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

Changes made in Presidency of the Seventy

Published: Saturday, Oct. 8, 2005

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Elder Neil L. Andersen and Elder Ronald A. Rasband were sustained to the Presidency of the Seventy Oct. 1, succeeding Elder David E. Sorensen and Elder John H. Groberg, who were given Emeritus General Authority status.

Copyright Intellectual Reserve
President Thomas S. Monson leads sustaining of General Authorities in Saturday afternoon session of conference.

Also given emeritus status were Elder F. Melvin Hammond, Elder Harold G. Hillam and Elder F. Burton Howard of the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy who were released were Elder Darwin B. Christenson, Elder Adhemar Damiani, Elder H. Aldridge Gillespie, Elder Stephen B. Oveson, Elder Ned B. Roueche and Elder Dennis E. Simmons. All have been called as temple presidents.

Called as an Area Seventy was Sione M. Fineanganofo, 63, of Tongatapu, Tonga, succeeding Pita R. Vamanrav, who died June 11, 2005. Jairo Mazzagardi, 58, of Vinhedo, Brazil, was released as an Area Seventy.

Neil L. Andersen
Elder Andersen, 54, who has supervisory responsibility for the Idaho Area, was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in April 1993. He has served as first counselor in the Sunday School general presidency, and various area presidencies. Before his call to the Seventy, he presided over the France Bordeaux Mission and was president of the Tampa Florida Stake.

Ronald A. Rasband
Elder Rasband, 54, who now supervises the North America West and North America Northwest areas, was called to the Seventy in April 2000. He has served as executive director of the Temple Department and in area presidencies. Prior to his call as a General Authority, he presided over the New York New York North Mission from 1996-1999 and served on the Member Missionary Advisory Committee and on the Church's Sesquicentennial Committee.

David E. Sorensen
Elder Sorensen, 72, served in the Presidency of the Seventy from August 1998 to August 2005. He was called to the Seventy in June 1992. Elder Sorensen served as executive director of the Temple Department and in area presidencies. He was president of the Canada Halifax Mission, stake president and stake president's counselor.

John H. Groberg
Elder Groberg, 71, served in the Presidency of the Seventy from April 2004 to August 2005, and in the First Quorum of the Seventy since April 1976. He served as first and second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency, in area presidencies and was assistant executive director of the Genealogical, Priesthood, and Curriculum departments. Prior to his call as a General Authority, he served as a regional representative, president of the Tonga Mission and bishop.

F. Melvin Hammond
Elder Hammond, 71, was called to the Seventy in April 1989. He has served as general president of the Young Men and in area presidencies. Prior to his call as a full-time Church leader, he served as president of the Bolivia Cochabamba Mission, stake president and bishop. A professor of religion at Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) in Rexburg, Idaho, he served eight terms in the Idaho state legislature, three as minority leader.

Harold G. Hillam
Elder Hillam, 71, was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in March 1990, and served in the Presidency of the Seventy from 1995 to 2000, and in area presidencies. Previous to his calling to the Seventy, he served as a regional representative, president of the Portugal Lisbon Mission, regional welfare agent, stake president, area welfare leader and stake president's counselor.

F. Burton Howard
Elder Howard, 72, was called to the Seventy in September 1978. He has served as assistant executive director of the Priesthood Department, second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency, chairman of the Military Relations Committee, in area presidencies, executive administrator of two areas in the United States and president of the Uruguay Montevideo Mission. Prior to his call to full-time Church service, Elder Howard was a special representative of the First Presidency in Latin American affairs, stake president and bishop.

Members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy each served in area presidencies as well as in other assignments.

Darwin B.Christenson
Elder Christenson, 70, was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy in April 2000. At the time of his call, he was the temple recorder at the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple. He served as president of the Brazil Sao Paulo North Mission, and was a member of the Church's Missionary Advisory Committee.

Adhemar Damiani
Elder Damiani, 65, was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy in April 1999. He is a former Area Seventy, president of the Brazil Curitiba Mission, counselor in the presidency of the Sao Paulo Missionary Training Center, regional welfare agent and stake president's counselor.

H. Aldridge Gillespie
Elder Gillespie, 70, was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy in April 2000. At the time of his call to the Seventy, he was president of the Mexico Tampico Mission and had served previously as a regional representative, patriarch and stake president.

Stephen B. Oveson
Elder Oveson, 69, was called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy in April 1999. He has served as assistant executive director of the Audiovisual and Priesthood departments. He a former president of the Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission.

Ned B. Roueche
Elder Roueche, 71, was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy in April 1998. Before his call to the Seventy, he was president of the Venezuela Barcelona Mission, a member of an advisory committee in the Missionary Department and stake president's counselor.

Dennis E. Simmons
Elder Simmons, 71, was called to the Seventy in April 1996. He served as assistant executive director of the Missionary and Audiovisual departments. He is a former Area Seventy, regional representative, president of the Washington D.C. North Mission and stake president.