“Glenn L. Pace, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric,” Ensign, May 1985, 95
Some twelve years ago, Glenn Pace began to evaluate his life’s goals—and he found them wanting. In his mid-thirties, he had completed a master’s degree, worked for two “Big Eight” accounting firms, and acted as chief financial officer for a land development company.
But he also felt deeply unfulfilled and uncertain. “I had been trying to hold to both the iron rod and the ‘golden rod’ at the same time,” reflects Bishop Pace. “When I decided to surrender my will to the Lord, almost overnight the clouds dispersed and I saw a new direction.”
His shift in orientation moved him to apply for a position as manager of accounting in the Church Welfare Department. He wasn’t hired for four months. But he felt so strongly that he would be working for the Church that in the interim he traded his luxury car for a Volkswagen to accommodate a change in life-style. He emerged from this time of transition determined to give whatever the Lord required. On April 6, the Lord required his full-time service when he was sustained as Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric.
As a teenager, Glenn Pace had already learned much about the intangibles of serving the Lord from watching the service of his own father. Kenneth Pace was the kind of bishop whose radiating goodness won him the love and loyalty of people both within and outside the faith. When Glenn began dating a girl in his neighborhood, Jolene Clayson, her grandfather advised her, “You be sure to wait for Glenn while he’s on his mission because you’ll never find anyone as good as Bishop Pace’s son.”
Jolene did wait, and the Paces were married in the Salt Lake Temple after Glenn returned from the New England States Mission—where he came to appreciate diversity as he taught people from all kinds of backgrounds and educational levels. Bishop and Sister Pace now have four sons and two daughters—the oldest serving a mission in the Cook Islands.
In his work in the Welfare Department, Brother Pace found the mix that perfectly satisfied both his business aptitude and his humanitarian instincts. After working in the financial section for five years, he became a zone director and then director of field administration. In July 1981, he became managing director.
His vision of welfare principles was refined in weekly Friday afternoon meetings with President Marion G. Romney, who would often read to him from the scriptures and from President J. Reuben Clark’s welfare talks. “He would reminisce and talk about very basic principles. Always he tried to get me to see beyond the welfare farm, beyond the storehouse, to why they were set up—to help people help themselves.” On a bookshelf in Bishop Pace’s office sit seven looseleaf notebooks containing all the talks on welfare principles he has researched. These have guided him in “the great challenge to separate principles from traditions, objectives from programs.”
Just a year ago, Brother Pace toured underdeveloped countries, specifically to see Church members on the lower half of the economic scale. “When the gospel enters people’s lives, they become susceptible to temporal teachings, as well as spiritual teachings. This experience made me feel that we can do more to save our people temporally.” His sensitivity to need in the world deepened again with his recent visit to Ethiopia, where he and Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy directed the disbursement of Church contributions to famine relief.
These experiences have given Bishop Pace a vision precisely suited to helping direct the temporal affairs of the Church.