Church News and Events

Elder Andersen Counsels Caribbean Pioneers to Share Light of Christ

Contributed By By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 28 February 2013

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy, his wife, Sister Melanie Rasband, Elder Wilford W. and Sister Kathleen Andersen, and Elder Neil L. Andersen and Sister Kathy Andersen during their tour of the Caribbean Area February 8–14, 2013.  Photo courtesy of the Caribbean Area.

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve recently toured the Church’s Caribbean Area, holding several meetings with local priesthood leaders, missionaries, and members throughout the region.

Elder Andersen was accompanied on much of his February 8–14 tour of the Caribbean Area by Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy. Their wives, Sister Kathy Andersen and Sister Melanie Rasband, joined them. Members of the Caribbean Area Presidency—Elder Wilford W. Andersen, Elder J. Devn Cornish, and Elder Claudio D. Zivic—also participated in many of the various meetings.

The tour included leadership training and missionary and member meetings in Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. Many regions of the Caribbean Area are still writing their maiden chapters of Church history, and “pioneers” can be found throughout the many congregations and missions.

Elder Andersen, Elder Rasband, and the other Brethren and their wives also used the area tour as an opportunity to share counsel and encouragement with members throughout the Caribbean region. 

“I was impressed by the members and the depth of their spiritual commitment—along with their commitment to answer President Monson’s challenge to rescue others,” said Elder Rasband. 

In their messages delivered to missionaries and members of all ages, the Brethren testified of the importance of families, temple work, testimony building, and sharing the gospel with their friends and neighbors. 

Elder Andersen taught the value of helping others to see by way of the Light of Christ. “Few things will bring us more joy than to bring eternal sight to those we love,” he said.

The best way to build the kingdom of God, he added, is to “create a spirit among us” that others can discern and feel. “As we live the gospel, we allow those seeking the truth to see who we are. Especially important is living the gospel within our homes.”

Elder Andersen promised that “the elect of God” would be drawn to members who live righteously and follow the commandments. 

In his meetings with members across the region, Elder Rasband witnessed a rising generation of young people eager to fulfill their missionary duties and participate in the growth of the gospel. 

He was touched by the members’ devotion to their families and focused his teaching “on the importance of that ‘Jewel of the Caribbean,’—the Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple.”

Both Elder Andersen and Elder Rasband noted the capacity of the Area Presidency and the local priesthood and Relief Society leadership.

“They are as fine as anywhere in the Church,” observed Elder Rasband.