“Elder Lynn A. Sorensen of the First Quorum of the Seventy,” Ensign, May 1987, 95
Elder Lynn A. Sorensen, newly called to the First Quorum of the Seventy, served his first mission in Brazil beginning in 1940, when the Brazilian Mission was in its fifth year. He returned as president of the Brazil-Porto Alegre Mission in 1973, and again in 1982 as director for temporal affairs.
“I also spent four years as International Materials Management manager for Latin America,” he pointed out, “visiting all six area offices in those countries at least twice a year on training and auditing assignments.”
Elder Sorensen, who is now sixty-seven, was called as patriarch of the Wilford Stake last December, and his new calling to serve as a General Authority just four months later took him by surprise.
“I was greatly humbled by the call to be a patriarch,” he recalled. “But there just aren’t words to express how it felt when President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency issued the call to the First Quorum of the Seventy. It overwhelmed me.
“After the call was announced in conference, we were greeted very warmly by the ecclesiastical leaders from Brazil,” he said. “Their expressions of joy and delight in our call brought tears to our eyes.”
Elder Sorensen expressed his belief that the biggest challenge to the Church in Brazil is training ecclesiastical leaders, because of the rapid growth in the number of members. “They’re baptizing over two thousand converts a month in those missions, which is almost a stake a month. Many of those good men called as bishops and stake presidents have only been in the Church two and three years.”
A significant turning point in Brother Sorensen’s life, from a spiritual standpoint, came during his first mission to Brazil. “I had an academic and athletic scholarship to the University of Chicago and spent my freshman and sophomore years there,” Elder Sorensen said. “I’d always planned on a mission, but after two years at college, a mission didn’t seem all that important. I told my parents I’d like to finish my schooling. Fortunately, I had a very kind and understanding bishop, and special parents who just loved me and prayed for me. When it came time for me to go back to school in the fall, the Lord answered their prayers. I accepted the call and went on my mission.
“It wasn’t very long after I arrived in the mission field and began studying the scriptures regularly that my testimony really grew and developed. From then on it has never wavered, but has just continued to grow stronger. I’m grateful to the Lord for guiding me at that very important crossroad.”
Elder Sorensen has served as bishop of the Kenwood Second Ward, on stake high councils, and as a member of several general Church boards.
He worked in management positions in the electronics industry and as general manager of Deseret Press before becoming affiliated with Church administration in what was then the Internal Communications Department. He also served as executive secretary of the International Mission for four years.
“My most rewarding experience was as mission president,” he said. “I never worked harder, put in more hours, or had more problems or concerns, yet there was never a time when I had sweeter or more satisfying experiences.”
Elder Sorensen was born in Salt Lake City on 25 September 1919. After returning from his mission in Brazil, he served as an instructor in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, then graduated with honors from the University of Utah. He married the former Janet Weech in 1943. They are the parents of nine children and have twenty-six grandchildren.