“I was born in Sutherland, but I grew up in Monroe,” explains Elder Carlos Egan Asay, proud of his Utah heritage and newly sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy.
He remembers that he always “had a love of the Church. I enjoyed sacrament meetings as a boy, particularly the reports of the missionaries and the singing of the choirs.”
This love of the Church motivated him to postpone his athletic career at the University of Utah to become one of the first team of elders sent to open the Palestine and Syria mission where he served from 1947–50. That love continued through his additional Church service: as Regional Representative of the Council of Twelve, president of the Texas North Mission, member of the Sunday School General Board, high councilor in two different stakes, and bishop for five years of the South Cottonwood Sixth Ward. “My callings as bishop and as mission president were the most satisfying, I believe,” he said. “They brought me in contact with the youth and produced associations that I’m sure will endure for eternity.”
He praises his wife, Colleen Webb Asay, as “the sweetest person on earth,” adding, “she’s very talented.” Although she’s still working on her major in business from BYU, her executive ability has been put to use in two stake Relief Society presidencies and as ward Relief Society president three separate times.
Elder Asay’s love for his seven children is obvious. One son, James, has returned from his mission; another, Marcus, is currently serving; and a third, Brent, is preparing to go in a few weeks. He also has two teenage sons, Clair and Tim, whose first reaction to the news of his calling, Elder Asay chuckled, “was to ask if we were going to move again.” (In the last four years the family has moved from Texas to Provo to Hawaii and back to Utah.) Marcianne, his oldest daughter, has married a returned missionary, and is now Mrs. Mark Cannon. Their youngest daughter, Carleen, is eleven. “They couldn’t be more supportive.”
“Family” is a concept that extends beyond his own wife and children, largely because of his parents, Brother and Sister A. E. Lyle Asay of Provo. “My mother and father are stalwarts. When we six children married, some of us moved away from Utah; but when my parents retired from school teaching and moved to Provo to be near the temple, it seemed that all of us had business that brought us back, and now we all live in either Provo or Orem.” On Fast Sunday, the family meets for “a precious experience,” a short family home evening. “There are seldom fewer than thirty-five people there—even some great-grandchildren by now.” He willingly shares their formula to make it successful: “It’s short—never over an hour, well-planned with something for the little ones too, with lots of variety and light refreshments. We’re building a beautiful thing.”