Several leadership changes were announced Saturday afternoon during the 174th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with new presidencies sustained for the faith's Sunday School and Young Men organizations.
In a change of policy, the new auxiliary leaders are not general authorities but are general officers of the church. Since October 1979, the positions were held by general authorities serving as full-time members of the Quorums of the Seventy. But the men sustained on Saturday will continue their employment while serving part time in their positions.
A. Roger Merrill will serve as general president of the Sunday School, with Daniel K. Judd as first counselor and William D. Oswald as second counselor. Charles W. Dahlquist II will lead the Young Men as general president, with Dean R. Burgess as first counselor and Michael A. Neider as second counselor.
Elder John H. Groberg was sustained a new member of the Presidency of the Seventy, replacing Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander, who had served there since August 2000 and will return to the Quorums of the Seventy.
Elder Groberg had been serving as first counselor in the Sunday School presidency but was released along with former Sunday School President Merrill J. Bateman and Elder Val R. Christensen, who was second counselor. Those released from the Young Men general presidency were Elders F. Melvin Hammond, Lynn G. Robbins and Donald L. Hallstrom.
All will continue their full-time service to the church in other assignments.
Among other announcements:
Thirty-five new Area Authority Seventies were named in Saturday's afternoon conference session. Area Authorities give voluntary LDS Church service within their assigned geographic areas. They are:
Jorge M. Alvarado, 33, Toa Alta, Puerto Rico; Homero S. Amato, 55, Sao Paulo, Brazil; John S. Anderson, 54, Gainesville, Fla.; Jorge D. Arrevillaga, 57, Tapachula, Mexico; A. Venancio Caleira, 41, Setubal, Portugal; Gabriel A. Campos, 56, Villa Alemana, Chile;
Mario L. Carlos, 43, Torreon, Mexico; John J. Chipman, 57, Carmel, Ind.; LeGrand R. Curtis Jr., 51, Salt Lake City; Cesar A. Davila, 53, Bogota, Colombia: Mosiah S. Delgado, 47, Tlaxcala, Mexico; Keith R. Edwards, 62, Las Vegas; J. Roger Fluhman, 63, Bountiful; Luiz C. Franca, 40, Belem, Brazil; Manuel Gonzalez, 55, Mexico City; Tohru Hotta, 65, Nagoya, Japan; Bin Kikuchi, 55, Sapporo, Japan; Yong Hwan Lee, 60, Suwon, South Korea; Alfredo Heliton de Lemos, 62, Curitiba, Brazil; Domingos S. Linhares, 45, Jaboatno, Brazil;
Alexander A. NuZez, 47, Lima, Peru; Melvin R. Perkins, 59, Juneau, Alaska; James C. Perry, 44, Cowiche, Wash.; Errol S. Phippen, 62, Farmington; John C. Pingree, 64, Salt Lake City; Neil E. Pitts, 52, Webster, N.Y.; Dinar M. Reyes, 50, ViZa del Mar, Chile; Jorge A. Rojas, 63, Monterrey, Mexico; Eric B. Shumway, 64, Laie, Hawaii; Joseph W. Sitati, 51, Nairobi, Kenya; Terrence C. Smith, 56, Raymond, Alberta, Canada; Lowell M. Snow, 60, North Salt Lake; Michael J. Teh, 38, Angono, Philippines; Stanley Wan, 48, Hong Kong; and Allen P. Young, 63, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Released from part-time service as Area Authority Seventies were: Adolfo Avalos, Lowell C. Barber, David J. Barnett, R. Michael Duffin, Rowland E. Elvidge, Silvio Geschwandtner, Brent H. Koyle, A. Roger Merrill, J. Michael Moeller, Adrian Ochoa and Lindon J. Robison.
Background: Sunday School General Presidency
Brother Merrill, 58, has been serving as an Area Authority Seventy in the Utah South Area. Raised in Carmel, Calif., he completed his bachelor's degree at Brigham Young University. He is a senior consultant for a leadership training company, a partner in his own consulting firm and the author of several books. He has served the church as a stake president, a member of the general Melchizedek Priesthood Committee, a high councilor, bishop, branch president and full-time missionary. He and his wife, Rebecca Rippy Merrill, live in Lehi and have seven children.
Brother Judd, 47, is chairman of the Department of Ancient Scripture at BYU. He grew up in Kanab, earned his bachelor's degree from Southern Utah University, and completed his master's degree and doctorate at BYU. Brother Judd was serving as president of the Orem Utah Canyon View Stake. Other church service assignments include bishop, ward mission leader, Young Men president, Sunday School teacher and Cub Scout leader. He is married to Kaye Seegmiller Judd, and they have four children.
Brother Oswald, 68, is currently serving as president of the Russia Vladivostok Mission. He will complete that assignment in July, then return to assume his new duties. An attorney and U.S. Army veteran, he received a law degree from the University of Utah. He has served the church as a member of the Sunday School general board, regional representative, bishop, branch president and Sunday School teacher. He and his wife, Mavis Morris Oswald, have six children.
Background: Young Men General Presidency
Brother Dahlquist II, 56, of Sandy, was serving as branch president of a young single adult branch. Originally from Boise, he received his juris doctorate from the U. after finishing a bachelor's degree at BYU. An attorney and leader in civic and community organizations, he has also served the church as a mission president, stake president, counselor in a stake presidency, high councilor, ward Young Men president, Scoutmaster and full-time missionary. He is married to Zella Darley Dahlquist. They are parents of five daughters.
Brother Burgess, 57, was serving as a high councilor in a student stake. He spent his early years in Richfield, then attended the College of Southern Utah and completed his bachelor's degree at BYU. He is a construction supervisor and home builder. Other church service includes mission president, counselor in a stake presidency, stake Young Men president, bishop, high councilor, stake missionary, priesthood instructor and full-time missionary. He and his wife, Annette Christensen Burgess, live in Sandy. They have five children.
Brother Neider, 55, has been serving as first counselor in the presidency of the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission. Raised in Tyhee, Idaho, Brother Neider is a business executive and lawyer. He earned both his bachelor's and law degrees from BYU. Active in community service, he has served the church as a stake president, stake Young Men president, bishop, ward mission leader and Sunday School teacher. He is married to Rosemary Curtis Neider. They are parents of eight children and live in Sandy.