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News Story —  3 April 2010

New General Authorities Called, Primary General Presidency Reorganized

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the calling of new members of the First Quorum of the Seventy, the Second Quorum of the Seventy and 43 Area Seventies today at the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s 180th Annual General Conference. The First Presidency also announced the reorganization of the Primary general presidency.

First Quorum of the Seventy

Called as General Authorities to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy are Elder Kevin R. Duncan, Washington, Utah; Elder Gerrit W. Gong, Provo, Utah; Elder Patrick Kearon, Somerset, England; and Elder Juan A. Uceda, Clifton, New Jersey.

Second Quorum of the Seventy

Called as General Authorities to serve in the Second Quorum of the Seventy are Elder Larry R. Lawrence, Clovis, California; Elder Per G. Malm, Göteborg, Sweden; and Elder Jairo Mazzagardi, Vinhedo, Brazil.

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 a number of Church departments. Members of the First Quorum of the Seventy usually serve to age 70.

Primary General Presidency

A new Primary general presidency was also announced. Sister Rosemary M. Wixom was called as the general president of the Primary. Sister Jean A. Stevens and Sister Cheryl A. Esplin will serve as first and second counselors. Sister Cheryl C. Lant, Sister Margaret S. Lifferth and Sister Vicki F. Matsumori were released and received an expression of gratitude for their five years of leadership.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to serve (God's) children," said Sister Wixom in a news conference following the announcement. "There are only two requirements for this calling; to love the Lord and to love His children."

The newly called leaders served on the Primary general board at the time of their call. In response to questions from the media, Sister Wixom affirmed their role is to assist what is being taught by parents in the home.

"Our greatest concern is that children know who they are and that they are loved," she said.

 

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

First Quorum of the Seventy

Elder Kevin R. Duncan, 49, had been serving as a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in the Utah South Area when called to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Elder Duncan received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, a MACC in taxation, and a juris doctorate in law from Brigham Young University in 1991. He began his career as an associate attorney and later founded a corporation, from which he retired in 2005.

Elder Duncan has served in numerous Church callings, including full-time missionary in Chile, bishop’s counselor, ward mission leader, ward executive secretary, high councilor, Church-service missionary as associate international legal counsel in South America, and president of the Chile Santiago North Mission.

Kevin Read Duncan was born in Ogden, Utah, on 6 October 1960. He married Nancy Elizabeth Smart in August 1986. They are the parents of five children. Elder and Sister Duncan reside in Washington, Utah.

Elder Gerrit W. Gong, 56, had been serving as a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in the Utah South Area when called to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Elder Gong received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Asian and university studies at Brigham Young University in 1977. In 1979 he received a master of philosophy and in 1981 a Ph.D. in international relations from Oxford University. In 1985 he served as special assistant to undersecretary of state at the U.S. State Department and then in 1987 served as special assistant to the U.S. ambassador in Beijing, China. From 1989 to 2001 he served in many positions for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. Currently he is the assistant to the president for planning and assessment at Brigham Young University.

Elder Gong has served in numerous Church callings, including full-time missionary in Taiwan, high councilor, high priests group leader, stake Sunday School president, bishop’s counselor, seminary teacher, bishop, stake mission president and stake president.

Gerrit Walter Gong was born in Redwood City, California, on 23 December 1953. He married Susan Lindsay in January 1980. They are the parents of four children. Elder and Sister Gong reside in Provo, Utah.

Elder Patrick Kearon, 48, had been serving as a member of the Third Quorum of the Seventy in the Europe Area when called to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Elder Kearon was educated in the Middle East and the United Kingdom.  He has lived and worked in the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the United States in various industries, including health care, food, automotive and transport.  He currently runs his own communications consultancy.  Civic and community involvement has included service on the boards of a charity, a school, an enterprise agency and a college.

After joining the Church on Christmas Eve, 1987, Elder Kearon has served in numerous Church callings, including assistant ward clerk, ward Young Men president, bishop’s counselor, branch president, and stake president.

Patrick Kearon was born in Carlisle, Cumberland, England on 18 July 1961.  He married Jennifer Carole Hulme in 1991.  They are the parents of four children, one of whom is deceased.  The Kearon family lives in Somerset, England.

Elder Juan A. Uceda, 56, had been serving as counselor to the president of the Caldwell New Jersey Stake when called to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Elder Uceda was educated in Peru. He enrolled at Jose Carlos Mariátegui Institute in Lima, where he studied accounting and public relations. He also studied business administration at the Centro Andino de G.E. Institute. He is a graduate of San Luis Gonzaga University, where he was awarded a bachelor's degree in public relations. Elder Uceda worked in the Church Educational System as area director for Peru and Bolivia. He left Peru in 2003 to move to New Jersey to assist his father with their family business.

Since joining the Church in 1972, Elder Uceda has served in numerous callings, including full-time missionary in Peru, stake Sunday School presidency, bishop, high councilor, stake president’s counselor, stake president, president of the Lima Peru North Mission and Area Seventy.

Juan Alberto Uceda Andrade was born in Lima, Peru, on 10 July 1953. He married Maria Isabel Bendezú in March 1979. They are the parents of five children. Elder and Sister Uceda reside in Clifton, New Jersey.

Second Quorum of the Seventy

Elder Larry R. Lawrence, 62, had been serving as a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in the North America West Area when called to serve in the Second Quorum of the Seventy.

Elder Lawrence earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural biochemistry from the University of Arizona in 1969. In 1973 he received a doctorate of medicine, also from the University of Arizona, then later completed an ophthalmology residency in Fresno. He has been an ophthalmologist since 1977.

Since joining the Church in 1970, Elder Lawrence has served in numerous callings, including elders quorum president, bishop, high councilor, stake president’s counselor, stake president, stake mission president and president of the Russia Novosibirsk Mission.

Larry Ray Lawrence was born in Cheverly, Maryland, on 25 August 1947. He married Laurel Stott in 1971. They are the parents of six children and reside in Clovis, California.

Elder Per G. Malm, 61, had been serving as a member of the Third Quorum of the Seventy in the Europe Area when called to serve in the Second Quorum of the Seventy.

Elder Malm ran his own real estate agency for 11 years. He began working for the Church in 1980 as the regional real estate manager. When he left Church employment in 2003, he was a director for temporal affairs. He is currently a business consultant.

Elder Malm received a master’s degree in business and public law from the University of Göteborg in Sweden, and he received his Swedish law degree (LLM) from the University of Lund.

Elder Malm has served in numerous Church callings, including full-time missionary in the Sweden Stockholm Mission, stake mission president, branch president, high councilor, mission president’s counselor, stake president’s counselor, stake president, high priests group leader, mission president and public affairs director for Sweden.

Per Gösta Malm was born in Jönköping, Sweden, on 12 September 1948. He married Ingrid Agneta Karlsson in the Bern Switzerland Temple in October 1969. They are the parents of eight children. Elder and Sister Malm reside in Göteborg, Sweden.

Elder Jairo Mazzagardi, 62, had been serving as a sealer in the Campinas Brazil Temple when called to serve in the Second Quorum of the Seventy.

Elder Mazzagardi is an entrepreneur and retired owner of a real estate company. He has served in numerous Church callings, including bishop’s counselor, high councilor, stake president’s counselor, stake president, regional representative, president of the Brazil Salvador Mission, Area Seventy and president of the São Paulo Brazil Temple.

Jairo Mazzargardi was born Itú, Brazil, on 10 April 1947. He married Elizabeth Ienne in July 1970. They are the parents of three children. Elder and Sister Mazzargardi reside in Vinhedo, Brazil.

Primary General Presidency

Sister Rosemary M. Wixom was raised in Salt Lake City and attended Utah State University, where she graduated in elementary education. She and her husband, B. Jackson Wixom, are the parents of six children and six grandchildren.

She has served on the Primary general board, the Young Women general board and with her husband as he served as president of the Washington D.C. South Mission. She loves her grandchildren and considers Sunday family dinners the highlight of her week.

Sister Jean A. Stevens was born and raised in Salt Lake City, where she graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a teaching certificate. She has served as a member of the Primary general board and as a ward Relief Society president, counselor in a ward Primary presidency and Gospel Doctrine teacher. Sister Stevens and her husband, Mark, are the parents of five children and have seven grandchildren.

Sister Cheryl A. Esplin was born and raised in Lovell, Wyoming. She graduated from Brigham Young University in elementary education. She and her husband, Max Esplin, are the parents of four sons and one daughter and the grandparents of nineteen grandchildren.

She has served in Relief Society, Young Women and Primary, most recently having served on the Primary general board. Sister Esplin served with her husband when he was a mission president of the North Carolina Raleigh Mission.

Area Seventies

Also announced today were the callings of 43 new Area Seventies. Area Seventies give part-time voluntary Church service within their assigned geographic areas and support area presidencies in international areas. Called as Area Seventies:

Ian S. Ardern, 56, Hamilton, New Zealand; Philip K. Bussey, 54, Issaquah, Washington; René J. Cabrera, 58, Cochabamba, Bolivia; Renato Capelletti, 42, Cuiaba, Brazil; Paul D. M. Christensen, 51, Langley, Canada; Rogério G. R. Cruz, 38, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Donald D. Deshler, 63, Overland Park, Kansas; George R. Donaldson, 52, Denbigshire, Wales; Ini B. Ekong, 41, Etigan, Nigeria; Christian Fingerle, 42, Usingen, Germany; Craig G. Fisher, 59, Morgan, Utah; Jerryl L. Garns, 59, Stevenson Ranch, California; Jack N. Gerard, 52, McLean, Virginia; M. Keith Giddens, 53, Acworth, Georgia; Brent J. Hillier, 49, Centennial, Colorado; Jui Chang Juan, 51, Taichung, Taiwan; George M. Keele, 62, Gardnerville, Nevada; Dane O. Leavitt, 53, Cedar City, Utah; 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; Valentín F. Nuñez, 42, Santiago, Chile; Jeffery E. Olson, 57, Valley Stream, New York; R. Ingvar Olsson, 61, Haninge, Sweden; Robert N. Packer, 54, Lafayette, California; Nathaniel R. Payne, 60, Chanhassen, Minnesota; Cesar A. Perez Jr., 55, Cebu, Philippines; Fouchard Pierre-nau, 37, Port-Au-Prince, Haiti; Michael J. Reall, 61, Columbia, Missouri; Edson D. G. Ribeiro, 40, Sete Lagoas, Brazil; Brad K. Risenmay, 61, Othello, Washington; Mozart B. Soares, 48, Jaboatao Dos Guararapes, Brazil; Carlos Solis, 54, Lima, Peru; Norland de Lopes Souza, 53, João Pessoa, Brazil; Kouzou Tashiro, 62, Kumamoto-ken, Japan; Omar Villalobos, 46, Tlalnepantla, Mexico; W. Christopher Waddell, 50, San Diego, California; Alan J. Webb, 55, Island Park, Idaho; Gerardo J. Wilhelm, 55, Puerto Montt, Chile; Kevin J. Worthen, 53, Provo, Utah; Craig T. Wright, 42, Suffolk, England; Jim L. Wright, 52, Mesa, Arizona.

Style Guide Note: When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online style guide.

 
 
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