President Marion G. Romney, who served as President of the Council of Twelve Apostles since November 1985, died May 20, 1988, at his home. President Romney was ninety years old. He had served as a General Authority for forty-seven years and as a member of the First Presidency for thirteen of those years. He helped to develop the Church’s welfare program and served as the assistant managing director of the Church welfare program and as the general chairman of the Church Welfare Committee. President Romney believed in a philosophy that he grew up with: Eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.
President Romney was born September 19, 1897, in Colonia Juárez, Mexico, to George S. and Teressa Artemesia Redd Romney. When his family fled from Mexico during the Mexican Revolution, two soldiers stopped them, searched their wagon, and took their money. “Then,” said President Romney, “they turned around, drew their guns, and I looked down the barrels of rifles that seemed very large to me. I expected them to shoot, but for some reason they did not, and I have lived to tell the story.”
After fleeing Mexico, President Romney went to school and worked as a carpenter. He loved to play football and basketball. He served a mission in Australia and later returned to college, where he eventually earned his law degree. He married Ida Jensen on September 12, 1924, in the Salt Lake Temple.
President Romney had a great love of the scriptures. He would go to his office a half hour early each day so that he could study the scriptures before his workday began. “You ought to read … all the scriptures,” he said, “with the idea of finding out what’s in them and what the meaning is and not to prove some idea of your own.”