The First Presidency has announced an important change in the administration of major geographic areas of the Church. The change is the appointment of Area Presidencies—consisting of a president and two counselors—to serve in thirteen geographic areas: seven in the United States and Canada, and six in other parts of the world.
Members of the First Quorum of the Seventy will serve as members of the Area Presidencies. For the past several years, members of the First Quorum of the Seventy have been assigned as Executive Administrators in various areas, at times residing in various countries, but most recently residing in Salt Lake City. The Area Presidencies replace the Executive Administrators.
Initially, members of only three of the Area Presidencies will reside outside of Salt Lake City: the presidency for Europe—Europe, the British Isles, and Africa—will reside in Frankfurt, Germany; for the Pacific—Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific islands—in Sydney, Australia; and for South America South Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay—in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Members of other presidencies will reside for the present in Salt Lake City.
The new administrative change and attendant procedures will be constantly evaluated and modified as appropriate to meet the needs of individual Church members explained President Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency.
President Hinckley emphasized that the Church’s growth requires flexibility in administration as the Church pursues its unchanging divine mandate to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world, perfect individuals by preparing them to receive the ordinances of the gospel, and redeem the dead by performing vicarious ordinances for those who have lived on the earth.
This administrative change follows a general pattern of Church government, lends strength to administration, brings a combined wisdom to decisions, and provides flexibility in meeting challenges of growth, President Hinckley said.
The Area Presidencies will be accountable to the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve for building up the Church and regulating its affairs in their respective areas, and as in other presidencies, there will be periodic rotation of assignments, President Hinckley noted.
The six areas outside the United States and Canada, and their presidencies, are as follows:
—Europe (Europe, British Isles, Africa): President Joseph B. Wirthlin; counselors, Derek A. Cuthbert and Russell C. Taylor.
—Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Hawaii): President Robert L. Simpson; counselors, Devere Harris and Philip T. Sonntag.
—Asia (Japan, Philippines, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, Thailand, India, Indonesia): President William R. Bradford; counselors, Jack H. Goaslind and Robert B. Harbertson.
—Mexico and Central America (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua): President Gene R. Cook; counselors, Ted E. Brewerton and Angel Abrea.
—South America North (Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia): President Charles Didier; counselors, Robert E. Wells and F. Burton Howard.
—South America South (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay): President A. Theodore Tuttle; counselors, Jacob de Jager and Spencer H. Osborn.
The seven areas in the United States and Canada, and their presidencies, are as follows:
—North America Northeast (Northeast, Canada East, Midwest, Canada Central, North Central): President Rex C. Reeve; counselor, W. Grant Bangerter; one counselor to be named.
—North America Southeast (South Central, Caribbean, Southeast): President Vaughn J. Featherstone; counselor, Ronald E. Poelman; one counselor to be named.
—North American Northwest (Northern Plains, Northwest, Idaho, British Columbia, Alberta): President Loren C. Dunn; counselors, F. Enzio Busche and George P. Lee.
—Salt Lake City North (Northern Utah, Ogden, Salt Lake City): President James M. Paramore; counselor, Yoshihiko Kikuchi; one counselor to be named.
—Salt Lake City South (Granger, Murray, Provo): President Hugh W. Pinnock; counselor, John H. Groberg; one counselor to be named.
—North America Southwest (Southern Plains, Arizona, Nevada, Southern Utah): President Robert D. Hales; counselors, Rex D. Pinegar and Hartman Rector, Jr.
—North America West (Southern California, Northern California): President Robert L. Backman; counselors, Paul H. Dunn and John K. Carmack.