“Elder Francisco J. Viñas Of the Seventy,” Ensign, May 1996, 104
Service lies at the heart of knowing our Heavenly Father and loving his children, says Francisco J. Viñas.
“Everything important that my wife and I have learned in life has come through service,” he says. “In fact, a large part of our testimonies has come through serving the Lord.”
Elder Viñas is grateful that the gospel has provided him with opportunities to share that testimony as he has ministered to others. He has been an Area Authority, regional representative three times, stake president, bishop, and mission president in Argentina.
In Spain, where Francisco was born in Seville on 28 December 1946, he has been serving as country director of the Church Educational System (CES) since 1993. His assignment there represents a homecoming of sorts for Elder Viñas, whose parents immigrated to Paraguay in 1948. Before settling in Montevideo, Uruguay, two years later, they were baptized into the Church.
While growing up in Montevideo, Elder Viñas developed a love of basketball and eventually played in his country’s professional basketball league while simultaneously serving as bishop.
Before working in CES in 1977 as an institute director in Montevideo, Elder Viñas was a production cost supervisor for the Bayer Company and then worked in the Church’s finance department in Uruguay. He later became CES system coordinator in Uruguay.
On 30 December 1966, Elder Viñas married Cristina Gaminara in Montevideo. They were sealed in 1974 in the Salt Lake Temple. Because of his demanding work and Church service, Elder Viñas and his wife make the most of their family time together with their three children.
“All my callings have helped prepare me for this new opportunity to serve, but I am especially grateful for the influence and tutoring of the General Authorities,” he says. “They are men of God.”