“Elder Walter F. González Of the Seventy,” Liahona, July 2001, 124
“The Book of Mormon has been the instrument for my conversion. I really love it,” says Elder Walter F. González.
Born on 18 November 1952, he grew up in Montevideo, Uruguay. At 12, he was studying his English lessons on a bus one day when two missionaries saw him and asked, “Do you speak English?”
From this first contact, young Walter received a copy of the Book of Mormon. Six years later, when he first began to read it, he says, “I knew it was true after just a few pages of 1 Nephi.” His parents, Fermin and Victoria González, had taught him Christian values that helped him recognize and receive the restored gospel.
He studied law at Universidad de la República in Uruguay, studied economics at Universidad de la Fraternidad in Argentina, obtained a technician’s degree in business administration at Instituto CEMLAD, and later completed through distance learning a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University at Bloomington.
A year after his baptism, he met his wife, Zulma, at a regional youth conference. They were married on 28 February 1975 in Uruguay and sealed in the Washington D.C. Temple in 1979. They have three sons and a daughter.
“I love teaching. I love the fellowship with students. They keep me young,” he says. Elder González has worked for the Church Educational System since 1975. His career as a teacher and administrator has taken him and his family to Ecuador and Colombia.
In the years since his baptism, Elder González says that the Lord has blessed him with many responsibilities and opportunities to serve. His first calling 30 years ago was counselor to the Mutual superintendent. He has served in a bishopric and as a stake president, mission president in Ecuador, regional representative, and public affairs area director. He was serving as an Area Authority Seventy when called to the First Quorum of the Seventy.
“I believe in the balanced life,” says Elder González. “We must make time for closeness to the Lord and wife and children.” Regarding other activities, he adds with a smile, “It is also important to have time for sports. I especially like soccer.”
Elder González consistently teaches members to “follow the prophets. They will lead us to Christ. The safest insurance policy for our spiritual well-being is to follow the prophet.”