Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve: Did They Serve A Full-Time Mission?

I was interested in knowing which members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles served as a full-time missionary or as a mission president. It was startling to find out that eight out of the fifteen men served a full-time mission and even more startling to find out that only six were mission presidents. The eight men who served full-time missions are in order of seniority: L. Tom Perry, M. Russell Ballard, Joseph B. Wirthlin, Richard G. Scott, Jeffrey R. Holland, David A. Bednar, Quentin L. Cook, and D. Todd Christofferson. The five men who served as mission presidents in order of seniority are: Thomas S. Monson, Boyd K. Packer, M. Russell Ballard, Richard G. Scott, and Robert D. Hales.

A major reason that seven of them did not serve full-time missions was due to military restrictions at a time when they became missionary age. As to why ten of them never became mission presidents is more complex and might raise a few questions . It totally threw me for a loop since most members of the First Quorum of Seventy are former mission presidents as are other members of the Seventy. Since apostles are many times chosen from this group you would suspect that they would have served a mission and/or been a mission president.

I liked the fact that a few of them including Elder Boyd K. Packer was called as a mission president when he became a general authority. A couple of them Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder Dallin H. Oaks were sent to live in Chile and the Philippines to preside over areas of the Church. Quentin L. Cook was sent to Mexico for a few years. I know of many Seventies such as Yoshihiko Kikuchi who became a mission president in Hawaii. I think it is good for men to serve as missionaries and as mission presidents who direct the work in the latter days.

Here is a short biography of each man and their church service including if or if not he served as a full-time missionary or mission president:

President Thomas S. Monson had a career in publishing and managed the Deseret News Press. He was born 21 August 1927 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He served in the Navy during the end of World War II. He did not serve a full-time mission. He graduated with a bachelor's in business from the University of Utah and received an MBA from Brigham Young University. He married Frances Beverly Johnson on 7 October 1948. They are the parents of three children. He served as a bishop and stake president's counselor. From 1959 to 1962 he served as president of the Canadian (Toronto) Mission. On 4 October 1963 at the age of 36 he was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and ordained on 10 October 1963. He served on the Missionary Executive Committee for many years as a member and Director. As an apostle he also oversaw church operations in Eastern Europe and helped the church gain access to its members in the Soviet bloc. In 1982, he organized the first stake in East Germany. He was a counselor in the First Presidency for 23 years from 1985 until 2008. He was sustained as President of the Church on 3 February 2008. As a hobby he raises pigeons, likes to fish and plays basketball.

President Henry B. Eyring was a college professor (business) and president of Ricks College [now BYU–Idaho]. He worked for the Church Educational System and was Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner of Church Education. He was born 31 May 1933 in Princeton, New Jersey. In the middle 1950s he was in the Air Force at a time when few missionaries were being called. He did not fill a full-time mission nor was he a mission president. His bishop told him his service in the service would be a substitution for a mission. From 1955 until 1957 at the time he was in the military in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he was called as a district missionary in the Western States Mission. He married Kathleen Johnson in July 1962. They are the parents of six children. He earned a bachelor's of science in physics from the University of Utah and a master of business administration and doctorate of business administration from the Harvard Business School. He served as a bishop, a regional representative, a member of the general Sunday School board, a first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric and a member of the First Quorum of Seventy. He was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on 1 April1995 and ordained an apostle on 6 April 1995. He was a second counselor in the First Presidency since 6 October 2007 and became first counselor on 3 February 2008. As a hobby he likes to paint watercolors and likes cooking.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf was a commercial pilot and an executive for Lufthansa Airlines. He was born 6 November 1940 in Mahrisch-Ostrau, Czechoslovakia. He was raised in Zwickau, Germany, where his family joined the Church when he was six. From 1959 until 1965 he was in the German Air Force as a fighter pilot . He married Harriet Reich on 14 December 1962. They are the parents of two children. He did not serve as a missionary nor as a mission president. He served as a stake mission president, a high councilor, a stake missionary, a counselor in an elders quorum presidency, as a ward Young Men president, and as a stake president twice in Frankfurt and Manheim. On 2 April 1994 he was made a member of the second Quorum of Seventy. On 7 April 1996 he was called in to the First Quorum of Seventy and made a president on 15 August 2002. He was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve on 2 October 2004 and ordained an apostle on 7 October 2004 by President Gordon B. Hinckley. He was called as Second Counselor in the First Presidency on 3 February 2008. His hobbies include photography and astronomy.

Elder Boyd K. Packer was a teacher and an assistant administrator in the Church Educational System. He was born 10 September 1924 in Brigham City, Utah. During World War II from 1943 until 1946 he was a bomber pilot in the U.S. Air Force in the Pacific. He was involved in missionary work as a serviceman in Japan after the invasion and baptized a family. He did not serve a full-time mission. On the 27 July 1947 he married Donna Smith. They are the parents of ten children. He has an associate's degree from Weber State University, a bachelor and a master's degree in education from Utah State University, as well as a doctorate in education administration from Brigham Young University. He served a four-year term as a city councilman in Brigham City. He has served in the church as a teacher, assistant stake clerk, and high councilor. He was made an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve on 6 April 1970. From 1965 to 1968 while an Assistant to the Twelve he served as president of the New England Mission in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1970 as an Assistant to the Twelve he served as supervisor of the Franco-Belgian, Netherlands, French, French East, and South African missions. He was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve 6 April 1970, and ordained an apostle on 9 April 1970. He was made Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on 5 June 1994, and again on March 12, 1995. He became President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostle on 3 February 2008. He has carved and painted lifelike birds as a hobby for years and he likes to sketch and paint.

Elder L. Tom Perry was a business executive and vice president of a department store chain. He was born 5 August 1922 in Logan, Utah. From 1942 until 1944 he served a mission to the Northern States Mission, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Six weeks after returning he was drafted, he served in the marines at the end of World War II in the Pacific. He claims to have had double the baptisms in the Marine Corp then on his mission. He has a bachelor's degree in finance from Utah State University and did some graduate work there. He married Virginia Lee on 18 July 1947. She died 14 December 1974. He married Barbara Taylor Dayton on April 28, 1976. He served as first counselor in a bishopric in Lewiston, Idaho; counselor in a stake presidency in Sacramento, California; stake mission president and high councilor in the New York stake; president of the Boston stake. He did not serve as a mission president. On 6 October 1972 he was made an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve. On 11 April 1974 he was ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. In the 1990s he served as Chairman of the Church's Missionary Executive Committee. In 2004 President Gordon B. Hinckley assigned him to be over the European Area so Elder Perry moved to Frankfurt, Germany for two years. As a hobby he likes to walk and attend sporting events at the Y.

Elder Russell M. Nelson was an internationally renowned heart surgeon and medical researcher. He was director of the Thoracic Surgery Residency at the University of Utah and chairman of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City. He performed open heart surgery on Harold B. Lee and Spencer W. Kimball. He was born 9 September 1924 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He served in the Korean War in the U.S. Army on medical duty. He married Dantzel White on 31 August 1945. They are the parents of ten children. She died on 12 February 2005. He married Wendy Watson on 6 April 2006. He received his B.A. and M.D. degrees from the University of Utah (1945, 47) and a Ph.D from the University of Minnesota. He had several member missionary opportunities as a doctor. But he did not serve as a full-time missionary nor as a mission president. He did serve a local mission on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. He served in the Sunday School and the priests quorum, in bishoprics and on a high council, as a stake president, Sunday School general president, and as a regional representative of the Twelve twice. He was sustained on 7 April 1984 and ordained an apostle on 12 April 1984 by Gordon B. Hinckley. He likes to listen to music and go skiing on occasion.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks was a lawyer, law professor, president of Brigham Young University, and justice of the Utah Supreme Court. He was a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren. He argued cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and was noted legal scholar. He was born 12 August 1932 in Provo, Utah. He serve in the Utah National Guard at the time of the Korean War. He was married to June Dixon on 24 June 1952. They are the parents of six children. She died on July 21st, 1998. On August 25th, 2000 he married Kristen Meredith McMain. In 1954 he graduated in accounting from Brigham Young University and in 1957 he received a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. In 1961 he served for two years as a stake mission president for the Illinois Chicago Stake. He served as a stake president's counselor, and a regional representative. He did not serve as a full-time missionary nor as a mission president. He was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve on 7 April1984 and ordained on 3 May 1984. In 2002 as an apostle he personally moved to the Phillipines for two years to preside over the work there as the area president. He was the chairman of the Temple and Family History Exective Council. He likes to go fishing and camping.

Elder M. Russell Ballard was a businessman and owned a car dealership Ballard Motors, a few H. Salt Fish and Chips fast food franchises, real estate, and the Valley Playhouse. He was born 8 October 1928 in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1948 to 1950 he served as a full-time missionary in the British Mission. As a missionary, he served as a counselor to the president of the British Mission. He attended the University of Utah but did not graduate. He was married to Barbara Bowen on 21 August 1951. They are the parents of seven children. From 1951 to 1957 he served for six years in the U.S. Army Reserves. He has been a priest quorum advisor, a bishop twice and a high councilor in two stakes. From 1974 until 1977 he served as president of the Canada Toronto Mission, where he was serving when he was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in April of 1976. From 21 February 1980 to 6 October1985, he served as a member and a president of the First Quorum of Seventy. He was sustained a member of the Quorum of Twelve on 6 October 1985 and was ordained an apostle on 10 October 1985. He served as a member and chairman of the Church Executive Missionary Committee and was President of the International Mission. He was heavily involved in producing the Preach My Gospel and Sharing the Gospel manuals. He likes to golf, fish, and tinker around the house fixing broken things.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin worked in a family-owned grocery store. He was born 11 June 1917 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is an Eagle Scout. He played college football at the University of Utah where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in business management. He was married in 1941 to Elisa Young Rogers. They are the parents of eight children. She passed away in August 2006. From 1936 until 1939 he served a full-time mission to the Swiss-Austria Mission. He did not serve in the military during World War II. He served as a bishop. stake high councilor, stake president's counselor, a counselor in the General Sunday School presidency, Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve, and as a member and president of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He did not serve as a mission president. He was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve on 4 October 1986 and ordained on 9 October 1986. He likes to walk, read and hang out with his 46 grandchildren.

Elder Richard G. Scott was a nuclear engineer and consultant. He worked for Admiral Hyman G. Rickover for twelve years designing nuclear submarines for the military. He was born 7 November 1928 in Pocatello, Idaho. He served as a full-time missionary in Uruguay. He married Jeanene Watkins on 16 July 1953. She also served a mission to the Northwestern States. They are the parents of seven children. She died 15 May 1995. He graduated from George Washington University with a bachelor's in mechanical engineering and completed graduate studies equivalent to a doctorate in nuclear engineering at Oak Ridge School of Reactor Technology in Tennessee. He served as a president of a seventies quorum, as a stake clerk, a stake president's counselor and as a regional representative of the Twelve. From 1965 until 1969 he presided over the Argentina North Mission now the Argentina Cordoba Mission. He was called as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on 2 April 1977, and served as a member of the Presidency of that Quorum from 1 October 1983 until his call to the Twelve. As a Seventy he served as Managing Director of the Priesthood Department, then as Executive Administrator in Mexico and Central America living in Mexico City for three years. He also was Managing Director of the Genealogy (now Family History) Department and helped implement new technology. He was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on 1 October 1988 and ordained on 6 October 1988. As a hobby he likes to paint watercolors. listen to music and watch birds.

Elder Robert D. Hales was a business executive for several Fortune 500 companies including Gillette, PaperMate, Max Factor, and Hughes. He was president of Chesebrough-Ponds. He was born 24 August 1932 in New York City, New York. He did not serve a full-time mission. He has a bachelor's degree in communications and business from the University of Utah and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He married Mary Elene Crandall on 10 June 1953. In the 1950s he was a jet fighter pilot and intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force. He served as an elder's qourum president, a branch president's counselor, an early morning seminary teacher, a branch president three times, bishop three times (Weston, Massachusetts, Chicago, Illinois, Frankfurt, Germany) high councilor, a stake president’s counselor, first counselor in the Sunday School general presidency and a regional representative of the Twelve for five years. He was called on 4 April 1975 as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve. In April 1976 until 1985 he was a member of the First Quorum of Seventy. While a member of the Seventy from 1978 to 1979, Elder Hales served as president of the England London Mission. From 1985 until 1994 he was the Presiding Bishop of the Church. He was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 2 April 1994 and ordained an apostle on 7 April 1994. He likes to play the piano, golf and watch baseball or other sporting events.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland worked for the Church Educational System as teacher and institute director, dean of religious education at BYU, Commissioner of LDS Church Education and as president of Brigham Young University for nine years. He was born 3 December 1940 in St. George, Utah. He has a bachelor's degree in English from Brigham Young Unversity, a master's degree in religious studies from Brigham Young University and a master's and doctorate degree in American Studies from Yale University. From 1961 until 1963 he served a mission to the British Mission and served under Marion D. Hanks of the Seventy. He was a special trainer for other missionaries. His parents Fank and Alice Holland served as a missionary couple in the same mission at the same time later in his mission. He married Patricia Terry on 7 June 1963. He did not serve in the military. He served as a bishop of a singles ward in Seattle, a stake president's counselor three times, director of the Melchizedek Priesthood MIA, and a regional representative of the Twelve. On 1 April 1989 he was called as a member of the First Quorum of Seventy and served for five years. He was sustained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on 1 October 1994 and ordained earlier on 23 June 1994 by President Howard W. Hunter. For two years from 2002-2004 he lived in Chile and presided over the South American Area. He did not serve as a mission president. He likes to attend athletic events and spend time with his family.

Elder David A. Bednar was a college professor, a college dean, and president of BYU–Idaho for seven years. He worked at the University of Arkansas and Texas Tech University. He was born on 15 June 1952 in San Leandro, California. He served a mission to Germany. He is married to Susan Robinson. They are the parents of three children. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications and a master's degree in organizational communications from Brigham Young University. He receive a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Purdue University. He did not serve in the military. He has served as a bishop, counselor in a stake presidency, twice as a stake president, a regional representative of the Twelve, and as an area authority seventy. He did not serve as a mission president. He was ordained an apostle on 7 October 2004.



Elder Quentin L. Cook was a managing partner in a California law firm for twenty-seven years. He was vice chairman of Sutter Health System. He had previously served as president and chief executive officer of California Healthcare System. He volunteered as a city attorney for fourteen years in Hillsborough, California. He was born 8 September 1940 in Logan, Utah. He completed a bachelor's degree in political science at Utah State University and a juris doctorate degree from Stanford University. In 1960 until 1962 he served a mission in the British Mission. He was companions with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. He did not seve in the military. He was married to Mary Gaddie on 30 November 1962. They are the parents of three children. He served as a bishop, stake president, and stake president's counselor in a stake presidency to his older brother who was serving as stake president, a regional representative of the Twelve, and an area authority seventy. He served 15 years in the San Francisco Stake Presidency. He did not serve as a mission president. In April 1996 he was called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy and then in April 1998 to the First Quorum of the Seventy. He served in the Area Presidency in the Philippines, as president of the Pacific Islands and the North America Northwest Areas. Elder Cook has traveled around the world as a general authority, living in the Philippines for two years and the Pacific islands for another three while serving as president of the Pacific island area and a counselor in the Philippines/Micronesia Area Presidency. He served as president of the North America Northwest Area. During this time he served as the Executive Director of the Missionary Department and worked frequently with Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve. As Executive Director of the Church’s Missionary Department, he played an important role in developing the new missionary guide, Preach My Gospel. But Elder Cook takes no credit for it. “The hand of the Lord was in it right from day one,” he says. “Every single member of the First Presidency and the Twelve made incredible contributions.” He was called to the Presidency of the Seventy on 1 August 2007. Two months later he was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on 6 October 2007 and ordained an apostle on the same day. He likes to listen to music and watch sports and attend sporting events.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson was a lawyer. He worked in Washington, D.C., Nashville, Tennesse, Herndon, Virginia and Charlotte, North Carolina. He assisted Judge John J. Sirica in the Watergate proceedings and later spoke at his funeral. He has a bachelor's degree in English from Brigham Young University and a juris doctorate degree from Duke University School of Law. He was born 24 January 1945 in Pleasant Grove, Utah. When he was fifteen his father a veterinarian took a job in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He served a mission to the Argentina North Mission, now the Argentina Cordoba Mission. His mission presidents was Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve. Elder Scott remembers Elder Christofferson as “an exceptionally outstanding missionary whose devotion and capacities were evidence that he would have a life of unusual significance.” Elder Scott notes that this young elder was particularly disciplined, obedient, and hardworking, and that he demonstrated “a gentleness of spirit that blessed each of his companions and endeared him to his investigators and converts.” He is married to Katerine Jacob in 1968. They are the parents of five children. He served in the U.S. Army. He served as a bishop, stake president, and a regional representative of the Twelve. He did not serve as a mission president. In April 1993 he became a member of the First Quorum of Seventy. In August 1998 he was made a president of the First Quorum of Seventy. He served as the executive director of the Family and Church History Department of the LDS Church. He served over the U.S. Southeast area. From August 2007 until April 2008 he presided over the North America Northwest and the North America West areas and supervised the area authority seventies. He was ordained an apostle on 5 April 2008. He likes to watch and attend sports events.

If any information is not accurate please email me and I will correct it. I know the Lord can call whoever he wants.

8 comments:

Jack said...

Are you judging these men because they did not serve a mission or mission president? Times were different in what would have been their mission days. Money was not as easy then...there were wars then that they probably got involved in that were probably not their first choice. You seem to be saying that they should not be an apostle if they did not accomplish those two other options. Thankfully, the Lord thinks otherwise.

Dr. B said...

You have made a good point about some of this men and that fact the times were different back then. In today's world we now have passed forty years when it is a mandate for every worthy young man to serve a mission. Being a convert myself and joining the church I was near the beginning of this movement. I could have chosen not to serve but I felt President Kimball's enthusiasm for the work and went on a mission. I expect my leaders to be an example. I understand not serving during World War II and during the Korean Conflict for military restrictions. I even understand if a man converts and is already married. Luckily I don't have a problem with the men called in view of those things. I am just plain surprised that more weren't mission presidents.

Dan Knudsen said...

I remember someone in the last two Conferences talking about missionaries learning another language on their missions. Then he said that President Uchdorf had learned English on his mission. Did I hear wrong, or remember wrong?

Dr. B said...

Dan:

I tried to find what you said but I couldn't. I did find another source saying he was a stake missionary and mission president though. Thanks for peeking my interest. I like accuracy.

Dr. B said...

Dan:

I also found this entry.
The only thing I could find is from Russell M. Nelson, “President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: A Family Man, a Man of Faith, a Man Foreordained,” Ensign, Jul 2008, 16–23:

These parents and their children were sealed in the Swiss Temple in 1956. Since then, his brothers, Wolfgang and Karl-Heinz, have passed away. His sister, Christel Uchtdorf Ash, who served a mission in Germany, presently resides in Texas, in the southern United States.

Quentin said...

My favorite story about missionaries trying to serve during the Korean War comes from my second mission president. He did not make it into the lottery to be chosen to go on a mission during the Korean conflict. He married his wife and shortly after that the individual that was going to go decided against it. My MP's Bishop asked him if he would leave his pregnant wife and go. He accepted. He would see his wife and oldest son 2 and a half years later after his mission was complete. Later he and his wife would return to the mission to serve as Mission President.

Every time I think about it I am so impressed and amazed.

David B said...

Why in the world would not serving as a mission president be surprising? There aren't all that many missions, really, compared to the people eligible to be called to the Qot12.

My favorite factoid: One of the current members of the Qot12 never served as a full-time missionary, bishop, stake president, mission president, seventy, or member of the presiding bishopric before being called to the Qot12. So much for those who think that church leadership is like climbing a ladder...

Mike said...

It's not particularly surprising that 6 out of the 15 people listed served as mission presidents.

For starters, that comes out to 40%, which is significantly higher than among the population of LDS men at large.

In addition, I'd say from my observations that most mission presidents are called in their 50's. By comparison, among the 9 that you list as never having served as mission presidents:

Dallin Oaks, Tom Perry, David Bednar (Qo12) and Henry Eyring (PB) where all called to positions as GAs at about the age of 52.

Russell Nelson had been a regional rep before being called to the Qo12 at 59.

Todd Christofferson was called as a GA (Qo70) at 48.

Dieter Uchtdorf became a GA (Qo70) at 53.