“Elder Bruce C. Hafen Of the Seventy,” Ensign, May 1996, 101
A nationally recognized scholar on family relationships, children, and education, Elder Bruce C. Hafen is convinced that “the Church’s voice needs to be heard in today’s world.”
For the past 25 years, Elder Hafen, who earned a juris doctorate from the University of Utah and is a former dean of Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School, has taught and written about family law and education. “Gospel perspectives on family life are desperately needed today,” he says, “in courtrooms, classrooms, and family rooms all over the world.”
Elder Hafen’s convictions are formed by rich experiences. He has served in a bishopric and stake presidency and is a former regional representative. In 1973 he helped establish BYU’s law school, teaching on the school’s first faculty. From 1978 to 1985, he was president of Ricks College, always teaching one class each semester. In 1989 he became provost at BYU, the number-two administrator at the university.
During these years, he has always been a teacher-scholar, drawing increasingly on religious foundations for his scholarly and professional activities.
Born on 30 October 1940, Elder Hafen, 55, grew up in St. George, Utah. After graduating from Dixie College in 1960, he served in the West German Mission, then attended Brigham Young University. While attending a religion class, he noticed a classmate, Marie Kartchner. The two married on 2 June 1964 in the St. George Temple and have seven children and 10 grandchildren (one deceased).
“Two subjects have most shaped my attitudes,” Elder Hafen says. “One subject is family relationships, especially child rearing and marriage. The other is the mission and Atonement of the Savior. I’m sure my commitment to both subjects will continue to grow through my new calling.”