Helvécio Martins

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Helvécio Martins
Hmartins.jpg
Helvécio Martins in 1990
Second Quorum of the Seventy
31 March 1990 (1990-03-31) – 30 September 1995 (1995-09-30)
Called by Ezra Taft Benson
End reason Honorably released
Personal details
Born (1930-07-27)27 July 1930
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Died 14 May 2005(2005-05-14) (aged 74)
Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil
Spouse Rudá Tourinho de Assis
Children 4

Helvécio Martins (27 July 1930 – 14 May 2005) was the first person of Black African descent to be called as a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Born to descendants of African slaves in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Martins joined the LDS Church in 1972, despite his knowledge that the LDS Church did not then allow members of Black African descent to hold the priesthood or to receive temple ordinances.

On 9 June 1978, Martins and his family heard of the announcement that the LDS Church was lifting the priesthood ban. After Martins received the priesthood and his temple ordinances, he served in the LDS Church as a bishop, counselor to a stake president, and as president for the Brazil Fortaleza Mission.

In April 1990, church president Ezra Taft Benson called Martins as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. Martins became the first black general authority in LDS Church history.

After serving a standard five-year term as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, Martins was honorably released as a general authority on 30 September 1995. He died in Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil at age 74.

Martins dictated his life story which was published as The Autobiography of Elder Helvecio Martins.[1]

Martins' son, Marcus, is a former chair of the religion department at Brigham Young University–Hawaii.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Helvecio Martins and Mark Grover, The Autobiography of Elder Helvecio Martins (Aspen Books, 1994, ISBN 1-56236-218-6).

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