Elder W. Mack Lawrence, emeritus General Authority Seventy, dies at age 91

Elder W. Mack Lawrence, an emeritus General Authority Seventy, died on June 25, 2018, in his home in Salt Lake City at the age of 91.

Elder Lawrence was sustained as a General Authority on April 6, 1991, in general conference and served in that calling until his release on Oct. 5, 1996.

“Elder Lawrence can best be described as an organizer, a person who has a firm belief in setting goals as individuals and as a group,” reported the Church News after his call to be a General Authority.

Born Oct. 28, 1926, in Salt Lake City, the oldest child to Richard Sterling Lawrence and Thelma McKenzie Lawrence. Elder Lawrence grew up in Provo, where he attended Provo High School. After high school, during World War II, he enlisted in the military. Upon returning home he enrolled at the University of Utah where he studied business.

While attending college, he began dating Jackie Young, a friend he knew in high school. One day after Jackie graduated from college, the two married in the Salt Lake Temple on June 15, 1949. They are the parents of three children.

After graduating from college, Elder Lawrence was hired by US West Communications, where he worked for nearly four decades, eventually working his way to the company's Utah vice president and chief executive officer.

Elder Lawrence served as chairman of the building fund campaign for Primary Children’s Medical Center, as a member of the board of directors of the Utah Symphony, as chairman of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and a member of the executive committee of the Utah Foundation.

During his talk in the April 1996 general conference, Elder Lawrence spoke of conversion and covenants.

“It is insufficient to just hear the word of God in gatherings such as this conference,” he said. “In order to have God’s word impact our lives — to receive the promised blessings — we must follow it. …

“A truly converted follower of Christ — one who merits the designation of disciple or Saint — could not be casual or complacent in his or her approach to service in the Church nor in keeping covenants and commandments.”

Preceding Elder Lawrence in death was his first wife, Jacqueline, who died in October 2009, a daughter, Deborah Patricia Poarch, who died in April 2009, and a grandson, Wesley William Castleton. Elder Lawrence is survived by his wife, Judith Hegelstad Bullough Lawrence; two children; 10 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

The funeral will be held on Saturday, June 30, 2018, at 11 a.m. at the Salt Lake Valley View Stake Center, 2245 E. 3900 South, Salt Lake City. A viewing will be held Friday evening, June 29, 2018, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Wasatch Lawn Mortuary, 3401 S. Highland Dr., Salt Lake City, and at the stake center prior to the service from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m.