Courtesy of Elder Cook

Elder Quentin L. Cook was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Oct. 6, 2007. On Thursday, Elder Cook will celebrate his 76th birthday. A native of Logan, Utah, Elder Cook was born on Sept. 8, 1940. As he matured and progressed, he received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Utah State University and a law degree (J.D.) from Stanford University. On Nov. 30, 1962, he married Mary Gaddie. They are the parents of three children. Elder Cook is known to value the concepts of learning from others, especially from the Lord, and having a willing heart and mind. “I have revered, sustained and honored all of those who have been apostles,” he said in an LDS.org biography. “Their influence on me has been profound. I don’t know what my contribution will be, but I do know that Jesus Christ is the Savior, that God is our Father in Heaven, that Joseph Smith is the prophet of this dispensation, and that we have a prophet today. That knowledge is the center of my life.” This list is a compilation of information from a number of biographical articles written about Elder Cook and talks he has given.

Question #1
Courtesy of Elder Cook

What did Elder Cook learn from his mother?

a. To put his family first
b. To have correct table manners
c. To read music and sing
d. To trust in the Lord

Answer
Courtesy of Elder Cook

d. To trust in the Lord

Elder Cook learned several lessons from both his mother and father.

From his mother, Bernice Kimball Cook, he learned to trust in the Lord. He learned from his father, J. Vernon Cook, how to "set and achieve goals and how to incorporate into his own personality attributes he admired in other people," according to his LDS.org biography.

Question #2

Which childhood experience revealed Elder Cook’s compassion?

a. A fire drill
b. A basketball game
c. A round of show-and-tell
d. A family reunion

Answer
Deseret News archive

a. A fire drill

Elder Cook's LDS.org biography opens with a story from his elementary school days.

"It was fire drill day at an elementary school in Logan, Utah. Fire drill captain Joe Cook, a stalwart sixth-grade student leader, was determined to post a good time. He was pleased when, at the ringing of the alarm, students rapidly evacuated the building. Then, just as a record-breaking time seemed likely, Joe heard the announcement: 'Someone is still in the building. The building is not clear.'

"As the clock ticked on, Joe finally saw his first-grade brother, Quentin, walk out of the building.

"Fuming, Joe barked, 'What on earth were you doing?'

"Quentin held up a pair of large, worn boots and said, 'Joe, you know that (and he mentioned a friend’s name) sometimes has to wear hand-me-down shoes that are too big for him. When the fire drill rang, he took off running and ran right out of these. He didn’t want to ruin the drill, so he left them and ran outside barefoot. I went back to get his boots for him because I didn’t want his feet to be cold in the snow.'

"Such a story reveals the compassion Elder Quentin L. Cook has felt in his heart from his youth to the present day, a compassion based on the principles taught by the Savior," reads the biography.

Question #3
Courtesy of Elder Cook

Which “inspiring moment” does Elder Cook remember strongly from his childhood?

a. Sitting on his grandmother’s lap and listening to her conversion story
b. Listening to Elder L. Tom Perry speak in sacrament meeting
c. Watering the family garden with his brother
d. Watching his father open doors for his mother

Answer
IRI

b. Listening to Elder L. Tom Perry speak in sacrament meeting

“People have so much to offer us if we are willing to learn from them,” Elder Cook said. “That is why it is important to surround yourself with good people."

"Growing up in Logan, he had that opportunity. For example, he recalls listening intently as Elder L. Tom Perry, ... then a young man recently returned from World War II, spoke (wearing military dress uniform) in sacrament meeting about his experiences. That inspiring moment remains one of his earliest and strongest childhood memories," reads a Liahona article about Elder Cook.

Question #4
Deseret News archive

What other member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was Elder Cook’s mission companion?

a. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
b. Elder David A. Bednar
c. Elder D. Todd Christofferson
d. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Answer
Deseret News archive

a. Jeffrey R. Holland

In tribute to Elder Cook, Elder Holland wrote an article about him for the Liahona, titled, "Elder Quentin L. Cook: A Willing Heart and Mind."

"From 1960 to 1962 Elder Cook served in the British Mission, the same mission to which I would be called. We were profoundly affected by our mission president, Elder Marion D. Hanks, then of the First Council of the Seventy. To all of his missionaries, he emphasized discipleship and determination. He taught us to love the Savior, to cherish the Book of Mormon, to be true to the Church and the gospel for the rest of our lives. Now, more than 45 years later, it is a rare occasion to have two former missionary companions serving together in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles," reads the article.

Question #5
Courtesy of Elder Cook

Where did Elder Cook meet his wife?

a. Utah State University
b. Their junior high school
c. Through mutual friends
d. A combined high school dance

Answer
Courtesy of Elder Cook

b. Their junior high school

Elder Cook first knew of his future companion, Mary, when he saw her perform at a seventh-grade talent assembly.

He remembers, “This little towheaded girl gets up and sings ‘On the Sunny Side of the Street.’ Even in junior high school she had a remarkably mature, deep voice. I was absolutely amazed. And that song could have been the theme for the rest of her life. She has a wonderfully bright, sunny disposition.”

Throughout junior high and high school, the two had numerous opportunities to work together.

"In junior high he was elected student-body president, and she was elected student-body vice president. They were in debate together. And as senior-class president in high school, he worked with her as a student-body officer," according to a Liahona article.

“We were friends long before we were anything else,” Elder Cook recalls in the article. “I admired her before I fell in love with her, and marrying her was the best decision I have ever made.”

Elder and Sister Cook were married in the Logan Utah Temple on Nov. 30, 1962.

Question #6
Courtesy of Elder Cook

While working as a young lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area, Elder Oaks' firm did some legal work for the company that produced which holiday TV special?

a. Peanuts
b. Disney’s Chip ‘n Dale
c. The Muppets
d. The Osmonds

Answer
Deseret News archive

a. Peanuts

When Elder Cook was a young lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area, his firm did some legal work for the company that produced the Charlie Brown holiday TV specials. Elder Cook quickly became a fan of the Peanuts gang.

"One of my favorite comic strips involved Lucy. As I remember it, Charlie Brown’s baseball team was in an important game — Lucy was playing right field, and a high fly ball was hit to her. The bases were loaded, and it was the last of the ninth inning. If Lucy caught the ball, her team would win. If Lucy dropped the ball, the other team would win," Elder Cook recalled in an October 2014 general conference address.

"As could happen only in a comic strip, the entire team surrounded Lucy as the ball came down. Lucy was thinking, 'If I catch the ball, I will be the hero; if I don’t, I will be the goat.'

"The ball came down, and as her teammates eagerly looked on, Lucy dropped the ball. Charlie Brown threw his glove to the ground in disgust. Lucy then looked at her teammates, put her hands on her hips, and said, 'How do you expect me to catch the ball when I am worried about our country’s foreign policy?'

"This was one of many fly balls Lucy dropped through the years, and she had a new excuse each time. While always humorous, Lucy’s excuses were rationalizations; they were untrue reasons for her failure to catch the ball.

"During the ministry of President Thomas S. Monson, he has often taught that decisions determine destiny. In that spirit my counsel tonight is to rise above any rationalizations that prevent us from making righteous decisions, especially with respect to serving Jesus Christ. In Isaiah we are taught we must 'refuse the evil, and choose the good.'"

Question #7
Courtesy of Elder Cook

What kind of law did Elder Cook practice?

a. Litigation
b. Criminal defense
c. Business
d. Divorce law

Answer
Courtesy of Elder Cook

c. Business

After receiving his law degree from Stanford, Elder Cook was a business lawyer who specialized in mergers and acquisitions. He ultimately became a healthcare executive and his final merger was between California Healthcare System, where he was president and CEO, and Sutter Health. Elder Cook was vice chairman of Sutter Health at the time of his call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Question #8
Jeffrey D. Allred

When Elder Cook was called to be an apostle, he said he was glad to hear the news in person, rather than in a phone call because _______.

a. He was speechless and nodded yes, which President Hinckley wouldn't have seen over the phone.
b. He could see President Hinckley's facial expressions when he extended the call.
c. He could immediately shake President Hinckley's hand.
d. He would have thought it was a prank call.

Answer
Keith Johnson/Deseret News

d. He would have thought it was a prank call.

Elder Cook had a "wonderful and sweet and short" meeting with President Gordon B. Hinckley when the calling for Elder Cook to become an apostle was extended.

He said he was glad to hear the news in person, rather than in a phone call because he would have thought it was fake.

"I think if somebody would have called me on the phone, I would have been sure that it was a prank of some sort," he said in a Deseret News article.

Elder Cook was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles when President Henry B. Eyring was called as a member of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Question #9
Deseret News archive

Elder Cook played an important role in developing which church material?

a. The new Bible videos
b. The missionary pamphlets
c. Preach My Gospel
d. Youth.lds.org

Answer
Morgan Jones

c. Preach My Gospel

While he was executive director of the church’s Missionary Department, Elder Cook played an important role in developing Preach My Gospel, a new missionary guide to raise the bar.

However, according to a Liahona article, Elder Cook takes no credit for it.

“The hand of the Lord was in it right from day one,” Elder Cook said. “Every single member of the First Presidency and the Twelve made incredible contributions.”

Question #10
Deseret News archive

Which U.S. president did Elder Cook not meet while representing Utah at Boys Nation?

a. Dwight D. Eisenhower
b. Ronald Reagan
c. John F. Kennedy
d. Richard M. Nixon

Answer
Courtesy of Elder Cook

As a young man, Elder Cook represented the state of Utah at Boys Nation, an event where young men from across the United States represent their respective states as "senators."

Elder Cook was given the opportunity to, along with another young man, place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He was also able to meet then-U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower as well as two future presidents, John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon.

Question #11
Provided by the LDS Church/Corinne Dougherty

During the open house of which temple was Elder Cook recently able to take opinion leaders from various faiths and government entities through?

a. Fort Collins, Colorado
b. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
c. Provo City Center, Utah
d. Sapporo, Japan

Answer
Alan Murray

b. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

"I recently returned from a remarkable trip during which I was able to take opinion leaders from various faiths and government entities through the Philadelphia Temple open house," reads a post from Elder Cook's Facebook account.

"It was an incredible privilege to take these friends through one of the Lord’s sacred temples and share with them why the temple is so important to us. The feelings one experiences in the baptistery, sealing rooms and celestial room can be quite profound for those of all faiths. Many of those who toured the temple had spiritual experiences as we sat silently in the celestial room.
We were especially pleased to have visitors from the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, which is just across the street from the new temple. The visit made us feel like we were being welcomed by friends to the neighborhood.

"While in Philadelphia, I also had the opportunity to visit with roughly 1,800 of our young people who are preparing to participate in the cultural celebration just before the temple is dedicated.
When young people focus on the temple, there is a light in their eyes, a hope in their countenance and a spiritual quality that is really magnificent. It was a marvelous experience for me to be with them."