Church Elder visits Samoa

By Diedre Fanene ,

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SAMOA VISIT: Elder D. Todd Christofferson (fourth from left) is flanked by church officials at Pesega yesterday.

SAMOA VISIT: Elder D. Todd Christofferson (fourth from left) is flanked by church officials at Pesega yesterday.

A member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, is leaving Samoa with many wonderful memories of his visit. 

Elder Christofferson visited Samoa with his wife, Sister Katherine Christofferson, as part of a trip to the Pacific.

Speaking to the media during a press conference held at Pesega, Elder Christofferson highlighted the key role played by the church in the world today.

 “The primary effort is to strengthen the character of individuals as they become faithful followers of Jesus Christ to have faith in Him,” he said.

“Their lives are full of integrity and industriousness and they become wonderfully strong citizens and contributors to society not only within the church but with the entire community.”

At the L.D.S Church, Elder Christofferson said strengthening the family units is a key part of their focus.

“We have a constant emphasis on strong families, on fathers being loyal in their homes, being diligent in teaching their children, mothers nurturing their children and teaching them as well,” he said.

“We feel that family is the most important unit of society, that any nation depends upon the strength of the family and we even see family as the order of heaven as we pass to the other side.”

The Elder also spoke about the church’s contribution to Samoa.

“We have many humanitarian projects that are conducted here and across the world,” he said.  

“We also want to unite with other churches, people of other faiths to benefit the community together, things we can collaborate and do with one another."

“We want to not only do what we can within our church to help but to unite with others and do the same.”

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was organized in 1835. It is an example of the literal restoration to the earth of the church established by Jesus Christ.

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is the second highest presiding body in the government of the L.D.S Church. Its members serve under the direction of the First Presidency, a governing unit of three men, the President and two Counselors.

Elder Christofferson was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 2008 while serving in the Presidency of the Seventy. During his term in the Presidency of the Seventy he had supervisory responsibility for the North American West, Northwest and Southeast Areas of the Church. He also served as an Executive Director of the Family and Church History Department. He was President of the Mexico South Area of the Church, resident in Mexico City.

Prior to his call to serve as full time General Authority of the Church, he was associate general counsel of the Nations Bank Corporation which is now the Bank of America in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Earlier, he was senior vice president and general counsel for Commerce Union Bank of Tennessee in Nashville where he was also active in community affairs and interfaith organizations.

From 1975-1980, he practiced law in Washington D.C after serving as a law clerk to U.S District Judge John. J. Sirica in 1972-1974. 

He was born in Pleasant Grove, Utah, graduating from high school in New Jersey and earning his Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University where he was an Edwin S. Hinckley scholar and his law degree from Duke University.

Amongst his other calling, he has served the Church as a Regional Representative, stake president and bishop and as a young man he served as a missionary in Argentina.

Elder Christofferson and his wife Katherine Jacob – Christofferson have five children. They left Samoa yesterday.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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