Area Authority in Korea

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“Area Authority in Korea,” Ensign, Sept. 1998, 68–69

Area Authority in Korea

As managing director for a major international firm in Korea, Elder Won Yong Ko, an Area Authority Seventy in the Asia North Area, says the Lord has blessed him to be able to carry out both his career and his Church responsibilities. Of the two, he says, “I always put first priority on Church work. Then I can manage everything else without serious problems. This has increased my testimony of the law of consecration.”

Keeping the Word of Wisdom can seem challenging to some Latter-day Saints in Korea, says Elder Ko, because drinking with associates is considered almost mandatory. “However, there are many ways to achieve the same social and career success without violating the Word of Wisdom,” he says. “The Lord compensates us by giving us blessings in his own way.”

Every year his employer sponsors a company sports day, and Elder Ko says he is “one of the few old-timers who still play soccer with the young employees. Many people are surprised because they think I am too old to play such a tough game. But others know I can do it because I do not drink or smoke.”

Elder Ko was in high school when a classmate introduced him to the Church. He attended a Church activity with his friend, and when he entered the meetinghouse he was overwhelmed by the many people who reached out to welcome him. “I wondered, How come?” he remembers. “I was just a young high school student, and many of them were adults and older than I. I was very impressed by the kindness of the Church members.”

On 24 March 1962, after taking the missionary discussions, he was baptized. “The gospel has been the center of my life,” he says. “I love it and know that it is true and can give us everlasting happiness if we are worthy.”

In 1978 Elder Ko married Eun Hee Kim. They are the parents of two children and live in Seoul.

Clockwise from top: Elder Ko; son, Seung-Hyun Ko; mother, Sang-Soon Lee; daughter, Hye-Won Ko; wife, Eun Hee Kim.