Latter-day Saint apostle ‘slowly returning to work’ after ‘serious health issues’

Jeffrey R. Holland has been dealing with COVID-19 and undergoing kidney dialysis.

Two months after Jeffrey R. Holland was “excused” from his duties as an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he is “pleased to begin slowly returning to work,” he posted Tuesday on social media.

The 82-year-old church leader has spent the past two months dealing with what he called “serious health issues.” He tested positive for COVID-19, and he is undergoing kidney dialysis. He did not attend or speak at the church’s General Conference in early April, and he was forced to drop out as commencement speaker at Southern Utah University later that month.

In his social media post, Holland wrote that he and his wife, Pat, “have been touched by the cards, notes, thoughts, and especially by the prayers you have offered in our behalf. Your sweet gestures during this demanding time have reminded us that God watches over us, that we can always trust in Him, and that He very often answers our prayers through other people.”

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland speaks to C. Shane Reese after a devotional at the Marriott Center in Provo on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. Holland announced that Reese would become Brigham Young University’s 14th president May 1.

Pat Holland, 81, was also diagnosed with COVID-19 in early April.

“On days when we feel we have been pushed to our limit, we are reminded that we won’t be pushed beyond our faith,” Jeffrey Holland said, adding, “It is the difficult, demanding times of our lives that are the growth periods — the defining periods. They are the ones that take us from who we are now to who we are meant to be.”

The Utah-based faith posted his message on its newsroom webpage.

Holland’s latest public appearance was March 21, when he traveled to Provo to announce that Christopher Shane Reese had been named the new president of church-owned Brigham Young University.

In June 2020, soon after the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Holland was hospitalized to undergo diagnostic tests for an undisclosed illness not related to COVID-19.

He bounced back, thanks to what he termed a “miraculous” recovery.

“All at once ... I had a number of health issues, but I’m doing fine,” Holland told Church News Editor Sarah Jane Weaver in a December 2020 podcast reported at LDS Living. “And (for) some of these, the recovery has been really miraculous. I don’t use that word lightly. I don’t use it lightly at all. But that’s the only word I could use for the recovery I’ve had from some of these issues.”

In the spring of 2021, during a video appearance for a family history conference, the Latter-day Saint apostle used a walker after a previous illness had left him with numbness in his legs.

No upcoming public appearances have been announced for Holland as of Tuesday morning.