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Friday, September 8, 2017

Church Offers Official Statements on Two Natural Disasters

Hello, everyone! In the last 72 hours or less, the Church has issued two statements: this one in response to Hurricane Irma, and this one on the Mexico earthquake that hit yesterday. In the wake of such natural upheavals, I am glad to see the Church responding so quickly. I again expressed my gratitude for the experiences I had of observing through my two-year part-time service with the Church's Humanitarian program how the Church always lays up emergency supplies and kits in store so that when natural disasters like we've seen lately do take place, a swift response can be given. It works so well. I hope to be back periodically today with more Church news updates. For now, any comments are always welcome and appreciated. In the meantime, thank you for the privilege of your time, and may the Lord bless each and every one of you until my next post. Until that time, I wish you all the best.

Elder Quentin L. Cook Celebrates His 77th Birthday Today

Hello, all! As I promised over two weeks ago that I would (on the occasion of the last apostolic birthday) I am doing a quick albeit brief post during these early-morning hours in honor of Elder Quentin L. Cook celebrating his 77th birthday today. I am doing it now because my wife and I will be spending the better part of our afternoon (and evening) at a doctor's appointment up north. So let's dive right in.

Quentin La Mar Cook was born on September 8, 1940 in Logan, Utah to J. Vernon and Bernice Cook. He grew up with an older brother and a younger sister. His earliest childhood memories were of gospel instruction in the home. At age 15, he had a discussion with his brother Joe that changed his life. Joe was unsure whether to put off medical school to serve a mission. During that conversation, they determined that either the gospel was true or it wasn't, and that if it was, serving a mission would be the best use of Joe's time. Joe’s decision to go led Elder Cook to accept his own call to serve in the British Mission. His mission presidents (one of whom, Marion D. Hanks, would later be a General Authority colleague) taught him many things that he used later in life. In the course of his missionary service, he was in a companionship with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. Though the two didn't know it at the time, both would go on to serve as General Authorities and as colleagues in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Elder Cook returned from his mission with a strong testimony of the Savior and a resolve to associate with people who love the Savior, which he later discovered included those who were not members of the Church. He married Mary Gaddie (his high school sweetheart) following his mission, on November 30, 1962 in the Logan Utah Temple. They have three children and several grandchildren. He graduated from Utah State University with a degree in political science and from Stanford University with a juris doctorate degree. As a managing partner in San Francisco Bay area law firm, he specialized in business law. He later became president and chief executive officer of California Healthcare System, and vice chairman of Sutter Health Systems. 

His church service has included being a bishop, stake president’s counselor, stake president, regional representative, and area authority. While he was in the stake presidency, he was instilled with a love of people from all nations when he had responsibility for Spanish, Tongan, Samoan, Tagalog, Mandarin, and Cantonese congregations. He was sustained as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy on April 6, 1996, and as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 4, 1998 before being called to the Presidency of the Seventy on August 1, 2007. On October 6, 2007, he was sustained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The apostolic vacancy had been created by the death of President James E. Faust, which in turn resulted in Elder Henry B. Eyring’s call to the First Presidency. Elder Cook was ordained an apostle on October 11, 2007.

No doubt because of his experiences ministering to multilingual Church congregations both during his time in that stake presidency and even more so since his call as a General Authority. As his apostolic service nears the decade mark, he has had many opportunities to speak in General Conference. He gave 2 talks as a general authority seventy (and in view of his apostolic call coming just two months after his call to the Presidency of the Seventy gave no talks in that capacity) and has given 20 talks since his call to the apostleship. To review any or all of these magnificent addresses, please click here. I wish this good man a very happy birthday. As fully as I do his 14 apostolic colleagues, I am just as happy to sustain this wonderful servant of our Heavenly Father as a prophet, seer and revelator, and I hope he will have a fabulous birthday as he celebrates having reached 77 years of age.

For now, that does it for this post. As always, any comments are welcome and appreciated. If I am able to and if there is significant Church or temple news (of which there has been some in recent days, putting me somewhat behind in my report of it), you can count on my being back with such a report later today. If not, then I will for sure be back sometime tomorrow (September 9), when I will provide my birthday tribute to the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Russell M. Nelson, who is only a heartbeat away from the presidency of the Church, and whom I know is praying more than anyone that President Monson's life will be spared and prolonged above and beyond his own. The remarkable 93rd birthday he will reach is well worth mentioning and reporting, and I cannot wait to be back with that post.

In the meantime, as always, thank you for the privilege of your time, and may the Lord be with and bless you each until my next post. Until that time comes, I wish you all the best.