Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Douglas J. Martin Douglas James Martin

1927 - 2010

  • 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, Temple Sealer
  • 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 Lord.”

In a sense, Elder Martin really took that step many years ago.

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 were married.

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 a bishop.

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 the Seventy.

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 the Lord.”
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 1990-92.

"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

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