“When I was a young man,” says Elder Bruce D. Porter, “I often went home teaching with my father. We sometimes had to travel quite a distance, so we had a lot of time to talk. Our conversations about the gospel had a big impact on me.” Elder Porter, who was born 18 September 1952 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, credits his parents for instilling in him the beginnings of his testimony.
He saw his testimony deepen as a missionary in the Germany Duesseldorf Mission. “Both of my mission presidents served in the German army during World War II,” explains Elder Porter. “One was a prisoner of war in Russia. I was so impressed by their experiences that I decided to study Russian affairs when I returned home.”
Home at that time was Brigham Young University, where he attended as a presidential scholar. There, in a religion class, he met Susan Elizabeth Holland. The two were married in the Washington Temple 2 February 1977.
“From the day we were married,” says Sister Porter, “I was his first priority in life, after the Lord, and because of that we enjoy a close companionship and friendship.”
His commitment to the Lord became clear during his years of Church service as a branch president in Germany, a bishop in Virginia, and, until recently, as a counselor in a stake presidency at BYU.
After spending a summer living in Russia as an exchange student, Brother Porter attended Harvard University, where he received a doctoral degree in political science emphasizing Russian affairs. He has worked for the federal government on the United States Senate Armed Services Committee and as executive director of the Board for International Broadcasting.
He and his wife recently moved with their four children to Provo, Utah, where he accepted a position at BYU as an associate professor specializing in Russian politics.
Reflecting on his call to bear record of the Lord’s name in all the world, Elder Porter says, “The very heart of my testimony is the knowledge I have that Jesus Christ lives and is our Savior.”