SALT LAKE CITY — The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a change in the Presidency of the Seventy and the release of three general authorities at the beginning of the Saturday afternoon session of the 187th Semiannual General Conference.
Elders Donald L. Hallstrom and Richard J. Maynes have been released from serving as members of the Presidency of the Seventy. Elders Juan A. Uceda and Patrick Kearon have been called to serve as members of the Presidency of the Seventy. This change was announced earlier in the summer and formally sustained Saturday afternoon.
Elder Stanley G. Ellis, Elder Larry R. Lawrence and Elder W. Craig Zwick, who all turned 70 earlier this year, were released as General Authority Seventies and granted emeritus status.
President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, also announced the call of one Area Seventy and the release of many Area Seventies.
“Brothers and sisters, we are grateful for your continued faith and prayers on behalf of the leaders of the church," President Eyring said.
The change in the Presidency of the Seventy means that three of the seven members have international roots. Elder Uceda is from Peru; Elder Kearon from England, and Elder Soares from Brazil.
Elder Uceda began his service as a general authority in April 2010. Before his call to the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Uceda has been serving with the North America SouthWest Area. He also assisted Elder Neal A. Maxwell in supervising the Philippines and Pacific Areas. He has worked in the Church Educational System and with his father in a family business. He and his wife, Maria Isabel Bendezú, married in 1979 and have five children.
He has served in numerous church leadership positions, including president of the South America Northwest Area (2013-2016), assistant executive director to the Missionary Department, stake president and president of the Lima Peru North Mission (1992-1995).
Elder Kearon, also a general authority since April 2010, began his service in the Presidency of the Seventy since August, according to his biography. He oversees the North America West and North America Northwest Areas. He also assists Russell M. Nelson, president of the Quorum of the Twelve, in supervising the Europe Area.
Elder Kearon, who joined the church in 1987, gained his education in the Middle East and the United Kingdom and has worked in health care, food, tranport and automotive industries while serving on various boards spanning charity and education. He married Jennifer Carole Hulmue in 1991 and they are the parents of four children. He has served in a variety of church leadership positions, including Area Seventy and stake president.
Elder Ellis was called as a a general authority in April 2006. He has been serving as a member of the Africa Southeast Area Presidency. Elder Ellis graduated from Harvard University and J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. During his career he became the CEO of a financial consulting company. He married Kathryn Kloepfer in 1969; they are the parents of nine children.
During his years of church service, Elder Ellis served as an assistant executive director in the Priesthood and Family Department and a member of the Scriptures Committee. He also served as a full-time missionary and mission president of the Brazil São Paulo North Mission (1999–2002).
In his April 2013 conference talk, "The Lord's Way," Elder Ellis shared lessons he learned growing up as an "Idaho farm boy" in Burley, Idaho.
Elder Lawrence was sustained as a General Authority Seventy in April 2010. He has been serving as assistant executive director of the Priesthood and Family Department, as well as in the leadership of the Middle East and Africa North Areas.
Elder Lawrence studied agricultural biochemistry and medicine at the University of Arizona before becoming an ophthalmologist 1977.
Elder Lawrence joined the church in 1970 and married Laurel Stott the following year; they are the parents of six children. Among his numerous callings, he has served as a stake president and president of the Russia Novosibirsk Mission (2001–2004).
Elder Lawrence spoke of his LDS conversion in his October 2015 General Conference talk, “What Lack I Yet?”
“At first I was drawn to the gospel by the examples of my Latter-day Saint friends, but eventually I was attracted to the unique doctrine,” Elder Lawrence said. “When I learned that faithful men and women could keep progressing and ultimately become like our heavenly parents, I was frankly amazed. I loved the concept; it rang true to me.”
Elder Zwick has served as a General Authority Seventy since April 1995. His most recent assignment has been serving as an assistant executive director of the Missionary Department and Committee Chair of the Utah Hispanic Initiative.
Elder Zwick graduated in business management and finance from the University of Utah before becoming the CEO of Zwick Construction Company. He served as general contractor for the Portland Oregon Temple. During his career Elder Zwick served on various boards, including three years as executive director of the Utah State Department of Transportation.
Elder Zwick married Janet Johnson in 1969 and they have four children. He served as a full-time missionary in North Argentina, where the late Elder Richard G. Scott was his mission president. As a missionary, he helped construct a chapel in Bolivia.
He went on to serve as a mission president in Santiago, Chile (1989-1992) and Puerto Rico (2014). He has also served as an area president in the Brazil, Brazil South, and North America Northeast Areas, in addition to serving in presidencies in Europe. He has spoken four times in general conference since 1995.Comment on this story
President Eyring called for members to sustain one Area Seventy, Torben Engbjerg. He then announced the release of the following Area Seventies: Pedro U. Adduru, Detlef H. Adler, Angel H. Alarcon, Winsor Balderrama, Robert M. Call, Christopher Charles, Gene R. Chidester, Ralph L. Dewsnup, Ángel A. Duarte, Peter F. Evans, Francisco D. N. Granja, Yuriy A. Gushchin, Clifford T. Herbertson, Aniefiok Udo Inyon, Luiz M. Leal, Alejandro Lopez, L. Jean Claude Mabaya, Declan O. Madu, Alexander T. Mestre, Jared R. Ocampo, Andrew M. O'Riordan, Jesús A. Ortiz, Abenir V. Pajaro, Siu Hong Pon, Robert C. Rhien, Jorge Luis Romeu, Jorge L. Saldívar, Ciro Schmeil, Alin Spannaus, Moroni B. Torgan, Steven L. Toronto and Ricardo Valladares.
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