- Born 1920 Salt Lake City, Utah
- Baptized as a child; Aaronic Priesthood as a youth; Melchizedek Priesthood as a young man
- Mission to Eastern States
- Married Isabel Hales 1947; seven children
- Bishop, Stake president, Patriarch, Regional Representative,
- President of Central British Mission
- First Quorum of Seventy 1986-1989
- Second Quorum of Seventy 1989-1991
- Honorably released from Second Quorum 1991
- President of Salt Lake Temple 1993-1996
- Died 2009, Salt Lake City, Utah
The following biographical sketch is adapted from
the "News of the Church: Elder George I. Cannon of the First Quorum of
the Seventy" published in the Ensign for May 1986 on the occasion
of Elder Cannon's call to the First Quorum of the Seventy.
Twenty years ago, as president of the Central British
Mission, George I. Cannon accepted a challenge to memorize the fourth section
of the Doctrine and Covenants and recite it each day. He did—and continues
to do so.
“It helps me get up in the morning and get going
in the right direction,” he says. As verse three of that section says,
“If ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work.”
Throughout his life, ever since he was called as
ward organist at age twelve, George Cannon has had a great desire to serve
the Lord. On 31 March 1986, he received another call—this time to the First
Quorum of the Seventy.
Born on 9 March 1920 to George Jenkins Cannon and
Lucy Grant Cannon, George Ivins Cannon grew up in Salt Lake City in a family
with a rich heritage of Church service. One of his great-grandfathers was
President Heber J. Grant; another was
President George Q. Cannon, who was a counselor in the First Presidency
for many years.
Elder Cannon’s wife, Isabel, a daughter of Wayne
B. and Belle Wilson Hales, also comes from a family that has always been
active in the Church. Before she and George met, their families were already
well acquainted; his mother was serving as general
president of the Young Women while her father was on the Young Men
Young George Cannon completed a mission in the Eastern
States and then served in the U.S. Air Force in World War II, where he
was an LDS servicemen’s group leader in Italy. He returned to Utah in 1946
to attend Brigham Young University. There he met and dated Isabel, who
had recently graduated. But she already had plans to move to Chicago and
work on an advanced degree. Undaunted, George visited her in Chicago and
persuaded her to return to Utah. They were married the following summer.
Elder Cannon graduated from Brigham Young University
and worked for Beneficial Life Insurance Company—where he eventually served
as a vice president. He also served as a board member of the Great Salt
Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of
America. In the Church, he has served as a bishop, as president of
the Central British Mission, on the general board and in the general presidency
of the YMMIA, as a regional representative, as a temple sealer, and as
a patriarch. Five and a half years
ago, he was called as president of the Salt Lake Parleys Stake, where
he was serving when he received the call to the First Quorum of the Seventy.
Elder Cannon enjoys Church service. “In serving,
you’re constantly experiencing the guidance and direction of the Spirit,”
he says. “It’s important to follow those promptings. They come time and
time again in your life as you’re trying to represent
the Savior and do his work.”
He has had many spiritual experiences—many of them
small, quiet assurances. “When you partake of the sacrament or listen to
someone’s beautiful testimony, you are touched, and you know that it comes
from the Spirit,” he says.
Sister Cannon calls him “a real people person” who
motivates others—in his family and in the Church. The Cannons have seven
children and sixteen grandchildren. They especially enjoy Sunday evenings,
when family members drop in for ice cream and conversation.
Both he and Sister Cannon look forward to serving.
“Our lives are so enriched by the opportunities we have have had to serve
in the Church,” he says. “Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. It’s
his work that we’re striving to do.”
Elder Cannon served but three years of his five-year
call to the First Quorum of the Seventy before being called to the newly
created Second Quorum of the Seventy on April 1, 1989. There he faithfully
filled the reminder of his call with distinction, and was honorably released
and given a vote of thanks by a grateful church in General Conference assembled
October 5, 1991.
Elder George Ivins Cannon, former member of the First and Second Quorums of
the Seventy, passed away at his home in Salt Lake City on Aug. 4, 2009. He was 89.
Elder Cannon served in many capacities in the Church beginning as a young
deacon called to be the ward organist.
"He was the rarest of men, he was as good as he seemed," said Elder Jeffrey
R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve during Elder Cannon's funeral Aug. 10.
"He personified every good thing a person should be."
Whether working for Beneficial Life Insurance Company, where he eventually
was vice-president, or serving in a Church calling with his wife, Isabel Hales Cannon,
Elder Cannon made everyone around him feel important, creating great associations and
"George and Isabel were magnificent examples and wonderful testifiers," said
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve during the funeral. "I always felt
I was a better man after any association with him."
Elder Cannon served as a bishop, stake president, mission president to the
Central British Mission from 1966-69, regional representative, Young Men general
board member and general presidency counselor, patriarch and temple sealer.
He was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1986 and served as Area
President in the Philippines/Micronesia Area. He served in that capacity until he
was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy in 1989, where he served until
1991. After being released as a Seventy, Elder Cannon served as Salt Lake Temple
president from 1993-96, during which time his wife was temple matron.
Known as a caring man who constantly reached out to all around him, Elder
Cannon was remembered most for his love of family and the gospel. As a mission
president, Elder Cannon decided to memorize and recite every day Doctrine and
Covenants Section four, which he did. But he did more than recite it - he lived
it, according to those who knew him well.
"His very life was one of serving with his heart, might, mind and strength,"
Elder W. Craig Zwick of the Seventy said during the funeral. "George Cannon was a
builder. He built people, he strengthened all of us."
Elder Cannon was born on March 9, 1920, to George J. and Lucy Grant Cannon
in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was a descendant of George Q. Cannon and a grandson to
President Heber J. Grant, seventh president of the Church. He and his wife have
seven children, 32 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
""News of the Church: Elder George I. Cannon of the First Quorum of
the Seventy," The Ensign, May 1986 (Primary source)
"Elder George Ivins Cannon: 'The rarest of men, as good as he seemed'," Church News, August 15, 2009