Elder Gary E. Stevenson was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Oct. 3, 2015. Born on Aug. 6, 1955, in Cache Valley, Utah, he served as a young full-time missionary in Japan Fukuoka Mission and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Utah State University.
He was the co-founder, president and chief operating officer of Icon Health & Fitness, Inc. In 2004, he was called to serve as the president of the Japan Nagoya Mission and also served as the president of the Asia North Area a few years later.
He married Lesa Jean Higley in the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, and they are the parents of four sons.
Here are seven quotes from Elder Stevenson in the last year in honor of his 66th birthday.
“I believe that one day, each of you will look back at the canceled events, the sadness, disappointments and loneliness attendant to the challenging times we are passing through to see it overshadowed by choice blessings and increased faith and testimonies.”
— “Highly Favored of the Lord,” October 2020 general conference
“Consider the ways that you can continue to grow, and develop, and grow spiritually, and help your family and your loved ones. You might want to write down some of the things that you will do to more fully hear the voice of the Lord. So, I promise you that, as you do that — as you more fully strive to listen and to follow the promptings that you receive — you will be blessed.”
— BYU-Pathway Worldwide devotional, Dec. 8, 2020
The blessings and responsibilities of belonging to the Church
“Many of us are familiar with an expression used by a company in numerous ad campaigns: ‘Membership has its privileges.’ Well, we are not a secular organization; we are the restored Church of Jesus Christ. As such, if I were to articulate similar sentiments as a member of the Church, it might sound something like this: ‘Belonging brings blessings.’ And yet there is more, isn’t there? Belonging brings responsibility as well.”
— BYU devotional, March 4, 2021
Kindness and inclusion
“We have a primary responsibility to set a tone and be role models of kindness, inclusion, and civility — to teach Christlike behavior to the rising generation in what we say and how we act. It is especially important as we observe a marked societal shift toward division in politics, social class, and nearly every other man-made distinction.”
— “Hearts Knit Together,” April 2021 general conference
“You are going to take a few scrapes and bruises. There will be dark patches on the road ahead. But you are sons and daughters of God. As such, you have an inexhaustible, divine source of strength burning inside of you. … The Lord’s promise to us is certain: ‘He that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome’ (Doctrine and Covenants 63:20). There is always hope. Let the knowledge of who you truly are and who is on your side extinguish all of your fears.”
— BYU-Idaho online commencement services, April 8, 2021
The gospel brings vision
“Our ultimate goal is the same: to progress along the covenant path, faithfully preparing for exaltation. A gospel perspective provides vision for you and me to clearly see that path.”
— Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults, May 2, 2021
Measuring success in the mission field
“Your success will be measured primarily by your commitment to fulfill your missionary purpose. You can testify with confidence, as I testify to you, of the Lord’s promise to His missionary servants, ‘I will give you success.’ And with a comforting assurance ‘you can feel the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you.’”
— Mission Leadership Seminar, June 24, 2021