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Mormon church names new seventies, Primary presidency

SALT LAKE CITY — Seven general authorities, 43 area authority seventies and a new Primary General Presidency have been added to the leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The new leaders were called by the First Presidency and sustained in the Saturday afternoon session of the LDS Church's general conference.

Four were called to the First Quorum of the Seventy: Elders Kevin R. Duncan, Washington, Washington County; Gerrit W. Gong, Provo; Patrick Kearon, Somerset, England; and Juan A. Uceda, Clifton, N.J.

Called to serve in the Second Quorum of the Seventy are Elders Larry R. Lawrence, Clovis, Calif.; Per G. Malm, Goteborg, Sweden; and Jairo Mazzagardi, Vinheldo, Brazil.

Members of those two quorums serve throughout the world under the direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, and their service sometimes includes executive responsibilities in church departments.

Members of the First Quorum of the Seventy usually serve until age 70.

Called as the new Primary General Presidency were Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, general president; and Sisters Jean A. Stevens and Cheryl A. Esplin as first counselor and second counselor, respectively.

Sister Cheryl C. Lant, the previous Primary general president, and her counselors, Sisters Margaret S. Lifferth and Vicki F. Matsumori, were released after a five-year tenure.

First Quorum of the Seventy

Elder Duncan, 49, had been serving as an Area Authority Seventy in the Utah South Area and was previously an associate international legal counsel in South America and president of the Chile Santiago North Mission. He began his professional career as an associate attorney and later founded a corporation, from which he retired. An Ogden native, he and his wife, Nancy Elizabeth Smart Duncan, have five children.

Elder Gong, 56, also an Area Authority Seventy serving in the Utah South Area, is a former bishop and stake president. Currently the assistant to the president for planning and assessment at Brigham Young University, he had served as special assistant in the U.S. State Department and to the U.S. ambassador in Beijing. The Redwood City, Calif., native and his wife, Susan Lindsay Gong, have four children.

Elder Kearon, 48, was serving as an Area Authority Seventy in the Europe West Area; the Christmas Eve 1987 convert to the LDS Church is a former branch president and stake president. Currently a communications consultant, he has worked in the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and United States in the health care, food, automotive and transportation industries. Born in Carlisle, England, he and his wife, Jennifer Carole Hulme Kearon, are the parents of four children.

Elder Uceda, 56, is a counselor in the Caldwell New Jersey Stake presidency, having served previously as a stake president, president of the Peru Lima North Mission and Area Authority Seventy. The former Church Educational System area director for Peru and Bolivia moved to the United States in 2003 to help in a family business. The Lima, Peru, native and his wife, Maria Isabel Bendezu Uceda, have five children.

Second Quorum of the Seventy

Elder Lawrence, 62, was previously serving as an Area Authority Seventy in the North America West Area. A former stake president and president of the Russia Novosibirsk Mission, Elder Lawrence is an ophthalmologist. A native of Cheverly, Md., he and his wife, Laurel Stott Lawrence, are parents of six children.

Elder Malm, 61, had been an Area Authority Seventy in the Europe Area, previously serving as a stake president, mission president and public affairs director for Sweden. Currently a business consultant, he had run his own real estate agency and worked for 23 years for the LDS Church, most recently as an area director for temporal affairs. Born in Jonkoing, Sweden, he and his wife, Ingrid Agnet Karlsson Malm, have eight children.

Elder Mazzagardi, 62, is a sealer in the Campinas Brazil Temple, having previously served as a stake president, regional representative, president of the Brazil Salvador Mission, an Area Authority Seventy and president of the Sao Paulo Brazil Temple. A native of Itu, Brazil, and former entrepreneur and retired owner of a real estate company, he and his wife, Elizabeth Ienne Mazzagardi, have three children.

Primary general presidency

Sister Wixom is a Salt Lake native who graduated from Utah State University in elementary education. She and her husband, B. Jackson Wixom, are the parents of six children and have six grandchildren. She has served on the Primary and Young Women general boards and with her husband as he presided over the Washington, D.C., South Mission.

Sister Stevens was born and raised in Salt Lake City and received her bachelor's degree in mathematics and a teaching certificate from the University of Utah. She and her husband, Mark Stevens, have five children and seven grandchildren. She has served as a member of the Primary general board.

Sister Esplin, a native of Lovell, Wyo., is an elementary education graduate from Brigham Young University. She served with her husband, Max Esplin, when he was president of the North Carolina Raleigh Mission; they have five children and 19 grandchildren. She has served recently on the Primary general board.

Area authority seventies

The new Area Authority Seventies, who give part-time, voluntary service within their assigned geographic areas and support area presidencies in international areas, are Ian S. Ardern, 56, Hamilton, New Zealand; Philip K. Bussey, 54, Issaquah, Wash.; Rene J. Cabrera, 58, Cochabamba, Bolivia; Renato Capelletti, 42, Cuiaba, Brazil; Paul D.M. Christensen, 51, Langley, Canada.

Rogerio G.R. Cruz, 38, Rio de Janeiro; Donald D. Deshler, 63, Overland Park, Kan.; George R. Donaldson, 52, Denbigshire, Wales; Ini B. Ekong, 41, Etigan, Nigeria; Christian Fingerle, 42, Usingen, Germany; Craig G. Fisher, 59, Morgan; Jerryl L. Garns, 59, Stevenson Ranch, Calif.; Jack N. Gerard, 52, McLean, Va.; M. Keith Giddens, 53, Acworth, Ga.; Brent J. Hillier, 49, Centennial, Colo.

Jui Chang Juan, 51, Taichung, Taiwan; George M. Keele, 62, Gardnerville, Nev.; Dane O. Leavitt, 53, Cedar City; Alexander T. Mestre, 40, Mérida, Venezuela; Arayik V. Minasyan, 55, Artashat, Armenia; T. Jackson Mkhabela, 49, Gauteng, South Africa; S. Gifford Nielsen, 55, Sugar Land, Texas; Valentin F. Nuez, 42, Santiago, Chile; Jeffery E. Olson, 57, Valley Stream, N.Y.; R. Ingvar Olsson, 61, Haninge, Sweden.

Robert N. Packer, 54, Lafayette, Calif.; Nathaniel R. Payne, 60, Chanhassen, Minn.; Cesar A. Perez Jr., 55, Cebu, Philippines; Fouchard Pierre-nau, 37, Port-Au-Prince, Haiti; Michael J. Reall, 61, Columbia, Mo.; Edson D.G. Ribeiro, 40, Sete Lagoas, Brazil; Brad K. Risenmay, 61, Othello, Wash.; Mozart B. Soares, 48, Jaboatao Dos Guararapes, Brazil; Carlos Solis, 54, Lima, Peru; Norland de Lopes Souza, 53, Joao Pessoa, Brazil.

Kouzou Tashiro, 62, Kumamoto-ken, Japan; Omar Villalobos, 46, Tlalnepantla, Mexico; W. Christopher Waddell, 50, San Diego; Alan J. Webb, 55, Island Park, Idaho; Gerardo J. Wilhelm, 55, Puerto Montt, Chile; Kevin J. Worthen, 53, Provo; Craig T. Wright, 42, Suffolk, England; Jim L. Wright, 52, Mesa, Ariz.