Elder Gary E. Stevenson
Elder Gary E. Stevenson was named an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on October 3, 2015.
At the time of his call, Elder Stevenson was serving as the Presiding Bishop of the Church since March 2012 and previously served in the First Quorum of the Seventy, to which he was called in 2008.
Elder Stevenson says he has spent much of his life observing the essential work bishops perform across the globe. His father, he said, was “the bishop of my youth, and his service deeply impacted me.”
On many occasions, Elder Stevenson’s father would invite him along on visits to one of the more than 30 widows living in their ward. From his father, Bishop Stevenson learned lessons about Christlike service and caring for those in need. Those lessons, he said, served him well in his calling as the Presiding Bishop of the Church.
“The bishops of the Church are really my heroes,” he said. “Every single day they are having such an impact upon the members of the Church, particularly the children and young men and young women.”
Born on August 6, 1955, to Evan N. and Vera Jean Stevenson, Elder Stevenson grew up in Utah’s Cache Valley in a family that came of pioneer stock. While a young man, he accepted a call to serve a mission to Japan. That assignment instilled in Elder Stevenson a dual love for Asia and for sharing the gospel that has lasted a lifetime.
After returning from his mission, he enrolled at Utah State University. It was there he met (and was immediately smitten by) Lesa Jean Higley. The two married in April 1979 in the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple. The Stevensons have four sons. While at Utah State, Elder Stevenson obtained a degree in business administration. He later cofounded and served as president of an exercise equipment manufacturing company.
He has served in a variety of Church callings, including counselor in a stake presidency, bishop, and president of the Japan Nagoya Mission (2004–07). He was called as a General Authority Seventy in 2008 and served as a counselor and president in the Asia North Area.