Bruce C. Hafen

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Bruce C. Hafen
First Quorum of the Seventy
April 6, 1996 (1996-04-06) – October 2, 2010 (2010-10-02)
Called by Gordon B. Hinckley
End reason Granted general authority emeritus status
Emeritus General Authority
October 2, 2010 (2010-10-02)
Called by Thomas S. Monson
Personal details
Born Bruce Clark Hafen
(1940-10-30) October 30, 1940 (age 74)
St. George, Utah, United States

Bruce Clark Hafen (born October 30, 1940, St. George, Utah) is an American attorney, academic and religious leader. He has been a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) since 1996.


Hafen was raised in southern Utah. He served a mission for the LDS Church in the West German Mission. He was a mission companion with Marlin K. Jensen, who he later served with as a general authority.[1] In 1964, he married Marie Kartchner and they are the parents of seven children.

Hafen received a bachelor's degree in political science and humanities from Brigham Young University (BYU) and a juris doctorate from the University of Utah.[2]

Hafen then began his career at the law firm of Strong, Poelman and Fox. From 1971 to 1976, Hafen worked as an assistant to the president of BYU. While in this role, he started as a professor at BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School in 1973. A sample of his scholarly articles includes publications in the Harvard Law Review, Harvard International Law Journal, Michigan Law Review, Duke Law Journal, Ohio State Law Journal, and the American Bar Association Journal. Two of his articles were cited in opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court.[3] From 1976 to 1978, he worked for the LDS Church's correlation department.

Hafen served as president of Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho from 1978 to 1985 and from 1985 to 1989 he was the dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU.[4] From 1989 to 1996, he was the Provost of BYU.[4] While in this position he was noted as an advocate of religion in higher education, and specifically for his strong belief that it was the duty of BYU to have faculty who strongly supported its religious principles.

After his appointment as an LDS general authority to the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1996, he served in a variety of assignments. This included serving as president of both the church's Australia/New Zealand and Europe Central areas.

On June 4, 2006, Hafen organized an LDS Stake in Hungary, the first in that nation. It was the second stake organized in the former Eastern Bloc, although there had also been two stakes organized in East Germany when it was a communist country.[5]

In 2009 Hafen spoke at an Evergreen International conference. He acknowledged that Church leaders and members should reach out in love to those with unwanted same-gender attractions. In the context of describing the universal fatherhood of God, Hafen stated, "Having same-gender attraction is not in your DNA, but being a child of God clearly is in your spiritual DNA."[6] Hafen also remarked, "You are not simply a child of God. You are a son or a daughter of God, with all the masculine or feminine connotations of those words."[7]

Hafen said the decision of the American Psychological Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders was “politically motivated.”[8] He further stated “society and laws have long endorsed marriage between a man and a woman with an honored priority as a significant institution. The result is children...thriving best in a formal family with their own father and mother in a setting befitting society's long-term interests and well-being.”[7]

On October 2, 2010, Hafen was released from the First Quorum of the Seventy and designated an emeritus general authority at the LDS Church's semi-annual general conference.[9] He became president of the St. George Utah Temple in November 2010.

Hafen has written a biography of Neal A. Maxwell, a former member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church. Hafen has also written pieces on Latter-day Saint doctrine.[citation needed]

Published works[edit]

  • Hafen, Bruce C. (1986). The Believing Heart: Four Essays on Faith. Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft. 
  • —— (1989). The Broken Heart: Applying the Atonement to Life's Experiences. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book. 
  • ——; Hafen, Marie (1994). The Belonging Heart: The Atonement and Relationships with God and Family. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book. 
  • —— (2002). A Disciple's Life: The Biography of Neal A. Maxwell. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book. 
  • —— (2005). Covenant Hearts: Marriage and the Joy of Human Love. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book. 
  • —— (2008). Broken Hearts: Applying the Atonement to Life's Experiences. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book. 


  1. ^ Deseret News Oct. 2, 2012
  2. ^ LDS Church Almanac, 2008 Edition, p. 45
  3. ^ "Biography of Bruce C. Hafen". LDS Church. Retrieved 2009-12-07. 
  4. ^ a b "Elder Bruce C. Hafen of the Seventy", Ensign, May 1996.
  5. ^ Pickup, David M.W. (June 10, 2006). "Stake in Hungary Eastern Europe's 2nd". Church News. Retrieved December 2, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Elder Bruce C. Hafen Speaks on Same-Sex Attraction". LDS Church. 2009-09-19. Retrieved 2009-12-07. 
  7. ^ a b Groves, Lana; Taylor, Scott (September 19, 2009). "Don't succumb to cultural confusion, Elder Hafen urges". The Deseret News. Retrieved 2009-12-07. 
  8. ^ Winters, Rosemary (September 19, 2009). "Homosexuality 'not in your DNA,' says LDS leader". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved December 2, 2009. 
  9. ^ Scott Taylor (October 3, 2010). "Five Mormon Church leaders given emeritus status". Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA). Retrieved 2010-10-03. 

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Henry B. Eyring
President of Ricks College
Succeeded by
Joe J. Christensen