Get to know 

President Anderson

If you’ve spent time with President Doug Anderson, then you’ve likely experienced his warmth and encouragement. He has probably thanked you, or commended you on something, or perhaps saved your life! Chances are, he got you to talk about yourself more than he talked about himself. This is not because President Anderson is overly private, as much as it is that he’s curious and caring about others. Since he knows and serves all of us so well, it’s due time that we get to know HIM better!

After supper, kids migrated back outside where the sun lingered in the summer sky. Young Doug joined the ranks for night games like Kick the Can in the quiet neighborhood of East Millcreek. These wild and free moments brought balance to his quest of structure and self-discipline that was developing even then.

Dad, a federal judge, and mom, a speech pathologist, ran a tight ship with their seven kids. They prioritized service and family togetherness; often at the same time. Together they made regular visits to widows and cemeteries. They enjoyed card games at their cabin on Lake Hebgen after a day of waterskiing. And they pushed the kids to succeed in all areas of their lives.

Mom’s motto “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!” was one of many ways she encouraged them to take accountability, and to prioritize and organize their time. 

Doug, the youngest child, had the advantage of watching his older siblings forge their own paths to success. Some chose to study medicine, which helped solidify what Doug already knew from earning his First Aid Merit Badge. He too was meant to serve others as a doctor.

Doug was taught to always put the Lord first, so on his way to medical school he made a pitstop in Argentina for a full-time mission. Studying the Book of Mormon and serving others became a blueprint for his life. Feeling the Spirit and helping others to feel it changed his life. 

During a ward dance at BYU, a cute, bubbly girl named Lisa caught Doug’s attention. Lisa was vivacious and he, a bit shy. Although they clicked and just felt familiar to each other, each time Doug asked her for a date he thought to himself, “If she says no, that’s it.” Thankfully, Lisa is always up for adventure and never said no! 

There was no doubt that she was ‘The One’ when she took on misadventures with a smile. During a snowmobile trip with his family, Doug and Lisa broke off from the trail to show her the old cabin. But when they stopped, the machine sunk in deep snow. Instead of watching the sunset, they dug out the snowmobile and rescued themselves. This was the first of many times where they’ve proven themselves to be an indomitable team. Both are independent and determined, but their differences are what make them such a complementary pair. There’s nothing either of them can’t do, and nothing they won’t do to support each other. 

After they were married in the Salt Lake Temple and completed medical school, Doctor Anderson took his bride back to her home state of Indiana where he completed his residency as an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist. They grew their family adding 3 boys, and when they returned to Utah, added 2 girls. 

Raising five kids (who happened to be in every activity and sport imaginable) while working endless hours as a doctor/surgeon, and serving in demanding callings is enough to wear out anyone. But Doug puts the discipline in disciple. He gets up at 4:30am to study the gospel before studying patient files and exercising. (Even his hobbies demand discipline! For years he ran ultra-marathons and did endurance swimming.) 

It’s hard to believe he can do as much as he does in a day. But as we all know, when you put the Lord first, the Lord magnifies your efforts. And just like young Doug who played night games, President Anderson knows that he must have balance between work and play. So within his very tight schedule of work-service and church service, he prioritizes fun time with the family. When possible its by travel, but when it’s not, he makes time for Jazz games, golfing with the boys, Sunday dinners and game nights. 

And somehow, beyond all of that, he is driven and disciplined enough to slow down and keep a gratitude journal and make notes for posterity. 

Perhaps we’ve painted too perfect a picture and haven’t shown his humanity enough. So may the record show that he does accidentally fall asleep on the couch while trying to listen to a Come, Follow Me podcast. And he does have a weakness for watching UFC fights... and also for ice cream. 

President Anderson will never toot his own horn. In fact, he avoids the spotlight. But his life quietly teaches a powerful lesson of discipline, service, family and faith. And we are so lucky to claim him in the Burch Creek Stake. 


(Written by Christy Spencer, Stake Communications Director)