First Quorum of the Seventy
Verlan Andersen and his wife, Shirley Hoyt Andersen are the parents of 12 children and grandparents of 104 grandchildren. Brother Andersen served a mission to the North Central States. He attended Gila Junior College in Arizona, then BYU. Brother Andersen went on to graduate from Stanford University Law School, and was later hired to teach business law at BYU. After one year, he enrolled at Harvard University Law School in 1947 to study for a master’s degree; he finished in six months. Then he practiced law in Phoenix for four years, but was invited back to BYU in 1953. Accepting meant a drastic cut in income, but he loved teaching and felt the move would be good for his young family. “Every move we made during those years, we made for the benefit of our children,” explained brother Andersen. Except for a four-year stint (1961–65) in an Arizona business that afforded the opportunity to work more closely with his teenaged sons, he taught at BYU until his retirement in 1980. He was famous at BYU for debating, very successfully, other professors with the scriptures.
Brother Andersen was a strong proponent of applying Gospel principles to all areas of life. When the BYU Training School closed in 1968, Dr. H. Verlan 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 L.D.S. chapel in Pleasant Grove, Utah, and opened American Heritage School (Utah) in 1970. Brother Andersen was one of the pioneering spokesmen of LDS home and private education.
Brother Andersen is considered by many to be one of the great Latter-day Patriots. Brother Andersen is the author of several books including, The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil, Many are Called but Few are Chosen, Moral Basis of a Free Society and The Book of Mormon and the Constitution. Also a short work entitled, “The Improper Role of Government“.
Brother Andersen was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in April 1986 by President Ezra Taft Benson. He died of cancer on July 16, 1992.