Elder Athos M. Amorím of the Second Quorum of the Seventy is not what many people might expect in a retired army officer. Given the chance to serve as chief of staff for Brazil’s highest military court, he declined and chose to stay home in Resende, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, “as a gardener.” He cultivates flowers because he loves their beauty, and he feeds the birds that fly so freely around his home because “I love to hear them singing in the morning and the evening, happy in my garden.”
He is less concerned about where he serves than how he serves. After his release from being president of the São Paulo Temple, he was called as second counselor in his ward elders quorum presidency and “was very happy in the calling” because he loves working with Heavenly Father’s children in any capacity.
That love goes back at least to the day he was baptized in 1972. He felt very deeply that his heart was being changed, a feeling he still finds difficult to put into words. He knows, though, that he became a new man that day.
He remembers the humble missionary who confirmed him and who indicated that one day this new member would serve as a mission president. Athos Amorím later presided over the Brazil Fortaleza Mission. He has also been a district president and, in his mobile military career, president of several small branches where there are now stakes.
Born on 14 June 1932 in Rio de Janeiro, he married Maria Alice Ferrao on 31 May 1957. They were sealed in the Washington [D.C.] Temple in 1978. They have two sons and seven grandchildren.
Sister Amorím, he says, “always has supported me well in the service of the Lord.” She shares his awe and happiness at his new calling because “she loves working in the Church and she has a very strong testimony.”
He hopes his own service can reflect his “joy in the work. I love Church work, and it is very easy for me to love the people. I want to share with everyone my testimony of Jesus Christ. That is my greatest desire.”