President Gordon B. Hinckley counseled members of Elder Bernard P. Brockbank's family to live worthy of the tremendous inheritance they have received. Elder Brockbank, an Emeritus General Authority, died Oct. 11, 2000, at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah. President Hinckley presided over and was the concluding speaker at the funeral of Elder Brockbank on Oct. 17.
"Keep the chain of the generations bright and clear and clean and strong. Be able and above all, be faithful," President Hinckley continued. "May the Lord bless you and comfort you and sustain you in this hour of your sorrow and may his memory remain ever green in your minds as a guide in the way you live your lives."
Also present and addressing the large gathering at the Salt Lake Holladay Stake Center were President Thomas S. Monson and President James E. Faust, counselors in the First Presidency. Seated on the stand were members of the Quorum of the Twelve, Presidency of the Seventy, Quorums of the Seventy and Presiding Bishopric. Family members offered the eulogy and tributes to their father and grandfather.
Elder Brockbank, who has been an Emeritus General Authority since Oct. 4, 1980, was 91. During the funeral, he was lauded for his love for his family, for his integrity in business and real estate development, and for his lifelong service to the Church. At age 53, he was sustained as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Oct. 6, 1962; he was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy on Oct. 1, 1976. During his years as a General Authority, he served as managing director of the Mormon Pavilion at the New York World's Fair, at the Hemisphere in San Antonio, Texas, at "Man and His World" in Montreal, Quebec, and at Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan.
At the age of 18, he entered missionary service to the British Isles. He later served as chairman of the Jordan Valley Welfare Region, as a counselor to two bishops, as a bishop, as a high councilor and as president of the Holladay stake. In 1960, he was called to open and preside over the North British Mission. Under his leadership, the North British Mission was divided twice: the first split creating the Scottish-Irish Mission, over which he presided, and then the creation of the Scottish and Irish missions. In 1972, after becoming a General Authority, Elder Brockbank was called as the first president of the newly organized International Mission, which included all areas of the world without an official mission. He later returned to the British Isles as Area Administrator for the Church over Great Britain and South Africa.
Professionally and civically, Elder Brockbank was a broker, builder and developer. He was an officer of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, Utah Home Builders, Holladay Lion's Club and the Sons of Utah Pioneers. He also served as president of the Granite School District Board of Education and on the Board of Regents for Southern Utah University.
During Elder Brockbank's funeral on a warm fall afternoon, President Hinckley spoke of the great pioneer heritage of the Brockbank family. "There was nothing shoddy about the faith of his forebears," the Church president explained. "Don't you ever do anything, my brothers and sisters, to besmirch in any way that marvelous inheritance which is yours. Think of your grandfather, of your great-grandfather, and try to reflect in your lives some of his great virtues. If you do so you will be better people. I make you a promise of that."
In speaking of the way Elder Brockbank handled challenges throughout his life, President Hinckley recalled how the then-mission president met with a minister of another faith while in the British Isles. "This man lashed out with vituperation against the Church. Brother Brockbank, after he'd listened to all of this just very quietly, said, 'Is that the way you think Jesus would talk?' The man was embarrassed. He was ashamed of himself. That was the way this wise and able man dealt with problems."
During his tribute, President Monson reflected on his memories of Elder Brockbank as a mentor and friend. When President Monson was a young man selling advertising for the Deseret News, he would visit Elder Brockbank in his office. "I learned from Bernard Brockbank, but I learned a lot more than business or advertising or real estate," President Monson related. "I learned that here was a man of character. Here was a man of indomitable spirit. He was a man of courage and a man of fortitude, but he was a man of great faith."
Speaking tenderly to members of Elder Brockbank's family, President Monson recalled how when he became a General Authority, he occupied the office that Elder Brockbank had once occupied. "And his sweet spirit lingered there. He took one thing with him when he left, a great big picture of the New York World's Fair Pavilion. I left the spot blank where you could see the outline where it had been for a long, long time."
President Monson, continuing, said he wanted to express "one thought about his service [in New York]. It was absolutely phenomenal what he did at the New York World's fair. I think we've never seen anything quite like the effect of the Mormon Pavilion and 'Man's Search for Happiness,' where everyone who saw it came out teary eyed."
After quoting 3 John 1:4, President Monson counseled, "Let's all walk in truth, for as we do, we shall honor Bernard Park Brockbank as he honored God."
President Faust, in his comments, recalled 70 years of friendship with the Brockbank family. "Bernard had a great heritage of believing blood," he said. "How would we characterize Bernard? Well, in just a few words, I would say that he was a man who made no small plans. He thought big. When I was on the high council [of the Salt Lake Cottonwood Stake] 52 years ago, Bernard was the bishop of the Winter Ward. I noticed that he had a wonderful rapport with the young people, and he was kind and caring and free with his means."
Continuing, President Faust paid tribute to Elder Brockbank's wife, Frances, for her caring and loving over the years. He also remembered Elder Brockbank's first wife, Nada, who is deceased. (Two sons are also deceased.)
Elder Brockbank was born May 24, 1909, in Holladay, Utah, to Taylor Park and Sarah Henrietta LeCheminant Brockbank. He is survived by his wife, Frances, and by eight children, 38 grandchildren and 86 great-grand-children.