Marion G. Romney

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Marion G. Romney
Marion G. Romney2.jpg
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
November 10, 1985 (1985-11-10) – May 20, 1988 (1988-05-20)
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
November 5, 1985 (1985-11-05) – May 20, 1988 (1988-05-20)
First Counselor in the First Presidency
December 2, 1982 (1982-12-02) – November 5, 1985 (1985-11-05)
Called by Spencer W. Kimball
End reason Dissolution of First Presidency on the death of Spencer W. Kimball
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
July 7, 1972 (1972-07-07) – December 2, 1982 (1982-12-02)
Called by Harold B. Lee
End reason Called as First Counselor in the First Presidency after death of N. Eldon Tanner
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 4, 1951 (1951-10-04) – July 7, 1972 (1972-07-07)
Called by David O. McKay
End reason Called as Second Counselor in the First Presidency
LDS Church Apostle
October 11, 1951 (1951-10-11) – May 20, 1988 (1988-05-20)
Called by David O. McKay
Reason Death of George Albert Smith and reorganization of First Presidency
at end of term
Richard G. Scott ordained
Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
April 6, 1941 (1941-04-06) – October 4, 1951 (1951-10-04)
Called by Heber J. Grant
End reason Called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Personal details
Born Marion George Romney
(1897-09-19)September 19, 1897
Colonia Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico
Died May 20, 1988(1988-05-20) (aged 90)
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Resting place Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park
40°41′52.08″N 111°50′30.12″W / 40.6978000°N 111.8417000°W / 40.6978000; -111.8417000 (Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park)

Marion George Romney (September 19, 1897 – May 20, 1988) was an apostle and a member of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Early life[edit]

Romney was born in Colonia Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, to parents who had come from the United States. Romney was the son of George S. Romney and a cousin of Michigan governor George W. Romney (who was born in nearby Colonia Dublan and who is the father of 2012 Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney). His mother was Teressa Artemesia Redd, daughter of Lemuel Hardison Redd and Sariah Louisa Chamberlain. His parents were married in Colonia Juarez in 1894.

Romney was the second oldest of their ten children. Romney's younger sister, Lurlene Romney Cheney, was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church and later became Sister Mary Catherine, a Carmelite nun, at the Carmel of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Holladay, Utah.[1]

Romney studied at Academia Juárez until his family left Mexico in 1912, as violence from the ongoing Mexican revolution spread to their region. He spent the remainder of his youth in California and Idaho. In 1917, the Romneys moved to Rexburg, Idaho, where his father took the position of principal of Ricks Academy. Romney completed his high school study at Ricks as valedictorian of his class in 1918.

From 1920 to 1923, Romney was an LDS Church missionary in Australia. After his return from his mission, he worked in construction in Salt Lake City for his uncle Gaskell Romney (the father of George W. Romney).

Tertiary education and family[edit]

Romney studied at Brigham Young University (BYU) for a year. While there, he renewed his acquaintance with Ida Jensen, a former teacher at Ricks who was working on a master's degree at BYU.

Romney and Jensen were married on September 12, 1924, in the Salt Lake Temple. The marriage was performed by apostle Joseph Fielding Smith.

After his marriage, Romney began studying at the University of Utah. He received a bachelor's degree in political science and history in 1926. Romney then studied law at the University of Utah, but did not complete course work there. He passed the Utah bar exam in 1929.

Romney's wife gave birth to three children, only one of whom, George Jensen Romney, lived longer than one year. George lived to adulthood, served a mission, and in April 1983 delivered a general conference sermon that his father had written. The Romneys also had an adopted child, Richard Jensen Romney.

Church service and politics[edit]

Before his call to be a general authority, Romney was an assistant prosecuting attorney in Salt Lake City. He had previously worked for the post office.

Romney also was elected to the Utah House of Representatives in 1934 as a Democrat. While running for the legislature, he accepted a call as a bishop from his stake president, Bryant S. Hinckley. Due to his election, his ordination as a bishop was delayed until after the end of the legislature's term, in April 1935. While in the legislature, Romney was a key figure in writing Utah's liquor control law. Romney served just one term in the House.

General authority[edit]

Romney while an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Romney's 47 years as a general authority of the LDS Church began when he became one of the first five persons called to fill the new position of an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1941. In 1951, he was advanced to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In 1960, Romney was among those who developed the Home Teaching program of the church.

In 1961, Romney was appointed the area supervisor for the church over Mexico. Although he had lived his first fifteen years in Mexico, it was in the mainly American Mormon colonies, so he knew very little Spanish. He was assisted by Eduardo Balderas in learning more of the language. Romney supervised the church's growth in Mexico for the next eleven years. He oversaw a plan that allowed for the church to build many meetinghouses in Mexico and it was during this time that the first Spanish-language stakes in Mexico were organized.

Romney became Second Counselor in the First Presidency when Harold B. Lee, with whom he had worked on the Church Welfare program, became church president in 1972.

Lee's death the following year brought Spencer W. Kimball to the church presidency; Kimball retained Romney and First Counselor N. Eldon Tanner in their positions. As the First Presidency, Kimball, Tanner, and Romney announced the reception of the Revelation on Priesthood in June 1978; the announcement was canonized as "Official Declaration 2" in the church's Doctrine and Covenants.

As Kimball, Tanner, and Romney all became octogenarians and developed health problems, Gordon B. Hinckley was added as an additional counselor in 1981. Upon Tanner's death in 1982, Romney was named First Counselor and Hinckley Second Counselor, but Romney was relatively inactive in this position due to poor health. When Kimball died in 1985, press reports indicated that Romney had not been seen in public for many months.

Ezra Taft Benson, who had been President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, became the next church president and named Hinckley his First Counselor and Thomas S. Monson as his Second Counselor. Romney, as the apostle with the second-longest seniority in the church, became President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. However, "because President Romney’s health [kept] him from taking an active part in Church administration," Howard W. Hunter, who ranked next in seniority, was made Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve.[2] Romney was never formally set apart as President of the Twelve.[citation needed]

Marion G. Romney's grave marker

Romney died at his home in Salt Lake City from causes incident to age. He was 90 and had been an LDS Church general authority for 47 years. Funeral services were held on May 23, 1988, at the Salt Lake Tabernacle, under the direction of church president Ezra Taft Benson. Romney was buried at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park in Salt Lake City,[3] beside his wife who had died in 1979.

On Romney's death, the Deseret News Church Almanac remembered him as a "renowned Church Welfare pioneer and Book of Mormon scholar".[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Moulton, Kristen (September 19, 2009), The Salt Lake Tribune, p. C2  Missing or empty |title= (help); |contribution= ignored (help)
  2. ^ Gardner, Marvin K. (April 1986), Ensign  Missing or empty |title= (help); |contribution= ignored (help)
  3. ^ Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park & Mortuary
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Ezra Taft Benson
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
November 10, 1985 – May 20, 1988
Succeeded by
Howard W. Hunter
Preceded by
N. Eldon Tanner
First Counselor in the First Presidency
December 2, 1982 – November 5, 1985
Succeeded by
Gordon B. Hinckley
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
July 7, 1972 – December 2, 1982
Preceded by
Delbert L. Stapley
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 11, 1951 – July 7, 1972
November 5, 1985 – May 20, 1988
Succeeded by
LeGrand Richards