Latter-day Saint Life

Elders Gong and Soares Share What It Was Like Being Called as an Apostle


It's remarkable to read the humility, and sometimes the humor, with which our current Church leaders accept the calling to serve as an apostle of the Lord. When PresidentHenry B. Eyring was calledby President Gordon B. Hinckley to serve in the First Presidency, he blurted out, "President Hinckley, are you sure you’re talking to the right person? This is Hal Eyring.”

President Russell M. Nelson learned of his calling as an apostle the day before he was sustained in general conference, a fact which left him stunned. In general conference, he shared:

"A wide array of feelings has flashed through my heart since I heard the call that will change my life. The first feeling is that of personal inadequacy. . . .
"Fortunately, these feelings are blanketed by feelings of faith, for I know the words of Nephi are true: 'I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.' (1 Ne. 3:7.) I have implicit faith in the Lord and in His prophets. I have learned not to put question marks but to use exclamation points when calls are issued through inspired channels of priesthood government. . . .
"Feelings of commitment well up from the depths of my soul. My sweetheart, Dantzel, and I first made those covenants in the temple of the Lord over thirty-eight years ago, to consecrate our lives to the service of the Lord. Today, I reaffirm that promise, to give all I have to the building of the kingdom of God on the earth. In accepting this call, knowing that challenges, charges, and keys will be conferred and that buffetings will likewise come, I commit my effort, my energy, and my all."

Elders Gerrit Gong and Ulisses Soares expressed similar surprise and humility in their general conference addresses and on Facebook. Elder Gong shared:

"As I mentioned earlier today during general conference, words cannot express the overwhelming feelings since President Russell M Nelson lovingly took my hands in his, with Susan at my side, and extended this sacred call from the Lord that took my breath away and has left me weeping many times these past few days.
"On this Easter Sunday, I humbly pledge all the energies and faculties of my soul, whatever they be or become, to my Savior, to my dear Susan and our family, to my Brethren, and to each of you, my beloved brothers and sisters.
"Everything worthy and eternal is centered in the living reality of God, our loving Eternal Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, and His Atonement, witnessed by the Holy Ghost. I reverently witness and solemnly testify of the living Christ—He who died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven. He is Alpha and Omega—with us in the beginning, He is with us to the end."

Elder Soares shared:

"Today during general conference, I mentioned that even though I felt inadequate for the call President Russell M Nelson extended to me to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, his words and the tender look in his eyes as he extended this responsibility made me feel embraced by the Savior's love.
"I solemnly testify that Jesus Christ lives and that He directs His Church on earth through His prophets, seers, and revelators. I testify that He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world and that through Him we can be saved and exalted in the presence of God. I love Him. I adore Him. I want to follow Him, do His will, and become more like Him."

Lead image from Deseret News
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