- Born 1933 Logan, Utah
- Baptized as a child; Aaronic Priesthood as a youth; Melchizedek Priesthood as a young man
- Mission to Uruguay
- Married Caroline Heise
- Bishop, Stake President, Special Representative of
the First Presidency
- President of Uruguay Montevideo Mission
- First Quorum of Seventy 1978-present
- Released from Seventy and designated Emeritus General Authority 2005
The following biographical sketch is adapted from
the "News of the Church:Elder F. Burton Howard of the First Quorum of the
Seventy" published in the Ensign for November, 1978 on the occasion of
Elder Howard's call to the First Quorum of the Seventy.
Elder F. Burton Howard has filled a surprising number
of positions in the Church—even Relief Society secretary. Since filling
that position as a young missionary in Uruguay, he has directed choirs,
taught classes and quorums, been a bishop and a
stake president, and served as a special representative of the First
Presidency, helping to establish the Church in Latin America. In October
general conference he was called to give lifetime service as a member of
the First Quorum of the Seventy.
A native of Logan, Utah, he has been practicing law
since graduating from the University of Utah College of Law in 1959. He
and his wife, the former Caroline Heise of Magna, Utah, were married after
his first quarter in law school.
In 1962 he applied for a position with the Church
Legal Department—and that job has greatly prepared him for his new calling,
he says. For the last seventeen years he has worked with President Marion
G. Romney, second counselor in the First Presidency, paving the way
for Church growth in Latin America through political and legal negotiations.
During those years, he has seen the Church there
more than double in size. “The hand of the Lord is apparent on the frontiers,
where the Church is just getting started,” he says.
In addition, working with President Romney has been
a process of continual growth and learning. “Brother Romney’s always teaching.
I’ve never been with him when he didn’t teach me something very profound.”
This process began the first time the two men met,
when President Romney interviewed Elder Howard for the position with the
Church Legal Department. President Romney said the new attorney would need
to know Spanish, and so he was going to give him a test. Elder Howard,
with his mission and years of college Spanish behind him, felt he knew
the language. So when President Romney asked him what mañana meant,
the young attorney replied—somewhat patronizingly—that mañana means
“tomorrow.” Elder Howard relates: “And he leaned across that desk and pointed
his finger at me and said, ‘You’re wrong!’ I knew I could be wrong about
a lot of things, but not about mañana. So I replied, ‘Well, what
does it mean, then?’ President Romney smiled and said, ‘Young man, it means
“not today.” ’ He was trying to teach me patience.”
Such experiences, combined with a lifetime of service,
have given Elder Howard a testimony of the gospel and the Savior. Because
of his father’s government work, he lived in many different towns since
his birth in 1933. Consequently, “the family and the Church became bigger
factors in my life than they might have been had we been more stable. My
parents were always able to say to me, ‘Mormons don’t do that.’ ” Living
among both members and nonmembers of the Church, he feels “fortunate to
have had insight into both lifestyles.”
His background and experience make him anxious now
to bear a firm testimony of the gospel to the world.
Elder F. Burton Howard, was called to the Seventy in September 1978. He served as assistant executive director of the Priesthood Department, second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency, chairman of the Military Relations Committee and as a member of various other general Church committees. He served as president of the North America Southwest, Europe West, North America Southeast, Mexico South, Mexico, North America Northeast and South America North areas; counselor in eight area presidencies; executive administrator of two areas in the United States and president of the Uruguay Montevideo Mission. Prior to his call to full-time Church service, Elder Howard was a special representative of the First Presidency in Latin American affairs. Then, on October 1, 2005, at the age of 72, after over twenty-five years of faithful, dedicated service, he was released from the Seventy with a vote of thanks from a grateful Church in General Conference assembled, and designated a General Authority Emeritus.
"News of the Church:Elder F. Burton Howard...," Ensign, Nov. 1978
2005 Church Almanac, p. 35
"New Leaders of the Seventy Sustained; Eleven General Authorities Released," Church News Release, Oct. 1, 2005