Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles turns 69 years old on Sunday, Aug. 9. In recognition of his birthday, the Church News has collected 15 facts about the Apostle’s life.
1. Neil Linden Andersen was born on Aug. 9, 1951, in Logan, Utah, as the third of five children of Lyle P. and Kathryn Andersen.
2. When he was 5 years old, Elder Andersen’s family moved to Pocatello, Idaho, when his father became a dairy farmer. On the farm he learned the principle of hard work. “I milked a lot of cows and moved a lot of irrigation pipe,” he said. “I can remember that on Christmas morning before we opened our presents, we had cows to milk. Looking back, I realize how valuable it was to learn that part of life is just hard work.”
3. Elder Andersen met his wife, Sister Kathy Sue Williams, while attending school at BYU. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on March 20, 1975. They are the parents of four children.
4. He received a bachelor’s degree from BYU in 1975 and a master’s degree in business from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1977.
5. After graduating from Harvard, the Andersens moved to Tampa, Florida — Sister Andersen’s hometown — where Elder Andersen worked in advertising, real estate development and healthcare.
6. Elder Andersen is multilingual. In addition to English, he speaks French, Portuguese and Spanish.
7. Elder Andersen served a mission in France from 1970-1972, presided over the France Bordeaux Mission from 1989-1992, and accompanied President Henry B. Eyring as he dedicated the Paris France Temple on May 21, 2017.
8. Elder Andersen has served as an Apostle for over a decade. He was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on April 4, 2009.
9. Elder Andersen dedicated the Lisbon Portugal Temple on Sept. 15, 2019.
10. Elder Andersen has thrown the first pitch at Dodger Stadium twice.
11. He was called as a General Authority Seventy in 1993; his Church assignments gave him responsibilities in Brazil, Western Europe, Mexico and Central America.
12. As executive director of the Church’s audiovisual department while serving as a General Authority Seventy, he managed development of “The Testaments: Of One Fold and One Shepherd” and supervised the initial launch of Mormon.org — now ComeUntoChrist.org.
13. Elder Andersen’s mother learned about his calls to the Seventy and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by watching general conference on television.
14. Elder Andersen served in various Sunday School general presidency from 1997 to 2001.
15. He served in the Presidency of the Seventy from 2005 until his call as an Apostle in 2009.