It was a tender experience for President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, to be at the birthplace of Joseph Smith in Sharon, Vermont.
As chairman of the assignment committee, President Ballard said that he looked at the availability of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles because he wasn’t going to do this visit to New England alone, he joked.
“I wiggled him right into this assignment and I’m so happy he’s been with me,” President Ballard said of Elder Christofferson.
President Ballard and Elder Christofferson have known each other since 1982 — just three years before President Ballard was called into the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1985. At the time, then-Elder Ballard called Elder Christofferson, who was “just a boy” at the time, to be a stake president in Tennessee.
“What a special privilege it is to be with President Ballard, to be able to be out on an assignment together,” Elder Christofferson said. “It’s pretty rare, even now — usually it’s one at a time, one here, one there, but to be companions — I can’t describe in words how wonderful it’s been for me and my wife.”
President Ballard added that while they are on assignment, they are on a mission to convert “the whole world” to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“That’s the spirit of those who are in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, including the First Presidency,” he said. “We love one another. We sustain one another. And it’s a big assignment that we’ve got. We just have the assignment, you know, to convert the whole world. There’s only 7 billion that we’re trying to get to — not an easy task. And we feel as brothers in the gospel of Jesus Christ charged and commissioned to carry the name of Jesus Christ and His Church to the world.”