Spotlight: YSA (Young Single Adult) Branch
Getting To Know President Andy Lindsay
Sunday - August 6, 2023
I'm glad you're enjoying the spotlights on our stake and ward leadership! Here's President Andy Lindsay of the Young Single Adult Branch.
How did you find Jesus in your life?
My parents were introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the New York World’s Fair, and later accepted an invitation from the missionaries that eventually led to their baptisms when I was about a year old. So while I was raised in the Church, in many ways I was learning the gospel along with my parents.
I was blessed to have always had, to my recollection, a testimony of the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and determined at a very early age that I wanted to serve a mission for the Lord. At four or five years of age, I had a little zipper wallet with a horse and a cowboy on it, and I would collect pictures of the full-time elders and sisters (who were frequently in our home because my father was a stake missionary) and kept them in my wallet. I would happily show them to total strangers in the grocery store and explain to them that I was going to be a missionary when I grew up.
When I eventually received a call to serve in Milano, Italy, I remember contemplating early in my mission the difference between receiving a testimony and being truly converted. I dug deep into the fifth chapter of Alma in the Book of Mormon, as well as the tenth chapter of Moroni. I came to understand that believing (and even knowing) something was merely the beginning, but remembering and retaining that knowledge is what leads to the kind of spiritual perspective that produces humility and gratitude for all that the Savior has done and all that He promises is possible.
I guess I found Jesus because He was always there, waiting patiently for me to seek out a relationship with Him. In the best moments of my life, He was always there, showering me with love and blessings I could never be worthy enough to receive, and yet He loved me just the same. He was there in the lowest points of my life, when darkness and despair seemed determined to swallow me whole, and when I had nowhere to go and no one to turn to. He is my Hope when all hope is gone, and He is the one source of joy in my life that is ever present, even on the hardest days, even when I am drowning in sorrow, even when I have distanced myself from Him. He is my Friend and my Redeemer, and I’m trying (although rarely succeeding) to be just like Him.
How did you meet your wife?
As I interact with our amazing young single adults, I understand and empathize with their desire (and sometimes frustration) to find an eternal companion in Greensboro, North Carolina. Statistically speaking, places like Utah seem pretty attractive if you’re just playing a numbers game.
But I also like to share with my YSAs that nearly 35 years ago, when I was a young single adult whose parents had moved here while I was my mission and turned my life upside down, I jumped into the YSA program (such as it was at the time) and made the best of it. And the very best of it was the day I met my wife, Deborah, in the cultural hall of the Greensboro Stake Center at a YSA activity. She wasn’t from around here either, but somehow we found each other. Sometime, just showing up is half the battle. As my friend Ralph Cordell used to say, “God can’t steer a parked car.” I’m grateful He steered me to her, and grateful that we have somehow come full circle and returned to the young single adult program.
What general conference talk has been on your mind lately and why?
One of the shortest talks of the April session was the final talk given by President Nelson, entitled, “The Answer Is Always Jesus Christ.” I love that straightforward and succinct message because I have, over the course of a lifetime peppered with questionable decisions and a fair share of trials and tribulations, been amazed how often and how long I wrestle with something before ultimately and necessarily arriving at the same conclusion I did the last time: The answer is always Jesus Christ. The answer is always swallowed up in His atonement. But I’m a little slow to recognize patterns sometimes, yet there it is, just like before: He is the answer, the only answer.
President Nelson’s counsel is both timely and timeless, and God knows we need this message now more than ever before.
“I also invite you to study again the account of the Savior’s appearance to the Nephites in the Americas, as recorded in 3 Nephi. Not long before that appearance, His voice was heard among the people, including these words of supplication:
‘Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?… Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive.
Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus Christ extends that same invitation to you today. I plead with you to come unto Him so that He can heal you! He will heal you from sin as you repent. He will heal you from sadness and fear. He will heal you from the wounds of this world.
Whatever questions or problems you have, the answer is always found in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Learn more about His Atonement, His love, His mercy, His doctrine, and His restored gospel of healing and progression. Turn to Him! Follow Him!”
What is your go-to ice cream flavor and why?
Well, I’m actually a bit of an ice cream snob, so it’s not just about flavor, it’s also the brand and the quality of the ice cream. I only occasionally indulge in ice cream, due in large part to the fact that my metabolism has betrayed me and I can no longer eat anything I want, in any quantities I want, whenever I want. As such, I’m pretty selective when it comes to eating ice cream. I actually prefer Italian gelato, but it’s got to be the real deal, not something sold in grocery stores. And for the record, you’ll never see me eating out of bucket of ice cream with a handle on it, because, gross.
Chocolate and combinations of things with chocolate are always at the top of my list, particularly stuff like peanut butter and nuts, so moose tracks are often a go-to. But if the quality is excellent, you can probably tempt me with just about any flavor at least once. Except kiwi.
How many children, in-laws and grandchildren do you have?
Deborah and I have four grown children, and they have each added at least one additional person to our family. Our son Drew and his wife, Mandy, live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Texas. Our son Jonathan and his wife, Jasmine, are in the Guilford Ward. Our daughter Natalie and her husband, Christopher Tucker, are in the Summit Ward, as are our son Adam and his wife, Jordan.
Collectively, they have thus far given us seven grandchildren, and I love nothing more that being fully immersed in the happy chaos of having all of them around at the same time.
Where else have you lived and how long have you lived in North Carolina?
I was born in Washington DC and spent my entire life prior to my mission living in Maryland. I had assumed then that I would likely spend the rest of my life there, as well. However, about nine months before I finished my missionary service in Italy, my father was transferred from DC to Greensboro, North Carolina. I wish they had let me know, but after about a year and a half, I eventually found them. Just kidding.
So I came home to a place I’d never been before to a ward full of welcoming strangers, seven younger siblings who had grown significantly, and parents who seemed much older than when I left. I also got a Dear John phone call two days after I got home, and suddenly had no idea what the rest of my life was going to look like.
But I stuck around and eventually met the most amazing woman I’ve ever known, and for reasons that still escape me, she agreed to marry me two weeks after we met. Seven months later we were sealed in the Washington DC Temple, and this week we celebrated 34 years since we launched this familial enterprise. All of our children were born in Wesley Long Hospital here in Greensboro, and all graduated from Northwest Guilford High School. We’ve lived in the same home for 23 years now, and have been in four different wards plus the YSA branch. It’s a blessing having most of our children close by, and fun to have them bring their own children home to the house they grew up in.
It’s hard to imagine ever leaving Greensboro after accumulating a lifetime of friends and memories. We love it here.