Three Members of the Seventy Released

Contributed By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News staff writer

  • 6 October 2015

The First Presidency announced leadership changes during the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s 185th Semiannual General Conference on October 3. 

The First Presidency announced the following leadership changes during the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s 185th Semiannual General Conference on October 3:

General Authority Seventies

Elder Koichi Aoyagi, Elder Bruce A. Carlson, and Elder Don R. Clarke were released as General Authority Seventies and granted emeritus status.

Elder Aoyagi was sustained a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy on April 4, 2009, at age 64. At the time of his call, he had been serving as a member of the Eighth Quorum of the Seventy in the Asia North Area. Elder Aoyagi attended Kanagawa University for two years, majoring in foreign trading. He received a real estate license from the Japan Real Estate Academy. After receiving his license, he worked for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a real estate manager and a construction manager in the Asia North Area office in Tokyo, Japan. He also worked as an assistant recorder in the Tokyo Japan Temple.

Since joining the Church in 1962, Elder Aoyagi has served in numerous Church callings, including as a full-time missionary in the Northern Far East Mission, Sunday School teacher, branch president, bishop’s counselor, high councilor, mission president’s counselor, stake president, mission president, high priests group leader, sealer, bishop, regional representative, president of the Tokyo Japan Missionary Training Center, and Area Seventy.

Elder Aoyagi was sustained a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy on April 4, 2009, at age 64.

Elder Carlson was sustained a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy on April 4, 2009, at age 59.

Elder Clarke was sustained a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy on April 1, 2006, and a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 2, 2011.

Elder Aoyagi was born in Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan, on March 24, 1945. He married Shiroko Momose in September 1970. They are the parents of four children and grandparents of 10 grandchildren.

Elder Carlson was sustained a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy on April 4, 2009, at age 59. At the time of his call, he had been serving as a Sunday School teacher and as a member of the Military Advisory Committee. During his time as a Seventy he served with the Middle East/North Africa Area, North America Central Area, and Idaho Area.

Elder Carlson graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, in 1971. In 1979 he graduated from the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base and later received a master of arts degree from Webster University. In 1989 he received a distinguished graduate master of arts degree from the U.S. Naval War College. Elder Carlson relinquished command of Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio on November 21, 2008, and retired as a general from the United States Air Force after more than 37 years of service.

Elder Carlson has served in a number of Church callings, including elders quorum president, bishop, high councilor, temple ordinance worker, and adviser to the Military Advisory Committee.

He was born in Hibbing, Minnesota, on October 3, 1949. He married Vicki Lynn Martens in June 1970. They are the parents of three children and have 10 grandchildren.

Elder Clarke was sustained a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy on April 1, 2006, and a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 2, 2011. He served as president of the Central America Area from 2007 to 2011 and also as a counselor during 2006–2007. He also served as an Assistant Executive Director in the Missionary Department and as area assistant for the Utah North, Utah Salt Lake City, and Utah South Areas.

Elder Clarke earned an associate’s degree from Ricks College and a bachelor’s degree in business from Brigham Young University. He completed a master’s degree in business administration from Washington State University. His career included senior executive positions in several retailing companies.

Elder Clarke has served the Church in various capacities, including as a full-time missionary in the Argentina Mission, president of the Bolivia Santa Cruz Mission (2001–2004), stake president, assistant director of Church Hosting, high councilor, bishop, stake Young Men president, and elders quorum president.

He was born in Rexburg, Idaho, on December 11, 1945. He married Mary Anne Jackson in 1970. They are the parents of six children.

Area Seventies

Elder Serhii A. Kovalov was released as an Area Seventy.

Elder Kovalov, of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, was 45 at the time of his call as an Area Seventy in April 2014. He is the managing director of Rikko Group, a plastics fabricating company, and a former mission presidency member, branch president, district president, and mission president’s counselor. He and his wife, Tanya, have four children.