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Leadership changes announced during LDS General Conference

SALT LAKE CITY — Elder Ulisses Soares was sustained as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy while eight new general authorities were called to serve by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the Saturday afternoon session of the faith’s 183rd Annual General Conference.

Elder Soares replaced Elder Walter F. González in the Presidency of the Seventy. Elders Edward Dube, S. Gifford Nielsen and Arnulfo Valenzuela were called to the First Quorum of the Seventy, while Elders Timothy J. Dyches, Randy D. Funk, Kevin S. Hamilton, Adrian Ochoa, and Terence M. Vinson were assigned to the Second Quorum of the Seventy.

Additionally, the First Presidency announced the calling of 59 new Area Seventies while 52 were released. The changes will be effective May 1.

Members of the Seventy have responsibility for administering the work of the Church throughout the world under the direction of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Some of them also have executive responsibilities in Church departments. Members of the First Quorum of the Seventy usually serve until they are 70 years old.

Elder Dube, 50, had been serving as an Area Seventy in the Africa Southeast Area when he was called to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy. In addition, he previously served as a full-time missionary, branch president, district president, stake president, and president of the Zimbabwe Harare Mission. He received a diploma in education in 1992 from Zimbabwe D.E. College and studied entrepreneurship at the University of South Africa. He worked for the Church Educational System in Africa for more than 15 years. Elder Nielsen, 58, was serving as an Area Seventy in the North America Southwest Area. He played quarterback for BYU before going onto to six years in the NFL, followed by a career in television broadcasting and banking. Elder Valenzuela, 53, was serving as an Area Seventy in the México Area. Professionally, he worked in management for two multi-national corporations while devoting his life to various church leadership responsibilities.

Elder Dyches, 62, was serving in a ward Young Men presidency when he was called to serve in the Second Quorum of the Seventy. In addition to a lifetime of church service, he has worked an ear, nose and throat surgeon in private practice, and was in senior management at a national surgical management company before his call as a general authority.

Elder Funk, 60, was serving as the president of the India Bangalore Mission when he was called to serve in the Second Quorum of the Seventy. Elder Funk has made a living as an attorney and partner in a law firm in Denver, Colorado. He also served on the board of directors of several community organizations.

Elder Hamilton, 58, was serving as a Church public affairs director in Southern California when he was called. Previously, he worked in senior management in the mobile telecommunications industry.

Elder Ochoa, 59, was serving as the second counselor in the general Young Men Presidency when he received his call to serve in the Second Quorum of the Seventy. He is a former university professor and owns an advertising and marketing company.

Elder Vinson, 62, was serving as an Area Seventy in the Pacific Area at the time of his call to the Seventy. During his career, he was a well-known math professor, lecturer, financial advisor, and directed a financial planning and investment firm.

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