Meet the Q12: Apostle Frank Natoli
Today, we're bringing you another Meet the Q12 interview! The objective is to help you get to know our brother apostles both as individuals and as spiritual leaders. Today, get to know Brother Frank Natoli, who was ordained at this past October General Church conference.
What branch or mission do you attend?
Detroit Branch 1, Michigan
What is your favorite Bible or Book of Mormon verse?
It’s so hard to identify only one verse… I’m a bigger fan of having a favorite Bible or Book of Mormon story/account. One of my favorite accounts is when Jesus appears to the "more righteous" on the land of America in the Book of Mormon — specifically 3 Nephi 17, when Jesus prays, heals, and weeps with His people. I just love reading this chapter!
If you could only sing one hymn, which hymn would it be?
What is something someone may not know about you?
As young man, I had a very weak stomach. Not only did the sight of blood make me weak, but just the thought of it made me queasy! As a young deacon, I recall visiting a sister in the hospital, and I nearly passed out just talking about the surgery she had. I was embarrassed and I had no idea how to overcome it, so I avoided going to hospitals. After I was ordained an elder, I made it a serious matter of prayer, realizing that unless this condition left me, what kind of elder would I be not being able to go to the hospital to anoint and pray? (Let’s face it — it’s a bit hard to ask someone to exercise faith as you’re passing out!!!)
It’s been 30 years since I was ordained an elder, and I’m thankful to say that, although I’ve had the opportunity to anoint many and I’ve been to the hospital hundreds of time, NEVER once have I fainted or gotten queasy! It may seem odd to some, but now I love to go to the hospital because I know what the Lord has done for me personally and how He overcame my weakness.
Please share an experience related to your calling into the office of apostle.
In 1982, as a young deacon, I regularly visited an elderly, widowed Italian sister who lived on Social Security in a humble, small, four-room house by herself. Sister Ida Verducci had no family nearby except for the brothers and sisters of the church. She had no phone and little material wealth. While visiting with her one summer afternoon, she shared a wonderful experience with me (in her broken English, high-pitched voice).
She said that she had taken ill, so sick, in fact, that she couldn’t get out of bed. With no means of contacting the ministry to come to anoint her, she began to pray, asking the Lord to take care of her. A messenger of God came to her bedroom, sat on the bed next to her, and took her hand. He sat with her for three days, taking care of her until she could get out of bed, having recovered from the illness.
I told her how wonderful this was, and I marveled within myself at how close she was with the Lord, seeing her faith and trust in Him. She then said she had something else to tell me. She said the same messenger appeared to her and told her that one day I would be like the Apostle John who put his head on the chest of Jesus. I said, "You mean, I love the Lord as John did?" "No," she responded, "Someday you will be an apostle like John!"
Having been baptized for only two years at the time and at an age of 21, I was so humbled yet surely didn’t want to dismiss the validity of the experience she shared. I never told anyone — not even my wife — about this and kept it in my heart until I met with the Quorum of 12 this past summer.
What is one goal you have as an apostle?
As a newly ordained apostle, one goal I have is to work with the Quorum of 12 brothers in harmony and unity, seeing the Lord direct His Church.
What does being an apostle mean to you?
Being an apostle means that my life must stand as a witness to the resurrection of Christ. It means that I must be a servant to His people and aligned with His will. It means that I must help lead His Church to greater unity and righteousness so that we might see His kingdom and the latter-day glory.
If you had to give one piece of advice to a young person, what would it be?
Be sure your best friends — the friends you hang out with — are friends who know and love Jesus.
Which branch or mission (foreign or domestic) would you like to visit that you never have before?
Having been a member of five different branches/missions over the past 35 years, while also having visited nine foreign countries where the church is established, I’m personally drawn to the outposts and missions and look forward to visiting as many as possible.
Are there any spiritual experiences that you’ve had that changed your life or made an impact on you and your relationship with God?
In 1994, I made my first trip to Kenya with Brothers Joel Gehly and Joe Perri. After two weeks, we had baptized 86 souls and established The Church in five villages! I witnessed the demonstration and consistency of the spirit of God touching lives, despite culture and language, which remains to this day one of the most impressive experiences for me. After returning home and reflecting on the trip, I felt an even greater burden and need to share the hope of salvation. I committed to the Lord, "that I would go anywhere and do anything He asked of me" to further the restored gospel. That commitment has motivated me, to this very day!
Enjoy this interview?
Keep your eyes peeled for more Q&As with the Quorum of 12 in the New Year!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.