Elder Jeffrey R. Holland was born December 3, 1940, in St. George, Utah. His parents were great examples to him and his brother and sister. His mother's family were pioneers who came to St George to settle southern Utah. His father was a leader in the Church and in their community. Jeffrey had many inspiring childhood experiences. One experience helped him understand Lehi's vision in the Book of Mormon. This happened one day when Jeffrey went to Salt Lake City with his parents. As his mother went into a store, she thought his father was holding on to Jeffrey's hand. His father thought his mother was holding Jeffrey's hand. But Jeffrey wasn't holding anyone's hand, so he just kept walking down the street. Before Jeffrey knew it, he was lost. As he looked around, he couldn't see anyone he knew. He was very afraid. Back at the store, his worried parents quickly realized Jeffrey was gone. Fortunately it took them only a few minutes to find him, and they were very relieved and grateful. To Jeffrey, that experience was a lot like the iron rod in Lehi's vision. As long we hold on to Heavenly Father's word and choose the right, even if we don't know exactly what to do and are afraid, He will always guide us back to Him. He learned that we should hold on to the iron rod, because it is the word of God and we will never get lost if we do that. It will keep us on the right path. When Jeffrey was six, he had another special experience. His grandpa was very sick. One day the stake patriarch came to visit his grandpa. He asked all the grown-ups to kneel around the bed in a circle, and take turns saying a prayer. Jeffrey was the only one in the room who was not a grown-up, but the patriarch asked him to say a prayer too. Jeffrey had given family prayers before. He had blessed the food before. He always said his prayers before bed. But he had never prayed with grown-ups like this before! He was a little frightened, but he said a prayer for his grandpa. Later his grandpa got well, and everyone was thankful for this blessing. The patriarch told Jeffrey that his grandpa had been healed mostly because of Jeffrey's sincere and humble prayer. Jeffrey never forgot that experience. Prayer became very important to him from that day on. One day when Jeffrey was a little older, he and his brother were playing on a big hill. As they played, Jeffrey slipped and tumbled into a huge, prickly cactus plant. He had cactus needles all over him. He was afraid and in a lot of pain. Whenever he moved or when his brother tried to pull out a needle, it hurt even more. Jeffrey's brother quickly ran down the hill to get help. Jeffrey didn't want to be left alone, especially when he really needed his brother. Soon he saw his brother struggling back up the hill with a small red wagon. He had run all the way home to get the wagon. Then he pulled it all the way up the hill, huffing and puffing, so he could pull Jeffrey home. As Jeffrey thought about that experience, he felt his brother's love. It made him think of the love Jesus has for each of us. Jeffrey made it back home because of his brother's help. We can also return to our heavenly home with help from Jesus. Jeffrey loved sports and played football, basketball, track, and baseball. His high school football and basketball teams even won state championships! Another important thing happened to him in high school. He met his future wife, Patricia Terry. But before they were married, Jeffrey served a mission in Great Britain. This was another important spiritual step in his life. After he returned home from his mission, he and Patricia married in the St. George Temple in 1963. She has always helped him a lot as his wife and the mother of their three children, Matt, Mary Alice and David. Just like Elder Holland, Sister Holland has been a leader in the church and community. Elder Holland studied English and religion at Brigham Young University. He worked as a teacher after he graduated. He taught institute several places and then earned a doctorate from Yale University. He led many Church programs during this time and served in many community organizations. In 1980 Elder Holland became president of Brigham Young University. Then in 1989 he was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy. He became an Apostle in the Quorum of the Twelve in 1994. Elder Holland says his greatest joy is to testify of Jesus Christ wherever he goes and to everyone he serves for as long as he lives.