Press Conference with Elder Andersen


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.”

img_1210He 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.”

img_1192He 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.

img_1203Scott 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.”

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  1. Well reported. Glad to hear such positive things about his charity work and governance style.

  2. Thanks for your reporting- both of you. What a grand opportunity!

  3. Major props for the excellent coverage. Elder Anderson (and President Uchdorff) were in the western Europe area presidency while I was on my mission and I observed of him some of the finest Church leadership I have ever seen. He will be a blessing to the Church.

  4. Couldn’t Sister Andersen have said something? Anything? Anything at all?

  5. Justmeherenow says:


    Are the images from BCC and/or Dialogue or from elsewhere? If the former, Could they be released under a CC SA (“Creative Commons Share-Alike”) license, allowing commercial use with credit given? (…Well, with the interest expressed here being toward use of the 3rd one on Wikipedia: — since the current one there won’t last due to its All-Rights-Reserved copyright.) Thanks

  6. Kristine says:

    Yeah, jeans, I thought about directing a question to her, but I wasn’t sure how discomfiting she would have found that, and I didn’t want to unnerve her for the sake of making a point.

  7. The last two press conferences I watched, I do not think wives of the newly called leaders were present. I do not think I watched the press conference when Elder Christopherson was called though–was his wife present? Did she say anything?

  8. Steve Evans says:

    Justheremenow, they’re my photos but I’m fine with releasing them with proper attribution.

  9. Justmeherenow says:

    Thanks Steve.

  10. I should think Sister Andersen has had a fair amount of experience with interviews too. Maybe we sisters don’t give our fellow sisters enough credit.

  11. Antonio Parr says:

    I have a doctrinal question. I know that we sustain the President of the Church as ~the~ prophet, seer and revelator. I know, also, that we are asked to sustain members of the Quorum of the Twelve as “prophets, seers and revelators”. When we sustain members of the Twelve in this capacity, are we stating that the collective Twelve, acting as a quorum, are prophets, seers and revelators, or are we saying that each individual member of the Twelve, acting alone, are acting as a prophet, seer and revelator?

    (I should know the answer to this, but am uncertain as to the official response . . . )

  12. “When we sustain members of the Twelve in this capacity, are we stating that the collective Twelve, acting as a quorum, are prophets, seers and revelators, or are we saying that each individual member of the Twelve, acting alone, are acting as a prophet, seer and revelator?”

    Each one individually is a prophet, seer and revelator.

  13. Antonio Parr says:

    If each one is sustanined individually in these capacities, then that certainly makes it complicated during those Peter v. Paul, Orson v. Brigham-stype conflicts. One could be faced with the dilemma of sustaining (with equal vigor, I presume), two mutually exclusive propositions. For some reason, I thought that the histroy of sustaining the Twelve as “PS&R’s” had to do with their roles in selecting a successor President of the Church, an act so significant that the Twelve become, as a unified body, a Quorum of PS&R’s. I’ll have to go back and see if I can learn more about this.

    (Apologies for the detour on the post. Seemed as good a place as any to ask . . . )

  14. That’s why apostles are expected to be unified. They are each individually a prophet, seer and revelator but they need to learn to act harmoniously together, then great things happen. That’s one of the reasons the revelation extending the priesthood to all worthy males came in 1978 and not earlier.

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