Elder Komatsu: 'The Lord's callings come first'

First General Authority of Japanese descent dies


Elder Adney Yoshio Komatsu, who served in the First Quorum of the Seventy from 1976-1993, died in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Feb. 23. He was 87.

Elder Adney Y. Komatsu
Elder Adney Y. Komatsu Photo: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Elder Komatsu was born Aug. 2, 1923, in Honolulu to Jizaemon and Misao Komatsu, who had come from Japan to live in Hawaii. In 1941, at age 17, Adney Komatsu joined the Church after being raised in the Buddhist faith.

He served in many capacities in the Church, including branch president, stake clerk, high councilor and bishop.

In an article in the May 1975 Ensign, Elder Komatsu shared the experience of when he was called to serve as the president of his branch. Only two days after he and his wife, Judy Nobue Fujitani, were married, they attended, for the first time, sacrament meeting in Sister Komatsu's branch. During that service, the 27 year-old Adney Komatsu heard his name read to be sustained as branch president. From that point on, the Komatsus made Church service an important part of their lives, saying that "the Lord's callings come first and if we serve wholeheartedly, everything falls into place" (Ensign, May 1975, p. 119).

In 1965, Elder Komatsu began his service as mission president for the Northern Far East Mission where he served with his wife until their release in 1968. Seven years after their return from serving a mission, Elder Komatsu was called by President Spencer W. Kimball to serve as an Assistant to the Council of the Twelve. On April 4, 1975, at the age of 51, he was sustained as an Assistant to the Twelve, becoming the first member of Japanese descent to be called as a General Authority.

Elder Komatsu served as an Assistant to the Twelve until his call to the First Quorum of the Seventy on Oct. 1, 1976. During his service, he was executive administrator in the Hawaii, Tonga, Samoa and Micronesia Area from 1978-82. He served as president of the Tokyo Japan Temple from 1982-85 and second counselor in the Utah South Area from 1984-85. He then served as first counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency from 1985-87, and as first counselor in the Utah South Area from 1985-87. Elder Komatsu served as Asia Area president from 1987-90, second counselor in the Utah North Area from 1990-91, until he served as Assistant Executive Director of the Priesthood Department of the Church. He was given an emeritus General Authority status on Oct. 2, 1993.

After his release from the First Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Komatsu served as a sealer in the Laie Hawaii Temple.

Elder Komatsu served in the U.S. Army's 441st Counterintelligence Corps in Japan during World War II. In 1954, he joined Honolulu Federal Savings and Loan where he became senior vice president and manager of the mortgage division.

Elder Komatsu is survived by his wife, Judy, and their four children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

— Marianne Holman

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