A Seventy
…Previous Church Assignment: Special Assistant to the President
In modern times, a Latter-day Saint bishop’s term of office runs about five years. Bert van Uitert, as the Cambridge Ward’s founding bishop since 1963, was coming to the end of his assignment. His immediate superior, founding Stake President Wilbur W Cox (Bill—a Sanpete County man and a distant relative of ours) had also served a long time as district president, before the stake was created. My local memory extends back to 1958, and I’d known no other in the position.

Wilbur W Cox

In 1969, President Cox was replaced by a newcomer named William A (also Bill) Fresh; we were there for the transition. Somebody may correct my memory, but I believe that President
Fresh called Bert to his new High Council, and old friend Gael Ulrich became our new bishop.

I lack the precise dates of all these changes, but I do have the temple recommend, dated 18 May 1969 (our Toad’s Minus First Birthday) that enabled me to take part in the family events in Oakland in June: it’s signed by Bishop Gael Ulrich and by President William Fresh.

We only barely got used to our second-ever stake president when, still in 1969, he was replaced by another newcomer, L Tom Perry, about whom more elsewhere. President Fresh was called as the founding president of the new Merrimack Stake, comprising New Hampshire and pieces of northern Massachusetts and southern Maine. We had every reason to expect that we were saying goodbye to him forever, not knowing that the Andersons would become members of his pioneering new organization only the next year.

Early in 1970, I was called to the priesthood office of a Seventy and ordained* by Mission President and old friend Paul H Dunn,** on Pappy’s birthday, May 19. In those days, each stake had a Quorum of Seventy (never, as far as I know, as large as the title would suggest), run by seven Presidents, with responsibilities heavily overlapping those of the Stake Mission. Ours was the 559th Quorum. I was assigned to be one of the Presidents and in

*That’s the only one of my Priesthood ordinations in which my Pappy did not officiate .
**He assured us that our new callings were most timely, as we were entering upon “the decade of the Seventies.”
…next Church assignment: A President of Seventy
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