“Elder F. Enzio Busche Of the First Quorum of the Seventy,” Ensign, Nov. 1977, 99–100
President Kimball was in West Berlin. He had just returned from Poland, and at 8:00 P.M. he spoke to the Saints in the Berlin Germany Stake. For an hour, Elder F. Enzio Busche, then the Regional Representative for the seven German stakes, translated for the prophet as he spoke.
At 10:00 the meeting ended. “Everyone was inspired—but tired,” Elder Busche recalled. “There were some light refreshments—but even before we were through with them, President Kimball said, ‘Well, Brother Busche, why don’t we go to the stake president’s office?’”
They sat in the office together, and President Kimball asked Elder Busche if he would be willing to serve as one of the General Authorities.
When asked later how he felt about the calling at the time, Elder Busche responded, “I think the Lord helps by not giving you the full understanding at the time. If you really understood all that it meant, you wouldn’t be able to respond.”
But after a long pause of shock Elder Busche did respond. “I can’t see an honest way to escape,” he said.
“Can you put that in a positive way?” President Kimball asked.
And he did, for putting things positively seems to come easily for Elder Busche. In fact, it has long been one of the rules in his family, and something he has particularly stressed in his past teaching as Regional Representative in Germany.
“We have a few dos and don’ts in our family. One of them is to try never to speak bad of others. Speaking bad of people builds up an evil spirit in the home, and it’s hard to overcome it. Also, the use of low or vulgar language of any kind we always took note of so we could overcome it.
“Another rule is that we try not to argue,” he went on. “Successfully avoiding argument has the good result of setting the right priorities in the home. The atmosphere of protection, help, and true love must supersede all other desires. And daily earnest study of the scriptures and humble prayer are the prerequisites.” Brother Busche believes, however, that there is nothing unique in the way he and his wife have raised their family. “We have always learned from the good example of other people.”
Elder Busche feels very happy about the positive development that the Church has made in the past few years in Germany. The most important concern, he says, “is not so much that the members do not know the program or do not have the best desires to serve—for they do. But just as important are little things like the manner of behavior and questions of style, which must be improved: extending a heartfelt welcome to other members of the Church; learning to ask people for forgiveness successfully; calling people to repentance without offending; refraining from judging or condemning other people.
“To bridge the gap between knowledge and actions is the goal of the leaders in Germany.” And everywhere else, too!
Born 5 April 1930 in Dortmund, Germany, in the heart of the industrial center of that nation, Elder Busche grew up during years of tumult, depression, and then the rise of strong nationalistic feeling before World War II. At the age of fourteen, he was drafted into the German army as part of the last reserve. Living as he did in one of the most heavily bombed parts of Germany, he was already familiar with devastation and starvation. Though he was a soldier, he is very thankful that “I was never forced to hurt or kill anyone.” When the war ended, his father gradually built up the business he had started in 1922, a publishing firm which Elder Busche has continued to build into a company with several partnerships and wholly owned subsidiaries.
His father, Fritz Busche, who died in 1964, “was one of the greatest men I can imagine, besides the General Authorities,” says Elder Busche, and his strong love for the family he was born into continues with his own family today.
Elder Busche first learned about the Church in 1956, and after his baptism in 1958, he received his first calling, as branch clerk. Soon he became elders quorum president—with responsibility for all the elders in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, one of the most densely populated states in West Germany.
Since then, he has served as Dortmund Branch president, Ruhr District president, and as a counselor to two mission presidents, culminating in his call as Regional Representative in Germany since December 1970. During his service as Regional Representative, three German-speaking stakes have become seven.
Throughout all his work, with the Church and with his publishing company, he has received support from his wife, Jutta. In fact, she has been a part of his life since they met in childhood! Elder Busche clearly remembers their meeting. He was seven years old, and had built a cathedral out of wooden blocks. His father, proud of his son’s work, closed off the living room so that the younger children couldn’t knock it down.
“Then Mrs. Baum, an old friend of my mother’s, came to call—bringing her two-year-old daughter Jutta. The living room was opened, and the little girl went straight to my building and—crash.” Enzio’s mother was upset. “What will the boy say?” she asked.
But when seven-year-old Enzio stood in the doorway and surveyed the damage, he only said, “It’s OK, it’s OK. It doesn’t matter.”
“I was in love with my wife from the very beginning,” he says. They were married in 1955, and soon afterward began the saga of Church service and devoted love for family and friends that has brought Elder F. Enzio Busche to his present calling.
In Europe, where nations and language groups rub shoulders, Elder Busche has seen that the gospel transcends such differences. “In the Swiss Temple we meet with many different languages, many different nationalities. But the Spirit is the same. The Spirit knows no boundaries.”