Five new General Authority Seventies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were sustained Saturday, April 1, as part of the April 2023 general conference.
The new General Authority Seventies — along with the new Young Women general presidency and new counselors in the Young Men general presidency — were part of the sustaining of all Church leaders presented by President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, in the conference’s Saturday afternoon session.
Following is a brief look at each new General Authority Seventy. A more in-depth profile on each will appear in coming weeks.
Elder Ahmad S. Corbitt
After ministering around the world as a counselor in the Young Men General Presidency, Elder Ahmad S. Corbitt brings to his calling as a new General Authority Seventy “a greater ability to listen to prophetic and apostolic direction and instruction with increasing care and faith.”
“I don’t think my sense of urgency to strengthen the rising generation will ever diminish,” he said.
Elder Corbitt, who was called to serve in the Young Men general presidency in April 2020, has spent the last three years working with other youth leaders to strengthen the rising generation and to invite them to be actively involved in the work of salvation and exaltation.
“The Children and Youth program teaches us, shows us how to engage the rising generation such that they will be retained and faithful and they’ll be better leaders than we are because they will have grown up with the opportunities to do the work of salvation and exaltation in higher and holier ways,” he said.
Ahmad Saleem Corbitt, 60, was born Aug. 16, 1962, to James Earl Corbitt and Amelia Corbitt, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
On his 18th birthday, Ahmad joined the Church, following his mother and some siblings into the waters of baptism. His stepfather was baptized the next year.
After attending Ricks College and serving in the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission from 1982 to 1984, he met Jayne Joslin during a young single adult temple trip. The couple married on Aug. 24, 1985, in the Washington D.C. Temple and are the parents of six children.
He has degrees from the Richard Stockton University of New Jersey and Rutgers University School of Law. He has served as a high councilor, counselor in two stake presidencies, stake president and president of the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo East Mission.
Elder Corbitt worked as a trial lawyer, in public and government relations, as director of the Church’s New York Office of Public and International Affairs, and as an Area Mission specialist.
Elder Robert M. Daines
Elder Robert M. Daines was working as a law and business professor at Stanford University when he was called to serve as an early morning seminary teacher.
As a lifelong Latter-day Saint, Elder Daines knew the gospel. But something about the calling pushed the professor to study the scriptures like never before. His wife, Ruth Ann Daines, said he often went to bed early and arose at 4 a.m. because he needed three hours to prepare for his daily lesson with 15 students.
“Some people have talent, some have to hustle,” he said. “I’m in the ‘You’d better hustle’ category.”
Elder Daines said he pored over the scriptures for hours each day because he wanted to know and feel the Savior’s love, then help his students make the same connection. The decadelong experience had a powerful impact on his faith and testimony.
“I feel like I was truly converted and came to know Jesus Christ as a seminary teacher in Palo Alto, California,” he said.
Robert Merrill Daines was born in Bloomington, Indiana, on July 28, 1964, to Robert Henry Daines III and Janet Lundgren Daines. He grew up in Provo, Utah, and married Ruth Ann Glazier in the Salt Lake Temple on Dec. 16, 1988. They have five children.
Elder Daines graduated from Brigham Young University before earning a law degree at Yale University. He worked as an associate for Goldman Sachs, then taught at New York University and Yale University. For the last two decades Elder Daines has worked as an associate dean and Pritzker Professor of law and business at Stanford University.
Elder Daines served as a full-time missionary in the Switzerland Zurich Mission. Other Church callings include early morning seminary teacher, nursery leader, high councilor and bishop. He was serving as a stake president at the time of his call as a General Authority Seventy.
Elder J. Kimo Esplin
A few months after returning home from his mission, Elder J. Kimo Esplin was in a car accident that killed his father. Just a few months later, with his mother sitting beside him, his car was struck from behind, the car rolled, and his mother and niece were killed.
Despite the tragedies and grief he has experienced at periods in his life, Elder Esplin considers himself blessed. “Life’s been good,” he said, which he attributes to the Lord and His goodness and tender mercies.
In fact, one of his favorite sayings is “The Lord isn’t doing it to you. He’s doing it for you.”
In the wake of his parents’ deaths, his older sisters all chipped in and sent him on study abroad to the BYU Jerusalem Center. There he met Kaye Davis.
The two became good friends as their cohort of students camped in the Sinai desert, worked in the banana fields and studied the Old and New Testament together.
After returning to Provo, they began dating and were married in the Salt Lake Temple on Dec. 13, 1985. They have eight children.
Elder Esplin earned his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Brigham Young University in 1987. They then moved to Chicago where he began his career in investment banking and earned a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.
After Elder Esplin became executive vice president and chief financial officer for Huntsman Corp., the family relocated briefly to Belgium before settling in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.
Elder Esplin, who was an Area Seventy at the time of his call, served as a mission president in the Japan Tokyo Mission and Japan Tokyo South Mission and as a full-time missionary in the Japan Kobe Mission. He has also served as a high councilor, bishop and stake president.
Jon Ross Kimo Esplin was born on Aug. 18, 1962, in Kahuku, Hawaii, as the youngest — and only boy — of Ross S. and Olive Ora Moody Esplin’s eight children.
Elder Christophe G. Giraud-Carrier
Entering adulthood, Elder Christophe G. Giraud-Carrier had grand plans — engagement to his sweetheart since their teens, starting a rigorous college path, an educational deferment to serve a full-time mission, marriage, and then on with family life and his profession as an engineer in his native France.
While the engagement, mission and marriage went as planned, other expectations didn’t. The deferment wasn’t granted, but a transfer to Brigham Young University happened. University jobs in France were scarce for one educated outside of the country. So raising a family, having a different career and serving in the Church came in different countries and on the Lord’s timetable.
“The mere fact that very few things have happened in the way that we planned from the get-go allowed us both to realize that if we let the Lord do His thing and take us places, then that’s where He wants us to be and that’s where we can serve,” said Elder Giraud-Carrier, called as a new General Authority Seventy at April 2023 general conference.
“It has helped us to learn to trust Him, to trust that He can make of our lives more than we otherwise could.”
Christophe Gérard Giraud-Carrier was born Jan. 21, 1966, in Lyon, France, to Gérard Giraud-Carrier and Annie Giraud-Carrier.
Following his full-time missionary service in the Canada Montreal Mission, he married Isabelle Sophie Mauclair on July 16, 1988, in Cholet, France; they were sealed three days later in the Bern Switzerland Temple. They are the parents of eight children.
After receiving bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in computer science from BYU, he worked as a senior lecturer for England’s University of Bristol and a senior manager for Switzerland’s ELCA Informatique before his 19 years as a BYU computer science professor.
At the time of his call, Elder Giraud-Carrier was serving as stake president of the Provo Utah YSA 16th Stake. Other previous Church assignments include missionary in the Canada Montreal Mission, bishop and president of the France Lyon Mission (2018-21).
Elder Alan T. Phillips
Elder Alan T. Phillips felt the Church was true from a young age, but he hoped for a more personal witness of the Savior before embarking on full-time missionary service.
“I fasted, prayed, went to the woods,” he said. “I was looking for the big answer.”
Then one week, when his family was away on assignment, he attended sacrament meeting by himself.
“I wasn’t seeking. I was just there — preparing for the sacrament and singing with the congregation. And for the first time, the words, the idea of ‘His hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt’ for me — the words just jumped out and entered my heart,” he said.
“And I felt the reality of Him in relation to me, no longer a concept, no longer abstract. He was — in that moment — my Savior.”
Elder Phillips later prayed, thanking Heavenly Father and telling Him that he would be true the rest of his life to this newfound knowledge God had given him.
That was the moment that the reality of the Savior was confirmed to him. Everything else in his testimony builds from that sure foundation (Helaman 5:12), said Elder Phillips.
Alan Thomas Phillips was born in Kent, England, in June of 1970 and grew up in Buckinghamshire, England.
He married Lindsey Iorg in July 2005 in the Mesa Arizona Temple. They have four children and are members of the Church’s historic Hyde Park Stake in London.
Elder Phillips earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the London School of Economics (LSE). He worked for various organizations in business, finance and education — including spending the last four years at the Brigham Young University London Centre.
As a full-time young missionary, Elder Phillips served in the England Manchester Mission. He has also served in the Church as a counselor in a bishopric, stake high counselor, counselor in a stake presidency, stake president, Area Seventy and counselor in the Europe North Area.