H. Verlan Andersen

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H. Verlan Andersen
Photograph of H. Verlan Andersen
First Quorum of the Seventy
April 5, 1986 (1986-04-05) – April 1, 1989 (1989-04-01)
Called by Ezra Taft Benson
End reason Transferred to Second Quorum of the Seventy
Second Quorum of the Seventy
April 1, 1989 (1989-04-01) – October 5, 1991 (1991-10-05)
Called by Ezra Taft Benson
End reason Honorably released
Personal details
Born Hans Verlan Andersen
(1914-11-06)November 6, 1914
Logan, Utah, United States
Died July 16, 1992(1992-07-16) (aged 77)
Orem, Utah, United States

Hans Verlan Andersen (November 6, 1914 – July 16, 1992) was a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and a professor at Brigham Young University (BYU).

Andersen was called to the LDS Church's First Quorum of the Seventy in April 1986. On April 1, 1989 he was transferred to the newly created Second Quorum of the Seventy. On October 5, 1991, he was released from his service as a general authority. He died of cancer on July 16, 1992.[1]

Early life and education

Andersen was born in Logan, Utah, but mainly grew up in Virden, New Mexico. He served a mission in the church's North Central States Mission, which covered basically the northern great plains states. He then studied at Gila Junior College (now Eastern Arizona College) and BYU. After this he worked in Phoenix where he met Shirley Hoyt, whom he married in the Salt Lake Temple in 1943.[2]

Andersen later received a law degree at Stanford University and also did advanced legal studies at Harvard Law School.[2]

When the BYU Training School closed in 1968, Andersen met with a group of other BYU professors and parents with the intent of establishing a private school. They desired to have their children's academic learning enhanced and enlightened by principles of morality, religion, liberty and patriotism. The founders purchased an LDS meetinghouse in Pleasant Grove, Utah, and opened the American Heritage School in 1970 with 80 students enrolled.[3]

Political views

Andersen was a supporter of the original intent of the U.S. Constitution and an anti-communist.

"As originally interpreted, the United States Constitution denied government the right to regulate and control the citizen in the use of his property. Over the years the commerce clause and the general welfare clause have been so interpreted as to permit both the state and Federal governments to regiment labor, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, communication, finance and all other forms of economic activity. Today, if there is any limit on the power of government to regulate, no one knows what that limit is." (Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen)

Andersen also warned that citizens in general, and members of his own church, were being seduced into accepting principles of socialism, which he believed used the police power of government to take money from one class of citizen to service another class. (The Book of Mormon and the Constitution)

Andersen taught at the Business College at BYU. His son records that "the first day of class he would give his students an ungraded questionnaire of 25-30 questions to get their beliefs regarding the proper role of government. Unknown to the students [which consisted largely of returned missionaries], the questions included the famous 10 points of Marx's Communist Manifesto of 1848. To his surprise, the students, on average, accepted 2/3 of Marx's plans to destroy a capitalist society."[4]


Andersen is probably well known to most Latter-day Saints by the following, often told story that speaks of Andersen's strict devotion to keeping all of the commandments.

At the funeral service of a noble General Authority, H. Verlan Andersen, a tribute was expressed by a son. He related that, years earlier, he had a special school date on a Saturday night. He borrowed from his father the family car. As he obtained the car keys and headed for the door, his father said, “Remember, tomorrow is Sunday. The car will need more gas before then. Be sure to fill the tank before coming home.”

Elder Andersen’s son then related that the evening activity was wonderful. Friends met, refreshments were served, and all had a good time. In his exuberance, however, he failed to follow his father’s instruction and add fuel to the car’s tank before returning home. He simply forgot.

Sunday morning dawned. Elder Andersen discovered the gas gauge showed empty. The son saw his father put the car keys on the table. In the Andersen family the Sabbath day was a day for worship and thanksgiving, and not for purchases.

As the funeral message continued, Elder Andersen’s son declared, “I saw my father put on his coat, bid us good-bye, and walk the long distance to the chapel, that he might attend an early meeting.” Duty called. Truth was not held hostage to expedience.

In concluding his funeral message, Elder Andersen’s son said, “No son ever was taught more effectively by his father than I was on that occasion. My father not only knew the truth, but he also taught the truth and lived the truth.”[5]


After his retirement, but before his call as a general authority, Andersen and his wife served as missionaries in Argentina and Peru.

Published works



External links