“Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella,” Ensign, May 2017
When Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella was eight years old, the missionaries began teaching his family about the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the gospel.
“Even as a child, I had no question that Joseph Smith had in fact seen God and Jesus Christ,” said Elder Parrella, who was sustained on April 1, 2017, as a General Authority Seventy. “I never doubted that from then on.”
Elder Parrella was born in 1962 in Guarujá, Brazil, on the Atlantic coast near São Paulo, to Fioravante and Vany de Paula Parrella.
Each of his two older brothers served missions. Their examples and that of a loving bishop, Angelino Borges de Freitas, who mentored him in how to be an Aaronic Priesthood holder, sparked in him a desire to serve a full-time mission. Missionary service reinforced to him “the reality of God and His Son and that all of us are children of God.”
After serving in the Brazil Porto Alegre Mission, Elder Parrella attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, USA, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication and a master of business administration degree. He worked as the managing director at Kodak Polychrome Graphics and as a partner at Korn Ferry International. Most recently he was a partner at Caldwell Partners.
He married Elaine Finholdt in December 1988 in the São Paulo Brazil Temple. They are the parents of five sons.
Elder Parrella has served as branch president, bishop, high councilor, counselor in a stake presidency, Area Seventy, and president of the Brazil Belo Horizonte Mission from 2009 to 2012.
Ever since he met the missionaries, his life has been a journey to understand the feeling he experienced as an eight-year-old. Attending church, continuing to learn from the word of God, and striving to live the commandments have helped broaden his vision from the glimpse of truth he was given as a child. “This truly is the kingdom of God on the earth,” he said.