A native of Uruguay, Elder Walter F. González of the First Quorum of the
Seventy first learned of the Church as a youth. He was born November 18, 1952 to Fermin and Victoria
González. He grew up in Montevideo where his parents both taught and practiced those
Chistian values that would later help him accept the restored Gospel.
It was at the age of twelve when he first met the missionaries while riding a
bus. Noting that the young lad was studying his English lessons, the missionaries engaged him in
conversation by asking if he spoke the language. They managed to place a copy of The Book of
Mormon with him at the time but it would be six more years before he began to seriously read
the book. In an interview with the Ensign (May 2001, p. 105) Elder González reported,
"The Book of Mormon has been the key to my conversion. I really love it." He continued, "I knew it
was true after just a few pages of First Nephi."
He met his future wife, Zulma Anahir at a regional youth conference just a
year after his baptism. Their courtship was followed by a wedding February 28, 1975 in Uruguay
which marriage was solemnized in the Washington DC Temple in 1979. The couple have three sons and
Elder González enjoyed a multi-faceted and multi-national academic
career. He studied law at the Universidad de la Republica in Uruguay before pursuing economic
studies at Universidad de la Fraternidad in Argentina. He earned a technician's degree in business
administration at the Instituto Tecnico Superior CEMLAD in Equador. And he was awarded a Bachelors
Degree by Indiana University after pursuing studies there through distance learning.
Perhaps in part because of his love for learning, Elder González has
worked for the Church Education System since 1975. "I love teaching," he says. "I love the
fellowship with the students; they keep me young." On the ecclesiastical side of the Church, he has
served in a bishopric and as a stake president. He was ordained a Seventy and called into the
fourth Quorum of the Seventy as an Area Authority in 1997. He was still serving in that capacity
when he was called to join the ranks of the General Authorities and enter the First Quorum of the
Seventy on April 2001. As a Seventy, he has, among other assignments, functioned as Second
Counselor in the South America North Area Presidency.
Elder González was called as one of the Seven Presidents of the
Seventy on October 6, 2007, replacing Elder Quentin L. Cook, who was
called as an Apostle. Elder González was sustained to the Presidency on October 6, 2007 in
the 177th Semi-annual General Conference of the Church.
Then on April 6, 2013, in the 183rd General Conference, he was released from
the Presidency of the Seventy. He continues to serve in the First Quorum at this writing.