LDS Church News

Elder Hugo E. Martinez: 'The Lord is in charge'

By Jason Swensen

LDS Church News

Published: Monday, April 14 2014 3:25 p.m. MDT

Elder Hugo E. Martinez and Sister Nuria M. Martinez pose for a photo in Salt Lake City, Monday, April 7, 2014

Ravell Call, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

In 1982, Elder Hugo E. Martinez and his wife, Sister Nuria Alvarez de Martinez, were both in their medical residency training in Mississippi when an unexpected knock came at their front door.

There at the door stood two Mormon missionaries.

“We opened our home to them, but we knew nothing about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — we didn’t even know about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir,” said Elder Martinez, smiling.

Still, the gospel lessons shared by the elders immediately resonated with the young couple. They soon accepted the missionaries’ invitation to be baptized. “And we have not looked back ever since.”

On April 5, Elder Martinez, 57, was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy, becoming the first General Authority from the Caribbean. He is understandably “overwhelmed” by his new assignment."

“But then a sweet sense of peace comes over me and lets me know that the Lord is in charge,” he said.

A year and one month after their baptism, Hugo and Nuria Martinez were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on Oct. 3, 1983. They are the parents of five children and have five granddaughters.

Elder Martinez was born in 1957 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, to Hugo E. Martinez-Sandin and Daly Morales-Alamo de Martinez. While a young man, he chose to follow his father’s professional path and become a physician. He received his medical degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in 1981 and completed his residency at the University of Mississippi in 1984. He practiced medicine until retiring in 2004.

A short time after his baptism, he was called to be a youth Sunday School teacher. He would later serve as a bishop, a counselor in the stake presidency, a district president and as a counselor in the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission presidency. He later presided over the Guatemala Guatemala City Central Mission and was serving as an Area Seventy when he was called to be a General Authority.

jswensen@desnews.com