APOSTLES — Miscellaneous quiz questions
QUESTION: What very interesting 50-year anniversary was noted in the summer of 2021 that included all three members of our current First Presidency (Presidents Nelson, Oaks, and Eyring)?
ANSWER: Incredibly, Russell M. Nelson was sustained as the General Superintendent of the Sunday School Organization of the Church on June 27, 1971, Dallin H. Oaks was installed as the President of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah on August 1, 1971, and Henry B. Eyring was installed as the President of Ricks College in Ricks, Idaho on July 1, 1971. This information was brought to my attention by Louis Epstein, and I present it with his permission.
QUESTION: Which apostle of this dispensation served five terms (30 years) in the United States Senate, all the while serving also as an apostle?
ANSWER: This senator and apostle was Reed Smoot. He served as an apostle from 1900 to 1941, and served in the U.S. Senate from 1903 to 1932.
QUESTION: Who was the last LDS Church apostle to wear facial hair while serving in the capacity of apostle?
ANSWER: The last LDS Church apostle to sport facial hair while in office was Elder Richard L. Evans. He wore a neatly trimmed mustache until the mid-1960s. Elder Evans passed away on November 1, 1971. Due to Elder Evans’ extraordinary ability to reach across lines of religious differences, the Richard L. Evans Chair of Religious Understanding at Brigham Young University was created in his honor on November 1, 1972.
QUESTION: Following the apostasy and excommunication of a particular member of the original Quorum of the Twelve, this man became a scientist and inventor, holding the patent on 36 original devices. He was one of the inventors of the torpedo. Can you name this brother?
ANSWER: This brother was John F. Boynton. He served as an apostle for only 2 years and 7 months (1835 to 1837).
QUESTION: Can you name the universities at which our recent apostles did undergraduate work, and how many attended each of those schools?
ANSWER: 1) University of Utah (Elders Monson, Nelson, Ballard, Hales, Eyring, Rasband, and Renlund) 2) Utah State University (Elders Packer, Perry, Cook, and Stevenson) 3) Brigham Young University (Elders Oaks, Holland, Bednar, Christofferson, and Andersen) 4) George Washington University (Elder Scott) 5) Elder Dieter Uchtdorf attended Business Administration School in Bremen, Germany.
QUESTION: Can you name recent apostles who did post-graduate studies?
ANSWER: President Thomas S. Monson (M.B.A. at B.Y.U.), Boyd K. Packer (M.S. at U.S.U. and Ph.D. at B.Y.U), L. Tom Perry (did graduate work in business at U.S.U.), Russell M. Nelson (M.D. at U. of U., Ph.D at University of Minnesota), Dallin H. Oaks (J.D. at University of Chicago), Richard G. Scott (Ph.D. equivalent at a nuclear engineering school), Robert D. Hales (M.B.A. at Harvard), Jeffery R. Holland (M.A. at B.Y.U. and M.A. at Yale, Ph.D. at Yale), Henry B. Eyring (M.A. at Harvard and Ph.D. at Harvard), Elder David A. Bednar M.A. at B.Y.U. in Organizational Management, Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior at Purdue University), Elder Quentin L. Cook (J.D. at Stanford University), Elder D. Todd Christofferson (J.D. at Duke University), Elder Neil L. Andersen (M.B.A. at Harvard University), Elder Gary E. Stevenson (Business degree at Utah State University), and Elder Dale G. Renlund (Medical Doctor degree at Johns Hopkins University).
QUESTION: Can you name four currently-serving or recent apostles who were not serving as General Authorities when called as apostles?
ANSWER: Currently-serving or recent apostles who were not serving as General Authorities when called to the apostleship are President Thomas S. Monson, Elder Russell M. Nelson, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, and Elder David A. Bednar. President Monson had served as a bishop, a member of a stake presidency, and as a mission president before his call, Elder Nelson as a stake president, regional representative, and Sunday School general president, Elder Oaks as a regional representative, a member of a stake presidency, and as BYU President, and Elder Bednar as a stake president twice, an Area Authority Seventy, and president of BYU Idaho.
QUESTION: The city of St. George in southwestern Utah was named after one of our latter-day apostles. Can you identify this apostle and the unusual use of the word “Saint”?
ANSWER: The city of St. George was named in honor of Apostle George A. Smith, who served as an apostle from 1839 to 1875. Elder Smith also served as a counselor to Brigham Young from 1868 to 1875. Elder Smith received the nickname of “The Potato Saint” due to his advocacy of growing and eating potatoes while the saints were encamped at Winter Quarters. He believed potato consumption would prevent the development of scurvy. Elder Smith was the first settler in the Salt Lake Valley to plant potatoes. He spent considerable time in the southern part of the Utah Territory, and was recognized as the “father of the southern settlements”. Thus, St. George, the chief southern settlement, was named in honor of this great apostle.
QUESTION : Questions about our current or recent apostles: Which one holds an M.D. and a Ph.D degree? Which one raised champion pigeons? Which one was a talented wood carver and painter of birds? Which three have served as presidents in the Brigham Young University system?
ANSWER: Elder Russell M. Nelson holds an M.D. and a Ph.D. degree. Elder Thomas S. Monson raises award-winning pigeons. Elder Boyd K. Packer loved painting and carving birds. Elders Dallin H. Oaks, Jeffrey A. Holland, and Elder David A. Bednar have served as presidents in the BYU system.
QUESTION: Questions about our current or recent apostles: Which one helped design nuclear-powered propulsion systems for U.S. Navy submarines? Which two served as presidents of Ricks College? Which two had the same middle name? Which one had the nickname of ‘Stretch’ as a youth? Which one had both of his grandfathers serve as apostles? Which apostle was a pilot for Lufthansa Airlines?
ANSWER: Elder Richard G. Scott designed nuclear propulsion systems, Elder Henry B. Eyring and Elder David A. Bednar served as presidents of Ricks College (Elder Bednar was serving as president of Ricks College when the name was changed to BYU Idaho), President Gordon Bitner Hinckley and Elder Joseph Bitner Wirthlin had the same middle name, Elder L. Tom Perry had the nickname ‘Stretch’ as a youth, both of Elder M. Russell Ballard’s grandfathers served as apostles (Hyrum Mack Smith and Melvin J. Ballard), and Elder Dieter Uchtdorf was a pilot for Lufthansa.
QUESTION: Early in church history, a brother was chosen by the First Presidency to fill a vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve, but this brother died before being informed of his call to the apostleship. Can you identify the brethren involved in this unusual occurrence?
ANSWER: While incarcerated in Liberty Jail, the Prophet Joseph sent a letter (dated January 16, 1839) to Heber C. Kimball and Brigham Young which included the following statement: “We nominate George A. Smith and Lyman Sherman to take the places of Orson Hyde and Thomas B. Marsh in the Quorum of the Twelve.” Lyman Sherman died in February 1839, before the call to the Quorum could be issued.
QUESTION: What significant change concerning seniority in the Quorum of the Twelve did Brigham Young institute in October of 1861?
ANSWER: In October of 1861, President Young announced that seniority in the Quorum of the Twelve would be determined by the date of ordination to the apostleship, not by the chronological age of the brethren. This particular change specifically affected Elders Wilford Woodruff and John Taylor. For many years, Elder Woodruff had been considered senior to Elder Taylor in the Quorum, as Elder Woodruff was older. However, Elder Taylor had been ordained an apostle four months before Elder Woodruff. From October 1861 onward, Elder Taylor was listed as senior to Elder Woodruff.
QUESTION: What important determination concerning seniority in the Quorum of the Twelve did Brigham Young make in 1875?
ANSWER: In June of 1875, President Young ruled that, according to true principles of seniority, Elders Orson Hyde and Orson Pratt were not in proper positions in the Quorum of the Twelve. Both of them had been excommunicated at one time and then, following genuine repentance, had been reinstated and brought back into the Quorum in the same positions they had held before their excommunications. During their brief and painful separations from the Twelve, other men (John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and George A. Smith) were ordained and sustained in their places and therefore should have held seniority above them when they were reinstated. Seniority was judged to be with those who had the longest continuous ministry in the Quorum from the date of ordination. Therefore, in 1875, Elders Hyde and Pratt were removed from their places, their seniority was properly adjusted, and they took their rightful positions behind Elders Taylor, Woodruff, and Smith. — “Succession In The Church”, by Durham and Heath, pages 73-74.
QUESTION: Four brethren who have served as the Presiding Bishop of the Church have subsequently been called to the apostleship, serving in the Quorum of the Twelve. Can you name these four brethren?
ANSWER: The four brethren who have served as Presiding Bishop and then as an apostle are Sylvester Q. Cannon (Presiding Bishop on June 4, 1925 and apostle on April 14, 1938), LeGrand Richards (Presiding Bishop on April 6, 1938 and apostle on April 10, 1952), Robert D. Hales (Presiding Bishop on April 6, 1985 and apostle on April 7, 1994), and Gary E. Stevenson (Presiding Bishop on March 31, 2012 and apostle on October 3, 2015). Interestingly, Charles W. Nibley served as Presiding Bishop and then as 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency, but he was not ordained as an apostle.
QUESTION: One of our apostles in the 19th century learned of his call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by reading a report of the call in a newspaper. Can you name this apostle?
ANSWER: This apostle was Elder Francis M. Lyman. In August of 1880, Elder Lyman, with a company of brethren, was called to make a tour of southern Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. While away on this mission, he was chosen and sustained as one of the Twelve Apostles at the general conference of October 10, 1880. He read about his calling in a newspaper not long after the conference. He was ordained an apostle on the 27th day of that month by President John Taylor. One of our early church publications carried this summary of Elder Lyman’s early life: “What an astonishing record of activity and work! A frontiersman at birth and babyhood; pioneer, teamster, and bull-whacker at 8; herdsman and cowboy at 11; learning a trade at 13; plowing the trackless deserts as a leader and captain at 16; married at 17; exploring the wilds of Colorado at 18; a Seventy and missionary at 20.”
QUESTION: All of the original twelve apostles of this dispensation were ordained apostles under the hands of the Three Witnesses (Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and David Whitmer) with the exception of one. Which of the original Twelve was the exception?
ANSWER: The exception was Elder Parley P. Pratt. He was ordained an apostle by Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer.
QUESTION: One of the apostles of this dispensation participated in some of the great engineering projects of the 20th century. He helped in the design of the massive Chicago sewer system, in the Columbia River reclamation project which included the Grand Coulee Dam, in the design of the Colorado River aqueduct, and in the design of the Metropolitan Water system for southern California. He also devised the street numbering system used in Salt Lake City which facilitates the finding of any address in the city. Can you name this apostle?
ANSWER: This apostle was Elder Richard R. Lyman. He obtained both a Masters’ Degree and a doctorate in Civil Engineering.
QUESTION: In this dispensation, who is the only apostle to be ordained to the apostleship outside of the continental United States?
ANSWER: The only apostle ordained outside of the United States was Elder Willard Richards. The prophet Joseph received a revelation in July of 1838 that Willard Richards and three other brethren were to fill the vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve. Elder Richards was serving a mission in England at the time. Brigham Young, Willard’s cousin, ordained him an apostle on April 14, 1840 in Preston, England.
QUESTION: One of our apostles served as the president of the Constitutional Convention which drew up the document under which Utah became a state of the Union. He was also the father of one of our prophets, and another of his sons served as an Assistant to the Twelve. Can you name this apostle?
ANSWER: This apostle was Elder John Henry Smith, son of apostle George A. Smith. His son that served as prophet was George Albert Smith and his son that served as an Assistant to the Twelve as Elder Nicholas G. Smith.
QUESTION: Which member of the Quorum of the Twelve served simultaneously as Acting Patriarch to the Church for five years?
ANSWER: Elder George F. Richards served as Acting Church Patriarch while he was also a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. He was ordained an apostle on April 9, 1906. He was sustained as Acting Church Patriarch on October 8, 1937. He was released as Patriarch on October 3, 1942. He continued to serve as an apostle until his death on August 8, 1950.
QUESTION: Two of our current or recent apostles were missionary companions in the British Mission. They both served in that mission between 1960 and 1962. Can you name these two apostles?
ANSWER: Elder Jeffery R. Holland and Elder Quentin L. Cook were missionary companions in the British Mission in the early 1960’s.
QUESTION: Only one brother in this dispensation thus far has served in the First Presidency, in the Quorum of the Twelve, in the Quorum of the Seventy, and in the Presiding Bishopric. Can you name this devoted brother?
ANSWER: This wonderful, faithful brother is President Henry B. Eyring.
QUESTION: One of our recent or current apostles served as the mission president of another of our recent or current apostles. Can you name these two apostles?
ANSWER: Elder Richard G. Scott served as the mission president of Elder D. Todd Christofferson while they both served in Argentina.
QUESTION: On July 1, 1910, the then President of the United States appointed a future apostle to the position of Solicitor for the Department of State. This future apostle also later served in the First Presidency. Can you name the apostle and the president who appointed him?
ANSWER: The president was President William Howard Taft, and the future apostle was Elder J. Reuben Clark. J. Reuben Clark had been serving as assistant Solicitor of the Department of State at the time of his appointment.
QUESTION: One of our early apostles was so valiant and courageous in defending the saints against persecution and injustice that he earned the title of “Captain Fear Not”. Can you name this apostle?
ANSWER: The apostle known as “Captain Fear Not” was Elder David W. Patten. One of Elder Patten’s biographers, L. A. Wilson, said the following: “Wherever assistance or defense was needed, Apostle David W. Patten was to the rescue among the foremost. In his presence the oppressed found a champion, and at his approach the wicked were filled with terror.”