Neil L. Andersen

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (April 4, 2009 – Present)

Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy (August 15, 2005 – April 4, 2009)

First Quorum of the Seventy (April 3, 1993 – August 15, 2005)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 2017 General Conference
    • The Voice of the Lord
      • “In the commotion and confusion of our modern world, trusting and believing in the words of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve is vital to our spiritual growth and endurance.”
      • “I promise you that as you prepare your spirit and come with the anticipation that you will hear the voice of the Lord, thoughts and feelings will come into your mind that are customized especially for you. You have already felt them in this conference, or you will as you study the messages in the weeks ahead.”
      • “We should not be alarmed when the words of the Lord’s servants run counter to the thinking of the world and, at times, our own thinking. It has always been this way. I am on my knees in the temple with my Brethren. I attest to the goodness of their souls. Their greatest desire is to please the Lord and help God’s children return to His presence.”
      • “I promise that as you hear the voice of the Lord to you in the teachings of this general conference, and then act on those promptings, you will feel heaven’s hand upon you, and your life and the lives of those around you will be blessed.”
  • April 2017 General Conference
    • Overcoming the World
      • “His divine birth, His perfect life, His infinite Atonement at Gethsemane and Golgotha assured the Resurrection of each of us. And with our sincere repentance, He alone is able to cleanse us from our sins, allowing us to return to the presence of God.”
      • “Overcoming the world is not one defining moment in a lifetime, but a lifetime of moments that define an eternity.”
      • “Praying, repenting, following the Savior, and receiving His grace lead us to better understand why we are here and who we are to become.”
      • “The world is more interested in indulging the natural man than in subduing him.”
      • “Overcoming the world is not a global invasion but a private, personal battle, requiring hand-to-hand combat with our own internal foes.”
      • “Overcoming the world is keeping our promises to God—our baptismal and temple covenants and our oath of faithfulness to our eternal companion. Overcoming the world leads us humbly to the sacrament table each week, asking for forgiveness and pledging to “remember him and keep his commandments,” that we “may always have his Spirit to be with [us].””
      • “Overcoming the world means turning ourselves outward, remembering the second commandment: “He that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” The happiness of our spouse is more important than our own pleasure. Helping our children to love God and keep His commandments is a primary priority. We willingly share our material blessings through tithing, fast offerings, and giving to those in need. And as our spiritual antennas are pointed heavenward, the Lord guides us to those we can help.”
      • “The world is easily irritated, disinterested, and demanding, loving the cheers of the crowd, while overcoming the world brings humility, empathy, patience, and compassion for those different than yourself.”
      • “With increasing temptations, distractions, and distortions, the world attempts to beguile the faithful into dismissing the rich spiritual experiences of one’s past, redefining them as foolish deceptions.”
      • “Overcoming the world does not mean we live a cloistered life, protected from the unfairness and difficulties of mortality. Rather, it opens the more expansive view of faith, drawing us to the Savior and His promises.”
  • October 2016 General Conference
    • A Witness of God
      • “Much of the important work of God is unseen in the eyes of the world. The sixth century before Christ brought illustrious thinkers such as Confucius in China and Buddha in Eastern India, but the power of God’s priesthood was upon Daniel, the prophet living in captivity during the reign of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar.”
      • “The number of members of the Church in the latter days would be relatively few, as Nephi prophesied, but they would be upon all the face of the earth, and the power and ordinances of the priesthood would be available to all who desired them, filling the earth as Daniel foretold.”
      • “We all want to share the restored gospel, and gratefully, thousands are baptized each week. But even with this wonderful blessing, our concern for our brothers and sisters and our desire to please God bring a compelling urgency to share and strengthen the kingdom of God across the world.”
      • “Guilt has an important role as it awakens us to changes we need to make, but there are limits to how far guilt will help us.”
      • “To be a witness of God at all times and in all places reflects both how we live and how we speak.”
  • April 2016 General Conference
    • “Whoso Receiveth Them, Receiveth Me”
      • “We will continue to teach the Lord’s pattern for families, but now with millions of members and the diversity we have in the children of the Church, we need to be even more thoughtful and sensitive.”
  • October 2015 General Conference
    • Faith Is Not by Chance, but by Choice
      • “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is not something ethereal, floating loosely in the air. Faith does not fall upon us by chance or stay with us by birthright. It is, as the scriptures say, “substance … , the evidence of things not seen.” Faith emits a spiritual light, and that light is discernible. Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from heaven that comes as we choose to believe and as we seek it and hold on to it. Your faith is either growing stronger or becoming weaker. Faith is a principle of power, important not only in this life but also in our progression beyond the veil. By the grace of Christ, we will one day be saved through faith on His name. The future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice.”
      • “How we live our lives increases or diminishes our faith. Prayer, obedience, honesty, purity of thought and deed, and unselfishness increase faith. Without these, faith diminishes.”
  • April 2015 General Conference
    • Thy Kingdom Come
      • “Brothers and sisters, seeing and believing the Lord’s miracles in establishing His kingdom on earth can help us see and believe that the Lord’s hand is at work in our own lives as well.”
      • “As you keep the commandments and pray in faith to see the Lord’s hand in your life, I promise you that He will open your spiritual eyes even wider, and you will see more clearly that you are not alone.”
      • “Then, a seemingly impossible experience: “All flesh,” the Lord says, “shall see me together.”30 How will it happen? We do not know. But I testify it will happen—exactly as prophesied.”
  • October 2014 General Conference
    • Joseph Smith
      • “Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the Restoration. His spiritual work began with the appearance of the Father and the Son, followed by numerous heavenly visitations. He was the instrument in God’s hands in bringing forth sacred scripture, lost doctrine, and the restoration of the priesthood. The importance of Joseph’s work requires more than intellectual consideration; it requires that we, like Joseph, “ask of God.” Spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers from God.”
      • “We might remind the sincere inquirer that Internet information does not have a “truth” filter. Some information, no matter how convincing, is simply not true.”
      • “These explanations are convincing, but the sincere inquirer should not rely on them exclusively to settle his or her search for truth. Each believer needs a spiritual confirmation of the divine mission and character of the Prophet Joseph Smith. This is true for every generation. Spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers from God.”
  • April 2014 General Conference
    • Spiritual Whirlwinds
      • “The worst whirlwinds are the temptations of the adversary. Sin has always been part of the world, but it has never been so accessible, insatiable, and acceptable. There is, of course, a powerful force that will subdue the whirlwinds of sin. It is called repentance.”
      • “Not all the whirlwinds in life are of your own making. Some come because of the wrong choices of others, and some come just because this is mortality.”
      • “As the world slips away from the Lord’s law of chastity, we do not.”
      • “While many governments and well-meaning individuals have redefined marriage, the Lord has not. In the very beginning, God initiated marriage between a man and a woman—Adam and Eve. He designated the purposes of marriage to go far beyond the personal satisfaction and fulfillment of adults to, more importantly, advancing the ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured. Families are the treasure of heaven.”
      • “Of special concern to us should be those who struggle with same-sex attraction. It is a whirlwind of enormous velocity. I want to express my love and admiration for those who courageously confront this trial of faith and stay true to the commandments of God! But everyone, independent of his or her decisions and beliefs, deserves our kindness and consideration.”
      • “My young brothers and sisters, how we love you, admire you, and pray for you. Don’t let the whirlwinds drag you down. These are your days—to stand strong as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
      • “Build more firmly your foundation upon the rock of your Redeemer. Treasure more completely His incomparable life and teachings. Follow more diligently His example and His commandments. Embrace more deeply His love, His mercy and grace, and the powerful gifts of His Atonement.”
  • October 2013 General Conference
    • Power in the Priesthood
      • “A man may open the drapes so the warm sunlight comes into the room, but the man does not own the sun or the light or the warmth it brings. The blessings of the priesthood are infinitely greater than the one who is asked to administer the gift.”
      • “To receive the blessings, power, and promises of the priesthood in this life and the next is one of the great opportunities and responsibilities of mortality. As we are worthy, the ordinances of the priesthood enrich our lives on earth and prepare us for the magnificent promises of the world ahead. The Lord said, “In the ordinances … the power of godliness is manifest.”
      • “As surely as we know that God’s love is “alike” for His sons and His daughters, we also know that He did not create men and women exactly the same. We know that gender is an essential characteristic of both our mortal and eternal identity and purpose. Sacred responsibilities are given to each gender.”
      • “Unworthily administering or passing the sacrament, blessing the sick, or participating in other priesthood ordinances is, as Elder David A. Bednar has said, taking the name of God in vain. If one is unworthy, he should withdraw from officiating in priesthood ordinances and prayerfully approach his bishop as a first step in repenting and returning to the commandments.”
      • “The power of God’s holy priesthood is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I testify that as you worthily participate in the ordinances of the priesthood, the Lord will give you greater strength, peace, and eternal perspective. Whatever your situation, your home will be “blessed by the strength of priesthood power” and those close to you will more fully desire these blessings for themselves.”
  • April 2013 General Conference
    •  It’s a Miracle
      • “Brothers and sisters, as surely as the Lord has inspired more missionaries to serve, He is also awakening the minds and opening the hearts of more good and honest people to receive His missionaries. You already know them or will know them. They are in your family and live in your neighborhood. They walk past you on the street, sit by you in school, and connect with you online. You too are an important part of this unfolding miracle.”
      • “If you’re not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your heart—painted, as Paul said, “not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.” And returned missionaries, find your old missionary tag. Don’t wear it, but put it where you can see it. The Lord needs you now more than ever to be an instrument in His hands. All of us have a contribution to make to this miracle.”
      • “President Monson has asked that we pray for “those areas where our influence is limited and where we are not allowed to share the gospel freely.” As we earnestly and unitedly petition our Father in Heaven, the Lord will continue to open important doors for us.”
      • “I promise you, as you pray to know with whom to speak, names and faces will come into your mind. Words to speak will be given in the very moment you need them. Opportunities will open to you. Faith will overcome doubt, and the Lord will bless you with your very own miracles.”
  • October 2012 General Conference
    • Trial of Your Faith
      • “When you are faced with a test of faith, stay within the safety and security of the household of God. There is always a place for you here. No trial is so large we can’t overcome it together.”
      • “The doctrine is taught by all 15 members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.  It is not hidden in an obscure paragraph of one talk.  True principles are taught frequently and by many.”
      • “The fact that I was forced to turn to God for help almost daily over an extended period of years taught me truly how to pray and get answers to prayer and taught me in a very practical way to have faith in God.”
  • April 2012 General Conference
    •  What Thinks Christ of Me?
      • “In the final assessment, our personal discipleship will not be judged by friends or foes. Rather, as Paul said, “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” At that day the important question for each of us will be, “What thinks Christ of me?””
      • “Our journey of discipleship is not a dash around the track, nor is it fully comparable to a lengthy marathon. In truth, it is a lifelong migration toward a more celestial world.”
      • “Discipleship is believing Him in seasons of peace and believing Him in seasons of difficulty, when our pain and fear are calmed only by the conviction that He loves us and keeps His promises.”
      • “With great love and admiration for the many disciples of Jesus Christ who are not members of this Church, we humbly declare that angels have returned to the earth in our day. The Church of Jesus Christ as He established it anciently has been restored, with the power, ordinances, and blessings of heaven. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ.”
  • October 2011 General Conference
    •  Children
      • “To a righteous father, there are no words sufficient to express the gratitude and love he feels for his wife’s incalculable gift of bearing and caring for their children.”
      • “What a wonderful blessing we have to receive sons and daughters of God into our home.”
  • April 2011 General Conference
    • Preparing the World for the Second Coming
      • “With your baptism, you declared your faith in Jesus Christ. With your ordination to the priesthood, your talents and spiritual capacities have been increased. One of your important responsibilities is to help prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Savior.”
      • “Your mission will be a sacred opportunity to bring others to Christ and help prepare for the Second Coming of the Savior.”
  • October 2010 General Conference
    • Never Leave Him
      • “We soon see why a change of heart is necessary. Two words signal danger ahead: the words are offended and ashamed.”
      • “Offense comes in many costumes and continually finds its way onstage. People we believe in disappoint us. We have unanticipated difficulties. Our life doesn’t turn out exactly the way we were expecting. We make mistakes, feel unworthy, and worry about being forgiven. We wonder about a doctrinal issue. We learn of something spoken from a Church pulpit 150 years ago that bothers us. Our children are treated unfairly. We are ignored or underappreciated. It could be a hundred things, each very real to us at the time.”
      • “As disciples of Christ, we stand apart from the world. There may be times we feel uncomfortable as the fingers of scorn mock and dismiss what is sacred to us. President Thomas S. Monson warned, “Unless the roots of your testimony are firmly planted, it will be difficult for you to withstand the ridicule of those who challenge your faith.” Nephi said, “[Heed] them not.” Paul admonished, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; … Be not … ashamed of the testimony of our Lord.” We never leave Him.”
      • “Perfection does not come in this life, but we exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and keep our covenants. President Monson has promised, “Your testimony, when constantly nourished, will keep you safe.” We push our spiritual roots deep, feasting daily on the words of Christ in the scriptures. We trust in the words of living prophets, placed before us to show us the way. We pray and pray and listen to the quiet voice of the Holy Ghost that leads us along and speaks peace to our soul. Whatever challenges arise, we never, never leave Him.”
  • April 2010 General Conference
    • Tell Me the Stories of Jesus
      • “We hold in our arms the rising generation. They come to this earth with important responsibilities and great spiritual capacities. We cannot be casual in how we prepare them. Our challenge as parents and teachers is not to create a spiritual core in their souls but rather to fan the flame of their spiritual core already aglow with the fire of their premortal faith.”
      • “I make a special appeal to fathers: Please be an important part of talking to your children about the Savior. They need the confirming expressions of your faith, along with those of their mother. Although there may be times when a child does not listen with a believing heart, your testimony of Jesus will remain in his or her mind and soul.”
  • October 2009 General Conference
    • “Repent … That I May Heal You”
      • “When we sin, we turn away from God. When we repent, we turn back toward God.”
      • “The invitation to repent is rarely a voice of chastisement but rather a loving appeal to turn around and to “re-turn” toward God. It is the beckoning of a loving Father and His Only Begotten Son to be more than we are, to reach up to a higher way of life, to change, and to feel the happiness of keeping the commandments. Being disciples of Christ, we rejoice in the blessing of repenting and the joy of being forgiven. They become part of us, shaping the way we think and feel.”
      • “For most, repentance is more a journey than a one-time event. It is not easy. To change is difficult. It requires running into the wind, swimming upstream. Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” Repentance is turning away from some things, such as dishonesty, pride, anger, and impure thoughts, and turning toward other things, such as kindness, unselfishness, patience, and spirituality. It is “re-turning” toward God.”
      • “The forsaking of sins implies never returning. Forsaking requires time. To help us, the Lord at times allows the residue of our mistakes to rest in our memory. It is a vital part of our mortal learning.”
      • “Repentance always means that there is greater happiness ahead.”
  • April 2009 General Conference
    • Come unto Him
      • “I know that I am not what I must become. I pray that I might be willing and moldable to the Lord’s tutoring and correction. I take comfort from the words of President Monson last night in the priesthood session that the Lord will shape the back to fit the burden placed upon it.”
      • “For much of my life, I have been trying to become what she thought I already was.”
      • “We have been blessed to bring the gospel to our families and our posterity and to assist in preparing for the Second Coming of the Savior. The Lord described the purposes of the Restoration “to be a light to the world, … to be a standard for [us, His] people, … and to be a messenger before [His] face to prepare the way before [Him]” (D&C 45:9). Our responsibility is not trivial; it is not by chance that we are who we are; the keeping of our covenants in these days of destiny will be a badge of honor throughout all the eternities.”
      • “We must remember, my dear brothers and sisters, who we are and what we have in our hands. We are not alone in our desire to do good; there are wonderful people of many faiths and beliefs.”
      • “Yet we must not shrink from what is uniquely and singularly found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Only here is the priesthood of God, restored to earth by heavenly messengers. Only here does the Book of Mormon stand with the Bible in revealing and declaring the full divinity and gospel of Christ. Only here are there prophets of God, bringing guidance from heaven and holding the keys that bind in heaven what is bound on earth.”
  • October 2008 General Conference
    • You Know Enough
      • “Our spiritual journey is the process of a lifetime. We do not know everything in the beginning or even along the way. Our conversion comes step-by-step, line upon line. We first build a foundation of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We treasure the principles and ordinances of repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. We include a continuing commitment to prayer, a willingness to be obedient, and an ongoing witness of the Book of Mormon.”
      • “Brothers and sisters, we each have moments of spiritual power, moments of inspiration and revelation. We must sink them deep into the chambers of our souls. As we do, we prepare our spiritual home storage for moments of personal difficulty.”
      • “Challenges, difficulties, questions, doubts—these are part of our mortality. But we are not alone. As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have enormous spiritual reservoirs of light and truth available to us. Fear and faith cannot coexist in our hearts at the same time.”
  • April 2007 General Conference
    • It’s True, Isn’t It? Then What Else Matters?
      • “The cause in which we are laboring is true. We respect the beliefs of our friends and neighbors. We are all sons and daughters of God.”
      • “Faith is not only a feeling; it is a decision. With prayer, study, obedience, and covenants, we build and fortify our faith. Our conviction of the Savior and His latter-day work becomes the powerful lens through which we judge all else. Then, as we find ourselves in the crucible of life, as Elder Oaks explained, we have the strength to take the right course.”
  • April 2005 General Conference
    • Beware of the Evil behind the Smiling Eyes
      • “The choice between good and evil is at the very heart of our experience on earth. In the final review of our lives, it will not really matter if we were rich or poor, if we were athletic or not, if we had friends or were often forgotten.”
      • “I have known a few young men who began with every intention to stay firm in their loyalty to the Savior but who slipped from the path because they did not see the evil behind eyes that appeared quite harmless. They saw the fun, the pleasure, the acceptance, but they did not see the other consequences.”
      • “The gift of the Holy Ghost is a spiritual gift. It is sensitive and will not be associated with unworthiness. You cannot offend or ignore it one day and expect it to strengthen you the next day. But as you heed its promptings and remain righteous, it will grow stronger within you.”
      • “Finally, gain your own testimony of the Savior. Pray passionately. Read the Book of Mormon when no one is watching. Take time alone to think about who Jesus really is and how His life and sacrifice are important to you.”
  • October 1999 General Conference
    • Prophets and Spiritual Mole Crickets
      • “Thirty-five hundred years ago as Joshua spoke, it meant leaving behind false gods, going to battle against the Canaanites, and following with sharp attention the words of the Prophet. We can almost hear the whining of the skeptics as Joshua announced his battle plans for taking the city of Jericho.”
      • “Yet in these days of much beauty, our challenges in choosing to serve the Lord are more subtle than those of former days, but without question they are as spiritually pervasive. There are spiritual mole crickets that burrow under our protective walls and invade our delicate roots. Many of these insects of wickedness appear small, at times almost invisible. Yet if we do not combat them, they will do damage and attempt to destroy that which is most precious to us.”
      • “Certainly there are times when getting the family together to read the scriptures does not stack up as a spiritual experience worthy of a journal entry. But we must not be deterred. There are special times when the spirit of a son or daughter is just right and the power of these great scriptures goes down into their heart like fire. As we honor our Heavenly Father in our homes, He will honor our efforts.”
  • April 1993 General Conference
    • “Whom the Lord Calls, the Lord Qualifies”
      • “I pledge all that I am to this sacred calling. I promise to be teachable, and I pray that I can be sufficiently meek that the Lord can mold and strengthen my spirit to accomplish his purposes. I commit to you and to the Lord that I will consecrate myself to advancing the cause of the Restoration and to loyally following his chosen leaders.”

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