Elder Neil L. Andersen: ‘The Eye of Faith’

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Notable quotes:

“Truth looks backward and forward, expanding the perspective of our small point in time.”
“The scriptures, our prayers, our own experiences, modern prophets, and the gift of the Holy Ghost bring us a clear spiritual perspective of truth necessary for our journey here on earth.”
“Our individual identity is stamped in us forever. In ways we don’t fully understand, our spiritual growth in the premortal world influences who we are here.”

Summary points:

  1. There are absolute eternal truths that are the same for every person on earth.
  2. Truth comes from Jesus Christ alone and leads to eternal life.
  3. Each individual has an eternal and divine identity as a child of God and accepted His plan in the premortal life.

Talk summary:

The question “What is truth?” can be answered a million different ways depending on the knowledge and perspective used. And in a world of “information and opinion overload,” many people choose to believe that truth is simply a matter of personal perspective.

But with the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, it becomes clear that “there are some things that are completely and absolutely true. These eternal truths are the same for every son and daughter of God.”

Truth is a knowledge of things past, present and future and expands far beyond the perspective offered by a single point in time. “Truth shows us the way to eternal life, and it comes only through our Savior, Jesus Christ. There is no other way.”

The restoration of the gospel provides a way to “learn and know essential spiritual truths” through the study of holy scriptures, personal prayer, individual experiences, the counsel of prophets and apostles, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Only through “the perspective eye of faith” can the spiritual truths of God be revealed and “bring us a clear spiritual perspective of truth necessary for our journey here on earth.”

As children of God, each person on earth has a divine and eternal identity. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” and other revelations shared by living prophets help clarify these divine identities. And while many individuals in their current circumstances may not fit neatly inside such teachings, “There is One who knows your burdens because of His sacrifice made in the garden and on the cross. … He will bless you and lift the burdens too heavy to bear alone.”

In the news:

  • Elder Andersen talked about defending the faith during a recent assignment to Western Europe.
  • In November 2018, Elder Andersen spoke of the “enormous faith” of African Latter-day Saints after visiting South Africa and Zimbabwe.
  • During October 2018 general conference, Elder Andersen’s talk, “Wounded,” focused on trials being great teachers and how everyone “meant to survive spiritually.”

About the speaker:

  • Elder Andersen was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on April 4, 2009.
  • In the 1970s, he served a mission in France.
  • Elder Andersen is multilingual, speaking French, Portuguese and Spanish, in addition to English.

Recently on social:

  • On an assignment in Vienna, Austria, Elder Andersen spoke about what it means to be a defender of the faith.


  • Elder Andersen shared a memory of one Christmas when he was serving as a mission president in France. Due to a broken-down car, he thought his family wouldn’t be able to arrive home by Christmas. But after his daughter suggested his family say a prayer, a miraculous event happened and they were able to get home on time.

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There are times in our lives when heaven intervenes to answer our prayers that we cannot deny the blessings we have been given. This happened for me on Christmas Eve in 1990. I was serving as a mission president in France. That night, my family was traveling back to Bordeaux after a week of visiting with missionaries around our mission. . Late in the afternoon, our car broke down, still two hours from Bordeaux. Concern and disappointment showed on the faces of our children. Would they not be home for Christmas? . Our daughter knew to whom we could appeal, and she immediately suggested a prayer. We bowed in prayer and humbly asked for help. The van crept forward, and finally we reached a country inn. We determined that this was our best chance for help. . The innkeeper, Mr. Darroze arrived, and I told him of our dilemma. I asked if he would have room in the inn for our family and the four missionaries to spend the night. . Mr. Darroze looked at the disappointed faces of my children. “Mr. Andersen, of course I have rooms here that you can rent. But you do not want to spend Christmas Eve here. Children should be home as they await the excitement of Christmas morning. I will lend you my car, and you can go to Bordeaux tonight.” . I was amazed at his thoughtfulness. I thanked him but explained that there were 10 of us and a small French car would never be sufficient. He hesitated momentarily, but his hesitation was not to diminish the gift, but to expand it. . “At my farm about 10 miles from here I have an old van. It is used for farming. It will travel slowly and I am not certain the heater works well. But if you want it, I will drive you the 10 miles to my farm to get it.” . The children jumped for joy. I reached into my pocket for my cash or credit cards. He shook his head and his finger in disapproval. “No,” he said, “I will take nothing. It is Christmas Eve. Take your family home.” . As we drove the streets leading to our home, Kathy and I thanked our kind Heavenly Father for our own Christmas miracle. At a time when only He could bring us home, He had heard our prayers. May you feel His love as you celebrate the Savior’s birth this Christmas. #LightTheWorld

A post shared by Neil L. Andersen (@neillandersen) on

  • In a Twitter post, Elder Andersen promised that Christ would heal all wounds in “His time” and “His way.”