“Norwegian Area Authority,” Ensign, July 1998, 68–69
“As a 13-year-old boy, I learned to appreciate the Book of Mormon as another testament of Jesus Christ,” remembers Elder Stein Pedersen of Skjetten, Norway, who was sustained as an Area Authority in April 1997. “By reading it and by following Moroni’s advice, I gained a strong testimony of the divinity of this book.”
Elder Pedersen’s parents were both strong members of the Church, his mother having been reactivated not long after his birth and his father joining when Elder Pedersen was four years old. Elder Pedersen faithfully attended his meetings throughout his youth, but despite his testimony of the Book of Mormon, his ties to the Church were mainly for social reasons.
When he reached age 19, the mission president challenged him to be ordained an elder. “This was a turning point in my life,” Elder Pedersen says. “After praying about it, I suddenly realized that having a testimony of the gospel meant I needed to actively show my faith. At that moment I made a promise to use the priesthood in the service of the Lord and thus in the service of my fellow men.”
Another turning point came when he and his wife, Gullaug, were sealed in the London Temple in 1965. “We learned to love the temple and the work that is done there,” he says. “We know the temple brings joy and happiness into our marriage and family life.”
Elder Pedersen is a former airline executive and general manager of a catering business and a company that distributes books and magazines. Presently he is an operations manager for the Norwegian Postal System. He and Sister Pedersen are the parents of five children.