“Elder Matthew L. Carpenter,” Ensign, May 2018
Elder Matthew L. Carpenter remembers the first time he recognized feeling the Holy Ghost. He was a young boy, about seven years old, sitting in junior Primary. A light was coming into the room, and he had a feeling of warmth he had not recognized before.
“I felt stirrings in my heart—and not because I was warm,” he said. “I knew God is real; I felt it.”
When he was 11 years old, he attended a session of general conference in the Salt Lake Tabernacle with his father. It was the first time he was in the same room as a prophet, President Joseph Fielding Smith.
“When I saw him,” he said, “the Spirit bore witness to me that he was the prophet.”
These simple spiritual confirmations at a young age helped him look to the Spirit as a guiding influence throughout his life.
“My testimony has not been one singular angelic experience,” said the General Authority Seventy, who was sustained on March 31, 2018, “but it has developed and evolved over time.”
Matthew Leslie Carpenter was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, on October 21, 1959, to Leone Erekson and Robert Allred Carpenter. He is the youngest of the couple’s eight children, and he grew up in a household with five older sisters.
In his last month of high school, he met Michelle “Shelly” Brown. They started to date but put their courtship on hold while he served in the Swiss Geneva Mission from 1979 to 1981. After his return, the couple married in the Salt Lake Temple on July 9, 1982. They are the parents of five children.
Elder Carpenter earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Brigham Young University and a master of business administration degree from Harvard Business School. Most recently he was the managing director of the Foundation Specialty Financing Fund.
Elder Carpenter has served as a bishop, counselor in a bishopric, stake Young Men president, high councilor, stake president, and Area Seventy.