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Elder Jack H. Goaslind Jr., Mormon emeritus general authority, dies at 83

Published: Wednesday, April 27 2011 2:00 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Elder Jack H. Goaslind Jr., 83, an emeritus general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Wednesday, April 27, 2011, in Salt Lake City.

He served as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy for two decades, twice as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy and as counselor in the LDS Church's Aaronic Priesthood MIA general presidency and later as the general Young Men president.

He is survived by his wife, Gwen Caroline Bradford Goaslind, and their six children. Funeral services are pending.

A prominent Salt Lake businessman before his call to full-time church service, Elder Goaslind was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy at the fall 1978 general conference. He served in the Presidency of the Seventy twice — from October 1985 to August 1987 and again from August 1995 through August 1998. He received emeritus status at the October 1998 general conference.

In October 1990, he also was sustained as Young Men general president. He was second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency from October 1979 through July 1981. Prior to his call to the Seventy, he served as second counselor in the Aaronic Priesthood MIA general presidency from 1972 to 1974.

Other church assignments included managing director of the Priesthood and Missionary departments; member of the Priesthood Executive Council; executive administrator of the New Zealand/South Pacific Area; counselor in the Asia, Utah South and North America West area presidencies; and president of the North America Northwest Area, then later the British Isles/Africa Area.

He was called as president of the Manti Utah Temple in the summer of 2000.

He was born April 18, 1928, in Salt Lake City to Jack H. Goaslind and Anita Jack Goaslind. While Elder Goaslind was growing up, his father was bishop of the Ivins Ward and encouraged all the young men to go on missions. He graduated from South High School in 1945 and received a bachelor of science in business management from the University of Utah in 1954.

Elder Goaslind served in the Western Canadian Mission from January 1949 through March 1951, working in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. One assignment was district president. "That mission really laid a foundation in my life," he said later in a Church News interview.

He married Gwen Caroline Bradford in the Salt Lake Temple on Aug. 19, 1953. They had six children.

He served in the Air Force as a second lieutenant from 1954 to 1957 and was president of the branch at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Professionally, he worked with his father managing the office of Carver's Sheet Metal Works. He later worked for Affiliated Metals and was vice president there when he was called as president of the Arizona Tempe Mission in April 1975.

He twice served as bishop of the Holladay 13th Ward and was bishop there at the same time his father was bishop of the East Mill Creek 5th Ward.

Later father and son were presidents of neighboring stakes, Elder Goaslind leading the Olympus Stake from 1970 to 1972 and his father the Mount Olympus Stake for eight years.

"I think it's great," the elder Goaslind told the Church News when his son was called as stake president. "He's had every office I've had — bishop twice, counselor in a stake presidency. … A father can't wish for anything better than that for his son."

One responsibility as a stake president was supervising the Salt Lake Valley young adults and special interests when those programs were just getting started.

Elder Goaslind also served twice on the Olympus Stake's high council.

Before his call as mission president, Elder Goaslind was second counselor in the Aaronic Priesthood MIA presidency in which the president, Elder Robert L. Backman, later served in the Seventy. He also was a regional representative to the Provo and Midvale regions.

His first assignment as a general authority took him back to his first mission field, where he assisted in the reorganization of the Calgary Alberta North Stake presidency. He also was able to talk to some people from Vernon, British Columbia, where he had helped start the first missionary work.

Elder Goaslind spoke seven times in general conference and organized some new stakes.

In his last conference address, given at the priesthood session of the April 1997 general conference, Elder Goaslind said that ordinary men, blessed with holding the priesthood of God, may be called on to do extraordinary tasks.

He is a recipient of the Master M-Men Award and also received Scouting's Silver Buffalo.

In 2007, Elder Goaslind was inducted into the Order of Saint Michael of the Wing at the Catholic Church's Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City. He was honored because of his humanitarian efforts in the former Portuguese colony of Sao Tome off the coast of West Africa while serving as president of the British Isles/Africa Area from 1987 to 1990.

In 1998, he was named technical counselor in Beneficial Life's agency operations department.

Email: taylor@desnews.com

Contributing: Tom Hatch, Lynn Arave

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