“Church Magazines Editor Appointed,” Ensign, Mar. 1976, 80
The First Presidency has appointed Dean L. Larsen as Director/Editor of Church Magazines, filling the vacancy created by the recent death of Doyle L. Green.
Brother Larsen now succeeds a long line of Church magazine editors—which included Elder B. H. Roberts, Edward H. Anderson, Hugh J. Cannon, Elder John A. Widtsoe, Elder Richard L. Evans, and Doyle L. Green.
In making the appointment, the First Presidency placed under one director/editor, Brother Larsen, the full Church program of magazines, instructional development, and curriculum. Brother Larsen has been director of curriculum and instructional materials since 1972.
Brother Larsen comes to the position with an impressive twenty-six-year record of rich experience that has given him an uncommon breadth and depth of understanding, but through which runs one common thread—that of constant interest in teaching people and helping them to help themselves.
Thus, with conviction, he says, “Our Church magazines are the finest avenues for self-study, other than the scriptures, that we have in the Church. I wish everyone were aware of the impact the magazines have on all of our lives.”
Born in Hyrum, Utah, May 27, 1927, Brother Larsen was active in sports and debate as a teen prior to serving in the U.S. Navy for two years. During the next four years he attended Utah State University, graduating in English and Spanish in 1950. Midway through his college training he married Geneal Johnson of Ashton, Idaho, and today they are the parents of five children—four daughters and one son.
After several years in sales work and other endeavors, Brother Larsen became a schoolteacher (“I decided I would go where my heart wanted to be”) and lived the next eight years in the Big Horn Basin of north-central Wyoming, where he (1) taught English and Spanish; (2) coached basketball and track, winning the state basketball championship in 1953 and being named “Coach of the Year”; (3) served as a high school principal; (4) became a high school and college athletic referee; and (5) taught early-morning seminary.
“All my life I have been interested in Indians—as a boy I used to read everything I could get my hands on about them.” So, in 1960 he accepted the request to teach seminary at Utah’s Brigham City Intermountain Indian School and one year later was at Brigham Young University as assistant coordinator of Indian Seminaries. Then in 1962 he was appointed secretary of the Church Indian Committee, where he traveled widely and worked with many Indian tribal leaders in the United States and Canada.
In 1966 he taught at the University of Utah Institute of Religion, then served three years as mission president in Texas, then taught two years at the Ogden Institute of Religion before accepting the appointment as coordinator of curriculum planning for the Church in 1972. That position has led to his overseeing all Church courses of study and all audio-visual and instructional materials.
During these years, Brother Larsen has also served in the Church as stake missionary, bishop, high councilor, all-Church Priesthood Missionary Committee member, secretary of the adult correlation committee, and Sunday School General Board member. He is presently a Regional Representative of the Council of the Twelve.