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Newest apostle

Hopes to strengthen faith of people wherever they are

A "deep sense of humility" enveloped Elder D. Todd Christofferson when he was called to be the newest member of the Quorum of the Twelve just days before general conference. Those humble feelings were coupled with gratitude for the confidence shown him by the Lord, and by President Thomas S. Monson and his counselors in the First Presidency, and his new colleagues in the Twelve.

"I was thinking of President David O. Mc-Kay's statement he used to say from time to time: 'To be trusted is better than to be loved.' I hope I'll always merit that trust."

Elder Christofferson met with reporters April 5 following the opening session of general conference, at which time he was sustained to his new calling. He spoke to reporters of his anxiousness to serve and represent the Lord and His Church. He paid tribute to his wife of almost 40 years, Katherine Jacob Christofferson, and counseled Church members to live within their means and to contribute in their communities.

The newly called apostle said he has given much thought to the resurrected Christ's charge to Peter to feed His sheep. "That has grown up in my heart as a great desire and an anxiety, and I hope that I can do that for the rest of my life."

The son of a veterinarian, Elder Christofferson spoke of his early childhood in his native Utah and of later spending his formative teenage years far from Church headquarters in New Jersey. There he was the only Church member in his high school class. Sometimes his faith was challenged.

"It forced me to think very deeply about what I believe and, in the end, to go to the Lord and seek real confirmation," he said.

Varied professional and ecclesiastical duties in the eastern United States afforded Elder Christofferson exposure to a range of cultures and communities. He called it a blessing to have associated with good people of all faiths.

"Take full advantage of the privilege that is ours to be among our fellow men — to contribute what we can and receive what they bring. Enjoy the brotherhood of the children of God."

Elder Christofferson said he plans to follow the direction of President Monson in performing his new duties, focusing on the importance of faith and strong families.

"We find so many good people everywhere," he added. "My hope is to be able to strengthen the faith of people — members of the Church especially — wherever they are found."