“Tad R. Callister,” Ensign, May 2014, 143
Decades before his recent call as Sunday School general president, Sunday School played a pivotal role in the life of Tad R. Callister.
While Brother Callister was serving as Sunday School president in a ward at Brigham Young University, he got to know his future wife, Kathryn L. Saporiti, whom he married on December 20, 1968, in the Los Angeles Temple.
They are the parents of two daughters and four sons; they also have 24 grandchildren. “A lot of good things happen when you’re the Sunday School president,” Brother Callister says.
Born December 17, 1945, in Glendale, California, to Reed Eddington and Norinne Callister, he declares that he—like Nephi—was born of “goodly parents.”
“My father was my bishop when I grew up,” says Brother Callister. “He used to carry around little cards, and he would memorize vocabulary words and scriptures and Shakespeare.”
Like his father, Brother Callister pursued a legal career. After graduating in accounting from Brigham Young University, he attended law school at the University of California, Los Angeles, and earned a master’s degree in tax law from New York University. He was employed as a practicing attorney with the firm of Callister & Callister.
At the time of his call, Brother Callister had just been released from his calling in the Presidency of the Seventy and in the Second Quorum of the Seventy, where he had served since 2008.
Prior to that, he served as president of the Canada Toronto East Mission, Area Seventy, regional representative, stake president, bishop, stake mission president, elders quorum president and, as a young man, a missionary in the Eastern Atlantic States Mission.
Commenting on the upcoming changes in the adult Sunday School curriculum, Brother Callister says, “The curriculum is, of course, very important, but it’s not as important as the way people teach. The most important thing is that we teach in the Savior’s way, that we teach by the Spirit, and that we teach for conversion.”