Thursday, December 4, 2008

Blood is Thicker than Water

I have often heard that blood is thicker than water. My mission president M. Russell Ballard once told me that it was no accident that children of general authorities were often called to significant church positions since they watched their general authority relatives govern and preside in the church. He told me children born into such families had believing blood. I have never had a real problem with the concept.

Just for fun I thought it would be interesting to trace the leadership positions held by the children and the spouses of the current members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The Church News reports stake presidencies, mission presidencies and general authorities. They don't report bishops so I couldn't track those. I included Joseph B. Wirthlin even though he passed on since he hasn't been replaced yet.

I might uncover some interesting facts. I may miss a few since some guard the names of their children in print. I used a public records site which was free to track down some missing names I might have one or two errors. Sometimes I made a guess. So let me know if I missed any or if there are any corrections. A unique contribution of this post is that we have the names all in one place for future updating and checking. It took me around ten hours to ferret this out. You might consider this like the old This People Magazine as we follow the lives of the elect and righteous. I found it fascinating!

President Thomas S. Monson (mission president Greater Canadian Mission)

None of President Monson's three children Thomas Lee Monson (Patrice A. Dalin), Clark Spencer Monson or Ann Frances Monson (Roger) Dibb or their spouses have served as mission president. In April 2008 Ann Monson Dibbs was called as the second counselor in the general Young Women's presidency. In 2003 Roger Dibb served as a stake president counselor in the Salt Lake Mount Olympus Stake. He has been fighting with cancer which has been in remission. Thomas L. Monson works as a lawyer for Kirton and McConkie in S.L.C. and his son Clark is a geography professor at BYU.

President Henry B. Eyring

Henry B. Eyring and Kathleen Johnson are the parents of five children: Henry Johnson (Kelly Ann Call) Eyring, Stuart Johnson Eyring, Matthew Johnson(Amy Rebecca Froerer) Eyring, John Bennion () Eyring, Elizabeth Eyring and Mary Kathleen Eyring. In 2003-2006 his son Henry Johnson Eyring served as mission president in the Japan Tokyo North Mission. In December 2007 he was called as stake president in the BYU-Idaho 6th (Single Student) Stake. His other three sons and two daughters nor their spouses have served as mission presidents. His son Matthew J. Eyring was called as an Area Seventy and is in the Sixth Quorum of Seventy. He previously served in 2003 as second counselor in the Boston Massachusetts Stake. Jennifer (Jenny) Zwick daughter of W. Craig Zwick is married to John B. Eyring son of Henry B. Eyring. I haven't discovered the names of his other children yet.

Mission Information

Henry Johnson Eyring, 39, Foxhill Ward, North Salt Lake Utah Stake; bishop; former counselor in bishopric, Primary teacher, high councilor, high priests group leader and elders quorum president. Partner in financial firm. Born in Palo Alto, Calif., to Henry Bennion and Kathleen Johnson Eyring. Married Kelly Ann Child, four children.

A Relief Society teacher, she is a former counselor in Young Women presidency, counselor in Primary presidency, Primary teacher and Primary president. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Ray Miller and Anna Mae Richmond Child.("New Mission Presidents," Church News [Saturday, 8 February 2003]).

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Harriet Reich are the parents of two children: Guido (Carolyn Waldner) Uchtdorf and Antje Uctdorf (David A.) Evans. Antje, is married to David A. Evans. Guido serves as bishop of the Wetzikon Ward of the St. Gallen Switzerland Stake. He married Carolyn Waldner from Basel, Switzerland. They are parents of three children: Jasmin, age seven; Robin, age five; and Niklas Ivan, age one. So far neither child nor their spouse has served as a mission president. Antje and David have three sons: twins, Daniel and Patrick, and Eric. They live in Darmstadt, Germany. David A. Evans should not be confused with David F. Evans of the Seventy.

Elder Boyd K. Packer (mission president New England States Mission Boston, Massachusetts)

Elder Packer and his Donna Edith Smith Packer are the parents of ten children: Allan, Kenneth, David, Laurel, Russell, Spencer, Gayle, Kathleen, Lawrence, and Eldon. In 2008 his daughter Kathleen's husband David John Bullock and in 2001 his son Allan F. Packer were called as mission presidents. His son Allan F. Packer was subsequently called to First Quorum of Seventy in April 2008. In 1994 he was second counselor in the stake presidency of the Sandy Utah Cottonwood Creek Stake and served under William Russell Walker of the First Quorum of the Seventy. His daughter Gayle Ann Packer is married to David L. Kezerian. On 22 May 2002 Kezerian was made first counselor in stake presidency of the Sandy Utah Cottonwood Creek Stake.

Mission Information
David John Bullock, 52, England Manchester Mission; Littleton 5th Ward, Littleton Colorado Stake; high priest group instructor; former high councilor, bishop, stake executive secretary, elders quorum president and missionary in the Sweden Stockholm Mission. Retired chief executive officer, ING Funds Distributor. Born in Boise, Idaho, to Harry Cliffe and Lavaughn Marion Hunter Bullock. Married Kathleen Amelia Packer, five children.

A stake Relief Society president, Sister Bullock is a former stake and ward Primary president and ward Relief Society and Young Women president. Born in American Fork, Utah, to Boyd Kenneth and Donna Edith Smith Packer. ("New Mission Presidents," Church News [Saturday, 24 May 2008].)

Allan Forrest Packer, 52, Forest Bend Ward, Sandy Utah Cottonwood Creek Stake; will preside over the Spain Malaga Mission; vice president of Info Systems and Technology; graduated with bachelor's degree in information systems from Brigham Young University; born in Brigham City, Utah, to Boyd Kenneth and Donna Edith Smith Packer. Married Terri Anne Bennett; eight children. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from Brigham Young University; born in Provo, Utah, to ElDean and Maralin Payne Bennett. ("New Mission Presidents," Church News [Saturday, 10 March 2001].)
Elder L. Tom Perry

L. Tom Perry and Virginia Lee (she died December 1974) are the parents of three children Barbara (Terry Haws; she died March 1983); Lee (Carolyn Bench), and Linda Gay (Michael G. Nelson). Since April 1976 he is remarried to Barbara Taylor Dayton. From 2005-2008 his son Lee Tom Perry served in the California Roseville Mission. He previously served as stake president in the Brigham Young University 3rd Stake from 24 March 1991 until 20 March 1994.

Mission Information
Lee Tom Perry, 53; California Roseville Mission; Canyon View 8th Ward, Orem Utah Canyon View Stake; former stake president, high councilor and missionary in the Japan West Mission. Associate dean of the Marriott School of Management at BYU. Born in Logan, Utah, to L. Tom and Virginia Clare Lee Perry. Married Carolyn Bench, six children. ("New Mission Presidents," Church News [Saturday, 26 February 2005].)

Russell M. Nelson

Russell M. Nelson and Dantzel White are the parents of ten children: Marsha McKellar Workman (member of Tabernacle Choir), Wendy (Norman Maxfield), Gloria (Richard A. Irion), Brenda (Richard Miles) , Sylvia (DavidWebster) , Emily (Bradley EarlWittmer; she died 29 January 1995), Laurie (William Marsh) , Rosalie (Michael Ringwood) , Majorie Helsten, and Russell M. Nelson Jr. Wendy Maxfield's husband Norman Albert Maxfield was made a second counselor in the Salt Lake Brighton Stake (6 January 2008). Sylvia and her husband David R. Webster served in the Brazil Curitiba Mission from 2004-2007. On 20 August 2000 Webster was made the second counselor in the Bountiful Utah Orchard Stake. From 2004-2007 Rosalie's husband Michael Tally Ringwood was mission president in the Korea Seoul West Mission . On 13 April 2003 he was made a second counselor in the stake presidency of the Salt Lake University 5th Stake. On 2 March 2008 he became stake president of the Salt Lake University (Student Married) Stake.

Mission Information
Michael Tally Ringwood, 45, Cottonwood Heights 7th Ward, Salt Lake Cottonwood Heights Stake; counselor in stake presidency; former high councilor, ward Young Men president, bishop and missionary in the Korea Seoul Mission. Chief operating officer of Close to My Heart. Born in Provo, Utah, to Howard Lee and Sharon Lee Burt Ringwood. Married Rosalie Nelson, five children.

A ward enrichment leader, she is a former stake Primary music leader, ward Young Women and Primary president and counselor in ward Relief Society and Primary presidencies. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Russell Marion and Dantzel White Nelson. ("New Mission Presidents," Church News [Saturday, 7 February 2004]).

David Reed Webster Sr., 49; Brazil Curitiba Mission; Bridlewood Ward, Bountiful Utah Orchard Stake; counselor in a stake presidency; former high councilor, bishop, ward Young Men president, Primary teacher and missionary in the Portugal Mission. Owner and partner of Western States Lodging. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Reed Johnson and Norma Christensen Webster. Married Sylvia Nelson, seven children.

A counselor in a ward Relief Society presidency, she is a former ward Young Women and Primary president, ward Relief Society secretary, choir director and Young Women adviser. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Russell Marion and Dantzel White Nelson. ("New Mission Presidents," Church News [Saturday, 17 April 2004].)

Dallin H. Oaks

Dallin H. Oaks and June Dixon (she died 21 July 1998) have six children: Sharmon Ward, Cheri Lynn Ringer, Lloyd D. Oaks, Dallin D. Oaks, TruAnn Boulter, and Jenny June Baker. On 25 August 2000, he married Kristen M. McMain in the Salt Lake Temple

M. Russell Ballard (mission president Canada Toronto Mission)

M. Russell Ballard and his wife Barbara Bowen are the parents of seven children: Clark Russell (Leanna Spjut), Holly (Paul Naylor Clayton), Meleea (David Wayne Roper), Tamara (Bradford James Brower), Stacy(Hal Crawford), Byrnn (Peter Riley Huntsman), and Craig Bowen (Melissa Garff). So far none of his seven children or their spouses have been called as mission presidents. As I was tracing this I discovered my old mission president Elder Ballard called his son-in-law David W. Roper (Meleea Ballard) in 1996 as a stake president in the Sioux City Iowa Stake which was split from the Sioux Falls South Dakota Stake where in 1993 Roper was called as stake president in the Sioux Falls South Dakota Stake where he served until 1999 then moved to Salt Lake City, so he served twice in two different stakes.

In 2004 his son-in-law Bradford James Brower (Tamara Ballard) was called as stake president in the North Salt Lake Utah Stake. I had served with Brad Brower in the Canada Toronto Mission from 1975-1977 where he was a mission assistant. In a tribute to her dad she said:
Daughter Tamara Brower said the man who became her husband was an assistant to Elder Ballard when he presided over the mission headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. "My dad knew I thought Elder Brower was a pretty neat guy, and my dad thought Elder Brower was a pretty neat guy," she said. She recalled that a few days before the family left to come home "we were driving down the street and he said, 'I told Elder Brower that you thought he was pretty neat and that you wanted him to write to you.' And I absolutely fell apart. He had this grin on his face like he was enjoying every moment of this torture. . . . Of course, he didn't really say it like that, but he knew it would get my goat."

Joseph B. Wirthlin

Joseph B. Wirthlin (died 1 December 2008) and Elisa Young Rogers (died 16 August 2006) are the parents of eight children: Jane W. (John) Parker, Joseph B. (Kathleen Rich) Wirthlin, Jr.; Ann W. (Kent) Farnsworth, Madeline Wirthlin Cole (Michael Dean) Stover, Rebecca W. (Bryan Reed) Gerritsen, Carol W. (Scott) Ward, Katherine Cannon (Douglas D.) Anderson, and Elisabeth W. (Daniel) McConkie.

His daughter Elisabeth's husband Daniel Stoddard McConkie was made a second counselor in the Salt Lake City Monument Park North Stake on 21 June 2003. His daughter Rebecca Rogers husband Bryan Reed Gerritsen was made a second counselor in the North Ogden Utah Stake on 25 August 2002.

In 1990 his daughter Ann's husband Kent Walker Farnsworth served as a stake president's counselor under Richard Hinckley (son of Gordon B. Hinckley now a member of First Quorum of Seventy). From 2004-2007 he was mission president of the Florida Orlando Mission.

In September 2008 his daughter Ann B. Farnsworth was made a second counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency of the LDS Church.

• Ann W. Farnsworth, 63, Arlington Hills Ward, Emigration Utah Stake; bachelor's degree in elementary education from University of Utah; daughter of Joseph B. and Elisa R. Wirthlin; married Kent Farnsworth; elementary school teacher (three years), full-time homemaker; former ward missionary, Relief Society and Primary teacher, ward Young Women adviser and counselor, accompanied her husband while he served as president of the Florida Orlando Mission.
Mission Information
Kent Walker Farnsworth, 60, Arlington Hills Ward, Salt Lake Emigration Stake; former Aaronic Priesthood adviser, counselor in stake presidency, high councilor, bishop and missionary in Cumorah Mission. Physician. Born in Cedar City, Utah, to Reed White and Ethel Walker Farnsworth. Married Ann Rogers Wirthlin, four children.

A ward missionary, she is a former ward Relief Society president, Young Women adviser, Relief Society and Primary teacher. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Joseph Bitner and Elisa Young Rogers Wirthlin. ("New Mission Presidents,"Church News [Saturday, 31 January 2004].)

Richard G. Scott (mission president Argentina North Mission Cordoba, Argentina)

Richard G. and Jeanene Watkins Scott have seven children (five living): Mary Lee (Bruce N. Call) , Kenneth Watkins, Linda (Monte Mickle), David M. (Debra Reynolds) and Michael Watkins.

Robert D. Hales (mission president England London Mission 1978-1979)

Robert D. Hales and Mary Elene Crandall are the parents of two children: Stephen Crandall Hales and David Maloy (Minoy Dore McCormick) Hales. David Maloy Hales was made a second counselor in the Ogden Utah West Stake on 27 January 2008.

Jeffrey R. Holland

Jeffrey R. Holland and Patricia Terry are the parents of three children: Matthew Scott (Paige Bateman) Holland, Mary Alice (Lee McCann), and David Frank (Jeanne Hansen) Holland. I couldn't find any leadership positions for any of his children nor their spouses.

David A. Bednar

David A. Bednar and Susan Kae Robinson are the parents of three sons: Eric David (Francine Ruby Cole) Bednar, Michael (Charlotte Hintze) and Jeffrey Scott Bednar. I couldn't find any leadership positions for his children nor their spouses.

Quentin L. Cook

Quentin L. Cook and Mary Gaddie are the parents of three children: Kathryn (Larry) Knight, Troy Alan (Jenny Corrin Thueson) Cook and Joseph Vernon (Autumn C. Foster) Cook. I couldn't find any leadership position for his children nor their spouses. I did find one for his brother. From 2001 until 2004 his brother Joseph Vernon Cook was called as a mission president in the Pennslyvania Philadelphia Mission.

Mission Information
Joseph Vernon Cook, 65, Brush Creek Ward, Santa Rosa California Stake; chief medical officer of Health Plan of Redwoods; received bachelor's degree in English from Utah State University and medical doctor degree from the University of Utah; born in Brigham City, Utah, to Joseph Vernon and Cleo Bernice Kimball Cook. Married Nancy Louise Carlson; three children. She earned a bachelor's degree from Utah State University in English; born in Logan, Utah, to John and Ina Elvina Sorensen Carlson.

D. Todd Christofferson

D. (David) Todd Christofferson and Katherine Thelma Jacob are the parents of five children: Todd Andrew (Rainey Cardon), Brynn Katherine (Thomas Fred) Nufer; Peter Dewitt (Brenda G. Christie); Ryan Paul (Lindsey K. Kennedy) and Michael David Christofferson. I couldn't find any leadership positions for them or their spouses.


S.Faux said...

Dr. B:

You are way too good at finding information. Since the beginning (1830) the hierarchy has consisted of coalitions of kin. It makes for fascinating study.

Anonymous said...

Fwiw, your info for the Farnsworths is a little off. Karl Webb was mission president of the Frankfurt mission from 2005-2008. He was my mission pres. I can't remember the name of the pres before him, but it wasn't Farnsworth.

Dr. B said...

Good catch. I looked it up again he was in Florida Orlando.

Clean Cut said...

Holy cow, that must have taken quite awhile to compile all of this! Interesting though. I wonder how many of these general authority relatives have blogs of their own.

One quick thing, though. You said that President Monson's son Clark works as an attorney in Salt Lake, but he was my geography professor at BYU and last time I checked he was still a professor at BYU. Perhaps it's his other son that's the attorney?

Dr. B said...

Clean Cut:

Thanks I had that backwards. I plan on doing an interesting post on Kirton and McConkie lawyers as I have discovered most end up mission presidents.

John Mansfield said...

This is an interesting compilation. I suspect legacies of service like this are not limited to General Authorities. For example, my wife's grandmother had four children. At one point, both of her sons and one of her two sons-in-law were simultaneously serving as stake presidents. They lived in three separate states, with no connection between the callings, and no General Authority relatives back at headquarters.

Anonymous said...

This is a great amount of information, but there's a whole heck of a lot more! Look at Temple Presidents too, and you'll find a TON. For example, Pres. Dallin Oaks' brother is presiding at the WQT. Also, there are a lot of relations between GA's, ie Gordon BITNER Hinckly and Joseph BITNER Worthin, Richard BITNER Wirthlin, and David BITNER Wirthlin.

You really have to go back to 1830 to see the entire familial connections emerge. Also, don't discount the WOMEN, who are extremely important connectors. Here are a few:

*Kimball-Erying, *McConkie-Fielding-Smith, *Hunstman-Haight-Maxwell, *Ballard-(Hyrum) Smith
*Ashton- McKay (Marvin O's)
*Ezra A and Ezra T Bensons
*Richards- Covey
*Grant-(Joseph) Smith

Also I'd be interested to see the last names and relations in the church office bldg, in the women's auxiliaries, at BYU, published authors at Deseret Book, Church publications, major Mormon corridor industries (ie Geneva Steel,WordPerfect,Novel,NuSkin, Tahitian Noni,, Browning Guns, AmeriTech Library systems, U of U Med Ctr, Primary Children's and IHC, Morton Thiokol, Huntsman Chemical, Kennecott, U of Phoenix, 1-800 Contacts, various legal firms in Az, NV, CA, ID, MT,etc.) and not to be forgotten- GA's wives.

You've got a good start, but you've just scratched the surface!

Anonymous said...

Oh, one more thing--
take a look at the POLITICIANS too! Having a family name really helps!

Anonymous said...

Nice work. Vern G. Swanson has an interesting theory of why this is.

Anonymous said...

It's odd to see my name on this list of relatives.

I'm sure like me, most relatives of general authorities just try to live productive lives, raise their kids, and aren't looking to follow in anyone's footsteps except the Savior's.

Whether relatives are more likely to say "Yes" to whatever calls come isn't really something I can tell.

Dr. B said...


You raise some good points about relatives of general authorities. I personally don't have any problem with the idea that they have believing blood. There are some positive aspects to seeing how the gospel and administrative side of the church run by having access to those with inclinations those ways.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Clark Monson is a stake President at a BYU student stake.

Anonymous said...

Under Elder Perry, you stated that his son's name is Lee Tom Perry Jr. This would be incorrect since Elder Perry's first name is Lowell, not Lee.

Marshall said...

The whole concept of "believing blood" is unavoidably racist. It is false doctrine.

kjco said...

Marshall: whether or not it is false doctrine has nothing to do w/race? How in the world did you read that into it?
What happens when the children of ga's/area authorities in Asia, South America, Africa, etc. also are called to responsible positions because they were born into believing families???

It is already happening...are they "racist" too? Their bonds as a family who stands for something cannot be called "believing blood"?