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Leadership changes

Three are called to Presidency of the Seventy, effective Aug. 1

Quentin L. Cook
Quentin L. Cook
Claudio R.M. Costa
Claudio R.M. Costa
Steven E. Snow
Steven E. Snow
Merrill J. Bateman
Merrill J. Bateman
Robert C. Oaks
Robert C. Oaks

The First Presidency has called three new members of the Presidency of the Seventy: Elders Quentin L. Cook, Claudio R.M. Costa and Steven E. Snow, all of the First Quorum of the Seventy. The changes will be effective Aug. 1.

Released from the Presidency of the Seventy are Elders Charles Didier, Merrill J. Bateman and Robert C. Oaks. Elders Didier and Oaks have been called as area presidents. Continuing in the presidency will be Elder Earl C. Tingey, senior president; Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Elder Neil L. Andersen and Ronald K. Rasband.

In addition, the areas in Brazil and Mexico have been combined into single areas for each country. Released from the presidency, Elder Didier will preside over the Brazil Area. Elder Oaks has been called to preside over the Europe Central Area. The Mexico Area will be led by Elder Lynn A. Mickelsen.

Elder Cook, 66, is a former president and CEO of a California health care system and former business attorney in San Francisco, Calif. He was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy April 6, 1996, and served in the Philippines/Micronesia Area presidency. He was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy April 4, 1998, and served as president of the Pacific Islands that year. He became president of the North America Northwest Area in 2002.

Prior to his call as a General Authority, he served as Area Seventy, Regional Representative, stake president and counselor, and bishop. He served a full-time mission in the British Mission. He and his wife, Mary Gaddie Cook, are parents of three children.

Elder Costa, 58, is a former business executive, and was director of the Church's Institute of Religion in Sao Paulo when called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy on April 2, 1994. He was called to the South America South Area in 1994, then to the Brazil Area in 1995. He was president of the Brazil North Area in 1998 where he served until 2002. He was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy March 31, 2001. At that time, he became president of the South America North Area, where he has served to the present.

He is a former president of the Brazil Manaus Mission, Regional Representative, stake president's counselor and bishop. He and his wife, Margareth Ferandes Costa, have four children.

Elder Snow, 57, was a senior partner in a law firm in St. George, Utah, when he was called as a General Authority. He was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy on March 31, 2001. He served as second counselor in the Africa Southeast Area in 2001, first counselor in that area presidency in 2002, and was area president from 2003-2004. He served as an associate director of the Priesthood Department in 2005 and has been the executive director for the past year.

Before being called as a General Authority, he was called as an Area Authority Seventy in April 1999. He has previously served as president of the California San Fernando Mission, stake president and bishop. He is married to Phyllis Squire Snow, and they have four sons.

Elder Didier, who has been a General Authority for 32 years, was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy on Oct. 3, 1975. He has been executive director of the Priesthood and Missionary departments, was Sunday School general president from 1994-1995, and became a member of the Presidency of the Seventy the first time Aug. 15, 1992-95, and was sustained the second time Oct. 6, 2001. He has served as president of the South America North, North America Southwest and Europe East areas, and served in the Utah South Area.

Before his call as a General Authority, he was president of the France/Switzerland Mission and a regional representative. He is a convert to the Church, having been baptized in 1957. He and his wife, Lucie Lodomez Didier, have two children.

Elder Bateman, former president of BYU and former Presiding Bishop, was sustained on April 5, 2003, to the Presidency of the Seventy. Sustained at the same time as Sunday School general president, he served in that capacity until April 3, 2004. He served as president of BYU from Jan. 1, 1996, to 2003. He was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy on Oct. 3, 1992. He was sustained as Presiding Bishop on April 2, 1994 and served until April 6, 1996, when he became president of BYU, being inaugurated April 25, 1996.

Before his call as a General Authority, he was a Regional Representative, and stake president, and was dean of BYU College of Business and the School of Management, and was owner of two management companies. He and his wife, Marilyn Scholes Bateman, are parents of seven children.

Elder Oaks, a retired Air Force four-star general, was sustained to the Presidency of the Seventy on Oct. 2, 2004. He was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy on April 1, 2000, serving as counselor and and later as president of the Africa Southeast area, and in the Utah North Area.

Before being called as a General Authority, he was president of the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania North Stake, former district president's counselor, high councilor, mission president's counselor and bishop's counselor. He and his wife, Gloria Unger Oaks, are parents of six children.

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