“Elder G. Homer Durham Called to Presidency of Seventy,” Ensign, Nov. 1981, 108
In April 1977, Elder G. Homer Durham, a newly-sustained member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, bore testimony that “there is no greater privilege, no greater joy, no greater opportunity than service to our fellowmen in the name of our Lord and Savior.”
Saturday, October 3, as he lay in a Salt Lake City hospital recovering from open-heart surgery, Elder Durham was sustained by members of the Church as a new member of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy. His appointment fills the vacancy created by Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Elder Durham, 70, became a General Authority four years ago following a distinguished career in higher education. He retired in 1976 after seven years as the first commissioner and chief executive officer of the Utah System of Higher Education. He has also served as president of Arizona State University at Tempe and vice president of the University of Utah.
He has given extensive service on government and education committees, has been active in professional organizations, and has been a consultant in public administration to the states of Utah, Nevada, and Montana, as well as to various interstate commissions and municipal associations. He is the author, compiler, or editor of numerous books and monographs on public administration, government, and taxation.
Elder Durham began his extensive Church service while a young man as a missionary in England. Subsequently he served on stake high councils in Arizona and Utah, on the Sunday School general board, as president of the Salt Lake Central Stake, and as a Regional Representative. Since his call to the First Quorum of the Seventy, he has served as managing director of the Church Historical Department and the Temple Department. For nearly a quarter of a century he was a contributing editor to the Improvement Era, forerunner of the Ensign. Among his numerous gospel-related works are books concerning several Church Presidents—The Gospel Kingdom (John Taylor); Joseph Smith: Prophet-Statesman; The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff; and Gospel Standards (Heber J. Grant).
He married Eudora Widtsoe, and they are the parents of three children.