“Elder Robert C. Gay,” Ensign, May 2018
While serving as a mission president in Ghana, Elder Robert C. Gay received an impression one day to stop and help a crying boy. Initially, he ignored that impression but later sent a Church member to find and bring the boy to him.
Elder Gay, sustained a member of the Presidency of the Seventy on March 31, 2018, learned that the boy sold dried fish for his caretaker. That day the boy had lost his earnings through a hole in his pocket.
“If he returned without the money, he would be called a liar, most likely beaten, and then cast out onto the street,” Elder Gay said. “We calmed his fear, replaced his loss, and took him home to his caretaker.”
As he explained in the October 2012 general conference, that experience taught Elder Gay two great truths: “First, I knew as never before that God is mindful of each of us and will never forsake us; and second, I knew that we must always hearken to the voice of the Spirit within us and go ‘straightway’ wherever it takes us, regardless of our fears or any inconvenience.”
Elder Gay was sustained as a General Authority Seventy on March 31, 2012. At the time of his call to the Presidency of the Seventy, he was serving as President of the Asia North Area. He previously served at Church headquarters as chairman of the Self-Reliance Services/Perpetual Education Fund Committee, with responsibilities for worldwide self-reliance services.
Before his call to the Seventy, he was the chief executive officer of an investment firm he cofounded. He also cofounded and served as a director on several global humanitarian organizations and worked in investment banking on Wall Street, as a management consultant, and as an economics instructor at Harvard University.
Elder Gay received a bachelor of arts degree in economics with an emphasis in statistics from the University of Utah and a PhD in business economics from Harvard University.
Elder Gay has served as a full-time missionary in Spain, high priests group leader, ward Young Men president, high councilor, counselor in a bishopric, and Area Seventy.
He was born in Los Angeles, California, USA, on September 1, 1951. He married Lynette Nielsen in April 1974. They are the parents of seven children.