President Thomas S. Monson stepped down from his position as chairman of the Deseret News Publishing Co. - the company which publishes the Church News - May 8 after 48 years of service as an employee, officer, director and chairman. He first joined the board in May 1965 and served as chairman for 19 years.
On Jan. 18 of this year the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve issued a statement, noting that Church growth is placing greater demands upon General Authorities and suggesting that they withdraw from membership on the boards of Church-owned corporations, as well as those of a public and private nature."The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is now established in more than 150 nations and political entities. . . ," the statement said. "With this growth comes an ever increasing responsibility for the world-wide supervision of the work and the training of local leadership. This is placing greater demands upon the General Authorities of the Church.
"The primary call of a General Authority is his ecclesiastical responsibility," the statement continued. "Except for family responsibilities, all others are secondary to this."
General Authorities were counseled to avoid sudden disruption on the boards by the release of a number at one time. The statement proposed that those involved would continue until the next regular annual meetings of the corporations with which they were associated.
During the annual meeting of the Deseret News Publishing Co., President Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency, turned the chair over to L. Glen Snarr, vice chairman of the EvansGroup, a Salt Lake-based advertising and public relations agency, who has served as a Deseret News board member for 18 years.
Also leaving the board was President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency. He served as vice chairman and a director for 25 years. Others leaving the board were Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve and a board member for 19 years; Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve, who served 16 years on the board; and Marie Hafen, a director for two years and wife of Elder Bruce C. Hafen, who was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 6.
Elder Victor L. Brown, who died March 26, also had been a member of the board for 28 years.
Robert H. Bischoff, a member of the board for 19 years, is remaining as a director, and Wm. James Mortimer continues as president and publisher of the Deseret News.
The six new directors are Joseph A. Cannon, chairman and chief executive officer of Geneva Steel; Ellis R. Ivory, chief executive officer of Ivory Homes; Ardeth G. Kapp, author, educator and former general president of the Young Women; Dale A. Kimball, Salt Lake attorney; H.E. "Bud" Scruggs, chairman and chief executive officer of Leucadia Film Corp; and R.J. Snow, BYU advancement vice president.