Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Adney Y. Komatsu Adney Y. (Yoshio) Komatsu

1923 - 2011

  • Born 1923 Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Baptized 1940
  • Married Judy Fujitani 1950; four children
  • Assistant to the Twelve 1975-1976
  • First Quorum of the Seventy 1976-1993
  • Granted Emeritus status 1993
  • Died 2011 Honolulu, Hawaii

    This biographical sketch, "News of the Church: Elder Adney Yoshio Komatsu, Assistant to the Council of the Twelve is adapted from the Ensign on the occasion of Elder Komatsu's call as an Assistant to the Twelve. It mixes two separate articles. Supplementary material follows the Ensign article
    Elder Adney Y. Komatsu joined the Church when he was 17 years old. He came in contact with the missionaries when he was invited to play on the Japanese Mission basketball team. Since that time he has served continuously in leadership positions.

    A native of Hawaii, Elder Komatsu joined the army’s counterintelligence corps in the Pacific and Japan during World War II. After the war he returned to Japan where he met, baptized, and married his wife, the former Judy Fujitani. The Komatsus have four children.

    Two days after their marriage the Komatsus attended their new branch for the first time, and there, with out prior notice, he was called as branch president. He later served on the Honolulu Hawaii Stake high council and as president of the Northern Far East Mission. He has also had the privilege of performing ordinances in the Hawaii Temple.

    Elder Komatsu was called as a Regional Representative of the Twelve in 1970 and has supervised Church activities in Hawaii and Japan.

    Relating his mother’s sorrow at his rejection of the Buddhist faith for the gospel of Jesus Christ, Elder Komatsu said that he “promised her that if she would permit me to be baptized and later found that through my behavior I had caused her any embarrassment—or committed some shameful or dishonorable act, then all she had to do was ask me to stop going to Church, and I would, without question, obey her will.”

    If, however, he were to become a better individual, he asked for permission to continue to attend because it was “the place where I [could] gain an education for an eternal life.” He added, “It is my testimony today that I never had to leave the Church nor cause my mother any concern about my behavior.”

   “Even now, we’re still kind of dazed,” is how Elder Adney Yoshio Komatsu (pronounced Koh-MAWT-sue) and his wife, Judy, described their feelings after Elder Komatsu was sustained and set apart as an Assistant to the Council of the Twelve.

    When President [Spencer W.] Kimball issued the call to Brother Komatsu, they were speechless. “I said yes, of course,” said Elder Komatsu. “There was no question about serving.”

    Honoring the confidentiality of the calling, they waited until Friday night to call their children—sons Jay (23) and Grant (21) in San Francisco, and daughters Jan (19) and Jill (18) at home in Honolulu. “They were speechless too,” said Sister Komatsu.

    “We went back to our hotel room and just looked at each other,” said Elder Komatsu. Sister Komatsu wept; they prayed together, and thus pledged themselves to this calling, the most recent in a long history of “surprises.”

    For instance, they were married in the Hawaii Temple on Friday, June 2, 1950. That Saturday they gave a private party for their families, all nonmembers. Elder Komatsu, who shares with Elder Hartman Rector, Jr., the distinction of being a convert General Authority, baptized his wife. Wanting her to gain her own testimony of the Church, Elder Komatsu had never attended her branch. They went to their own Sunday School, then went to his branch for sacrament meeting. That first Sunday after their marriage, they went to her branch for sacrament meeting for the first time. “We kind of sneaked onto the back row,” he said—and heard the branch members called to sustain him as branch president. He walked up to the stand, leaving his wife in the audience. Monday, the day they had planned to begin their honeymoon, he met with his counselors and the branch clerk—“and no complaints from my wife,” he said. “What a trouper!”

    He was 27 years old then. Eleven years later, President Hugh B. Brown interviewed him and asked him if he would serve as bishop.

     Will your wife sustain you?” President Brown asked, knowing that Brother Komatsu would have no time to talk to her before the meeting.

    “You don’t have to worry about that,” Brother Komatsu assured him.

    At the time of his call, Brother Komatsu was the first bishop of Japanese descent in the Church. Since then he has served as president of the Northern Far East Mission, the first time a man of Oriental descent had been called as mission president. He would again be first from his national background to serve as a Regional Representative and to become a General Authority.

    Through all these changes, increased responsibilities, and challenges, “our children have been wonderful,” they said. Sometimes between Sister Komatsu’s work on the Relief Society general board (she was released October 1975 after 3 1/2 years of service) and his Regional Representative assignments, the children would be left alone. “It’s pressure for them,” she said, “but we’ve never had to worry about them.”

    She praised her husband’s leadership in the home. “He’s very patient and very kind and very generous, and he’s always supported me 100 percent in my callings.”

    They felt that if “the Lord’s callings come first and if we serve wholeheartedly, everything falls into place.”

    Among their immediate plans is studying Japanese. Born of Japanese parents in Hawaii, they learned “rough” Japanese. Elder Komatsu laughs, “I’m never so embarrassed as when I’m trying to express myself in Japanese. I communicate, but now it has to be right. Now I represent the Church.”

    [The following material is from the Ensign November 1993 when Elder Komatsu was granted Emeritus Status.]

   The first General Authority of Japanese descent, Elder Komatsu has served in many positions. He was sustained an Assistant to the Twelve 4 April 1975 and was sustained a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy 1 October 1976. A former temple and mission president, Elder Komatsu most recently has served as assistant executive director in the Priesthood Department.

   Elder Komatsu departed this life February 23, 2011.

   "News of the Church: Elder Adney Yoshio Komatsu...," Ensign May,1975
   Jay M. Todd, "News of the Church: First Quorum of Seventy Made a Governing Quorum of the Church," Ensign, Nov. 1976, p.134
   "News of the Church: Changes in General Authority Assignments," Ensign, Nov. 1993, p.109
   2005 Church Almanac, p.80

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