This biographical sketch is adapted from the "News
of the Church: Elder Bruce C. Hafen of the Seventy" in the Ensign
for May 1996 on the occasion of his call to the First Quorum of the Seventy.
A nationally recognized scholar on family relationships,
children, and education, Elder Bruce C. Hafen is convinced that “the Church’s
voice needs to be heard in today’s world.”
For the past 25 years, Elder Hafen, who earned a
juris doctorate from the University of Utah and is a former dean of Brigham
Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School, has taught and written about
family law and education. “Gospel perspectives on family life are desperately
needed today,” he says, “in courtrooms, classrooms, and family rooms all
over the world.”
Elder Hafen’s convictions are formed by rich experiences.
He has served in a bishopric and stake presidency and is a former regional
representative. In 1973 he helped establish BYU’s law school, teaching
on the school’s first faculty. From 1978
to 1985, he was president of Ricks College, always teaching one class
each semester. In 1989 he became provost at BYU, the number-two administrator
at the university.
During these years, he has always been a teacher-scholar,
drawing increasingly on religious foundations for his scholarly and professional
Born on 30 October 1940, Elder Hafen, 55, grew up
in St. George, Utah. After graduating from Dixie College in 1960, he served
in the West German Mission, then attended Brigham Young University. While
attending a religion class, he noticed a
classmate, Marie Kartchner. The two married on 2 June 1964 in the St.
George Temple and have seven children and 10 grandchildren (one deceased).
“Two subjects have most shaped my attitudes,” Elder
Hafen says. “One subject is family relationships, especially child rearing
and marriage. The other is the mission and Atonement of the Savior. I’m
sure my commitment to both subjects will continue to grow through my new
Elder Hafen continued to serve in the First Quorum of
the Seventy until October 2, 2010. On that date he was released from the
First Quorum of the Seventy with a vote of appreciation from a grateful
Church and named an emeritus General Authority.