Elder Teddy E. Brewerton and his wife, Dorothy Hall Brewerton, are getting used to changing their plans.
Twice they have planned trips abroad; twice they have independently decided that—for reasons they didn’t know at the time—they shouldn’t go. The first time, in 1962, when the Brewertons would have been attending a biochemistry conference in Austria, Elder Brewerton was called as bishop in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This time the Brewertons cancelled a trip—planned for nearly two decades—to Latin America. At the time, they were unaware that Elder Brewerton would be called as a new member of the First Quorum of the Seventy at October general conference.
At the time of his calling as a General Authority, he had served over four years as a Regional Representative, with responsibility first in Oregon and Alaska and later in Calgary and Edmonton. He and Sister Brewerton are natives of Raymond, Alberta. He was born in 1925.
Between 1965 and 1968 he was the first president of what is now the Costa Rica San Jose Mission. He presided over missionary work in Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela.
“It seemed like we lived on an airplane most of the time, because we had to be in every city and every country every six weeks,” he says. Despite the hindrances, missionary work progressed. Sister Brewerton improvised manuals and programs to teach coastal Indians who had no written language. Although the challenges were great, the couple was used to exercising their initiative.
“An individual has to do all that he can—use his own agency—and try,” Elder Brewerton says. A self-employed pharmacist who owns and operates a medical-center apothecary in Calgary, he learned years ago the value of studying varied interests—including the gospel.
When President Marion G. Romney set him apart for a mission to Uruguay in 1949, he instructed him to study the gospel systematically by subject. “And so I literally put it into practice, and I found it highly beneficial in preparing thoroughly and getting an individual testimony of many Church subjects.”
He applied the method to an institute class he taught at the University of Calgary, and it “opened our minds.” Scriptures the students had read hundreds of times finally became meaningful. Elder Brewerton applied the same learning concept to his avocations—which include political theories, archaeology, and pharmaceutical chemistry.
That instruction from President Romney was not the only help they received from him. While the Brewertons were in Costa Rica, Sister Brewerton became pregnant with their fifth child. Doctors told them it was inadvisable to have more. However, after a priesthood blessing from President Romney, Sister Brewerton gave birth to a fifth child. And four years later, to a sixth.
Now, the Brewertons and their children are making plans again—to help Elder Brewerton fulfill his lifetime call as a General Authority of the Church.