New Area Leadership Assignments

The First Presidency has announced changes in assignments for area leadership, effective beginning on August 1, 2007. All members of Area Presidencies are members of the First or Second Quorum of the Seventy unless otherwise noted.

Three new members of the Presidency of the Seventy have been called to serve. Elder Quentin L. Cook, Elder Claudio R. M. Costa, and Elder Steven E. Snow have been called to succeed Elder Charles Didier, Elder Merrill J. Bateman, and Elder Robert C. Oaks. (See accompanying story.)

The First Presidency has also announced the combining of the Mexico North and South Areas and the Brazil North and South Areas.

Presidency of the Seventy

Earl C. Tingey 1. North America East 2. North America Northeast

D. Todd Christofferson 3. North America Northwest 4. North America West

Neil L. Andersen 5. North America Southwest

Ronald A. Rasband 6. Utah North 7. Utah Salt Lake City 8. Utah South

Quentin L. Cook 9. North America Southeast

Claudio R. M. Costa 10. Idaho

Steven E. Snow 11. North America Central

12. Mexico Lynn A. Mickelsen, President C. Scott Grow, First Counselor Octaviano Tenorio, Second Counselor

13. Central America Don R. Clarke, President Shirley D. Christensen, First Counselor Enrique R. Falabella, Second Counselor

14. Caribbean Clate W. Mask Jr., President Daniel L. Johnson, First Counselor Miguel A. Lee*, Second Counselor

15. South America North Carl B. Pratt, President Benjamín De Hoyos, First Counselor César A. Dávila*, Second Counselor

16. South America West Walter F. González, President Marcus B. Nash, First Counselor Alexander A. Nuñez*, Second Counselor

17. Brazil Charles Didier, President Ulisses Soares, First Counselor Stanley G. Ellis, Second Counselor

18. Chile Carlos H. Amado, President Paul V. Johnson, First Counselor Daniel M. Cañoles*, Second Counselor

19. South America South Lynn G. Robbins, President Shayne M. Bowen, First Counselor Claudio D. Zivic, Second Counselor

20. Europe West Kenneth Johnson, President Francisco J. Viñas, First Counselor Patrick Kearon*, Second Counselor

21. Europe Central Robert C. Oaks, President Erich W. Kopischke, First Counselor Johann A. Wondra*, Second Counselor

22. Europe East Paul B. Pieper, President Wolfgang H. Paul, First Counselor Larry W. Gibbons, Second Counselor

23. Africa West Lowell M. Snow, President Craig A. Cardon, First Counselor Christoffel Golden Jr., Second Counselor

24. Africa Southeast William W. Parmley, President Paul E. Koelliker, First Counselor Allen P. Young*, Second Counselor

25. Asia Daryl H. Garn, President Donald L. Hallstrom, First Counselor Anthony D. Perkins, Second Counselor

26. Asia North David F. Evans, President Kazuhiko Yamashita*, First Counselor Yoon Hwan Choi*, Second Counselor

27. Philippines Keith R. Edwards, President Won Yong Ko, First Counselor Michael J. Teh, Second Counselor

28. Australia Paul K. Sybrowsky, President Keith K. Hilbig, First Counselor Dirk Smibert*, Second Counselor

29. New Zealand/Pacific Islands Spencer J. Condie, President David S. Baxter, First Counselor Hans T. Sorensen*, Second Counselor

* Area Seventy

Three Called to Serve in Presidency of the Seventy

Three members of the First Quorum of the Seventy have been called to serve in the Presidency of the Seventy, effective on August 1, 2007. Elder Quentin L. Cook, Elder Claudio R. M. Costa, and Elder Steven E. Snow have been called to succeed Elder Charles Didier, Elder Merrill J. Bateman, and Elder Robert C. Oaks.

Elder Quentin L. Cook

Elder Quentin L. Cook

Elder Quentin L. Cook was sustained as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 4, 1998. He served in the Second Quorum of the Seventy from April 1996 through April 1998. As a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, he has supervisory responsibility for the North America Southeast Area.

Elder Cook has served as Executive Director of the Missionary Department and as President of the North America Northwest and Pacific Island Areas. He also served as a counselor in the Philippines/Micronesia Area Presidency.

He received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Utah State University and a doctor of jurisprudence degree from Stanford University. At the time of his call as a General Authority, he was vice chairman of Sutter Health System. He had previously served as president and chief executive officer of California Healthcare System. Prior to that, he was a managing partner of Carr, McClellan, Ingersoll, Thompson and Horn, a San Francisco Bay area law firm.

Elder Cook also served as a full-time missionary in the British Mission and as a bishop, stake president’s counselor, stake president, regional representative, and Area Seventy.

Quentin LaMar Cook was born in Logan, Utah, USA, on September 8, 1940. He married Mary Gaddie in November 1962. Elder and Sister Cook have three children and nine grandchildren.

Elder Claudio R. M. Costa

Elder Claudio R. M. Costa

Elder Claudio R. M. Costa was sustained as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on March 31, 2001. He served in the Second Quorum of the Seventy from April 1994 through March 2001. As a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, he has supervisory responsibility for the Idaho Area.

He has served as President of the South America North Area and the Brazil North Area and as a counselor in the Brazil and South America South Area Presidencies.

He studied marketing in São Paulo as a young man and later served for 13 years in various positions in the Church Educational System. At the time of his calling as a General Authority, he was the director of the Church’s institute of religion in São Paulo.

He has served the Church as an institute and seminary teacher, bishop’s counselor, bishop, high councilor, stake president’s counselor, mission president, and regional representative.

Claudio Roberto Mendes Costa was born in Santos, Brazil, on March 25, 1949. He married Margareth Fernandes Morgado in 1978. They are the parents of four children and have one grandson and three granddaughters.

Elder Steven E. Snow

Elder Steven E. Snow

Elder Steven E. Snow was called to serve as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on March 31, 2001. As a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, he has supervisory responsibility for the North America Central Area.

Elder Snow has served as Executive Director of the Priesthood Department, as President of the Africa Southeast Area, and as a counselor in the same Area Presidency.

Elder Snow earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Utah State University and a juris doctorate degree at Brigham Young University.

Prior to his call to serve as a General Authority, Elder Snow was a senior partner in the law firm of Snow Nuffer. He has actively supported education, having served as a member and president of his local school board, Chairman of the Utah State Board of Regents, and Chairman of the Western States Commission of Higher Education.

Elder Snow also served as a full-time missionary in the Germany North Mission and as a bishop, high councilor, stake president, president of the California San Fernando Mission, and Area Seventy.

Steven Erastus Snow was born in St. George, Utah, USA, on November 23, 1949. He married Phyllis Squire in June 1971. They have four sons and six grandchildren.

New Welfare Pamphlets Focus on Preparing “Every Needful Thing”

For years, President Gordon B. Hinckley has encouraged members of the Church to follow the counsel found in D&C 109:8 to “prepare every needful thing.” To help members keep this counsel in mind, two new pamphlets focusing on family home storage and family finances are now being made available to members of the Church.

Under the shared title All Is Safely Gathered In, one pamphlet, subtitled Family Home Storage, reviews basics such as how to acquire a three-month supply of useful food, a supply of drinking water, a financial reserve, and a longer-term supply of basic foods where permitted. The other pamphlet, subtitled Family Finances, offers counsel on paying tithes and offerings, avoiding debt, using a budget, building a reserve, and teaching family members the principles of financial management.

At the heart of the pamphlets is self-reliance, a principle President Hinckley has often stressed.

“Brethren, I wish to urge again the importance of self-reliance on the part of every individual Church member and family,” President Hinckley said in the October 2002 general conference. “None of us knows when a catastrophe might strike. Sickness, injury, unemployment may affect any of us. We have a great welfare program, with facilities for such things as grain storage in various areas. It is important that we do this. But the best place to have some food set aside is within our homes, together with a little money in savings” (“To Men of the Priesthood,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, 56).

The pamphlets have been distributed to priesthood leaders worldwide. They will also be available in the August and September Liahona and Ensign and online at

[photo] The All Is Safely Gathered In pamphlets help explain the basics of family finances and family home storage.

New Museum Exhibit Highlights Relief Society

At the organization of the Relief Society held on March 17, 1842, Emma Smith declared, “We are going to do something extraordinary” (Relief Society, Minutebook 1842 Mar.–1844 Mar., entry made March 17, 1842, 12, LDS Church Archives).

The statement inspired the women of the fledgling organization then, and it is now the inspiration for a new exhibition at the Museum of Church History and Art titled Something Extraordinary: A Sampler of Women’s Gifts.

The exhibition celebrates the remarkable fulfillment of Emma’s pronouncement by displaying objects representing the gifts and talents of Relief Society sisters from around the world.

The most historically significant object included in the exhibit is the 1842 minutebook used by the founders of the Relief Society to record the proceedings of its meetings.

The manuscript, titled A Record of the Organization and Proceedings of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, contains the minutes of Relief Society meetings held in Nauvoo from 1842 to 1844. Many of the quotes from the minutebook are well known to members everywhere, making it an important document for Latter-day Saint women.

To help tell about the good works of the Relief Society, nearly 60 objects are displayed, including many historical and contemporary works of art, writing, and everyday objects. The exhibit features a print of a painting of Emma Smith, wife of the Prophet Joseph and the first president of the Relief Society; music; quilts; cookbooks; and items from around the world created by Relief Society members to help beautify Church buildings.

There is even a Grammy Award in the collection, which was awarded to Gladys Knight, a Church member and successful musical artist. Sister Knight has used her great talents to lift others and expand their talents.

For information on the museum and its exhibits, visit

[photo] Quilting followed Church missionaries into many areas where it was not indigenous, such as Tahiti. Ninirei Katomea Tekehu Maro, the maker of this quilt, learned to make quilts from her mother, who in turn learned to make quilts from early missionaries.

[photo] In October 2003 general conference, Ann Pingree of the Relief Society general presidency told of women she knew in Africa who walked many miles to receive their temple recommends with no expectation they would ever be able to use them. Since that time, those Saints have seen a temple dedicated in their own land. (Five Wise Virgins, by Louise Parker)


Quiet Stirrings of the Heart

I am writing about “Quiet Stirrings of the Heart” by Bishop H. David Burton (April 2007 Ensign). I was inspired by the faith of this leader and his point of view, along with the difficult questions he had pondered. He reminded me that it is not only important to consult with our Father in Heaven but to go to our scriptures as well when looking for answers, especially in difficult situations such as his. His valiant determination to always make the right choices sets a good example for us all to follow. In our deacons quorum meeting (I am 13 years old) we learned about the differences between instant gratification and eternal rewards. Bishop Burton made the decision to strive to always choose the right and receive the most important rewards, which are the eternal rewards. I am grateful for the testimony of this man, and the example he set for me. I will always remember to think of others and do what I can to help them. This will remind me to always choose the right. Alex K. Shope, Arizona

Never Alone

Anne Grenzebach, author of “Never Alone” (February 2007 Ensign) was a member in the first ward I attended when investigating the Church 4 1/2 years ago. That small young single adult branch in Rochester, New York, truly shaped my first impressions of the Church and helped give me strength when I decided to be baptized. These young people were just like me, only with a great faith that I found I wanted to share. Anne made a stronger impact on me than she knows, and I was so happy to see her article. We share a similar story, and the article gave me a renewed hope in my continuing to share the gospel with my family. Lyndsay Johnson, Arizona

The Tabernacle Builders

In the April 2007 Ensign, the article titled “The Great Tabernacle: A Building of Purpose and Spirit,” is lacking in details too important to leave out of the history of this great structure. The article should have included information about the men who designed and supervised the building of the Tabernacle. The writer is remiss in not keeping their story alive. Linda Dinkel, California

While the article focused on the details regarding construction of the Tabernacle and events that have taken place there, it would have been appropriate to acknowledge the builders, as did President Gordon B. Hinckley in the October 1999 conference: “We have no desire to outdo Brigham Young or his architects—William H. Folsom [architect], Henry Grow [a bridge builder who engineered the trusses for the dome], and Truman O. Angell [who oversaw the finish work and building of the balcony]. … As today we close the doors of this Tabernacle and look forward to opening the doors of the new Conference Center next April, we do so with love, with appreciation, with respect, with reverence—really with affection—for this building and for those who have gone before us, who built so well, and whose handiwork has served so long” (“Good-bye to This Wonderful Old Tabernacle,” Ensign, November 1999, 91). We also acknowledge the great contribution of Joseph Harris Ridges, who built the Tabernacle organ.