Elder Neil L. Andersen was born 9 August 1951 and reared in Pocatello, Idaho,
Elder Andersen served a mission to France and married Kathy Sue Williams
on 20 March 1975 in the Salt Lake Temple. The couple have four children
and nine grandchildren. He graduated from Brigham Young
University and earned a master’s degree in business administration from
Harvard University. He and Kathy then moved to Tampa, Florida, her hometown,
where he worked as an advertising executive and later as a vice president
of Morton Plant Health System. In addition to his service as mission president,
he has served as a stake president, as a counselor in a stake presidency,
and as a high councilor.
In 1980 Elder Andersen, Andersen, then serving as mission
president of the France Bordeaux Mission, Kathy,
and their four children were watching videotapes of general conference.
They were impressed by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve’s address that
suggested members read the preface of the new hymnbook and then counseled
members not to neglect the hymns, recalled Elder Andersen, three years
later as a newly called member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
Elder Andersen took the counsel to heart, as did his family. “We
instituted an almost daily program to learn the hymns,” he said. “We have
realized in great abundance the promises outlined in the preface written
by the First Presidency.”
“We don’t realize the enormous blessings available
to us unless we actively pursue a course that follows the teachings of
the prophets and Apostles,” observes Elder Andersen. “Our family has seen
it work over and over again.”
“Some of our happiest memories are of serving a mission,”
notes Elder Andersen. “It is while serving others that the Lord increases
and builds our capacities. On so many occasions, as I have felt inadequate
in the calling before me, I have felt the Lord’s generosity in lifting
and strengthening me. It is that knowledge that sustains me now as I contemplate
this new and humbling opportunity.”
Elder Andersen continued to serve in the First Quorum of the
Seventy until April of 2005, when he was called into the Presidency of the quorum.
While a Seventy he has served as executive director of the Church's Audio-visual
department and assistant executive director of the Priesthood Department. He
also served as a counselor in the Utah North, Utah South, North America
Southwest, North America Northeast, and Europe West Area Presidencies; and as
first counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency.
Elder Neil Linden Andersen was named an Apostle of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 4, 2009. Elder Andersen was serving as
the senior member of the Presidency of the Seventy prior to his calling to the
Quorum of the Twelve.
On Wednesday afternoon, April 1, 2009, Elder Neil L. Andersen was
unexpectedly asked to come to the office of President Thomas
S. Monson. Elder Andersen was called to fill the vacancy in the Quorum of the
Commenting on this sacred experience he said, "There is no man
with more love than President Thomas S. Monson. His warmth is as the sunshine at
midday. Yet, as he extended to me this sacred call, you can imagine the overwhelming
soberness I felt as the eyes of the prophet of God peered deeply into the chambers
of my soul. Happily, you can also imagine the love I felt from the Lord and from
His prophet as President Monson wrapped his long and loving arms around me."