Up Close With Elder Gerrit W. Gong

Jun 19, 2019, 6:08 PM | Updated: Jun 20, 2019, 2:35 pm

Seven countries in nine days. That’s what President Russell M. Nelson did recently in his South Pacific ministry tour. But the 94-year-old leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wasn’t alone.

Along with his wife, he also traveled with the church’s newest apostle Elder Gerrit W. Gong, 65, who was amazed at the peoples incredible faith and devotion.

“These are warm, kind, wonderful people. These are children of God,” said Elder Gong in a one-on-one interview with KSL’s Dan Rascon during the tour.

Elder Gong was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on March 31st, 2018. Rascon spoke to him on the Island of Samoa last month during the tour.

In Samoa there are more than 82,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That’s one in every three people in the country.

Elder Gong had a chance to meet with Kings, Heads of State, Prime Ministers and tens of thousands of church members.  A 65 year old who admits it wasn’t easy keeping up with a 94 year old.

“It’s a challenge for all of us to keep up with him. The promise is that the Lord will sustain support and bless and that’s certainly true in the case of Pres. Nelson,” he said.

He says in this day and age religion plays a key role in building strong families and that only results in helping a community and a country. “Religion is a very important part of society. We realize that strong families make strong communities. Strong communities make strong countries.”

One of Elder Gong’s messages to the people, taking care of their physical bodies.

“If our physical bodies are kept well then our spirits can soar and do things they wouldn’t be able to do otherwise,” he said.

Elder Gong’s wife also traveled by his side and spoke to the people. It’s a trip he will never forget.

“I think the Lord’s prophet wants the people to know that the heavens are open that the Lord loves them. That it is a time of challenge and also a time of great blessing,” said Elder Gong.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...
Eliza Pace

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announces temple groundbreakings

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced three temple groundbreakings, a temple dedication, and temple rendering.
2 days ago
Jesus the Christ: The Mesa Easter Pageant...
Candice Madsen

Behind the scenes of the world’s largest annual Easter pageant

Spectacular pageantry, Biblical verse, music, dance, and a cast of hundreds help tell the greatest story ever told on the grounds of the Mesa Arizona Temple.
3 days ago
Associated Press

Why the religious fast for Ramadan, Lent and other holy days

Here is a quick look at fasting as an act of faith across religions.
6 days ago
A view of the northwest corner of Temple Square shows the development of the area where the North V...
Madison Swenson

Salt Lake Temple renovations now estimated to be complete in 2026

Estimated completion of renovation work on the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been delayed once again.
6 days ago
The Richmond Virginia Temple, clad with Moleanos stone articulated with a Jeffersonian version of a...
Madison Swenson

First temple in Virginia opens its doors to the public

The Richmond Virginia Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is preparing to welcome guests as part of its public open house.
8 days ago
C. Shane Reese was announced as BYU's next president. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU)...
Josh Ellis

BYU names C. Shane Reese as university’s 14th president

Christopher Shane Reese has been named the 14th president of Brigham Young University.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Stack of old laptops with dark background...
PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
Up Close With Elder Gerrit W. Gong