“Elder Lloyd P. George of the First Quorum of the Seventy,” Ensign, Nov. 1988, 106
“I’ve been mightily blessed by the Lord,” says Elder Lloyd P. George, who, at age sixty-eight, was sustained in October general conference as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
“I stammered and stuttered terribly in my youth,” he said. “Up until the time I went on my mission I had never given a talk. I couldn’t participate when called upon in school. People would ask my name, and I couldn’t answer.
His parents, Preal and Artimissia, sent him to speech teachers and therapists, but they couldn’t help him. Then, when he was eleven years old, he was given a patriarchal blessing in the hope that it would provide him encouragement.
“My patriarchal blessing noted my problem and said, ‘Know this, that the Lord loves you and wants you to be happy.’ The patriarch then said, ‘I rebuke this condition and say unto you that you will go out into the world and preach the gospel with force to a waiting world.’”
In time, Elder George accepted a call to the Southern States Mission. Still suffering from his affliction, he couldn’t speak when he tried to present the gospel. His companion had to take over for him. His mission president later admitted that he’d thought, “Unless the Lord comes to the rescue of that young man, he won’t be any good to me, and I’ll have to send him home.”
After a month of being unable to communicate with those he visited, he prayed, “Lord, it’s now or never. Help me now, or I go back home.” Then he fasted.
His speech began to improve. “We had been holding weekly cottage meetings with five elderly women,” Elder George said. “At the next meeting I was able to speak fairly well. Afterward my companion said, ‘What happened to you tonight? Ordinarily I couldn’t turn you on, and tonight I couldn’t turn you off.’
“Those were the greatest words I’d heard in my life,” he said.
“I was transferred out of the area, and about six months later when I could really speak and preach, I went back and visited those five elderly investigators at another cottage meeting,” he recalled. “They sat through that meeting and just cried and cried.”
He returned from a successful mission to find World War II waiting for him. “I went into the service and trained as a pilot,” he said. “My patriarchal blessing also said I’d live to a ripe old age, so I wasn’t afraid.”
Elder George was born 17 September 1920 in Kanosh, Millard County, Utah. He married Leola Stott in the Salt Lake Temple on 8 January 1943. They have two daughters, Mrs. JoAnn Red and Mrs. Janet Finlinson; a son, Richard L. George; and twenty grandchildren.
After the war, the Georges bought a corner grocery store in Kanosh, and from that built a merchantile business that Sister George managed while her husband developed a cattle enterprise. Thirty years later they sold their businesses. They eventually moved to Orem, Utah, where Elder George became a real estate broker.
Elder George served as bishop of the Kanosh Ward for ten years, and as president of the Fillmore stake for nine years. He has also served as a Regional Representative and as president of the Arizona Tempe Mission.
Asked for her feelings about her husband’s new calling, Sister George replied, “I feel very good about it. He is truly a worthy servant of our Father in Heaven.”
“We’re looking forward to the coming years with anticipation, and with much joy and happiness in feeling that the Lord wants us,” Elder George said. “I’ve always had a testimony, and we’re certainly willing to serve.”