Elder Neil L. Andersen: ‘The Personal Journey of a Child of God’

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Notable quotes:

“We love and honor the amazing women of this Church. With intelligence and wisdom, you bear the burdens of your family. You love. You serve. You sacrifice. You strengthen faith, minister to those in need and greatly contribute to society.”
“For us, there is no question that spirit daughters and sons of God are on their own personal journeys coming to Earth to receive a body and experience mortality.”
“Each spirit child of God is coming to Earth on his or her own personal journey. May we welcome them, safeguard them and always love them.”

Summary points:

  • While the question of knowing when mortal life begins may not be known, it is clear that each person’s personal journey does not begin with mortal birth nor end with mortal death.
  • Members of the Church should share their feelings and beliefs about the holy nature of life with lawmakers and other decision-makers. 
  • Part of keeping covenants with God includes loving, honoring, nurturing, safeguarding and welcoming every child born into mortality.

Talk summary:

“Each person who comes to Earth is a unique son or daughter of God. Our personal journey did not begin at birth,” and each individual’s purpose includes “coming to Earth to receive a body and experience mortality.” 

Covenant children of God “love, honor, nurture, safeguard and welcome those spirits who are coming from the premortal world.”

The women of the Church are amazing, loved and honored. “With intelligence and wisdom, you bear the burdens of your family. You love. You serve. You sacrifice. You strengthen faith, minister to those in need and greatly contribute to society.”

Individuals in a position to make decisions that affect society might not share the beliefs of members of the Church. Members should both share their feelings about the sanctity of life and pray that those decision-makers will better understand this matter is about more than “just what a person wants for his or her own life.”

Mothers who help an unexpected child to begin his or her mortal journey should be treated “with love, encouragement and, when needed, financial help.” 

Each personal journey as a child of God does not start nor end with a breath of air. 

“May we welcome [each spirit child of God], safeguard them and always love them.”

In the news:

About the speaker:

  • Elder Neil L. Andersen was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on April 4, 2009.
  • He served a mission in France and presided over the France Bordeaux Mission from 1989 to 1992. 
  • Elder Andersen is multilingual, speaking French, Portuguese and Spanish, in addition to English.
  • He and his wife, Kathy Williams Andersen, are the parents of four children.

Recently on social:

  • In the devotional to French-speaking young adults on Feb. 21, Elder Andersen taught about the principle of believing and encouraged the young adults to believe in six things, and shared them on social media following the devotional.
  • Elder Andersen wrote about his experience during a class reunion when he shared his testimony of the role of Jesus Christ in God’s plan for His children in an Ensign article and an accompanying social media post Oct. 15. 
  • Following the October 2020 general conference, Elder Andersen posted a general conference game that he enjoys with his family. He shared a link to download the game and instructions on how to play.