Sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 1, Elder W. Craig Zwick, who had worked more than 20 years in the construction industry, is humbled by the opportunity to help build the kingdom of the Lord on earth. Elder Zwick, 47, sees the act of building as a metaphor of life.
During an interview he and his wife, Jan, had with the Church News, he referred to a scripture found in the Book of Mormon: "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." (Hel. 5:12.)Elder Zwick said: "No matter how architecturally beautiful the building, unless it has a solid foundation, it cannot withstand destructive elements. Likewise, our lives must be firmly built upon faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to withstand the inevitable challenges of life."
During 25 years of marriage, Elder and Sister Zwick have recognized a dependency upon the Savior in all aspects of their lives. They expressed gratitude for his opportunity to serve as a member of the Seventy.
Elder Zwick was born June 30, 1947, in Salt Lake City, a son of William E. and Audrey McDonough Zwick. He and his twin sister were the first of five children. He credits his father with his early desires to begin a career in construction. "He taught me valuable lessons of integrity, hard work and attention to detail," Elder Zwick said.
In addition to building hospitals, schools and other commercial buildings, he was responsible for construction of the Church's Visitors Center South on Temple Square, the Museum of Church History and Art, the Family History Library, the Portland Oregon Temple, and for the renovation of the Manti Temple in Utah.
He left private business to serve in the public sector in 1993 when Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt named him executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation.
Elder Zwick now turns his attention to full-time service in the Church. Twice before, he has devoted his time and attention to the details in building the gospel kingdom: He served in the Argentine North Mission from 1967-1969, and as president of the Chile Santiago South Mission from 1989-92.
His first mission helped shape his commitment to gospel principles as well as the direction of his career in the construction business. As a missionary, Elder Zwick helped build a small chapel in Quiriza, a remote village in southern Bolivia. He said of that experience: "I loved the humble Bolivian people. Their deep faith in the Savior and their goodness to each other will forever serve as a fine example in my life. It was such a privilege to serve with them.
"All of the adobe bricks for the chapel were hand made. We brought the materials - the cement, lumber, glass and plaster - on burros over a very rough mountain pass. Building that chapel was a marvelous, bonding experience for the members and the missionaries involved."
Elder Zwick compared how he felt when the adobe chapel was completed in Bolivia to his emotions when the Portland Oregon Temple was finished. "The feeling of appreciation was the same," he declared. "There was an equal sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. The Spirit can reside in the glow of a candle in a humble home as well as under a beautiful chandelier in a temple."
Upon returning from his mission, Elder Zwick renewed his acquaintance with Janet (Jan) Johnson; they were married in the Salt Lake Temple Nov. 21, 1969. They have four children: Scott, 23; Jennifer (Mrs. John) Eyring, 22; Darin, 18; and Spencer, 15.
"We had a quick romance, and we had a wonderful, clear knowledge that it was right," Elder Zwick said. "My eternal companion has wonderful qualities which exceed my own in every meaningful way. She is the peacemaker in our home. She is the one who brings stability and a spiritual base to everything we do. I have such an abiding love for her. It's true that we are best friends; in a real sense, there is a dependency on one another that I so richly appreciate. She has a softness about her that is like a fresh flower, just delicate and beautiful and forever giving. She is the most selfless person I know."
Sister Zwick said she and Elder Zwick corresponded only once while he was on his mission. "We had been really close friends but had lost track of each other when we had gone to college," she said. "When my younger sister, Carolyn, passed away suddenly, I received a comforting letter from him. That marked the beginning of our wonderful relationship."
Sister Zwick commented about the "happy home where peace and the Spirit of the Lord will reign" that Elder Zwick long ago decided he wanted to create for his family. "He has provided a caring environment where trust and support have been the anchor," she said. "He always thinks first of my needs or the needs of our children before he thinks of himself. He is very unselfish. Whether it's a rose he brings me or a letter he writes to the children, he is able to express his love openly. He has regular personal interviews with each of the children. They look forward to sitting down and talking with him about things that are happening in their lives. He supports them in their worthy desires. He teaches them correct principles and then trusts them to make good decisions."
Elder and Sister Zwick spoke of turning points in their lives, those experiences that prompted them to re-evaluate goals and priorities and that, in the end, have strengthened them.
One of the significant turning points was the birth of their first child, Scott, who is mentally disabled. "His sensitive, Christlike spirit and love for everyone has taught our family many important principles," Sister Zwick said. "Because of him, we have a deeper love for the Savior and a better understanding of what really matters in life. Each of our children has brought a unique dimension of love into our home. We are so grateful that the Lord has trusted us with their care."
Living in Chile while Elder Zwick was a mission president was another experience that provided the family opportunities to grow. Elder Zwick said, "Our family expanded to include each of our missionaries and the wonderful people of Chile. We loved them and felt a closeness to each of them, and are eternally grateful for the lessons of life they shared with us."
Sister Zwick commented on important values the family learned: "The experiences we had while serving our mission helped teach our children, and remind us, that we don't need a lot of things to be happy. The gospel is what provides real happiness."
Elder Zwick gives credit to his parents for his love of the gospel. "My mother's side of the family goes back in Church history to Hyrum Smith," he said. "My father was a convert to the Church when he was 17, residing here in Utah. His family came out of Zwickau, East Germany, migrated to Canada and became interested in the railroad. They moved west, into Southern California and back into Utah. My father, the first on his side of the family to join the Church, was taught and baptized by stake missionaries who lived in his ward in the Sugar House Stake in Salt Lake City.
"He joined the Church because he knew the Book of Mormon was true. His strong testimony has been a great example to me. He's a very close friend. Just a few days after I was called to the Quorum of the Seventy, he gave me a father's blessing, which was a wonderful experience.
"The chance to be a member of the Seventy, to be a witness of the Savior throughout the world, is a very humbling challenge that I accept with deep gratitude. Recognizing that the call came from the Lord, I express gratitude to Him. I pledge to my family and to members throughout the world that I will do my very best, recognizing that with each challenge comes greater qualification to serve. I know that the Savior lives and that He loves us, and that He's aware of our weaknesses and our strengths, and that He will fortify us in every meaningful way as we seek guidance from Him. That's what I intend to do in this calling."
Elder W. Craig Zwick
Family: Born June 30, 1947, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to William E. and Audrey McDonough Zwick. Married Janet Johnson Nov. 21, 1969, in the Salt Lake Temple; parents of four children: Scott, 23; Jennifer (Mrs. John) Eyring, 22; Darin, 18; and Spencer, 15.
Education: Received bachelor of science degree in business management with emphasis in finance from the University of Utah.
Military: Served six years in Air Force Reserve, Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
Church service: Currently a home teacher in the Monument Park 12th Ward, Salt Lake Monument Park North Stake, and recently released as priests quorum adviser; former counselor in stake mission presidency; stake Young Men president; member of three bishoprics and two stake high councils; president of the Chile Santiago South Mission from 1989-1992; missionary in the Argentine North Mission from 1967-1969.