“Elder Mark A. Bragg,” Liahona, May 2016, 131
When Mark Bragg was 14 years old, friends from his baseball team introduced his family to the Church. Mark was baptized, and his mother became active.
“It changed our lives,” says Elder Bragg.
Mark Allyn Bragg was born on April 16, 1962, in Santa Monica, California, USA, to Donald E. and Diane Bragg.
While attending the University of Utah, Elder Bragg was called to serve in the Mexico Monterrey Mission, under the direction of mission president Roy H. King and his wife, Darlene O. King.
When Elder Bragg completed his missionary service, he began dating his mission president’s youngest daughter, Yvonne. They married in the Los Angeles California Temple on March 17, 1984.
After the untimely death of Elder Bragg’s father, the couple returned to California to start his career in the banking industry (he completed his career as senior vice president of Bank of America) and to be close to Elder Bragg’s mother.
It would be seven years before children would join the Bragg family. “At times we felt out of place, even in our family,” recalls Elder Bragg.
Then—“on the best day in the world”—Sister Bragg gave birth to the first of four children. “I remember … thinking there couldn’t be anyone happier than I was at the moment,” Elder Bragg says.
Life has not always been easy for the family, however. The day after Elder Bragg was sustained as a bishop in the ward where he grew up, his mother was tragically killed during a car hijacking. Her funeral was the first one he presided over as a bishop. “The Relief Society was there for our family every day,” he recalls.
Those lessons of love, service, and empathy would guide Elder Bragg through his future service in the Church—as a stake president, Area Seventy, and temple ordinance worker.