New Assignments, Releases in Seventies’ Presidency and Quorums


Two members of the First Quorum of the Seventy were called to the Presidency of the Seventy during the Saturday afternoon session of general conference on September 30. Also, eight members of the First Quorum of the Seventy were given Emeritus General Authority status, and eight members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy were released. These changes necessitated the reorganization of the Sunday School and Young Men General Presidencies.

Called to Preside

Elder Rex D. Pinegar and Elder Carlos E. Asay were called to the Presidency of the Seventy, succeeding Elder Wm. Grant Bangerter and Elder Hugh W. Pinnock.

Both Elder Pinegar and Elder Asay have served in Church leadership positions for many years. Elder Pinegar has been a General Authority for seventeen years, and Elder Asay for more than thirteen.

In addition to serving as a counselor in the Young Men General Presidency, Elder Pinegar had been serving as President of the Church’s North America Southeast Area. He was called to be a member of the First Council of the Seventy on 6 October 1972, while serving as president of the Virginia-North Carolina Mission.

Elder Rex D. Pinegar

Elder Rex D. Pinegar, called to the Presidency of the Seventy, has been a General Authority since 1972.

Elder Asay has served for three years as President of the Church’s Europe Area. A member of the First Quorum of the Seventy since 3 April 1976, he served in its Presidency from 1980 to 1986. He is former Executive Director of the Missionary and Curriculum departments.

Elder Carlos E. Asay

Elder Carlos E. Asay, called to the Presidency of the Seventy, has been a General Authority since 1976.

Sunday School General Presidency

Released as the Sunday School General Presidency were Elder Robert L. Simpson as president and Elder Devere Harris and Elder Derek A. Cuthbert as counselors. Elder Hugh W. Pinnock, the new general president of the Sunday School, previously served in that calling from 1979 to 1986. He was called as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy on 4 October 1986, serving as Executive Director of the Curriculum Department. He has served as a General Authority for twelve years, since 1977.

Elder Derek A. Cuthbert, now first counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, served in a variety of leadership positions in his native England before being called to the First Quorum of the Seventy on 1 April 1978, more than eleven years ago.

Elder Ted E. Brewerton, second counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, is a Canadian who has lived a number of years in Central and South America in connection with Church assignments. He was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy on 30 September 1978, eleven years ago.

Young Men General Presidency

Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone of the First Quorum of the Seventy remains as general president of the Young Men, with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the First Quorum of the Seventy as his new first counselor and Elder Monte J. Brough of the Second Quorum of the Seventy as second counselor. Elder Pinegar and Elder Robert B. Harbertson were released as counselors in the presidency.

Elder Featherstone was called as president of the Young Men in November 1985. Before being called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1976, he had served more than four years as a counselor to the Presiding Bishop. He has served more than seventeen years as a General Authority.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, new first counselor in the Young Men General Presidency, is former president of Brigham Young University and a former Church commissioner of education. He was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in April this year.

Elder Monte J. Brough, second counselor in the Young Men General Presidency, served as a member of the Young Men General Board and as president of the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission before his call as a General Authority in April 1989.

Given Emeritus Status

The emeritus status for General Authorities was first announced in 1978. The First Presidency said then that “this designation will be given from time to time” to General Authorities who “are not being released but will be excused from active service.” It was explained that emeritus status would be given in consideration of such factors as age and health.

Eight members of the First Quorum of the Seventy were granted emeritus status at this conference:

Elder Theodore M. Burton

—Elder Theodore M. Burton, eighty-two, a General Authority since 8 October 1960. He is a former Managing Director of the Genealogy (now Family History) Department, supervisor of Church programs in Europe, and a former president of the West German and European missions. He has served for twenty-nine years as a General Authority.

Elder Robert L. Simpson

—Elder Robert L. Simpson, seventy-four, a General Authority since 30 September 1961, when he was called as a counselor in the Presiding Bishopric. He has served as general Sunday School president and Managing Director of the Temple Department, Pacific Area President, president of the Los Angeles Temple, and president of the New Zealand and East London missions. He has been a General Authority for twenty-eight years.

Elder Victor L. Brown

—Elder Victor L. Brown, seventy-five, a General Authority since 30 September 1961, when he became Second Counselor to the Presiding Bishop. He served as Presiding Bishop for thirteen years until his call to the First Quorum of the Seventy on 6 April 1985. He was a counselor in the Utah North Area Presidency and previously served as president of the Salt Lake Temple. He has been a General Authority for twenty-eight years.

Elder Paul H. Dunn

—Elder Paul H. Dunn, sixty-five, a General Authority since 6 April 1964. He was First Counselor in the Utah South Area Presidency and Managing Director of the Priesthood Department (Auxiliaries). Earlier, Elder Dunn served in the Presidency of the Seventy, from 1976 to 1980, and as president of the New England Mission. He has served as a General Authority for twenty-five years.

Elder J. Thomas Fyans

—Elder J. Thomas Fyans, seventy-one, a General Authority since 6 April 1974. He was President of the Utah Central Area and Managing Director of the Family History Department, former President of the Utah North and South America South areas, a member of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy from 1976 to 1985, and former Executive Director of the Correlation and Genealogy departments. He has been a General Authority for more than fifteen years.

Elder Wm. Grant Bangerter

—Elder Wm. Grant Bangerter, seventy-one, a General Authority since 4 April 1975. He has been a member of the Presidency of the Seventy since 17 February 1985, a capacity in which he had also served from 1978 to 1980. He was Executive Director of the Temple Department and served as a General Authority for more than fourteen years.

Royden G. Derrick

—Royden G. Derrick, seventy-four, a General Authority since 1 October 1976. He was a counselor in the Asia Area Presidency, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy from 1980 to 1984, former Executive Director of the Genealogy Department, and former president of the Seattle Temple. He has served as a General Authority for thirteen years.

Elder Rex C. Reeve

—Elder Rex C. Reeve, seventy-four, a General Authority since 1 April 1978. He was President of the North America Northwest Area, Managing Director of the Temple Department, and former President of the North America Northeast Area. He has been a General Authority for more than eleven years.

Given Releases

The eight members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy who were released at the October general conference had all been called as General Authorities in 1984. At the time of their call, the First Presidency announced that they would serve for five years and “then be released with honor and appreciation. This procedure, we feel, will provide a constant infusion of new talent and a much-widened opportunity for men of ability and faith to serve in these offices.”

Those released were:

Elder Russell C. Taylor

—Elder Russell C. Taylor, sixty-four, counselor in the Utah South Area Presidency, Managing Director of the Missionary Department, and former counselor in the Europe Area Presidency.

Elder Robert B. Harbertson

—Elder Robert B. Harbertson, fifty-seven, a counselor in the Young Men General Presidency and counselor in the North America Northwest Area Presidency.

Elder Devere Harris

—Elder Devere Harris, seventy-three, a counselor in the general Sunday School Presidency and counselor in the North America Southwest Area Presidency.

Elder Spencer H. Osborn

—Elder Spencer H. Osborn, sixty-eight, a counselor in the North America Southeast Area Presidency, and one of the Managing Directors of the Missionary Department. He previously served as a counselor in the United Kingdom/Ireland/Africa Area Presidency.

Elder Philip T. Sonntag

—Elder Philip T. Sonntag, sixty-eight, a counselor in the Philippines/Micronesia Area Presidency, former counselor in the North America Central Area Presidency, and former counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency.

Elder John Sonnenberg

—Elder John Sonnenberg, sixty-seven, a counselor in the North America Central Area Presidency and former President of the Pacific Area.

Elder F. Arthur Kay

—Elder F. Arthur Kay, seventy-three, President of the Pacific Area. He previously served in the Presidency of the Mexico/Central America Area.

Elder Keith W. Wilcox

—Elder Keith W. Wilcox, sixty-eight, a counselor in the North America Northeast Area Presidency and a Managing Director of the Church Curriculum Department.