SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — In the Saturday afternoon session of the 176th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, eight members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy were released from full-time service as general authorities of the Church. One new Area Seventy was sustained (affirmed) and three Area Seventies were released.

Latter-day Saints around the world joined with thousands in attendance at the Conference Center to express appreciation to Elder Ronald T. Halverson, Elder Dale E. Miller, Elder H. Bryan Richards, Elder Donald L. Staheli, Elder David R. Stone, Elder H. Bruce Stucki, Elder Robert J. Whetten, and Elder Richard H. Winkel for their service to the Church as members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy.

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.

Released from the Second Quorum of the Seventy

Elder Ronald T. Halverson, 69, was called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy on 4 April 1998. He has served as president and counselor in the Pacific Islands area presidency, as counselor in the North America East area presidency and as an assistant executive director of the Audiovisual Department and the Family and Church History Department. 

Prior to his call as a general authority, he was an area seventy, president of the Norway Oslo Mission, regional representative, stake president and stake president’s counselor, high councilor and counselor in a bishopric. He graduated from Weber State University and attended the University of Utah.

Elder Halverson led mechanical engineering firms, worked in a plumbing and heating company and served in the Utah state legislature. Born in Ogden, Utah, he married Linda Jensen, and they are parents of five children. Elder Halverson has been called to serve as president of the Family History missionaries at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City.

Elder Dale E. Miller, 70, became a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy on 5 April 1997. He has served as president of the Chile and North America East areas, as a counselor in area presidencies in Mexico North and North America Southwest and as executive director of the Audiovisual Department and the Priesthood Department.

Before his call to full-time Church service, Elder Miller served as an area authority, president of the Venezuela Caracas Mission, stake president and bishop. He received a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University (BYU) and a master’s degree in international management from the University of Southern California. 

Professionally he worked in the pharmaceutical industry, was an adviser to venture capital firms and co-founded an international business training company. Elder Miller was born in Los Angeles and married Laurel Chandler.  They are parents of five children.

Elder H. Bryan Richards, 72, was called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy on 4 April 1998. He has served as president of the Asia Area, counselor in area presidencies for Asia and North America Northeast and as an assistant executive director of the Missionary Department.

His Church service prior to his call to the Seventy included president of the England Manchester Mission, regional representative, stake president, stake president’s counselor, high councilor, bishop’s counselor and Young Men president. Elder Richards earned a bachelor’s degree from BYU in business administration and worked in information management.

Born in Salt Lake City, he and his wife LynnAnne Taylor are the parents of eight children. Elder and Sister Richards have been called as president and matron of the Bountiful Utah Temple.

Elder Donald L. Staheli, 74, was sustained a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy on 5 April 1997. He has served as president of the North America Central Area and as a counselor in area presidencies for North America Northeast and North America Central.

Before his service in the Seventy, he was a stake president, stake president’s counselor, high councilor and bishop’s counselor. In his professional career, Elder Staheli was chairman and chief executive officer of a multinational grain processing corporation. He received a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University and master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Illinois.

Born in St. George, Utah, he and his wife, Afton Stratton, are the parents of four children.

Elder David R. Stone, 70, was sustained a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy on 3 April 1999. He has served as president of the Australia and South America West areas of the Church, as a counselor in area presidencies for the Philippines, South America West and Mexico North and as an assistant executive director of the Family and Church History Department.

Prior to his call as a general authority, Elder Stone served as president of the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo West Mission, regional representative, stake president’s counselor, high councilor and bishop’s counselor. He graduated from BYU in English and economics and held executive positions in several multinational corporations.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Elder Stone is married to Rosalie Erekson Stone and they are the parents of six children.

Elder H. Bruce Stucki, 68, was sustained a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy on 3 April 1999.  He served as president of the Africa West Area and as counselor in area presidencies for New Zealand/Pacific Islands, North America Southwest and Africa West.

Additionally, Elder Stucki served as an assistant executive director of the Priesthood Department, the Correlation Department and the Audiovisual Department. Prior to his calling as a Seventy, he served as president of the England Manchester Mission, area authority, regional representative, stake president and bishop.

He received a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Utah and is a former executive in food distribution and real estate. Born in Saint George, Utah, Elder Stucki and his wife Cheryl Cox are the parents of six children. Elder and Sister Stucki have been called as president and matron of the Las Vegas Nevada Temple.

Elder Robert J. Whetten, 63, was called to the Seventy on 4 April1998. His assignments as a general authority have included serving as president of the Mexico North and South America North areas and as a counselor in area presidencies for those same areas.

Before his call to full-time Church service, he was president of the Paraguay Ascunción Mission, a high councilor, stake mission president’s counselor, bishop and bishop’s counselor. He earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from BYU and worked in international banking in both Mexico and the United States.

Born in Chuichupa, Mexico, Elder Whetten married Raquel Lopez, and they have eight children.

Elder Richard H. Winkel, 64, was called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy on 3 April 1999, where he served as the president of the Mexico South Area and as a counselor in North America West Area, the Utah Salt Lake City Area and the New Zealand/Pacific Island Area.

Prior to his call to the Seventy, he served as the president of the Spain Madrid Mission, stake president, high councilor, bishop, and seminary teacher. He received a bachelor’s degree in communications from BYU and a business administration degree from Pepperdine University. Professionally he was owner and president of a lumber company.

Elder Winkel was born in Oakland, California, and married Karen Hart. They are parents of nine children.


Elder and Sister Winkel are now serving as president and matron of the newly dedicated Sacramento California Temple.

Area Seventies

Area Seventies give voluntary Church service within their assigned geographic areas and support area presidencies in international areas. Called as an Area Seventy: Erich W. Kopischke, 49, Frankfurt, Germany. Released as Area Seventies: César A. S. Milder, Hyae-Kee Min, Masayuki Nakano.