The new Presiding Bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was also presented and accepted at the first session of the recent 142nd Annual Conference of the Church. Bishop Victor L. Brown was presented as the new presiding bishop of the Church along with his two new counselors, Bishop H. Burke Peterson and Bishop Vaughn J. Featherstone.
Bishop Brown is a native of Canada and was born in Cardston in 1914. Always a leader, he served as a counselor in both his deacons and teachers quorums, and after he moved to Salt Lake City, he was secretary of his priests quorum.
Bishop Brown has filled many church positions in several locations throughout the United States. He was called to be bishop of the Denver Fourth Ward in 1953, and from this position he was called to serve in the stake presidency of the Denver Stake. While working for United Airlines, Bishop Brown was moved to Chicago, and it was not long afterward that he was called to the Presiding Bishopric. He married Lois Kjar in the Salt Lake Temple on November 13, 1936. They are the parents of five children.
Bishop Brown commented that he is most concerned about the important responsibilities of the Aaronic Priesthood age youth, the welfare program, the health services, the tithes of the Church, and the statistical analysis programs.
Bishop Brown said, “The Aaronic Priesthood young men of the Church can best serve by fully honoring their priesthood, by being absolutely honest, and by working together with their quorum leaders, their bishops, and the Presiding Bishopric. We must be unified.” Bishop Brown emphasized that the Lord has said, “… be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.” (D&C 38:27.)
H. Burke Peterson, first counselor in the new Presiding Bishopric has come to his new office from Phoenix, Arizona. Although Bishop Peterson has lived most of his life in Arizona, he was born in Salt Lake City to Harold A. and Juna Tye Peterson. He was married in the Mesa Temple on June 27, 1947, to Brookie Cardon. They are the parents of five lovely daughters. Bishop Peterson holds an M.S. degree in engineering and was a partner in the Engineering Corporation of America, a company performing engineering services throughout the West.
Bishop Peterson served for six years as bishop of the Phoenix Eighth Ward, and in 1965 he became president of the North Phoenix Stake. He served as stake president until 1970, when he was called to be Regional Representative of the Twelve.
Commenting on Aaronic Priesthood leadership, he said, “I would like to see our Aaronic Priesthood young men, and the young women of the same ages, develop leader ship traits. We must help the young men as Aaronic Priesthood leaders to fulfill their responsibilities as they are so beautifully expressed in the 107th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants [D&C 107]. They should sit in counsel with their quorums and guide their members and instruct them as their leader.”
Bishop Vaughn J. Featherstone, second counselor to the Presiding Bishopric, is a young man who comes to his new calling with a vast amount of experience in Church service. He has served as counselor in the Garden Grove Ward bishopric, as stake mission president, and in 1966 he was named to the Church Priesthood Missionary Committee. The next year Bishop Featherstone became a member of the YMMIA General Board assigned to the Ensign committee.
Before this call Bishop Featherstone was an executive for Albertson’s supermarkets and chairman of the National Produce Executive Committee of the Supermarket Institute. He was born in Stockton, Utah, in 1931 to Stephen E. and Emma Marie Johnson Featherstone. He attended South High School in Salt Lake City. Bishop Featherstone married Merlene Miner in 1950; they have six children.
Bishop Featherstone comes to his new office as the former stake president of the Boise North Stake. He says of his new calling, “I am very impressed with the terrific administrative abilities of Bishop Brown. I look forward to working with Bishop Brown and Bishop Peterson as part of the team. We are charged with the responsibility of working with the Aaronic Priesthood age youth of the Church, and we look on this as one of our first and most important responsibilities.”