Church News - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

New temple presidents

Published: Saturday, June 11, 2005

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Nine new temple presidents, all General Authorities, have been called by the First Presidency. They will begin their service in Nov. 1, 2005. These are the new presidents and matrons.

Elder Darwin B. and Sandra L. Christenson
Elder Darwin B. Christenson of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, 69, will serve as president of the Oakland California Temple, succeeding President Ernest O. Westover. Elder Christenson's wife, Sandra Joelene Lyon Christenson, will serve as temple matron. Elder Christenson, who was called to the Seventy in April 2000, served as president of the Brazil Sao Paulo North Mission, stake president's counselor, high councilor and bishop. He is a retired tax manager for the Church, served on the Idaho Tax Commission, and was recorder for the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple. He was born in Firth, Idaho, to Lars H. and Edith Olive Brough Christenson.

Sister Christenson is a former stake Relief Society president, ward Relief Society president counselor, teacher in the auxiliaries, and was active in educational organizations. She was born in Pocatello, Idaho, to Blaine MacLennan and Emma Smith Lyon.

Elder H. Aldridge and Virginia Gillespie
Elder H. Aldridge Gillespie of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, 70, will serve as president of the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple, succeeding H. Jerrell Chesney. His wife, Virginia Ann Larsen Gillespie, will serve as temple matron. Elder Gillespie, called to the Seventy in April 2000, is a former president of the Mexico Tampico Mission, regional representative, stake president and bishop. He is a former director of the U.S. Transportation Safety Institute. He was born in Riverside, Calif., to Lionel Aldridge and Amelia Eileen Baird Gillespie.

Sister Gillespie is a former ward Relief Society president and counselor, stake Relief Society president's counselor, and worker in the auxiliaries. She was born in Manti, Utah, to Lester Andreas and Clara Reynolds Larsen.

Jean and Elder John H. Groberg
Elder John H. Groberg of the Presidency of the Seventy, 70, has been called as president of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, succeeding President Newell K. Richardson. Elder Groberg's wife, Jean Sabin Groberg, will serve as temple matron. He has served in the Presidency of the Seventy since April 2004, and in the First Quorum since April 1976. He served as first and second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency, president of the Utah South Area, Asia Area, North America West Area, and counselor in five area presidencies. Prior to 1982, he was executive administrator of areas in the Pacific and the United States.

Sister Groberg, ward extraction director, has served as a teacher and officer in the auxiliaries in the ward and stake, and in Cub Scouting. She was born in Payson, Utah, to Merrill Rex and Marie Elizabeth Huber Sabin.

Elder Harold G. and Carol Hillam
Elder Harold G. Hillam of the First Quorum of the Seventy, 70, has been called to serve as president of the Boise Idaho Temple, succeeding Elder J Richard Clarke, serving as interim president. Elder Hillam's wife, Carol Lois Rasmussen Hillam, will serve as temple matron. Elder Hillam, called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in April 1991, to the Second Quorum of the Seventy in March 1990 and to the Presidency of the Seventy from 1995-2000, is president of the Europe West Area. He is a former Sunday School general president, regional representative, president of the Portugal Lisbon Mission, stake president and counselor. He is a retired orthodontist. He was born in Sugar City, Idaho, to Gordon Rodney and Florence Evelyn Skidmore Hillam.

Sister Hillam is a former stake and ward Relief Society and Young Women president's counselor, choir director, accompanist, and guest speaker for youth conferences. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Carl A. and Rose Zimmerman Rasmussen.

Elder F. Melvin Hammond of the First Quorum of the Seventy, 71, has been called to preside over the Washington D.C. Temple, succeeding J. Edward Scholz. Elder Hammond's biography and photo will be published in next week's Church News.

Caroline and Elder F. Burton Howard
Elder F. Burton Howard of the First Quorum of the Seventy, 72, has been called as president of the Madrid Spain Temple, succeeding President David W. Doxey. Elder Howard's wife, Caroline Heise Howard, will serve as temple matron. Elder Howard, sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy in September 1978, served as a counselor in the Sunday School general presidency. He is a former president of the Uruguay Montevideo Mission, and stake president, and was special representative for the First Presidency in Latin American affairs. He is an attorney and former chief counsel for the Utah Tax Commission. He was born in Logan, Utah, to Fred P. and Beatrice Ward Howard.

Sister Howard is a former Primary and Young Women president and stake Young Women camp director, and area general board representative. She was born in Garfield, Utah, to Edwin Fredrick and Enid Catherine Ottley Warner Heise.

Elder Ned B. and JoAnn Roueche
Elder Ned B. Roueche of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, 70, has been called as president of the Mexico City Mexico Temple, succeeding President Jerald L. Taylor. Elder Roueche's wife, JoAnn Sheffield Roueche, will serve as temple matron. Elder Roueche, who was called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy in April 1998, is a former member of the Church Missionary Department Advisory Committee, president of the Venezuela Barcelona Mission, stake president's counselor, high councilor and bishop. He was field engineering manager for IBM. He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Leonard C. and Ruth Lee Roueche.

Sister Roueche is a former Primary president, counselor in the Relief Society and Young Women, and temple ordinance worker. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Kenneth Heber and Lucile Beck Sheffield.

Carolyn and Elder Dennis E. Simmons
Elder Dennis E. Simmons of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, 70, has been called as president of the Logan Utah Temple, succeeding President Vaughn J Featherstone. Elder Simmons' wife, Carolyn Thorpe Simmons, will be temple matron. Elder Simmons, called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy in April 1996, is a former Area Authority, president of the Washington D.C. North Mission, regional representative, stake president and counselor, bishop and temple sealer. He is a retired senior partner in a law firm. He was born in Beaver Dam, Utah, to Thomas Yates and Sylvia Ericksen Simmons.

Sister Simmons is a former Primary and Relief Society president, stake Relief Society president's counselor, and Young Women president's counselor. She was born in Logan Utah, to Joseph Derle Sr. and Elizabeth Baugh Thorpe.

Verla and Elder David E. Sorensen
Elder David E. Sorensen of the Presidency of the Seventy, 71, has been called to preside over the San Diego California Temple, succeeding President Alvin G. Clawson. Elder Sorensen's wife, Verla Anderson Sorensen, will serve as temple matron. He was executive director of the Temple Department, president of the North America West Area and Asia North Area and second counselor in the Asia and Utah South areas, and was president of the Canada Halifax Mission, stake president and bishop. He was born in Aurora, Utah, to Alma and Metta Helquist Sorensen.

Sister Sorensen is a former officer and teacher in the auxiliaries and served on a board of education. She was born in Manti, Utah, to Leslie James and Iris Denison Anderson.