“Elder Wayne S. Peterson Of the Seventy,” Liahona, July 2001, 126
A cornet led Wayne S. Peterson to one of his earliest spiritual experiences. He learned to play the instrument as a teenager growing up in Roy, Utah. He was a member of the Ogden Utah Boys’ Chorus and Trumpet Choir, a group that was invited to perform at the Kiwanis International Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. As part of the trip east, the boys also had the opportunity to visit the Sacred Grove and the Hill Cumorah near Palmyra, New York.
“It was one of the defining points in my life,” remembers Elder Peterson. “The Spirit that I felt there, the assurance of what had occurred there, sank deeply into my heart.”
That personal testimony has stayed with Elder Peterson as he has served throughout his life. He has been a missionary in Australia, a bishop twice, a stake high councilor twice, a stake president, president of the California Oakland Mission, and a regional representative. He had been serving since 1995 as an Area Authority Seventy for the Utah North Area when he was called as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy.
Elder Peterson was born in Roy, Utah, on 6 October 1939 to Rulon and Naomi Skeen Peterson. He and his wife of 39 years, Joan Jensen Peterson, have reared six children, which has been a rich and rewarding experience. A year after he and Sister Peterson were married in the Logan Utah Temple, their first child, Linda, was born with spina bifida. The experience rapidly brought the couple a deepened maturity. Their faith increased as they saw prayers answered and small miracles occur in the life of this daughter. Today Linda has served a mission, taught at the Missionary Training Center, graduated from Brigham Young University, married in the temple, and is the mother of two.
Elder Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree and an MBA at Utah State University, where he was student body president. Professionally he has worked as a real estate developer in Salt Lake City.