“Elder Walter F. González,” Ensign, Nov. 2007, 128
Elder Walter Fermín González has a firm testimony that service brings blessings. “We are always in debt with the Lord, because the reward is always larger than any service we do,” he says.
Elder González’s preparation to serve began early in life, before he was a member of the Church. After he turned nine years old, his mother suggested he learn English. Though his parents weren’t members, he believes his mother was an “instrument in the hands of the Lord” in preparing him for the callings he would eventually receive.
“Nobody knew that I was going to be a member of the Church nine years later. Nobody knew that one day I was going to be called to be a General Authority and need to speak English,” he says.
Born to Fermín Gabino González Valdez and Victoria Dolores Núñez Roda on November 18, 1952, in Montevideo, Uruguay, Elder González was baptized when he was 18. He married Zulma Anahir Núñez in Montevideo on February 28, 1975. They were sealed in the Washington D.C. Temple in 1979 and are the parents of four children. They look forward to the upcoming birth of their first grandchild.
Elder González studied at Universidad de la República in Uruguay and Universidad de la Fraternidad in Argentina and obtained a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University at Bloomington.
Elder González was sustained to the Presidency of the Seventy on October 6, 2007. He previously served as President of the Brazil North and South America West Areas and as a counselor in the South America North and Brazil North Area Presidencies. He also served as an Area Seventy in the South America North Area, a mission president in Ecuador, a stake president in Uruguay, and an area public affairs director in the South America North Area.
He worked with the Church Educational System, including as area director for the South America North Area.