Elder Hugh W. Pinnock will enjoy his new calling as a member of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy—because it brings increased opportunities to serve others.
“I love my fellow quorum members,” he says, adding that, administratively, “the First Quorum of the Seventy is completely dedicated to serving the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency.”
Elder Pinnock was sustained as a member of the quorum presidency October 4 during the Church’s semiannual general conference. He succeeds Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, who was called to the Quorum of the Twelve.
Elder Pinnock has been a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy since 1 October 1977. From experience, he knows that the meaning of the pledge to serve the First Presidency and the Twelve is to help serve all of Heavenly Father’s children.
“There are so many different ways to serve, ” he says, noting that those who really carry the burden of service in the Church are loving mothers and fathers, dedicated teachers, missionaries, home and visiting teachers, quorum and class advisers. Their work goes on consistently, long after special visitors leave and talks are, perhaps, forgotten, Elder Pinnock explains.
The efforts of the General Authorities are aimed at strengthening the kingdom, just as in the days of Jesus Christ, he says.
One way they try to do this is to encourage Latter-day Saints to follow the admonitions of President Ezra Taft Benson to study the Book of Mormon and other scriptures more thoroughly. “When people are dedicated to reading the scriptures, they live better. Their lives as a whole improve,” Elder Pinnock comments.
“We hope our people will turn to good reading material, particularly because of the spread of so much distasteful communication that can lead to evil, worldly thoughts and actions,” he says. Church members cannot expect to indulge in inappropriate books, magazines, films, and television programs and still enjoy the companionship of the Holy Spirit, he adds.
If Elder Pinnock sounds enthusiastic about the role of Church curricular materials in strengthening members, perhaps it is because of his association with the Curriculum Department—twice as a Managing Director and now as its Executive Director—and with the Sunday School, as its president for much of the past seven years. “We have the finest curriculum in all the world, as it deals with thinking clearly about spiritual things.” He loves the term “Sunday School,” he says, “because that implies gospel scholarship.”
“My life pretty much is the family and the Church, and I also have a deep interest in our environment,” both physical and spiritual, Elder Pinnock comments.
Elder Pinnock has been serving as a member of the North America Southwest Area Presidency. He has also served as President of the Utah South Area and as a Managing Director in the Priesthood Department. He has been a bishop, mission president, and regional representative and has served the Church as chairman of the Home Teaching and Family Home Evening Committee and as a member of the Priesthood Leadership Committee.
Elder Pinnock says his service in the Church has been possible in part “because I have a wonderful wife who is totally supportive.” He married Anne Hawkins of North Hollywood, California, and they have four sons, two daughters, and three granddaughters.
Before his call to full-time Church service, he was in the life-insurance industry in the Mountain West. He was an officer of several professional organizations and has also served in a variety of administrative and advisory positions for civic, corporate, charitable, educational, and governmental organizations
Born in Salt Lake City on 15 January 1934, he is a graduate of the University of Utah. He interrupted his university education to serve a mission for the Church. After graduation, he served for a time as an officer in the United States Army.