Get to Know the New General Authority Seventies Sustained in April 2019 Conference
Contributed By the Church News
The First Presidency announced the calling of 10 new General Authority Seventies during the Saturday afternoon session of the 189th Annual General Conference on April 6.
Following are brief sketches and photos of each of the newly called General Authority leaders.
Elder Rubén V. Alliaud
Rubén Alliaud was 14 when he left his home in Argentina to spend a year with his uncle in the United States. His father, Rubén Reynaldo Alliaud, had died earlier, and Rubén was developing “a rebellious spirit.”
His concerned mother, María, sent him to Houston, Texas, to live with her brother, Manuel Bustos, and his family. She asked one condition of her brother’s family: “Do not share your Latter-day Saint beliefs with my son.”
The spirit of the gospel, however, spoke to the struggling teenager. He observed how the Church united the Bustos family through prayer and service, and he couldn’t help but notice the numerous copies of the Book of Mormon on the shelves of his room.
Curious, he pulled down a copy and discovered Moroni’s promise that he could know through prayer that the Book of Mormon is true.
“That promise touched me,” says the newly called General Authority Seventy. “I wanted to read the book.”
He took Moroni’s promise to heart, received an affirmative answer, and told his surprised uncle that he wanted to be baptized. Uncle Manuel immediately sent Rubén back to Argentina to ask his mother’s permission. He was soon baptized. Since then, the restored gospel has anchored Elder Alliaud’s life.
Rubén Vicente Alliaud was born on January 8, 1966, in Buenos Aires. He married Fabiana Bennett Lamas in the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple on December 17, 1992. They have six children.
Elder Alliaud earned a law degree from the University of Belgrano, in Buenos Aires, and has enjoyed a wide-ranging legal career, specializing in criminal law. Since 1998 he has worked as a managing partner for Alliaud & Asociados.
He has served as an Area Seventy, the president of the Argentina Córdoba Mission, a stake president, a high councilor, a bishop, an elders quorum president, and a missionary in the Uruguay Montevideo Mission. At the time of his call, he was serving as an institute teacher, the first counselor in the presidency of the Argentina Missionary Training Center, and a public affairs director.
Elder Jorge M. Alvarado
Miguel and Iris Alvarado joined the Church in Puerto Rico in 1977 when their son Jorge was six years old. Young Jorge was baptized two years later and never missed Sabbath services.
“But my own conversion happened when I was 16,” says the newly called General Authority Seventy.
In high school, he began serving as president of his seminary class in his hometown of Ponce. The students were studying the Book of Mormon that year. His new responsibility prompted some soul-searching.
“I had to ask myself, ‘Do I really know the Book of Mormon is true?’ How could I be the president of my seminary class if I didn’t even know if that book was true?”
He picked up his copy of the Book of Mormon and for the first time began earnestly reading it.
“I knelt down, and I prayed, and I knew then that it was true,” he says.
The Book of Mormon remains a defining influence in Elder Alvarado’s life.
While serving as a full-time missionary in the Florida Tampa Mission, he shared the Book of Mormon with everyone he taught. Later, he studied the book with his wife and their three children. As president of the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission, he challenged his missionaries to love and share the Book of Mormon.
Now, as a General Authority Seventy, Elder Alvarado remains eager to invite others to discover the life-changing truths of the Book of Mormon.
Jorge Miguel Alvarado Pazo was born on November 21, 1970. On December 19, 1992, he married Cari Lu Rios in the Washington D.C. Temple.
After studying business management at the University of Puerto Rico, he worked in a variety of business management capacities in Puerto Rico and the mainland United States. Most recently, he worked at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City as an international manager for Self-Reliance Services.
Elder Alvarado has served as an Area Seventy, a stake president, a high councilor, a branch president, and a ward mission leader.
Elder Hans T. Boom
When Elder Hans T. Boom was eight years old, his family moved from Amsterdam to the city of Breda, located in the southern part of the Netherlands. His father, a Dutchman who had grown up in Indonesia and was a convert to the Church, felt that his family needed to leave the large city and return to his ancestral roots.
The time Elder Boom spent with his family in that small branch proved to be a training ground of Church service—service he has given his entire life and will continue to give in his new calling as a General Authority Seventy.
“Everything I am and everything I have I owe to the Lord and the opportunities He has given me to learn and grow,” he says.
Born on July 13, 1963, in Amsterdam to Hans and Ankie Boom, Hans Theodorus Boom is the second oldest of the Booms’ four children. His parents taught the gospel in their home and encouraged their children to work hard.
At 18, Elder Boom served in the England London East Mission. A few months after finishing his mission, he met his future wife, Ariena Johanna “Marjan” Broekzitter, at a Church young adult conference. The couple married on July 27, 1984, in Rhoon, Netherlands, and were sealed three days later in the London England Temple. They have three sons.
Elder Boom worked as secretary to the principal of Markenhage College and as a recruiter for Franchise Development Benelux. At the time of his call as a General Authority, he was working as a sales manager for MacLean Agencies.
Elder Boom has served as an Area Seventy, a counselor in a stake presidency, a stake Young Men president, a branch president, and a counselor in a branch presidency. At the time of his call, he was serving as an institute teacher and temple ordinance worker in The Hague Netherlands Temple.
Elder L. Todd Budge
When Todd Budge was a young boy, his parents taught him how to seek the Lord’s will. Throughout his life, he has tried to apply that practice in every decision.
Years later, after he and his wife had settled into a home with five children, he felt spiritual impressions to leave his career in banking and finance. The change would require significant sacrifice for him to become established in a new career.
After much effort and preparation to change careers, Elder Budge met someone uniquely qualified to give him advice. This individual suggested that Elder Budge stay with his banking career, reminding him that he would have many opportunities to counsel and help people. “We need people with integrity in business,” the person told him.
Elder Budge considered that encounter to be a tender mercy from the Lord. “I think He wanted to know where my heart was,” he says. “Once the Lord knew my heart, He did not require the sacrifice, and I trusted that He could use me for His purposes without a career change.”
His career did allow him to be an influence for good in the business world, even to open doors to share the gospel in Japan.
Lawrence Todd Budge was born on December 29, 1959, in Pittsburg, California, USA, to Lowell Jensen and Deanna Price Budge. He met Lori Capener during their freshman year at Brigham Young University. Eight months after he returned from serving in the Japan Fukuoka Mission, they were married in the Logan Utah Temple. They have six children.
After graduating from BYU in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Elder Budge worked for Bain & Company Japan; Citibank, N.A.; and GE Capital. He became president and chief executive officer of Tokyo Star Bank Limited in 2003, serving as the bank’s chairman of the board from 2008 to 2011.
Elder Budge has served as an Area Seventy, the president of the Japan Tokyo Mission, a stake president, a bishop, an elders quorum president, and a stake Young Men president.
Elder Ricardo P. Giménez
Members of the Church in Antofagasta, Chile, will long remember the April 2019 general conference for the announcement of a future temple there and the calling of a native son, Elder Ricardo P. Giménez, as a General Authority Seventy.
As he contemplates the responsibilities of his new calling, Elder Giménez finds faith and courage in the adage “Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies” (Thomas S. Monson, “Duty Calls,” Ensign, May 1996, 44).
“I’ve taught that saying many times in the past, and now I’m trying to apply it to myself,” he says. “Heavenly Father calls you. He knows you. So just go and do what He wants, and everything will be fine.”
Ricardo Patricio Giménez Salazar was born on November 28, 1971, the older of two children born to Ricardo Benjamín Giménez Gimeno and Myrto Lucisca Amalia Salazar Signorini. He joined the Church at age 11 and moved with his mother and sister to Santiago, Chile, after his parents divorced.
In 1995, he met Catherine Ivonne Carrazana Zúñiga in Santiago when she started attending his ward while she was staying there with an uncle. They were sealed in the Santiago Chile Temple on September 12, 1997, and are the parents of two children.
Elder Giménez received his undergraduate degree in accounting and auditing at the University of Santiago in 1997 and a master of business administration degree at the University of Chile in 2003. He began his professional career in the mining industry, eventually moving to information technology as a finance director for Computer Sciences Corporation in Latin America. He returned to mining in 2012, first with Sierra Gorda Mining and then with Robinson Nevada Mining Company.
At the time of his call, Elder Giménez was serving as a counselor in a stake presidency. He has also served as an Area Seventy in the South America South Area, a stake president, a high councilor, a bishop, a counselor in a bishopric and in a ward Young Men presidency, and a full-time missionary in the Chile Concepción Mission.
Elder Peter M. Johnson
After Peter M. Johnson, the son of a facility supervisor and taxi driver, had accepted a basketball scholarship at Brigham Young University–Hawaii, he found himself standing before an institute teacher.
“You will [either] join the Church right away, or it will take you a while,” the teacher predicted.
The teacher was correct. More than a year later, Peter “fasted and prayed and received an answer.” He was baptized on August 16, 1986.
Peter Matthew Johnson, the fourth of five children, was born to McKinley Johnson and Geneva Paris Long on November 29, 1966, in Queens, New York, USA.
His parents divorced when he was 11, and his mother moved to Hawaii. A year later, Peter joined the Nation of Islam and became a Muslim. This association provided guidance and support and prepared him to embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ.
At age 15, Peter moved to Hawaii to live with his mother. There, he discovered sports—especially basketball—and started down a road toward university education, membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, missionary service in the Alabama Birmingham Mission, and temple marriage to Stephanie Lyn Chadwick in 1990. The couple, who met while playing basketball at Southern Utah University, have four children.
“I’m here to serve the Lord,” Elder Johnson says of his call to the Seventy. “Regardless of nationality or culture or where I am from, my assignment is to serve the Lord with all my heart, mind, and strength and to represent the Lord to His people. The Savior loves us all. We are sons and daughters of God.”
Elder Johnson received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Southern Utah University and a PhD in accounting from Arizona State University. He has worked as an associate professor at BYU–Hawaii, assistant professor at Brigham Young University, and associate professor at the University of Alabama. He has served as an Area Seventy, a stake president, a stake financial clerk, and a ward mission leader.
Elder John A. McCune
Early in his business career, Elder John A. McCune had a conversation with his boss during which it quickly became evident that the man didn’t know much about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His boss asked Elder McCune why Latter-day Saints didn’t dance or eat cookies.
“Obviously I eat cookies,” Elder McCune told his boss with a smile, rubbing his stomach. “I think you have us confused with somebody else.”
As they talked, Elder McCune clarified misconceptions about the Church. That chat led to other conversations about the gospel of Jesus Christ and reaffirmed for Elder McCune the importance of always being ready to share the gospel.
“We are disciples of the Savior Jesus Christ, wherever we are, in any setting, in any opportunity,” Elder McCune says. “We have jobs and careers, but they’re there to support our families and put us in situations to share the gospel. That’s our primary responsibility as disciples of Jesus Christ.”
John Allen McCune was born in Santa Cruz, California, USA, on June 20, 1963, to Clifford and Joan Schulthies McCune. He was raised primarily in Nyssa, Oregon, USA.
After serving a full-time mission in Fukuoka, Japan, Elder McCune married Debbra Ellen Kingsbury in the Salt Lake Temple in 1984. They are the parents of four children and live in Midway, Utah, USA.
Elder McCune received a bachelor of science degree in finance from Brigham Young University and later a master of business administration degree in finance from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He worked as the senior vice president and managing director for Capital Investment Advisors from 1997 to 2012. He then served as president of the Utah Provo Mission before becoming donor liaison for principal gifts with LDS Philanthropies.
Elder McCune was serving as an Area Seventy at the time of his new calling. He has also served as a stake president, a bishop, a counselor in a bishopric and in a branch presidency, and an elders quorum president.
Elder James R. Rasband
When Elder James R. Rasband was called to a stake presidency years ago, he felt unprepared. “This has to be a mistake,” he thought.
He felt a similar inadequacy as a 19-year-old entering the Provo Missionary Training Center in preparation for a full-time mission to Seoul, South Korea. “How am I going to do this?” he wondered.
In both cases, the answer was the same: “Stay at it. Joy comes.” Or, in the words of his mother, “The Lord’s fresh out of perfect people. Just go to work.”
Elder Rasband feels some of that hesitancy now as he approaches his new call as a General Authority Seventy, but he knows the answer: “Our Heavenly Father just needs us to go to work and share the healing and joyful message of His Son and of His Son’s atoning sacrifice.”
James Richard Rasband was born in Seattle, Washington, USA, to James E. and Ester Rasband on March 20, 1963. He grew up in Pebble Beach, California, USA, in a home about 200 yards from the ocean’s edge.
Elder Rasband met Mary Diane Williams as a freshman at Brigham Young University. They wrote each other while he studied abroad five months in Israel and then throughout his service in the Korea Seoul Mission. They were married in the Los Angeles California Temple on August 11, 1984. They are the parents of four children.
After returning from his mission, he finished his bachelor’s degree in English and Near Eastern studies at BYU in 1986 and then earned a juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School in 1989. After practicing law for five years in Seattle, he returned to BYU in 1995 to join the faculty of the J. Reuben Clark Law School. He served as dean of the law school from 2009 to 2016, when he became academic vice president of BYU.
Elder Rasband has served as an Area Seventy, a stake president, a counselor in a stake presidency, a high councilor, a bishop, and a ward Young Men president.
Elder Benjamin Ming Zhe Tai
Elder Benjamin M. Z. Tai’s paternal grandfather was captured, imprisoned, and executed by Japanese forces invading Hong Kong during World War II.
Decades later, Elder Tai met his future wife, Naomi Toma, from Japan, while serving as elders quorum president in his student ward at Brigham Young University. Naomi was serving as Relief Society president.
When Benjamin told his father, emeritus General Authority Elder Kwok Yuen Tai, that he was dating and hoping to marry Naomi, his father expressed no bitterness. In fact, Naomi’s parents, Rikuo and Fumiko Toma, came to Hong Kong to visit Benjamin’s parents. Her parents noted that the gospel of Jesus Christ had made their marriage possible. The couple married in the Salt Lake Temple on December 23, 1995. They are the parents of six children.
“We come from different cultures, but there are threads of common faith and sacrifice,” says Elder Tai. Elder Tai knows that those threads of faith and sacrifice will now connect him with Latter-day Saints across the globe.
Benjamin Ming Zhe Tai was born on May 20, 1972, in Hong Kong to Kwok Yuen and Hui Hua Tai. His father’s employment took the family around the world before they immigrated to Southern California, USA, where Elder Tai spent his teenage years. In their home, his parents displayed a scroll with these words written in Chinese calligraphy: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). This has served as the Tai family motto.
After serving in the Australia Melbourne Mission, Elder Tai earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from BYU in 1996 and a master of business administration degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), in 2003. He has worked in Japan and Hong Kong in investment banking and real estate development.
Elder Tai has served as an Area Seventy, a district president, a counselor in a district presidency, a district executive secretary, an elders quorum president, a branch president, and a Sunday School teacher.
Elder Alan R. Walker
Learning about and immersing himself in new cultures has become a lifetime hobby for Elder Alan R. Walker, which will serve him well in his calling as a General Authority Seventy.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Victor Adrian Walker and Cristina Ofelia Sparrow Walker on January 2, 1971, Alan Roy Walker grew up in different parts of North and South America.
He spent his early years in Argentina before his family moved to Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and later to Mexico City, Mexico, for his father’s job.
“Learning English has been a tremendous blessing,” he says. And growing up in the gospel allowed him to develop his testimony and prepare at an early age for a mission. After attending Brigham Young University for a year, Elder Walker served as a full-time missionary in the Tennessee Nashville Mission.
To assist his father’s recovery from a serious accident, Elder Walker delayed his plans to return to school following his mission and returned to Argentina. That’s when he met Ines Marcela Sulé at an institute dance. Eight months later, on August 12, 1993, they were married in the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple. The next day, the young couple moved to Provo, Utah, USA, where Elder Walker completed his bachelor’s degree in economics in 1996.
Elder Walker worked for three years as a corporate banker with Citibank, six years as a controller for the Church in the South America South Area and for 11 years in the Mexico Area, and most recently as a director for temporal affairs for the South America South Area. In 2010, Elder Walker was called to preside over the Mexico Monterrey East Mission.
The Walkers, along with their daughter, enjoy serving others, traveling, and getting to know new places and people.
Before being called as a General Authority Seventy, Elder Walker served in various Church capacities, including as an Area Seventy, a counselor in a stake presidency, a high councilor, a bishop, a bishopric counselor, and a ward mission leader.
Various leaders welcome newly called General Authority Seventies following the Saturday afternoon session of the April 2019 general conference.
Newly called General Authority Seventies Elder Giménez and Elder Johnson visit between a session of the April 2019 general conference.