Church News and Events

Elder Andersen Receives Humanitarian Award

Contributed By By Michael McKinlay, Church News staff writer

  • 17 October 2013

Elder Neil L. Andersen and his wife, Sister Kathy Andersen, pose with the Humanitarian Award with Collegium Aesculapium president, David Anderson, and his wife, Lorelea.  Photo by Spencer Woolley.

Latter-day Saints cannot separate their profession from their faith; they must find ways to integrate the two, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve said during the Collegium Aesculapium fall meeting.

Elder Andersen was awarded the Annual Humanitarian Award by the Collegium Aesculapium Foundation, a nonprofit organization of LDS physicians and health professionals, at the Salt Lake City Hilton Hotel on October 3.

“I thank you sincerely for this honor you have given to me,” Elder Andersen said. “I want you to know that I understand very clearly that while I am the recipient, it is given because of my calling within the Church. I accept on behalf of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

His wife, Sister Kathy Andersen, was in attendance for the organization's meeting. Elder Andersen based his remarks around a paraphrased Elder Neal A. Maxwell quote, where he said, “The LDS [physician] has his citizenship in the kingdom but carries his passport into the [medical] world—not the other way around.”

Elder Andersen spoke concerning “four doctors that I admire.” They included Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve, Dr. Emil Jay Freireich, Dr. Gregory Brinton, and Dr. Ronald Stoddard.

Elder Andersen explained that these doctors have discipleship qualities in each of their respective fields.

Concerning Elder Nelson, Elder Andersen said, “I want to mention his humility and trust in the Lord's servants. … He has always yielded to his faith and to what he believes deep inside of him.”

Next, although Dr. Freireich is not a Latter-day Saint, he was “dedicated to his wife, Haroldine, to whom he has been married for 60 years,” Elder Andersen said. “One quality [of a disciple] included his deference to his companion.”

Elder Andersen explained how Dr. Brinton used the “guiding power of the Holy Ghost” to perform a difficult surgery on a local member. Dr. Brinton described his experience as follows: “The Lord inspired me to perform surgery in a way that was beyond my own knowledge, skill, and training. The Lord performed a miracle.”

Elder Andersen said Dr. Stoddard showed “goodness, attention, and competence” to his patients. A father of one of his patients described Dr. Stoddard as a “true healer, not only a brilliant doctor but a dedicated disciple.”

“I thank you for who you are,” Elder Andersen said as he concluded his remarks to the audience. “You hold to these principles, keep your covenants, and follow your feelings of your faith. I simply assure you that the course you are taking is true, that it leads to happiness, and that as you love God and His Son, Jesus Christ, with all your heart, it will lead you back into Their presence.”