President Jeffrey R. Holland said recently that he spent three weeks of a five-week hospital stay “in an unconscious journey to the doorstep of death.”

He’s been gaining strength since he returned home in early September, and on Wednesday, President Russell M. Nelson set apart President Holland as the acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Then on Friday, President Holland sat on the edge of a tall chair at the Salt Lake Tabernacle at the funeral for President M. Russell Ballard and delivered a tender and energetic farewell to his friend and mentor.

On Monday, the First Presidency announced that it had assigned President Holland to rededicate the historic St. George Utah Temple in two sessions on Dec. 10, at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The assignment is an honor for President Holland, who was born and raised in St. George, where he was a football, basketball and baseball star in high school and played basketball for what today is Utah Tech University. It’s also where he met his wife of 50 years, Sister Patricia Terry Holland, whom he married in the St. George temple 50 years ago. She died in July and was buried in St. George, six blocks from the temple.

President Jeffrey R. Holland speaks at the funeral of President M. Russell Ballard in Salt Lake City on Nov. 17, 2023.
President Jeffrey R. Holland, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speaks at the funeral services of President M. Russell Ballard in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The St. George Utah Temple is the oldest operating temple in the church, originally opened in 1877. It would be years still before the completion and dedications of the Logan (1884), Manti (1888) and Salt Lake (1893) temples.

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The St. George Utah Temple underwent an extensive remodel in 1937-38. A second major renovation, that nearly doubled its size, was completed in 1975, when the temple was rededicated by President Spencer W. Kimball.

The temple closed for the latest renovation in November 2019.

President Nelson announced a major effort to renovate and restore the church’s pioneer-era temples in October 2018:

Salt Lake Temple to close for four years as Temple Square undergoes seismic change
  • St. George once again will be the first to open.
  • The Manti Utah Temple renovation is nearly complete. The First Presidency announced Monday that a public open house for the Manti temple will run from March 14-April 5, 2024, excluding Sundays, and that the temple will be rededicated on April 21, 2024.
  • The Salt Lake Utah Temple has been under renovation since the start of 2019. The latest estimate is that it will be completed in 2026.
  • Renovation plans for the fourth pioneer-era temple, the Logan Utah Temple, are pending.

The public open house for the St. George Temple ended on Nov. 11. The dedicatory sessions will be broadcast to all congregations in the St. George Utah Temple district.

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