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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Additional Church News

Hello again, everyone! I wanted to post again right now to share some church news stories which I have found to be significant. I hope they may be of interest to you as well. These articles are pulled from both the official Church website and that of the Church News. Let's start with the latter.

First, the Church News continued its' six-part series on the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles with this article in which quotes from all but the newest two apostles address common misconceptions that members of the Church and those outside the Church (including our friends of other faiths) might have about service in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  This is the fifth article in what I believe is a six-part series, so the next article should conclude it.

I will next be providing brief summaries of a few other articles from the Church News here, which includes this article (about how a new video from provides more context into the old adage "practice what you preach") and this report (on a recent update to the Gospel Library app which has been released to fix previous problems)

There is also this advice from Brother Brian K. Ashton, Second Counselor in the Sunday School Presidency on how to get more out of Sunday School and thereby make it one of our favorite hours at Church; which seems to further debunk the idea that the Church may get rid of the Sunday School hour in the October General Conference.

Next, I wanted to share from the Church News is this one in which Sister Kristen M. Oaks, wife of President Dallin H. Oaks, shares some of the highs and lows of being a Single Adult in the Church. Her experience and advice may be helpful to anyone any of us knows who fits that definition.

I don't know if I shared this article earlier or not, but the Church has partnered with Muslims and Methodists to discuss ways that serving together can lead to understanding between those of differing beliefs. You can read more on that here.

Moving on now to the Church website (, this article highlighted the singular opportunity President Ezra Taft Benson had to serve as Secretary of Agriculture while also continuing active service in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. This article highlighted days on which the Church has held more than one temple groundbreaking on the same day.

An interesting thought occurred to me as I read that article: Why would it be published now unless the Church was potentially planning to have more temple groundbreakings on the same day in the near future? Some have said President Nelson may opt to announce several temple groundbreakings at once, and that if that occurs, at least two of those groundbreakings could be held on the same day. It will be interesting to see what happens there.

I may or may not have previously shared this article about how a 1879 Catholic Mass held at the St. George Tabernacle wound up being a returned blessing to a branch of the Church in Italy, There is also this inspiring story of how a senior missionary's call to a nation from which some of his ancestors hailed has now brought him full-circle.

And as I prepare to wrap-up this post sharing these news stories, Mormon Newsroom's Blog has shared the latest entry in their series which shares stories of Church members worldwide from different country newsroom websites. Today's edition of that article contains stories from Cambodia, Peru, Australia (2),, Brazil, and Massachusetts USA.

I can recommend all of these articles as worthy of your attention. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of new content, please feel free to subscribe.

Until my next post (which, barring anything unexpected, will share my revised and expanded list of temple prospects which may be announced during the October General Conference, and could be published tomorrow or Saturday at the latest), I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Elder Neil L. Andersen Marks his 67th Birthday

Hello again, everyone! With today being August 9, Elder Neil L. Andersen is celebrating his 67th birthday today. So I wanted to post and share some highlights of his life and ministry in the Church. Let's get right into all of that.

Neil Linden Andersen was born in Logan, Utah on this day in 1951 to Lyle and Kathryn Andersen. His family relocated to Pocatello when he was five to run a dairy farm. He served a full-time mission in France, then obtained a bachelor's degree in economics, eventually earning his MBA from Harvard, also in economics. During his time at BYU, he met and married his wife, Kathy Sue Anderson, and together they raised four children.

He spent his professional career working various jobs. At the pinnacle of his career, he was Vice President of the Morton Plant Health System. He has served in the Church as a stake president’s counselor, stake president and mission president (assigned to the France Bordeaux Mission) from 1989-1992. Less than a year after his return, he was called to be a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. Interestingly, his call as a General Authority occurred in the same conference as that of his apostolic seatmate, Elder D. Todd Christofferson.

During his time as a Seventy, he served in a wide variety of Church assignments, including as executive director of the church's Audiovisual Department, assistant executive director of the Priesthood Department, and in the presidencies of the following areas: Europe West Utah North, Utah South, North America Southwest, North America Northeast, and the Brazil South Area (during which time he served as the area president).

In 2005, Elder Andersen was called to the Presidency of the Seventy, where he was assigned to preside over the Idaho Area (from 2005-2007), and by the time his stewardship switched to the North America Southwest Area (2007-2009), he had gone from being the second-least senior member of that Presidency to being the third-most-senior member. In 2008, with Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (in April) and the release of Senior President Elder Earl C. Tingey (in August, in preparation for his being granted emeritus status in the October General Conference), Elder Andersen then became the Senior President of the Seventy.

He would only serve in that capacity for 8 months. In view of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin’s death in December 2008, Elder Andersen was subsequently called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during the April 2009 General Conference. An interesting bit of trivia is the fact that Elders Christofferson, Andersen, and Rasband were all seatmates in the Presidency of the Seventy as of August 2007, and they would all go on to be apostolic seatmates, having been called in April 2008, April 2009, and October 2015 respectively.

Elder Andersen has had 24 opportunities thus far to address Church members in General Conference (3 of which he gave as a General Authority Seventy, with 2 others given while he was a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, and the remaining 19 since his call to the QuorIum of the Twelve Apostles). To review any or all of those talks, click here.

I am grateful for Elder Andersen's ministry, and I joyfully and wholeheartedly sustain him as a prophet, seer and revelator. Although it is unlikely he will ever personally read this tribute, I am likewise grateful for all I have learned through both his General Conference talks and reading the reports of the ministry of both him and all the Brethren we sustain as special witnesses of the Savior.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.