New leaders called to serve in growing LDS Church

Published: Saturday, April 5 2014 2:55 p.m. MDT

Presedent Henry B. Eyring, President Thomas S. Monson and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf talk prior to the 184th Annual General Conference Saturday, April 5, 2014 at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The First Presidency of the LDS Church, which grew to 15,082,028 members during 2013, made numerous changes in leadership during the Saturday afternoon session of the faith's 184th Annual General Conference.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced the changes.

Elder Lynn G. Robbins was named to the Presidency of the Seventy, succeeding Elder Tad R. Callister. Brother Callister was released as a general authority and sustained as the general president of the Sunday School.

Elder Robbins, 61, became a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 1, 2000, following three years in the Second Quorum of the Seventy. He served a full-time mission in Argentina and as president of the Uruguay Montevideo Mission.

A graduate of Utah State University with an MBA from the American Graduate School of International Management, Elder Robbins was one of the founders of Franklin Quest, which later became Franklin Covey.

A statistical report also was presented, which included the updated number of church members.

The report included updated details about missionaries, as of March 31:

• Total number of missionaries serving: 85,039

• Percentages: 64 percent are elders, 28 percent are sisters and 8 percent are seniors

• Number of those who have received calls: 14,375

• Number of those who are working with their stake president or bishop in the process somewhere in the process: 6,306

The leadership changes included four new general authorities, a new Sunday School general presidency and 42 Area Seventies.

President Uchtdorf announced calls to the First Quorum of the Seventy for Jörg Klebingat, Kyiv, Ukraine, and Chi Hong (Sam) Wong, Hong Kong. Both men are converts to the church.

Born in Zweibrücken, Germany, Elder Klebingat, 46, has been serving as president of the Ukraine Kyiv Mission. Since joining the church in 1985, Elder Klebingat has served as a full-time missionary in the Colorado Denver Mission. He has a degree in Russian and a master’s degree in organizational behavior from Brigham Young University and began his career working for several consulting companies. He worked for the church for many years.

Elder Wong, 51, was serving as an Area Seventy in the Asia Area. Since joining the church in 1982, Elder Wong has served in numerous other church callings.

Born in Hong Kong, Elder Wong earned accounting and computer science degrees at Brigham Young University-Hawaii. He also received an MBA from the Hong Kong Open University. In his professional life he was the founder and partner of a business and quality consulting company and also worked at a materials testing and inspection group.

The other two new general authorities are Larry S. Kacher, Midway, Utah, and Hugo E. Martinez, Arecibo, Puerto Rico, who will serve in the Second Quorum of the Seventy.

Members of the Seventy have responsibility for administering the work of the church throughout the world under the direction of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve. Some of them also have executive responsibilities in a number of church departments. Members of the First Quorum of the Seventy usually serve to age 70.

A new Sunday School general presidency was also announced.

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