“Elder Douglas L. Callister,” Liahona, July 2000, 125
As he was growing up, Douglas L. Callister often accompanied his father and grandfather as they fulfilled Church assignments such as visiting members, presiding at meetings, or speaking at firesides. “They wanted their posterity to see them in the context of honoring the priesthood,” says Elder Callister, “and as we drove to and from their assignments, they would always share their experience and testimony with me.”
That caring tutelage has played an important role in preparing Elder Callister to serve in the Second Quorum of the Seventy. “A life-altering experience for me,” says Elder Callister, “was that training that came from those generations of family members who were willing to teach me.” Elder Callister continues to teach his own posterity just as his own father and grandfather taught him.
Born in Glendale, California, to Reed E. Callister and Norinne Richards Callister on 17 February 1939, Elder Callister says he can’t remember a time when he didn’t have a testimony. Because of that testimony, Elder Callister has always placed the gospel and his family first, even as he pursued degrees at Brigham Young University, the University of Southern California, and Harvard and operated his own law firm. “The gospel has never been an appendage to my life—it has been my life,” he says. “Professional pursuits were the appendage.”
Elder Callister has served as bishop, stake president, mission president, seminary teacher, Young Men president, temple sealer, regional representative, and Area Authority Seventy.
He met his future wife, Jeannette McKibben, at a young adult dance shortly after serving a mission in Switzerland. “I thought very highly of her, not only because she was beautiful, but also because she was sensitive to the needs of others,” he says. The Callisters were married in 1962 in the Los Angeles Temple and now have 6 children and 11 grandchildren. Their home is in La Cañada, California.
Elder Callister feels humbled yet grateful for the opportunity to serve as a witness of the Savior. “This is a special responsibility to bear witness of the name of Jesus Christ to the nations of the world. I wish to always do that very humbly and with dignity.”