Elder Claudio R.M. Costa, Elder Steven E. Snow and Elder Walter F. Gonzalez were all sustained (affirmed) by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as new members of the Presidency of the Seventy in the Saturday morning session of the 177th Semiannual General Conference.
Presidency of the Seventy members released were Elder Quentin L. Cook, Elder Merrill J. Bateman, Elder Charles Didier and Elder Robert C. Oaks. Elder Cook was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Bateman received emeritus status and has been called as the Provo, Utah, temple president. Elders Didier and Oaks will continue with area presidency assignments overseas.
Elder W. Rolfe Kerr was released from the First Quorum of the Seventy but will continue to serve as commissioner of the Church Educational System (CES).
The Presidency of the Seventy, under the direction of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, supervises areas of the Church in the United States and Canada, assists with international administration and guides ongoing training of regional and local leaders.
Elder Claudio R. M. Costa was sustained a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on 31 March 2001 and served in the Second Quorum of the Seventy from April 1994 through March 2001. He has served as president of the South America North Area, president of the Brazil North Area and as a counselor in the Brazil and South America South Area presidencies.
Elder Steven E. Snow was called to serve as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy in March of 2001 and has supervisory responsibility for the North America Central Area. Elder Snow previously has served as executive director of the Priesthood Department and as president of the Africa Southeast Area of the Church.
Elder Walter F. Gonzalez was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy March 31, 2001, previously serving in the South America North Area presidency as an Area Seventy. Elder Gonzalez has previously served as president of the Brazil North Area and the South America West Area and as a counselor in the South America North and Brazil North Area presidencies. A native of Uruguay, Elder Gonzalez was formerly Church Educational System (CES) director for the South America North Area, CES employee, and area public affairs director.