Elder Anderson Becomes Oldest General Authority

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“Elder Anderson Becomes Oldest General Authority,” Ensign, Jan. 1987, 76

Elder Anderson Becomes Oldest General Authority

On October 26, Elder Joseph Anderson, emeritus member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, became the oldest man to serve as a General Authority in the 156-year history of the Church.

On that day, Elder Anderson was 96 years and 340 days of age. He celebrated his 97th birthday on November 20.

In the longevity category, the late Elder LeGrand Richards, former Presiding Bishop and longtime member of the Council of the Twelve, was the previous record holder. At the time of his death in 1983, his age was 96 years and 339 days. President David O. McKay, ninth President of the Church, lived 96 years and 132 days.

Elder Anderson was born 20 November 1889 in Salt Lake City. He served as secretary to the First Presidency of the Church from 1923 to 1972. In April of 1970, he was called to be an Assistant to the Council of the Twelve, and in October of 1976 was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy. He was given emeritus status in 1978.

He attributes his longevity to his adherence to the Word of Wisdom. He keeps an active mind, eats wholesome foods in moderation, and has an exercise regimen that includes regular swimming sessions.