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.

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Up Close With Elder Gerrit W. Gong