He is an expert on and champion defender of the Book of Mormon.
Yet, cannot answer simple questions about it. Only offers lies to support its truthfulness (Joseph and Hyrum died rather than deny their faith, has withstood 179 years of criticism etc.).
He lies to a BBC reporter when asked about temple oaths and also the Strengthening the Members Committee. Does not understand the word 'translate' with regard to the Book of Abraham.
He lies by offering to meet with a group of exmos, then refuses to acknowledge their numerous attempts to take up his "invitation".
So, in summary, he tells lies with great emotion and use of logical fallacies. Missionaries are trained to do exactly the same, ending each discussion with an emotional testimony whilst shedding tears.
Training the little Morgbot mishies is done with repetitive motivating emotional rhetoric. Most are immature adults, barely out of puberty, and innocently trust the unknowing widespread misrepresentations of TSCC. The top 15 have created a “Jesus talks to me persona” which is indoctrinated into members' belief system.
Holland has just mastered the art of using vim, vigor, and voluminous-tears to pull at one’s heart stringed emotions. It's his method of turning a fallacy into a believable fact to make it stick. Most Morgbot mishies fall for it.
My take on it: Holland does give, in all probability, the best and most substantive General Conference addresses, relatively speaking. He's a bit more articulate and he knows how to put together and deliver a coherent speech, perhaps thanks to the training he underwent to get his doctorate in American studies. Now, that isn't saying all that much, but given the impulse for members to have to 'love' and 'find inspiration in' the FP and Q12, it isn't surprising that, for all his many actual flaws (as Tom rightly notes), Holland is a fave. After all, he may be the only member of Q12 whose talks get close to the quality level of the average pastor in non-Mormon churches. He isn't very polished, but he's what passes for it in Mormondom.
Well, it's anybody's guess I suppose. My take is that Holland gets a lot of mileage out of his domineering personality. Even at General Conference, for most of his sermons, at some point he tends to bear down from the pulpit, almost trying to intimidate the listener into submission. As a social generalization, I think people tend to respond very favorably to leaders who act in this way...for better or worse. Holland is no more articulate than any other leader, and given his willingness to tackle some of the more difficult subject matters in Mormonism, his arguments are often among the worse in reasoning. He knows this, and instead chooses to bank on the delivery style as a way of compensating for the content of his message.
That is why I maintain he knows it is all a crock and he is desperate. I am disappointed that he chooses to be a lying hypocrite, rather than admit the truth and play his part in reforming the church into some worthwhile organisation, if that is possible.
Moxnix summed it up well. I always hated the guy while on my mission. He's the epitome of someone who demands giving 100% effort but doesn't walk the walk of actually loving other people and doing what's right as numbers are all that matter.
He visited my mission and called my mission president by the wrong last name several times. Maybe yet another thing I piled on that shelf.
TW-RM Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Moxnix summed it up well. I always hated the guy > while on my mission. He's the epitome of someone > who demands giving 100% effort but doesn't walk > the walk of actually loving other people and doing > what's right as numbers are all that matter. > > He visited my mission and called my mission > president by the wrong last name several times. > Maybe yet another thing I piled on that shelf.
He was the Europe West Area Authority when I served my mission here in England and he spoke at 2 or 3 mission wide conferences while I was serving my time. All I remember of his talks (and also the talks of M Russell Ballard who visited once or twice) were hard work, obedience & more baptisms.
Those zone conferences and mission wide conferences were just sales training meetings.
I hated him when I was a missionary. I thought he was way too into himself and not really appearing as a real messenger of God should. I guess that's what lead to me leaving. Most missionaries weren't how I envisioned they should be. I envisioned people who actually cared about people not numbers and themselves. I was a missionary who didn't care about numbers but the names behind them. That's probably why I hated the mission
he came and spoke to our mission and railed on and on about how we needed to work harder and be more obedient. He implied that our lack of success was a result of our lackluster efforts. He shook the walls by pounding the pulpit a few times, he cried a few times, and yelled a whole lot. We were kids just out of high school trying our best to sell a religion that nobody wanted in a setting that was less than safe, and in a country hostile to Americans. All the while we were paying to be there and work for him. Not to mention we could only call home twice a year and only for an hour each time per mission rules.
It took a while for me to wrap my head around the whole episode, because it was not what I expected an apostle to act like. Now it makes much more sense - he confuses the word 'apostle' with 'a$$hole'. He does his best to fulfill his high and holy calling of being an apostle by being a high and holy a$$hole. I wish I knew then what I know now, I would have called him on his bullsh*# and gone straight home.
When he succeeded Jack Goaslind as Area President, I was disappointed in his first talk compared with Jack. He was low on facts and high on emotion. Jack was a kinder person and more interesting speaker with less of the emotional blackmail.
However Jeff grew on me and I became a fan. All the pulpits in the U.K. had to be reinforced (at considerable expense) because Jeff always pounded the pulpit and, in the early days, they broke.
anointedone Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > When he succeeded Jack Goaslind as Area President, > I was disappointed in his first talk compared with > Jack. He was low on facts and high on emotion. > Jack was a kinder person and more interesting > speaker with less of the emotional blackmail. > > However Jeff grew on me and I became a fan. All > the pulpits in the U.K. had to be reinforced (at > considerable expense) because Jeff always pounded > the pulpit and, in the early days, they broke.
Reminds me of a cousin o' mine who was a locally famous non-Mormon preacher (of Irish and German background) in the mid-19th century. One of the many stories about him runs that, on one occasion, he wasn't satisfied to smack his fist on the pulpit, so in his excitement, he broke off a small plank from the pulpit and started banging it against the pulpit to emphasize some of his points. When the plank splintered, he grabbed another one and repeated the process.
By the end of his sermon, there was no pulpit left.
Maybe he doesn't put them to sleep as quick as the rest of those old guys? IDK, they all could put me to sleep within minutes. That should have been a stronger signal to me years ago. I love to hear articulate men philosophize about deep subjects but it was all I could do not to nod off while these guys were speaking. I once went to see President Monson speak a while back at the Bountiful Conference Hall or whatever it was when he was a counselor to Hinckley. The guys I went with were really excited because it was such an intimate setting. After it was over, they kept going on and on about how it was such a privilege to learn from a prophet of the Lord. I went along with them and really wished that I could understand where they were coming from but all I really gleaned from the whole thing was that he likes to tell boring stories from his life to illustrate points that are often times ill conceived. It was very uninspiring. He often seemed lost and forgot what the point of his story even was. They were like Aesop fables with no morals.
OMG - Holland visited my mission in England in 1999 I think. I was TERRIFIED! Because, well ya know as a missionary I occasionally tinkered with my factory. I was so scared because a personal representative of Jesus Christ himself was going to shake my hand and look into my eyes and know that I was an evil, vile sinner. My palms were sweating like crazy, sweat practically pouring out of my arm pits. My heart was racing - felt like it was going to beat right out of my chest as I stood in like to shake his hand. I finally got to him and he shook my hand real quick, said "thanks for serving" and was herded on like all before me.
Holland is an actor, but not a very good one if you look.
At the end of a paragraph where he quivers his voice and pretends to get emotional, he doesn't pause long enough to make it believable. He switches off the emotion almost immediately to get through his talk in the allocated time.
Kenneth Johnson (emeritus GA) told me that, the first time he spoke in Conference he had to rehearse his talk 50 times in front of a video camera. 50 times to get it right and make sure he finished on time.
Now the likes of Holland and Eyring don't have to do it 50 times but they do have to rehearse. Many of us may have shed a tear when telling of a special experience for the first time. But the quivering lip and tears after repeated rehearsals is pure theatrics.
I have heard Holland speak many times in different settings. The stories are often the same or at least similar. The quivering and tears cannot be sincere IMHO.
A long while back I bought Holland's book Christ and the New Covenant. The pretty red one. I believed it would have some great insights into the gospel. By the time I got about halfway through I realized that all he was doing was quoting from the quad and then summarizing the information. He offered no unique insights or thoughtful discussion, just summarizing. It was one of those times I put a little bookmark on my shelf with a question mark on it.
There may have been, I don't remember. What I do remember is that his comments and summaries really didn't add to the texts he was sourcing. He was just repeating what was said in his own words and didn't add anything insightful. I may have written reports like that in the fifth grade. I don't even remember if he had any personal experiences or historical examples for what he was sharing. I felt weird at the time for feeling so critical of the book, because others had such high praise for it. I kept thinking, "what am I missing here"?
In contrast I found Henry B. Eyring's (since hes's also being discussed)To Draw Closer To God to be much more insightful and applicable. It's more about an empathetic approach to helping others live the ideals as well as addressing your individual weaknesses more empathetically. I'm curious to see what I would think of it now after the last half year's paradigm shift, it's one of the few "churchy" books I brought with me. It's in a box still.
I think the big thing that draws in the TBMs to Holland is his bombastic bold approach to speech giving. He likes to set up lines in the sand and construct straw men to pound with a tender olive branch. It works well with group think mobs. He likes phrases such as, "in no uncertain terms," and people tend to prefer that sort of clarity since in agreeing with him, they get to be on his team. I think that's all there really is to it. He's as much of a Lion of the Lord as we have these days, sadly...
Pompous, arrogant, self-righteous men like Holland are a dime a dozen in the corporate world and especially in Christianity. Just turn on your TV any day of the week and listen to the insufferably obnoxious evangelical preachers pad their wallets. Holland would fit right in with these phonys. Oral Roberts, move over. Holland is not a Dodo, but if he keeps progressing some day he could be one.