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News Release —  5 April 2014

Leadership Change, New General Authorities and New Sunday School General Presidency Announced

Salt Lake City — 

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a new member of the Presidency of the Seventy, four new General Authorities, a new Sunday School general presidency and 42 Area Seventies at the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s 184th Annual General Conference being held here this weekend.

Elder Lynn G. Robbins, was named to the Presidency of the Seventy, succeeding Tad R. Callister who was released from the Presidency of the Seventy and as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy.

Called as General Authorities to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy are Jörg Klebingat, Kyiv, Ukraine and Chi Hong (Sam) Wong, Hong Kong, China.

Called as General Authorities to serve in the Second Quorum of the Seventy are Larry S. Kacher, Midway, Utah and Hugo E. Martinez, Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

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 seventy.

A new Sunday School general presidency was also announced. Tad R. Callister was called as the Sunday School general president. John Sears Tanner and Devin G. Durrant will serve as first and second counselors respectively. Russell T. Osguthorpe, David M. McConkie and Matthew O. Richardson were released and received an expression of gratitude for their five years of leadership.

Presidency of the Seventy

Elder Lynn G. Robbins, 61, was named to the Presidency of the Seventy. He became a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 1, 2000, following three years in the Second Quorum of the Seventy. He has served as president of the South America South Area, the Central America Area, and the North America West Area.  He has also served in the North America Central Area. Elder Robbins served a full-time mission in Argentina and has served as president of the Uruguay Montevideo Mission.

Elder Robbins received a bachelor of arts degree from Utah State University and an MBA from the American Graduate School of International Management.  In his professional career, Elder Robbins was one of the founders of Franklin Quest, which later became Franklin Covey.

Lynn Grant Robbins was born on October 27, 1952, and raised in Springville, Utah.  He married Jan Nielson in 1974.  They are the parents of seven children and have fifteen grandchildren.

First Quorum of the Seventy

Elder Jörg Klebingat, 46, was serving as president of the Ukraine Kyiv Mission when he was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy. Since joining the Church in 1985, Elder Klebingat has served in numerous other Church callings, including a full-time missionary in the Colorado Denver Mission, Young Men president, elders quorum president, high councilor and bishop.

Elder Klebingat received both a bachelor of arts degree in Russian and a master’s degree in organizational behavior from Brigham Young University and began his career working for several consulting companies. He worked for the Church for many years in positions such as service center manager, director for temporal affairs, and distribution supervisor.

Elder Klebingat was born in Zweibrücken, Germany. He is married to Julia Poltorak and they are the parents of three children.

Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong, 51, was serving as an Area Seventy in the Asia Area when he was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy. Since joining the Church in 1982, Elder Wong has served in numerous other Church callings, including ward financial clerk, ward clerk, Sunday School president, Young Men president, bishop’s counselor, bishop, stake president’s counselor and stake president.

He received both a bachelor of science degree in accounting and an associate of science degree in computer science from Brigham Young University-Hawaii. He also received an MBA from the Hong Kong Open University. In his professional life he was the founder and partner of a business and quality consulting company and also worked at a materials testing and inspection group.

Elder Wong was born in Hong Kong SAR, China. He is married to Carol Lu and they are the parents of four children and have one granddaughter.

Second Quorum of the Seventy

Elder Larry S. Kacher, 62, was serving as an Area Seventy in the Middle East/Africa North Area when he was called to the Second Quorum of Seventy. Elder Kacher has served in numerous other Church callings, including full-time missionary in French Polynesia, elders quorum president, branch president in Belgium, high councilor, bishop, stake president and president of the Geneva Switzerland Mission.

He received both a bachelor of science degree in psychology and a master’s degree in organizational behavior from Brigham Young University.  Professionally, he has worked as an organizational development specialist, human resource development manager and management consultant.

Elder Kacher was born in Mankato, Minnesota.  He is married to Pauline Miller and they are the parents of six children.

Elder Hugo E. Martinez, 57, was serving as an Area Seventy in the Caribbean Area when he was called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy. Elder Martinez has served in numerous other Church callings, including bishop, elders quorum president, district president, mission president’s counselor and president of the Guatemala City Central Mission.

He completed his pre-medicine studies at the University of Mississippi and received a medical degree from Escuela de Medicina de la Universidad de Puerto Rico. He completed a family practice residency in The University of Mississippi Medical Center. Elder Martinez worked for 20 years as a physician and medical consultant and owns his own family medical practice.

Elder Martinez was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. He is married to Nuria Merced Alvarez Pagan and they are the parents of five children.

Sunday School General Presidency

Tad R. Callister, 68, was serving in the Presidency of the Seventy and as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy when he was called as Sunday School general president. He has served in a number of Church callings including full-time missionary in the Eastern Atlantic States Mission, bishop, stake president, regional representative, mission president and Area Seventy.

Tad R. Callister received a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Brigham Young University, a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California-Los Angeles and a master’s degree in tax law from New York University Law School. He spent most of his professional career practicing tax law. He and his wife Kathryn Louise Saporiti are the parents of six children.

John Sears Tanner, 63, was serving as mission president of the Brazil São Paulo South Mission when he was called as the first counselor in the Sunday School general presidency. He has served in numerous other Church callings including Primary teacher, seminary teacher, Gospel Doctrine teacher, stake Young Men president, bishop, and stake president.

John Sears Tanner received a bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University and a Doctorate in English from the University of California-Berkley. He has worked as a professor of English at Florida State University and Brigham Young University and as academic vice president of BYU. He and his wife Susan Winder are the parents of five children.

Devin G. Durrant, 53, was serving as president of the Texas Dallas Mission when he was called as the second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency. He has served in numerous other Church callings including institute instructor, stake Sunday School presidency member, stake presidency counselor and bishop.

Devin G. Durrant earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the University of Utah. Professionally, he is a self-employed real estate professional. He and his wife Julie Lois Mink are the parents of six children.

Area Seventies

Also announced today were the callings of 42 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: Julio C. Acosta, 44, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Blake R. Alder, 54, Boise, Idaho; Alain L. Allard, 62, Terrebonne, Canada; Taiichi Aoba, 59, Ehime, Japan; Carlos F. Arredondo, 56, Villas del Bosque, Guatemala; Vladimir N. Astashov, 34, Moscow, Russia; Jorge T. Becerra, 51, Sandy, Utah; Michael H. Bourne, 57, Salt Lake City, Utah; Rómulo V. Cabrera, 60, Montevideo, Uruguay; José C. F. Campos, 49, Recife, Brazil; Nicolás Castañeda, 46, Gómez Palacio, Mexico; Walter Chatora, 48, Johannesburg, South Africa; Zeno Chow, 55, Hong Kong, China; J. Kevin Ence, 58, St. George, Utah; K. Mark Frost, 55, Flagstaff, Arizona; Maurício G. Gonzaga, 50, Maringá, Brazil; Leonard D. Greer, 59, Gilbert, Arizona; Jose L. Isaguirre, 39, Ciudad Obregon, Mexico; Michael R. Jensen, 65, Price, Utah; A. Johan Johansson, 44, Auckland, New Zealand; Tae Gul Jung, 52, Sejong-Si, South Korea; Wisit Khanakham, 62, Bangkok, Thailand; Serhii A. Kovalov, 45, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine; Sergio L. Krasnoselsky, 54, La Plata, Argentina; Milan F. Kunz, 59, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Bryan R. Larsen, 58, Logan, Utah; Geraldo Lima, 47, Manaus, Brazil; W. Jean-Pierre Lono, 54, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Tasara Makasi, 40, Johannesburg, South Africa; Khumbulani Mdletshe, 49, Johannesburg, South Africa; Dale H. Munk, 63, Mapleton, Utah; Eduardo A. Norambuena, 54, Copiapo, Chile; Yutaka Onda, 61, Yokohama, Japan; Raimundo Pacheco De Pinho, 49, São Paulo, Brazil; Marco A. Rais, 53, São Paulo, Brazil; Steven K. Randall, 64, Layton, Utah; R. Scott Runia, 56, Provo, Utah; Alexey V. Samaykin, 37, Moscow, Russia; Edwin A. Sexton, 54, Rexburg, Idaho; Raúl H. Spitale, 53, Cordoba, Argentina; C. Walter Treviño, 50, Veracruz, Mexico; Juan A. Urra, 56, Concepción, Chile.

Releases to be effective on 1 May 2014 were announced for the following 35 Area Seventies:

Pedro E. Abularach, Julio A. Angulo, Victor A. Asconavieta, Duck Soo Bae, Juan C. Barros, Colin H. Bricknell, Dennis C. Brimhall, Thomas M. Cherrington, Kim B. Clark, Wynn R. Dewsnup, Rodolfo C. Franco, G. Guillermo Garcia, Julio C. González, Mauro Junot De Maria, Larry S. Kacher, David E. LeSueur, Paulo C. Loureiro, Steven J. Lund, Abraham Martinez, Hugo E. Martinez, Sergey N. Mikulin, Christopher B. Munday, Hirofumi Nakatsuka, Chikao Oishi, Alejandro S. Patanía, Renato M. Petla, Anatoly K. Reshetnikov, Jonathan C. Roberts, J. Craig Rowe, Robert B. Smith, Warren G. Tate, Hesbon O. Usi, Taniela B. Wakolo,  Randy W. Wilkinson, Chi Hong (Sam) Wong.

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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