Elder Patrick Kearon called and ordained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Elder Patrick Kearon has been called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Filling a vacancy left in the quorum after the death of President M. Russell Ballard, Elder Kearon, 62, was ordained on Thursday, Dec. 7, by President Russell M. Nelson and the other members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“The call to the holy apostleship is one of witness to the world of the divinity of the Lord Jesus the Christ,” said President Russell M. Nelson, at the time of his call to serve in that capacity in 1984.
“This sacred call is so very daunting and humbling to me,” said Elder Kearon in a statement published on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. “I will need to place all my trust in the Savior as I seek to become what He needs me to be and share my witness of His love and light. The abundance and grace of Jesus Christ have brought immense joy into my life, as well as healing balm in times of trial. I love Him. I will strive to serve Him to the best of my ability.”
Born in Carlisle, Cumberland, England, on July 18, 1961, Elder Kearon was sustained as a General Authority Seventy on April 3, 2010. He has served as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy since 2017, following five years in Germany as a member of the Europe Area presidency. He was named senior president of the Seventy in August 2020.
First introduced to the gospel while working in Laguna, California, Elder Kearon later met missionaries on the streets of London, England, and was baptized on Christmas Eve in 1987. “I learned the Church is true, that our Savior lives and that we can live joyfully here and hereafter too,” he later said.
He met Jennifer Hulme while she was studying in London; the couple married Jan. 12, 1991, in the Oakland California Temple. They have four children. Their oldest son, Sean, died from a heart condition at 3 weeks old.
“Numerous things happened along that most tender of journeys, that when we lost him, we knew we had left no stone unturned and no path unexplored in terms of trying to preserve his life, which meant we had no regret,” Elder Kearon said after being called as a general authority. Sister Kearon added: “Every step of the way in that process, we absolutely knew the Lord was watching over us and providing every tender mercy He possibly could to make that terrible loss as bearable as it could be.”
‘Their story is our story’
Elder Kearon is known for his compassion, empathy and understanding.
He was with President Ballard in 2015 when they met a 9-year-old Syrian refugee named Amer on the Greek island of Lesbos. Elder Kearon watched as Amer and his family, wet and cold from their arduous sea crossing, arrived in a refugee camp.
President Ballard later told the Church News what happened next. “The wonderful people receiving the family gave the little children some Oreo cookies. This little boy, Amer, opened up his pack of cookies and offered me one. I did what anybody would do. I said, ‘No, these are for you.’ Amer would not pull the cookies away until I took one. I embraced him and thanked him.
“That was a tender moment for all of us. Here he was, just coming out of the water, still wet, and the first thing he wanted to do was give me the first cookie.”
Elder Kearon praised the work being done by the organizations that partner with the Church to help those in need. “We have seen what they do and are confident that our joint efforts will make a difference in the lives of those fleeing from war and misery.”
Months later, in April 2016 general conference, Elder Kearon, then president of the Church’s Europe Area, spoke of the 60 million refugees in the world — urging members to follow Christ’s teachings and help those who are in need. “As members of the Church, as a people, we don’t have to look back far in our history to reflect on times when we were refugees, violently driven from homes and farms over and over again,” he said. “Their story is our story, not that many years ago.”
Elder Kearon has also promised hope to those that are oppressed.
During his April 2022 general conference address, Elder Kearon encouraged victims of abuse or oppression to find hope in Christ’s healing. “You are not defined by these terrible things that have been done to you. You are, in glorious truth, defined by your eternally existing identity as a son or daughter of God,” he said.
As a senior leader of the Church, Elder Kearon will serve under the direction of the First Presidency and lead a growing, global Latter-day Saint membership of more than 17 million people who speak more than 180 languages.
Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — who have the same divine responsibility as early apostles called by Jesus Christ — are “special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world” (Doctrine in Covenants 107: 23). They serve for life, overseeing “the growth of the global Church,” traveling the world “to share God’s love with His children” and inviting all “to come unto Christ, learn and follow Him,” according to ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
President Jeffrey R. Holland was sustained as acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Wednesday, Nov. 15, succeeding President Ballard, who died Nov. 12. The quorum’s senior member is designated as acting president because President Dallin H. Oaks, who is the current quorum president, is serving as first counselor to President Nelson in the First Presidency.
Family: Born July 18, 1961, in Carlisle, England, to Paddy Kearon and Patricia Wilson Kearon; married Jennifer Carole Hulme on Jan. 12, 1991, in the Oakland California Temple. Parents of four children, one deceased.
Career: Before full-time Church service, he and his wife were owners of Kearon Hulme Communications, a public affairs consultancy.
Education: Concluded formal education in his late teens, having attended schools in Saudi Arabia and England.
Church service: Senior president of the Presidency of the Seventy, General Authority Seventy, Area Seventy, stake president, branch president.