Elder David Steward Baxter of the Seventy believes that the darkest hour is just before dawn. Born into difficult circumstances in Stirling, Scotland, on February 7, 1955, Elder Baxter says his family struggled before joining the Church. But when the missionaries found his mother, Ellen Steel, raising her four young children alone, the spirit that entered the home was “almost tangible.”
“Our recognition of the gospel was instantaneous,” recalls Elder Baxter, then a 12-year-old boy. “It gave us a new sense of purpose.”
Shortly thereafter, his family moved to Surrey, England, and was embraced by the branch members there. “It was nothing we’d ever experienced. We didn’t come from a class of people who got invited to dinner.”
There he also met his future wife, Dianne Lewars. They attended Mutual and seminary together, and were two of five Church members in their school of 1,200.
Elder Baxter graduated in business and economics from the University of Wales and served in the Scotland Edinburgh Mission. He and Dianne were married on February 24, 1979, in the London England Temple and made their home in England, where they raised their four children. Elder Baxter worked in communication and marketing with several international companies. He has served as stake president, mission president’s counselor, stake institute and public affairs director, and bishop. When called to the First Quorum of the Seventy, he was serving as an Area Seventy and as Second Counselor in the Europe West Area.
Elder Baxter credits the gospel of Jesus Christ with lifting his family out of a dark time. “All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. My life experience has taught me to know the blessings from the Savior’s Atonement. We can be refreshed, cleansed, lifted up. We can be healed.”