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Fun Facts About Current and Past General Authority Seventies

This story appears here courtesy of TheChurchNews.com. It is not for use by other media.

By Rachel Sterzer Gibson, Church News

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a global faith. That fact is something President Russell M. Nelson knows firsthand.

Within his lifetime, the Church has grown from roughly 600,000 members in 1,600 congregations in 1924 to more than 16.5 million members in close to 31,000 congregations in 2021.

The Church being a global faith is something he declared shortly after he was sustained as President of the Church, and then he emphasized by traveling 115,000 miles to 35 nations on six continents in just under two years. The veteran Church leader visited 133 countries as an Apostle and dedicated 31 of those nations for the preaching of the gospel prior to becoming Prophet.

President Russell M. Nelson speaks during the Sunday morning session of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 191st Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on April 4, 2021.2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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This fact of a global Church was recently reiterated during the Sunday morning session of the April 2021 general conference, where a Church leader from every populated continent spoke to members listening from more than 70 countries.

“Truly, the blessings of the gospel are for every race, language and people. The Church of Jesus Christ is a global church. Jesus Christ is our leader,” President Nelson declared in his Sunday morning remarks.

In addition to featuring messages from Church leaders from every continent, April’s general conference also included the call of eight new General Authority Seventies from the US, South America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

The Church currently has 106 General Authority Seventies serving throughout the world. Here are a few facts about this increasingly diverse set of Church leaders.

  • Almost exactly half of the General Authority Seventies are from the US.
  • 52 come from 30 different countries/territories outside the US.
  • 18 are from South America.
  • Seven are from Asia.
  • Seven are from Europe.
  • Six are from Africa.
  • Six are from Oceania.
  • Four are from Mexico.
  • Three are from Central America/Caribbean.
  • One is from Canada.
Elder Helvécio Martins and his wife, Rudá Martins, in 1990 when he was called to Second Quorum of the Seventy. Photo courtesy of Church News.All rights reserved.

Buenos Aires, Argentina, native Elder Angel Abrea will be remembered in Latter-day Saint history as the first General Authority from Latin America. Since his call in April 1981 when there were roughly a few hundred thousand members in South America, the Church has grown to 18 South Americans serving as General Authority Seventies and 4.1 million South American members.

Recognized as the Church’s first black General Authority, the late Elder Helvécio Martins served as a General Authority Seventy from 1990–1995.

Sister Gladys Sitati and Elder Joseph W. Sitati. Photo courtesy of Church News.All rights reserved.

Elder Joseph Sitati, a native of Kenya, was the first Black African General Authority called in 2009. Today, there are five General Authority Seventies from Africa: Elder Edward Dube from Zimbabwe; Elder Adeyinka A. Ojediran from Nigeria; Elder Christoffel Golden from South Africa; and Elder Thierry K. Mutombo and Elder Alfred Kyungu from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Elder Hugo Martinez, a native of Puerto Rico, became the first General Authority from the Caribbean.

Elder Han In Sang, who was instrumental in translating the Book of Mormon into the Korean language, became the first General Authority from Korea.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, right, speaks to a congregation in Seoul, South Korea, in 2005. His translator is a former member of the Seventy, Elder Han In Sang, Korea’s first General Authority. Elder Han was instrumental in translating the Book of Mormon into the Korean language. Photo by Greg Hill, courtesy of Church News.All rights reserved.

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