Elder Gerrit W. Gong: ‘Our Campfire of Faith’

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Notable quotes:

Elder Gerrit W. Gong spoke about the importance of faith and obedience to God’s commandments in times of trial during his October 2018 general conference address:

  1. “God lovingly assures us, no matter where we are or what we have done, there is no point of no return. He waits ready to embrace us.”
  2. “The scriptures invite us to place all we are and are becoming on the altar of love and service.”
  3. “When righteous patterns and spiritual yearnings join, time and eternity come together.”

Talk summary:

Personal memories and experiences that have built an individual’s faith in God can be thought of as “our campfire of faith.” And it is each individual’s “campfire of faith” that can help encourage and bless them when they experience times of difficulty or doubt. These “campfires of faith” can encourage and bless God’s children in five key ways.

First, “to find joy in creativity.” Second, “to minister in new Spirit-filled ways.” Third, to “seek to love the Lord and others with all our hearts and souls.” Fourth, “to establish regular patterns of righteous living that deepen faith and spirituality.” Fifth, “to remember perfection is in Christ, not in ourselves.”

Through faithful efforts to love God and serve His children, “we may feel God’s love and needed inspiration for their and our lives in new and holier ways” and “strengthen our faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in our hearts, and in our homes and at Church.”

Promised blessings:

“In various times and ways, we all feel inadequate, uncertain, perhaps unworthy,” Elder Gong said. But by seeking to be obedient to the commandments of Christ and through “faithful efforts to love God and to minister to our neighbor,” Elder Gong promised that everyone can feel the love of the Savior and find strength to bear their personal challenges.

Speaker snapshot:

  • Elder Gerrit W. Gong was sustained on March 31, 2018, and is one of the newest members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  • He is the first Apostle of Asian decent.
  • From 2010 to 2018, Elder Gong served as a General Authority Seventy.
  • Elder Gong graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Asian and university studies in 1977.
  • At Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, Elder Gong received a Master of Philosophy degree and a doctorate in international relations.
  • He worked for the U.S. State Department and for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.
  • Elder Gong was a member of the Asia Area Presidency from 2011-2015.
  • In 1980, he married his wife, Susan Lindsay, who warmly refers to him as ‘a nice guy.’ They are the parents of four sons and have three grandchildren.

On the Web:

  • On Twitter, he also talked about improving our lives.

Did you know?

  • During his travels, Elder Gong has visited all seven continents.
  • His mother met the missionaries when she was a teenager in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father joined the Church after attending Stanford University, where his parents met and dated.
  • Elder Gong served a mission in Taiwan.
  • The first time Elder Gong met his wife Sister Susan Lindsay was at an evening fireside he volunteered to give at the Provo Missionary Training Center to help the missionaries learn more about Taiwan. They briefly met, but Elder Gong said in that moment, he “had a feeling this was somebody I'd always know."