By Ben P L from Provo (Elder Neil L. Andersen) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ben P L from Provo (Elder Neil L. Andersen) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Mormon Elder throws the ceremonial pitch at Dodger stadium in Los Angeles.

Mormon Night at Dodger Stadium is one of the longest-running and the largest community event sponsored by the Los Angeles Dodgers, the professional baseball team located in Los Angeles, California. Over 2,500 LDS Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) members and their friends attended the event that took place on July 1, 2016 at the Dodger stadium. The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Elder Neil Linden Andersen, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church. In accordance with seniority in the Church, he is the 12th apostle.

Throwing from the top of the mound is something that most people do not even try, however, Elder Andersen did exactly that. He managed a strike right over the plate. Elder Rueben Acosta of the Seventy (one of the Melchizedek Priesthood's, a higher order of priesthood, ordained offices) caught Elder Andersen’s pitch.

Elder Paul H. Dunn, Elder Steven E. Snow, Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Elder David A. Bednar, Elder Quentin L. Cook, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Elder Robert D. Hales, Elder M. Russell Ballard, Elder L. Tom Perry, and the Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the LDS Church Dieter F. Uchtdorf were some of the other senior officials invited by the Dodgers to throw out the first pitch. Last year, it was Sister Linda K. Burton, general president of the Relief Society, who threw the ceremonial pitch.

The national anthem was sung by Sister Tiffany Houghton, a member of the LDS Church from Dallas, Texas. She was invited by the Dodgers as well.

The event saw a number of Mormon children meeting with the players on the field. They were given autographed baseballs and Dodger outfits.

The Dodgers introduced a number of the LDS Church members to the public after inviting them onto the field. They were introduced along with Elder Andersen, Elder Acosta and Sister Houghton.

During the event, the Dodgers expressed their appreciation for the long-standing relationship with the LDS Church, and the wonderful tradition. Elder Andersen also expressed his appreciation to the Dodgers for inviting him to the event. He joined the audience as they began the 4th of July celebrations. The event concluded with a beautiful fireworks display.

Established in 1883, the Los Angeles Dodgers compete in Major League Baseball as National League West division's member club. As a franchise, the Dodgers have so far won five World Series and 21 National League pennants.

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