Jeffrey R. Holland was born on December 3, 1940, and grew up in St. George, Utah. As a boy he enjoyed sports, especially baseball. Elder Holland once stated, “I played on every kind of team that could have been assembled.” He attended Dixie High School and was on the state championship football and basketball teams. He received letters for football, basketball, track, and baseball. Patricia Terry, who later became his wife, was a cheerleader at his high school. They dated for two years before Elder Holland was called on a Mormon mission to England. His mission taught him that teaching was the profession he would like to pursue. His parents were also called on a mission to England the same time he was serving, and his mother noted that he claimed to be the only Mormon missionary who ever said farewell to his parents at both ends of his mission.Elder Holland returned home from his mission and married Patricia in the St. George Temple on June 7, 1963. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University in 1965 and was given the opportunity to teach part-time at BYU while he worked on his master’s degree. In 1966 he completed his graduate work in religious education and was hired as an institute teacher by the LDS Church Educational System.
In 1970, Elder Holland was accepted to a doctoral degree program at Yale. He was also called to be in an LDS stake presidency. By this time the Holland’s had two children, Matthew and Mary Alice. David Frank was soon to follow in 1973.
In 1974 Jeffrey R. Holland was called as dean of Religious Education at BYU. This was followed by an appointment as commissioner of education for the Church, and then in 1980 he was called to be President of Brigham Young University. While president he directed a number of projects including a $100,000,000 fundraiser for the school, and helped in the building of the BYU Jerusalem Center.
On April 1, 1989, Jeffrey R. Holland was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in the LDS Church, and on June 23, 1994 he was called to be an Apostle for the LDS Church. Other accomplishments in the life of Jeffrey R. Holland include serving, “as president of the American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities (AAPICU), on the board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), and as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Presidents Commission. For his work in improving understanding between Christians and Jews he was awarded the “Torch of Liberty” award by the Anti-Defamation League of B’Nai B’rith. He has served on the governing boards of a number of civic and business related corporations. He is the author of six books, one of which he co-authored with his wife, Patricia” (Biography of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, lds.org).