A few dozen reporters and a couple of goofy-looking bloggers assembled in the lobby between sessions of conference for a brief press conference. Elder Andersen looked terrifically uncomfortable as he waited for the press conference to begin. He said that he was “humbled by this day, very overwhelmed at what is ahead and the honor and responsibility that has come to me.” He expressed appreciation to the members of the church who had voted to sustain him, and his hope that he “can become what [he] must become in the years ahead.” He described the feelings of receiving the calling as “heaviness, weightiness, humbleness at contemplating what you’re expected to be.”
He mentioned that he and his family have lived outside of the United States for 10 of the last 20 years, and that they have come to love people all over the world. Later, when asked how he might respond to criticism that his seat ought to have been filled by a member of a minority community, he said that there were many members in all areas of the Church who were worthy and qualified to serve, and that it was just “a matter of whom the Lord calls.” He noted that in the First Quorum of the Seventy, 5 years ago, there were 9 men born outside US, and now there are 25. “The nature of governance of the church, “ he said, “is expanding as the needs of the church expand.”
He was asked whether he had advice to church members about dealing with increased media scrutiny. He affirmed that such scrutiny is inevitable as the Church becomes larger, better-known, and more influential. We are always going to be looked to as a group that believes deeply in God, Savior, principles. Though people may disagree when we express our strongly-held beliefs, hopefully we will be seen as thoughtful, tolerant, people of peace. We can be a strength in our communities when we are respectful of all. We need to be at peace and know the Lord will bless us. He affirmed that these are great times to live in, great times to be members of the church, and that there are very happy times ahead.
Scott Taylor of the Deseret news asked him to describe what the titles “Prophet, Seer, and Revelator” mean to him personally this weekend. He replied that “we in the Church, honor and revere those 15 men we sustain as Prophets, Seers, and Revelators. The terms fall off our lips so easily, almost since we were children, we say them. But as they become engrained into our very soul, our DNA, it lifts the purposes and it lifts the feeling of those words. First of all, it means that I know that Jesus is the Christ with a sure and certain witness, and this I do. I know that he lives, I know he is resurrected. It means much more, it means we must live in such a way that [the Savior] and his Father communicate with us, that we know their will, and communicate it… that we see beyond what is seen… [I will do this] in the same way as anyone in the church does, through prayer and supplication, through deep pondering and obedience and living a life such that the Lord can communicate with [me]. I take it as a heavy responsibility, moreso than I have ever thought of it before.”