SALT LAKE CITY — The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the release of four general authorities during the Saturday afternoon session of the faith's 186th Semiannual General Conference.
Elders Daniel L. Johnson, Jairo Mazzagardi, Kent F. Richards and Francisco J. Viñas were released as General Authority Seventies and granted emeritus status.
Two men were announced and sustained as Area Seventies: Bhanu K. Hiranandani, 40, of the South America Northwest Area; and Sandino Roman, 42, of the Mexico Area.
Another Area Seventy, Alan R. Walker, age 45, serving in the Mexico Area, was released.
Elder Johnson, a native of Mexico, was sustained as a General Authority Seventy on April 1, 2006. Prioir to his call, he has served as an Area Seventy in Mexico and the Caribean. In his professional life, he graduated from Brigham Young University, owned a business and was employed as a business executive by several international companies. He also worked for the LDS Church and church affiliated businesses in management positions. Elder Johnson has held various leadership positions in the church as well, according to his biography.
Elder Mazzagardi was sustained on April 3, 2010. He previously served as a mission president, a temple president and sealer, and a member of the Brazil Area Presidency. He made his career as an entrepreneur and in real estate. He has held numerous leadership callings in the church.
Elder Richards was sustained on April 4, 2009. He previously served as a counselor in the Chile Area Presidency from 2011-2012 and as a counselor in the Europe area presidency. He served as an assistant executive director in the Temple Department from 2013-2014 before he became its executive director, where he worked closely with the First Presidency in the administration of the faith's temples. Elder Richards, a University of Utah graduate, worked as a surgeon and senior vice president at Intermountain Health Care.
Elder Viñas, a native of Spain, was sustained on April 6, 1996. He has served as a member of the South America South Area presidency, an Area Seventy in the Europe West Area and as president in the South America North, Chile, and Caribbean Areas as well as counselor in the Europe West Area. He worked in the Church Educational System from 1977 to 1996, most recently as country director in Spain. Earlier he served as a coordinator in Uruguay and a basketball coach at a physical education institute. Early in his career, he worked for the Bayer Company.
General Authority Seventies serve in the Presidency of the Seventy, in area presidencies and in other headquarters administrative functions. Under the direction of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, they travel frequently to meet with and teach Church leaders, missionaries and members of the Church in local congregations.
General Authority Seventies have authority to serve anywhere in the world. Area Seventies' authority is limited to the geographical area where they serve.
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