Monday, September 29, 2014

Called by Spencer W. Kimball

Spencer W. Kimball was a small, soft-spoken man, but he was able to guide the church to stability after his two predecessors' combined service was less than four years. He preached for church members to do better, do more, just "do it." In his 12 years as prophet, church membership went from 3.3 to 5.9 million. He had the chance to call seven Apostles during his tenure and you can see the variety in the selections.

First Presidency in 1973:
Spencer W. Kimball
N. Eldon Tanner
Marion G. Romney

Quorum of the Twelve in 1973:
Ezra Taft Benson, Mark E. Petersen,
Delbert L. Stapley, LeGrand Richards,
Hugh B. Brown, Howard W. Hunter,
Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson,
Boyd K. Packer, Marvin J. Ashton,
Bruce R. McConkie...

Called to be Apostles by Spencer W. Kimball:
L. Tom Perry, David B. Haight,
James E. Faust, Neal A. Maxwell,
Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks,
M. Russell Ballard

(August 5, 1922 - )

Apostle - April 11, 1974

Perry was born and raised in Logan, Utah. He got his degree in finance from the future Utah State University in Logan. His father was the bishop of their ward his entire eighteen years of childhood.

He served a mission in the Northern States, and afterwards went right into the US Marine Corps. He was in the Battle of Saipan in 1944. He remained stationed on that island for a year, even built an LDS chapel while he was there. He also helped occupy Nagasaki after the Japanese surrender to officially end WWII.

He married Virginia Lee in 1947 and they had three children. She died in 1974 and he remarried to Barbara Dayton in 1976.

Perry was 51 when called to be an Apostle and he is currency the oldest member of the Q12, at age 92.

(September 2, 1906 - July 31, 2004)

Apostle - January 8, 1976

Haight was born in Idaho. He joined the Navy and was a WWII vet. After the war he moved to Palo Alto, California, to run a hardware store. He became mayor of Palo Alto but resigned when he was called to president of the Scotland mission.

He's the father-in-law of philanthropist Jon Huntsman Sr. and the grandfather of former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr.

Haight has the record for being the oldest Apostle in this dispensation, dying less than five weeks before his 99th birthday. He and Neal A. Maxwell died less than two weeks apart.

(July 31, 1920 - August 10, 2007)

Apostle - October 1, 1978
Second Counselor - March 12, 1995

Faust was born in Delta, Utah, but moved to south Salt Lake before his high school years. he played football and ran track. He ran track at the University of Utah as well. He served in the Army during WWII. He married his wife Ruth Wright in 1943 while on leave.

After graduating the U of U, he worked as a lawyer and became president of the Utah Bar Association. He served a term in the Utah legislature as a Democrat and became chair of the Utah Democratic Party.

While as a seventy he was called to preside over the Brazil area. The San Paolo Brazil temple was announced while he was there and he later became an honorary citizen of Brazil.

He became an Apostle at age 58, and upon the death of Pres. Hunter, Gordon B. Hinckley called him to be part of his First Presidency. The twelve years of Hinckley, Monson and Faust were the longest a First Presidency (  had ever gone without a change. He died at age 87.

(July 6, 1926 - July 21, 2004)

Apostle - July 23, 1981

Maxwell was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, shortly after his parents had moved there and joined the church. Like many called around his age, he was a WWII veteran; he served in the Army and was at Okinawa. After the war, he served a mission to Canada. He then married Colleen Hinckley (cousin of Gordon).

He graduated from the University of Utah in political science and later worked there as a professor while serving as bishop of a student ward. In 1970, Pres. Lee called him to be commissioner of the Church Eucational System.

He was called to be an Apostle when Gordon B. Hinckley was made a counselor in Kimball's First Presidency. He was poetic and insightful in his talks. Some of them felt like they could be extra chapters of Proverbs or Eccleciastes.

He was first diagnosed with leukemia in 1996 but he managed to hang on until 2004, dying at age 78.

(September 9, 1924 - )

Apostle - April 7, 1984

Nelson made his living as a heart surgeon. he was part of the team that made the first heart-lung machine. He was the first doctor in Utah to successfully perform open-heart surgery using the machine. He was also the first surgeon in Utah to perform a cardiopulmonary bypass.

Nelson served in a M*A*S*H* unit during the Korean War and was later stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He married Dantzel White, and they had nine daughters and one son.

In 1972, he performed open-heart surgery on then-apostle Spencer W. Kimball. Before the surgery he received a witness that it would be successful, that Kimball would go on to be president of the church (which seemed unlikely given his age and health compared to Lee's).

When Mark E. Petersen and LeGrand Richard both died, Nelson and Dallin H. Oaks were called the same day to the Q12, but Oaks couldn't be ordained for another month as he wrapped up aspects of his public life.

Nelson's wife died in 2005, and in 2006 he married BYU professor Wendy Watson. He turned 90 earlier this month.

(August 12, 1932 - )

Apostle - May 3, 1984

Dallin was born in Provo, but his father died when he was just seven years old. Afterwards his mother pursued her graduate degree at Columbia University and moved back to Utah to become the first woman to serve on the Provo City Council.

He was in the National Guard during the Korean War but was never called up.

He studied the law, and he clerked with US Supreme Court justice Earl Warren. He practiced law in Chicago before becoming a professor at University of Chicago Law School. He left there when he was appointed to be the next president of BYU. After nine years there, he was then appointed to the Utah Supreme Court. He served there until his resignation, when he'd been called to be an Apostle. he and Nelson were sustained the same day, but Oaks was actually ordained a month later while he wrapped up some judiciary commitments. He would've been behind Nelson in seniority anyway, being eight years younger.

His law background comes through in his talks, as he often tackles the details of different gospel aspects. At age 82, he's the most senior apostle that is still younger than 87-year-old Pres. Monson.

(October 8, 1928 - )

Apostle - October 6, 1985

Both of Ballard's grandfathers are former Apostles - Melvin J. Ballard (who died when he was 11) and Hyrum M. Smith (who died before he was born). This makes Ballard the great-grandson of Joseph F. Smith and the great-great-grandson of Hyrum Smith, Joseph's brother.

Ballard was born in Salt Lake City and served his mission in England. He later served as president of the Canada Toronto Mission.

He didn't know he was going to be an Apostle until the morning of General Conference, when Pres. Hinckley called him to his office (on behalf of Pres. Kimball).

Ballard has made missionary service one of his main themes, often giving talks to missionaries and to member on how to better help the missionaries spread the Gospel. He turns 86 next month.

Side Note:
When Neal A. Maxwell died on July 21, 2004, and David B. Haight died on July 31, 2004, it was a rough time for me. My daughter died on July 22, 2004, and whenever I'd see how much publicity and outpouring they'd receive, part of me would get jealous. People would say "I pray for their families" and I wanted to say "Yeah, but they had full lives! Taleah didn't see her 4th birthday!" Since then, I've just been able to appreciate their lives, and in her own way, Taleah lives on.

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