“The strength of the Church lies in individuals striving to do their individual callings by living the gospel. My testimony grew as I grew—nourished and taught by countless others who helped me by their example of living the gospel.”
—Elder Robert D. Hales
Elder Robert D. Hales was sustained as an Apostle during general conference on April 2, 1994. Elder Hales, 61, has been the Presiding Bishop since 1985. A General Authority since 1975, he has served as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve and in the First Quorum of the Seventy. Elder Hales was born August 24, 1932, in New York, New York, to John Rulon and Vera Marie Holbrook Hales. He is a graduate of the University of Utah, and received a master’s degree from Harvard University. He and his wife, Mary Elene Crandall Hales, have two children.
New Presiding Bishop
“I pledge my all to the service of the Master. I have a deep testimony of him, of his work on this earth. He is the one who guides and directs the affairs of this Church.”
—Bishop Merrill J. Bateman
Bishop Merrill J. Bateman, 57, also sustained at conference, has been a member of the Church’s Second Quorum of the Seventy since June 1992, and has most recently been serving as president of the Asia North Area.
Bishop Bateman, a native of Lehi, Utah, has owned his own consulting and capital management company, and was previously dean of the BYU College of Business and the School of Management. He and his wife, Marilyn Scholes Bateman, are the parents of seven children.
Retained as counselors in the Presiding Bishopric were Bishop H. David Burton as first counselor, and Bishop Richard C. Edgley as second counselor. They had served with Bishop Hales since 1992.
New Seventies Quorum Members
During April general conference, one new member was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy, and five men were sustained as members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy.
Elder Cree-L Kofford, 60, who has served in the Second Quorum of the Seventy since April 1991, was called as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He is serving as the Church’s North America Northeast Area president.
Elder Claudio R. M. Costa, 45, of Brazil, recently released as a mission president, was director of the Church’s Institute of Religion in São Paulo since 1981. Elder Costa and his wife, Margareth Fernandes Costa, are the parents of four children.
Elder W. Don Ladd, 60, is a native of Florida, but has spent the past 14 years living in the Washington, D.C., area working as a business executive. He and his wife, Ruth Lynne Pearson Ladd, have four children.
Elder James O. Mason, 63, recently retired from his job as a health administrator with the United States government. A native of Salt Lake City, Elder Mason and his wife, Marie Smith Mason, have seven children.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 53, is a former senior vice president of flight operations and chief pilot for an airline in his native Germany. He is married to Harriet Reich Uchtdorf, and they have two children.
Elder Lance B. Wickman, 43, a native of Seattle, Washington, was working as an attorney in San Diego, California, when he was called as a General Authority. He and his wife, Patricia Farr Wickman, are the parents of five children.