far and wide. The following quotes were from one of her last public addresses, given in a Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults on January 8,2023.
Keep It Simple
“As I look back at my life, and if I could live any part of it over again, I would do one thing differently — very differently: Simplify!” she said. “It seems to me that everything is better when it is simplified — our food, our clothing, our furnishings and our schedules.” – Patricia Holland
“What I regret most is that in my youth is that I didn’t see the simple beauty of the gospel; I even made the gospel too complex. I felt it was too overwhelming, too difficult and sometimes even too mysterious. It seemed to me that even as a young adult I had to climb a mountain of righteousness, go through a fiery furnace of purification and unravel every doctrinal controversy known to mankind. I thought I had to do these things if I were ever to be acceptable before God.” – Patricia Holland
All Things Are Possible
“…behind everything Christ taught — in every scripture, story and parable — is the promise that with God ‘all things are possible’ (Mark 9:23), the promise that God’s power can wipe away every tear (Revelations 21:4). We are to let go of personal desperation and seek rest in the Lord.”
Faith, Hope, and Charity
“I offer you this one simple little sequence. Faith is the conviction that there is a God, hope is trusting He will help us, and charity is His love working through us to bless others.” – Patricia
Bearers of Light
“…take the hope of which the Savior spoke and carry it like a torch to those who feel the world is very dark and a very difficult place. … The bearing of this light is to be your latter-day ministry.” – Patricia Holland
Unique and Different
Measure of Our Creation
“I have found it extremely reassuring to remember that one of the most important and fundamental truths taught in the scriptures and in the temple is that “Every living thing shall fill the measure of its creation.”
I must admit that when I first heard this directive, I thought it meant only procreation, having issue, bearing offspring. And I’m sure that is probably the most important part of its meaning, but much of the temple ceremony is symbolic, so surely there can be multiple meanings in this statement as well. Part of the additional meaning I now see in this commandment is that every element of creation has its own purpose and performance. Every one of us has been designed with a divine role and mission in mind. I believe that if our desires and works are directed toward what our heavenly parents have intended us to be, we will come to feel our part in their plan. We will recognize the “full measure of our creation,” and nothing will give us more holy peace.” – Patricia Holland
Limitations in Perspective
“I once read a wonderful analogy of the limitations our present perspective imposes on us. The message was that in the ongoing process of creation—our creation and the creation of all that surrounds us—our heavenly parents are preparing a lovely tapestry with exquisite colors and patterns and hues. They are doing so lovingly and carefully and masterfully. And each of us is playing a part—our part—in the creation of that magnificent, eternal piece of art.
But in doing so we have to remember that it is very difficult for us to assess our own contributions accurately. We see the rich burgundy of a neighboring thread and think, “That’s the color I want to be.” Then we admire yet another’s soft, restful blue or beige and think, “No, those are better colors than mine.” But in all of this we don’t see our work the way God sees it, nor do we realize that others are wishing they had our color or position or texture in the tapestry—even as we are longing for theirs.” – Patricia Holland
Your Only Assignment
So what can I be? What can I be? We can be what heavenly parents designed us and intend us and help us to be. How does one fill the measure of his or her creation? We do so by thrusting in a sickle and reaping with all our strength—and by rejoicing in our uniqueness and our difference. To be all that you can be, your only assignment is (1) to cherish your course and savor your own distinctiveness, (2) to shut out conflicting voices and listen to the voice within, which is God telling you who you are and what you will be, and (3) to free yourself from the love of profession, position, or the approval of men by remembering that what God really wants us to be is someone’s sister, someone’s brother, and someone’s friend.