Church spokesman retires

A frequently quoted spokesman for the Church, Don LeFevre, is retiring as manager of print media and news service relations in the Church Public Affairs Department.

His retirement on Jan. 8 brings to a close a 36-year career in public relations work for the Church. Before joining the Public Affairs Department in 1973, he worked 11 years as an account executive and copywriter for David W. Evans & Associates, a Salt Lake-based advertising public relations firm, where he was on the staff of the Church Information Service, the forerunner of the Public Affairs Department.

He was public relations director for the Mormon Pavilion at the New York World's Fair in 1965, the Hill Cumorah Pageant from 1967-76, and the Mormon Pavilion at Hemisfair '68 in San Antonio, Texas, and was a public relations adviser for the Church's exhibit at Expo '74 in Spokane, Wash.

In his position as manager of print media and news service relations, he has met hundreds of journalists from throughout the world or had contact with them by telephone as they prepared articles about the Church. He has answered questions about Church policies and doctrines, made arrangements for interviews, conducted press conferences and hosted various media representatives as they visited Church headquarters in Salt Lake City.

Brother LeFevre, who said he was more comfortable answering questions about the Church than about himself, emphasized that he has not been "the" spokesman for the Church, but merely "a" spokesman. "My job has been with just one facet of public affairs," he said. "I've worked under the guidance of four managing directors: Wendell J. Ashton, Heber G. Wolsey, Richard P. Lindsay and, most recently, Bruce L. Olsen. I also worked under the direction of Jerry P. Cahill, who was director of media relations for a number of years."

Brother LeFevre suceeded Brother Cahill in 1989 as director of media relations. In 1993, he became a manager of print media and news service relations.

Brother LeFevre has usually been the person quoted in the print media in articles concerning the Church.

Asked to name some highlights of his career, he mentioned the revelation on the priesthood, announcements of new temples and general conferences.

Photographs in his office capture other moments of significance on a more personal level. One shows him with President David O. McKay; another is of him entering the Sacred Grove with President Harold B. Lee.

"The highs are ongoing," he said. "One thing about this job is that no two days are alike. There is always something new. Working with the media has been a very satisfying job."

Brother LeFevre and his wife, Bonnie, are members of the Woodland Hills Ward, Bountiful Utah Central Stake. They have four sons and a daughter, all grown, 12 grandchildren and twin great-granddaughters.