Meet the Q12: Apostle Paul Aaron Palmieri
Today, we're bringing you a brand new column called Meet the Q12 where we interview our brother apostles. The objective is to help you get to know them both as individuals and as spiritual leaders. We're starting with Brother Paul Aaron Palmieri, who was recently called to become an apostle and was ordained at this past October General Church Conference.
Keep your eyes peeled for more interviews with the Quorum of 12 in the coming months! And … check upcoming issues of the Gospel News for additional interviews with our brother apostles. Learn how they met the church and other fun facts, and understand their heart for God's great work.
What branch or mission do you attend?
Gastonia (Charlotte) North Carolina
If you could only sing one hymn, which hymn would it be?
It is a tie: "It Is Well with My Soul" and "Christ Arose" — either work every day!
What is something someone may not know about you?
I grew up in the Aliquippa Branch learning about missionary work and especially the works in Africa and India; however, God did not direct me to either of those two works but to work with the Native Americans. Not sure what to do or how to start, I spent most of 1990 dedicating at least one day per week in fasting and prayer to be used. In October of 1990, I was approached to become involved in the Americas Missionary Operating Committee (AMOC) as the secretary. This was the answer to my prayer, and it led me to missionary work among the indigenous peoples in the Americas and to understand the domestic missionary work much better, two focuses that would be of great value during my time in the Q70.
Please share an experience related to your calling into the office of apostle.
One of the experiences God gave to prepare me for the calling of an apostle happened on November 16, 2012:
I was at the Pittsburgh International Airport on a Friday flying home to Charlotte late that afternoon after working in Western PA and Eastern OH for several days. It was an overcast day, and the airport was fairly empty as airlines don't have as many flights per day compared to years ago. I was sitting in the gate area when I had the following vision:
"I was standing in the concourse of very large airport that was overflowing with people, and it was a beautiful, sunny day. The concourse was filled with people of all different races. I began to beckon to the crowd for their attention, and, as I started to preach to the people, they stopped and listened. I distinctly remember stating the following: 'Christ had risen from the grave and that I was called as one of His witnesses and was sent as a witness of the resurrection of Christ to them.'" (Note: The phrase "witness of the resurrection of Christ" matches up very well with Acts 4:33.)
My vision ended, and I was sitting back in my seat, and the weather was overcast, and there were few people in the concourse. At that point, I immediately understood the vision had been given to prepare me for a calling as an apostle.
I did not share this experience (not even with my wife) until after I met with the Quorum of 12 and they asked me to send my experiences.
What is one goal you have as an apostle?
One of my goals is to work with the brother apostles and rest of the ministry to see the great power of God come into our midst that the world may know there is hope in Christ and that the Restored Gospel is for all mankind.
What does being an apostle mean to you?
I believe in 2015 that an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ is one who must be a witness to both the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the restoration of the Gospel. I also believe that the apostles have spiritual care and direction for the members and visitors and have a need to reach out in the love of God to all.
If you had to give one piece of advice to a young person, what would it be?
Ask God to help you be equally yoked with your friends and spouse, and ask God to help your career decisions so you can have time to serve him and grow in The Church.
Which branch or mission (foreign or domestic) would you like to visit that you never have before?
My domestic list includes visiting all of the missions and branches we have in North America dedicated to the Native Americans. My foreign list includes various locations, including the works in the Philippines and Italy.
Are there any spiritual experiences that you've had that changed your life or made an impact on you and your relationship with God?
I have been blessed to know Jesus my whole life and His Church. I had many, many blessings, including the joy of attending wonderful meetings and activities in the Pennsylvania district and GMBA campouts as a youth and later serving in the GMBA in a leadership role and, of course, experiencing great blessings and joy on missionary work.
However, I do want to share one very unique way the Lord showed His care and protection. I was on missionary work during the second weekend of September 2001 in Colombia. We had a joyful time, including baptisms, and the saints even provided me with a birthday cake as I celebrated my birthday in Colombia that year. We desired to stay an extra day but stayed with our plans to return home. We arrived back home at 10 p.m. on Monday September 10, 2001 and were spared having to try to travel into the U.S. on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
I have never forgotten that the Lord knew exactly what would happen on 9/11 and gave us safe passage home to our families, proving again the mercies of God are without measure!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.