zMormon Newsroom

A Summary of the Ministry of the Twelve

17 December 2018


The word “apostle” comes from Greek roots that mean “messenger” and “send forth.” Scripture in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints describes apostles as “traveling councilors” who act as “special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:23).

As in other years, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles traversed the globe in 2018 to visit everyday Latter-day Saints as well as government, civic and faith leaders. Their end goal is not only to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19, NIV); they also spread goodwill and build bridges of understanding with other faiths and groups.

Because they travel extensively, below is only a brief look at some of the trips and notable news for each apostle.

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Twelve

In April, President Ballard rededicated the Houston Texas Temple. The temple closed and had to be repaired due to flood damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in late August 2017. In May, President Ballard visited New Zealand and Australia. He taught Latter-day Saints that "each soul is very precious, particularly to the Savior. As we minister to each individual, one more soul is embraced by the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ."


Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

In April, Elder Holland and his wife, Patricia, joined Church President Russell M. Nelson on an ambitious 11-day journey that included stops in England, Israel, Kenya, Zimbabwe, India, Thailand and China before visiting Latter-day Saints in Hawaii on the way home. In June, he spoke to the Argentine Congress and met with Jewish leaders. In November, Elder Holland presented United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May with her personal family history. On the same trip he discussed Latter-day Saint teachings with theologians at Oxford.


Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

In January, Elder Uchtdorf became the Church’s primary contact for the Europe and Europe East Areas. In May, following President Nelson’s landmark announcement that the Church would build a temple in a major city in Russia, Elder Uchtdorf and his wife, Harriet, visited Moscow, where he discussed the future Russian temple with the well-known journalist and editor in chief of the academic journal “Science and Religion,” Sergey Georgievich Antonenko. Elder Uchtdorf met in May with the former president of Germany, Joachim Gauck, then in July with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In September, Elder Uchtdorf visited congregations in Poland, Russia, Germany and the United Kingdom.


Elder David A. Bednar

In May, Elder Bednar and his wife, Susan, visited Latter-day Saints and government leaders in Mongolia, Hong Kong, Cambodia and India. In September, the couple joined President Nelson during his visit to the Alamodome in Texas. “Faithfulness is not foolishness or fanaticism,” Elder Bednar told Texans. “Rather, it is trusting and placing our confidence in Jesus Christ as our Savior, on His name and in His promises.”


Elder Quentin L. Cook

In September, Elder Cook joined two Church historians in Nauvoo for an engaging discussion on Church history with more than 250 young adults in a live Face to Face devotional. In October, Elder Cook and his wife, Mary, visited Latter-day Saints and religious leaders of other faiths in France, Germany, Switzerland, Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic.


Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Elder Christofferson and his wife, Kathy, traveled to London in May to address the influential All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Freedom of Religion or Belief at the United Kingdom Parliament. In September, the couple attended the G20 Interfaith Forum in Argentina. Elder Christofferson’s speaking topic was how the Church of Jesus Christ helps foster self-reliance.


Elder Neil L. Andersen

Elder Andersen traveled to Jojutla, Mexico, in February to meet with survivors of last fall’s devastating earthquake. In August he and his wife, Kathy, joined President Nelson for visits to three provinces in central and eastern Canada. In November, he spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Abidjan Cȏte d’Ivoire Temple.


Elder Ronald A. Rasband

Elder Rasband visited the Utah State Capitol in January to join a community task force to address teen suicide. “To those who feel alone, rejected, or marginalized, or who feel, for any reason, that taking their life might be the solution to their problems, know that you are loved, valued, and respected.”

In June, he and his wife, Melanie, ministered in Alberta, Canada, with President and Sister Nelson. In July, he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Los Angeles Angels major league baseball game.


Elder Gary E. Stevenson

Elder Stevenson visited the homes of victims of a February school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In September, Elder Stevenson and his wife, Lesa, hosted two Face to Face broadcasts in August for youth in the Philippines and Japan. In October the couple joined President Nelson on a visit to five countries in South America.


Elder Dale G. Renlund

Elder Renlund and his wife, Ruth, visited Sweden in April. In July, Elder Renlund was featured in several videos that encourage Latter-day Saints to listen to and love those considering suicide.


Elder Gerrit W. Gong

The new apostle and his wife, Susan, visited Provo in May to teach a gathering of more than 10,000 women of all ages that both everyday and dramatic acts of selfless service are essential to increasing fellowship and unity in congregations and communities. The couple also made a nine-day trip to South America in December. They stopped in Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.


Elder Ulisses Soares

In June, Elder Soares and fellow new apostle Elder Gong were introduced to the media. In November, Elder Soares and his wife, Rosana, visited Central America for 10 days, his first travel assignment as an apostle without another member of the Quorum of the Twelve. He made stops in Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama.

Return to 2018 Year in Review of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints