The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement on April 6 excusing Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve from his Church assignments for at least two months due to his health.
Elder Holland and Sister Patricia Holland were recently diagnosed with COVID-19 and were excused from April’s General Conference.
According to the statement, he also recently began dialysis for a kidney condition. The First Presidency has excused him from his responsibilities to “allow his medical treatments and recovery to take full effect,” the statement said.
Elder Holland’s last public appearance was at the March 21 BYU devotional to announce the release of President Kevin J Worthen and the appointment of C. Shane Reese as the 14th president of BYU.
Elder Holland was also scheduled to speak at the commencement ceremony for Southern Utah University on April 28.
However, the invitation caused some controversy with the community due to remarks he made during BYU’s 2021 Annual University Conference, and a petition to rescind the invite circulated among SUU students.
SUU President Mindy Benson sent an email last week to university students confirming that they would honor the invitation extended to Elder Holland to speak at the commencement.
In the email, Benson said the tension experienced on their campus is due to the “perceived clash of two of SUU’s core values: our staunch support of freedom of expression and our strong desire for inclusion and belonging.”
Benson said they must continue to “operate from the intersection of freedom of expression and inclusion,” and would sustain Elder Holland’s invitation to speak.
However, in light of the Church’s announcement, SUU’s Office of Marketing Communication confirmed to The Daily Universe that Elder Holland will no longer be speaking at the SUU commencement ceremony due to his health.
The Church’s press release said Elder and Sister Holland are grateful for the prayers and “outpouring of support offered in their behalf.”