- Born 1927 Hastings, New Zealand
- Baptized 1951
- Served Full-time Mission 1952-1954
- Married Amelia Wati Crawford 1954, Laie Hawaii Temple; four sons
- Bishop, Stake President, Patriarch, Regional Representative,
- First Quorum of Seventy 1987-1989
- Second Quorum of Seventy 1989-1992
- Honorably Released from Second Quorum 1992
- Died 2010, Hamilton, New Zealand
The following biographical sketch is adapted from
the "News of the Church: Elder Douglas J. Martin of the First Quorum of
the Seventy" published in the Ensign for May 1987 on the occasion
of Elder Martin's five-year call to the First Quorum of the Seventy.
As a young man, Douglas Martin of Hamilton, New Zealand,
was introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ by an attractive Maori girl,
Amelia Wati Crawford. Her example helped bring him into the Church, and
the dedication of the Maori people he met in the Church helped him learn
what it means to be a Latter-day Saint.
“They showed me the example of total obedience and
faith in the Lord,” he recalls. They had very little in the way of material
goods or education, but learning the gospel and following the Savior were
much more important to these Maori members than obtaining things to make mortal life comfortable.
“I think I learned obedience from those people,”
Elder Martin reflected. “I like to be obedient.”
That is just one of the strengths he brought to his
calling as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. Looking at
the men in his new quorum, he says, “I feel the very least of them.” And
yet, whatever strengths and abilities he had to offer were
committed to the service of the Savior, Church leaders, and his quorum.
The calling was stunning. “I literally didn’t sleep
all that night” after receiving it, Elder Martin recalls. “I was overwhelmed.”
And yet the calling was a quite unexpected fulfillment
of a hope. Just two weeks away from retirement as manager of a plastics
molding plant, he was preparing to fill his spare time with some of the
pastimes he enjoys—beekeeping, gardening, fishing, wood-turning, or surfing—if
necessary. But what he and Sister Martin really wanted, after years in
Church leadership positions, was an opportunity for full-time service.
They hoped perhaps to receive a mission call. Now Elder Martin was looking
forward to “for the first time, completely turning my life over to the
In a sense, Elder Martin really took that step many
He was born 20 April 1927 in Hastings, Hawkes Bay,
New Zealand. He was a son of George and Jessie Jamieson Craigie Martin.
Already twenty-four years old when he was baptized
in 1951, he nevertheless went on to serve a mission before he and Amelia
Because there was no temple in New Zealand in 1954,
Douglas and Amelia traveled to Hawaii, in company of a group of older Maori
members, to be married in the temple. The Martins had three living sons:
James, Sydney, and Douglas. (Another son, Craig, drowned in childhood.)
Church service was a way of life for Elder Martin,
Shortly after the New Zealand Temple was dedicated
in 1958, President David O. McKay called him
as a sealer. During the temple’s first four years of operation,
Douglas Martin served as temple recorder. Concurrently, he served as
He later was a counselor to two stake presidents
and served as president of the Hamilton New Zealand Stake for nearly ten
years. He was a patriarch in that stake and was serving as a regional representative
at the time of his call to the First Quorum of
Elder Martin said his wife has offered steadfast
support for his church service. “She puts the Church first. She has a total
faith” which comes from her Maori heritage, he added.
The Martins had no regrets about giving up their
retirement plans or the vacation home they were finishing. They were looking
forward to the privilege of serving the Lord full-time. Elder Martin commented
that it would be a blessing in his life to associate with the members of
the First Quorum of the Seventy and to feel their great strength.
“I hope that I can justify the confidence that has
been placed in me,” he says, “and I can only do that by staying close to
Elder Martin served but two years of his five-year call
to the First Quorum of the Seventy before being transferred to the the newly
created Second Quorum of the Seventy on April 1, 1989. He faithfully served
the remainder of his calling in the Second Quorum and was honorably released
October 3, 1992.
Elder Douglas James Martin, former member of the First and Second Quorums of the Seventy, passed away on Jan. 23, 2010,
in Hamilton, New Zealand. He was 82.
"Douglas J. Martin, to me, was in a class all by himself," said Elder Glen L. Rudd, a released member of the Seventy
who served with Elder Martin in an Area Presidency. "In his positions he served faithfully and well in different assignments."
Elder Martin served in many capacities in the Church ranging from the ward level to a leader worldwide.
When Elder Martin was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy in April 1987, only two weeks before he was planning
to retire from being a manager of a plastics molding plant, he become the first from New Zealand to serve in the First Quorum
of the Seventy.
In that calling, he first served as second counselor in the Phillipines/Micronesia Area presidency from 1987-88 until
later that year when he became the second counselor in the Pacific Area presidency.
In 1989, he was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy where he served until his release in October 1992. In
that capacity, he served as first counselor in the Pacific Area from 1989-90, and later as president of the Pacific Area from
"He traveled far and wide throughout the Pacific Area and gave his usual devoted attention to every matter possible,"
Elder Rudd said. "He was known and loved by the people in the islands as well as all of Australia and New Zealand."
Elder Martin was born in Napier, New Zealand, on April 20, 1927. When he was 3, Jesse Jamieson and George Martin adopted
him into their family.
At the age of 24, Elder Martin met Amelia Wati Crawford, whose example of living the gospel brought him into the Church.
He was baptized in 1951 in a creek at Korongata, a Maori center near Hastings.
After his baptism he served a full-time mission; upon returning home, he and Amelia traveled to Hawaii to be married in
the temple. Together they had four sons, three of whom are still living.
The temple has been an important part of Elder Martin's life. Shortly after the New Zealand Temple was dedicated in 1958,
he was called to be a sealer. During the temple's first four years of operation, he served as the temple recorder. After serving
as a member of the Seventy, Elder Martin served as the Hamilton New Zealand Temple president, from August 1992 to September 1995.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010, in the Hamilton New Zealand Stake Center. Elder Tad R. Callister,
Pacific Area president, presided and spoke at the funeral.
"News of the Church: Elder Douglas J. Martin...," Ensign May 1987
The Sustaining of Church Officers,” , May 1989, p.17
The Sustaining of Church Officers,” Ensign, Nov. 1992, p.20
"Elder Douglas Martin, 82, dies," Church News, January 30, 2010
2005 Church Almanac, p.84