One-on-one conversation with newest Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Jan 23, 2024, 6:39 PM | Updated: Jan 24, 2024, 6:42 am
SALT LAKE CITY — The newest Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said he is still feeling shocked, overwhelmed and humbled by his new calling.
Elder Patrick Kearon was called on Dec. 7 to fill the vacancy left in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles following the death of President M. Russell Ballard. Elder Kearon is 62 years old, making him the youngest Apostle in the current Quorum of the Twelve.
“Deep shock in relation to the call,” he said. “I don’t know that there are words that can describe how overwhelming, just overwhelming that was (when I was called), and that hasn’t left.”
Elder Kearon’s new assignment is a lifetime calling, much different than his previous calling as a General Authority Seventy.
“As a General Authority Seventy, you serve until you’re 70. And so we were looking forward seven and a half years and thinking well, ‘Will we be going back to England? Will we stay here? What will we do?’” he said.
Elder Kearon’s call came the day before he was to speak at the graduation ceremonies at BYU-Hawaii. The busyness of that time actually helped calm the nerves, he said.
Elder Kearon was born in England and raised in the United Kingdom and the Middle East, which is dealing with turmoil and war.
“Love thy neighbor as thyself. If we started just with that, imagine the difference there would be in the world and imagine the peace that would follow, the calm that would ensue, the healing that would be brought,” he said.
For those leaving the Church or not wanting to be a part of organized religion, he said the answer is still Jesus Christ.
“Our job is probably, to connect them, help them find the stepping stones that connect them with their Father in Heaven and Savior, that they find that source of light, the source of truth, the source of peace, and joy and comfort, that they connect with that,” Elder Kearon said.
That means building bridges with people of all faiths and walks of life.
“We have to be bridge builders following the example of Jesus Christ. He was the ultimate bridge builder. We’ve got to get better at speaking to those of other faiths. Sometimes we’re good at that, and sometimes we’re not so good, but we can all get better,” he said.