“Elder Graham W. Doxey Of the Seventy,” Ensign, May 1991, 100
Graham W. Doxey’s grandfather joined the Church in England and migrated to Utah. Alone for most of his growing-up years, he determined to make his family a top priority. Two generations later, Elder Doxey has inherited that determination.
“Family is really the only association that is eternal,” explains Elder Doxey, newly called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy. “Other relationships in life come and go, so why not concentrate on the one unit that is going to endure?”
That commitment to family is shared by Elder Doxey’s wife, Mary Lou Young Doxey, whose lifelong dream to have a dozen children was fulfilled in 1974 when Mary Kim was born. At the time, Brother Doxey was taking a three-year break from working in the real estate management firm he owns with his two brothers to serve as mission president in the Missouri Independence Mission.
Besides Mary, the others of the Doxey dozen are Diane (Jones), Carol (Richards), Marilee (Page), Graham, Robert, Lisa (Patch), Scott, Meg (Boud), Amy, who died as an infant, Becky (Schettler), and Sarah.
The Doxeys have always enjoyed traveling together and look back on their three years in Missouri as wonderful bonding years. Recently, adult members of the family have also enjoyed three-day “family conferences.”
“If it’s good for the Church to have conferences, it ought to be good for us,” Elder Doxey says. The Doxey conferences have convened in Missouri, Illinois, and Utah.
But those conferences are only an extension of a tradition begun years ago. Sunday afternoons were often devoted to family teaching sessions when Brother Doxey would gather the children around the dinner table or on a blanket outside under the trees.
“He would teach them, using the scriptures or a story, about an eternal principle or perspective,” recalls Sister Doxey. “His great love is teaching the children to appreciate the gospel and the world around them.”
Elder Doxey learned to appreciate those things while growing up in Salt Lake City. Born 30 March 1927, Graham was the second child of Graham H. and Leone Watson Doxey. When Graham was sixteen, the Doxey family moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where his father served as mission president. After graduating from high school and spending a year at the University of Louisville and an eighteen-month stint in the navy, Graham returned to Salt Lake City.
On his first Sunday home, he noticed his future wife. Although they had grown up in the same ward, she was three years younger than he was. “I’d never paid attention to her before,” Elder Doxey notes. The two went on only a few dates before Graham left to serve in the Central Atlantic States Mission.
However, during the next two years, the couple corresponded frequently. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on 22 June 1950 and settled in the Salt Lake Valley.
It was on his mission that Brother Doxey first read the Book of Mormon completely. “I’ll never forget how I felt as I was sitting up in bed reading one night,” he recalls. “I wasn’t anywhere near Moroni’s promise in my reading, but its truthfulness settled over me like a blanket. I tingled with the excitement.
“When I came home from my mission, I knew the gospel was true because I thought I could prove it through the scriptures,” he continues. “But after a while, the gospel wasn’t only true because of the scriptures; it was true because I could see it working in the lives of people.”
Service in the Church has been a big part of Elder Doxey’s life. In addition to being a mission president, he has served as a bishop, a stake president, a temple sealer, and a counselor in the Young Men General Presidency.
“Every opportunity to serve in the Church just helps you refine your testimony. I know the Lord lives, and it will be a wonderful thrill to bear that testimony to people of the world,” he says.
“This new opportunity is overwhelming and humbling, but I keep thinking of newborn lambs or foals trying to get their feet under them. I’m trying to get my feet under me. But I’ll do it and give the Lord all that I have.”