Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Andrew W. Peterson Andrew W. (Wayne) Peterson

1947 - 2003

  • Born 1947 San Francisco, California
  • Baptized as a child; Aaronic Priesthood as a youth; Melchizedek Priesthood as a young man
  • Mission to Argentina and Bolivia 1966-1968
  • Married Christine Ann Swensen 1969, Salt Lake Temple; eight children
  • Counselor in Stake Presidency, Stake president, Regional Representative
  • President of Mexica Mérita Mission 1981-1984
  • First Quorum of Seventy 1994-1999
  • Granted Emeritus Status 1999 following paralyzing accident in 1997
  • Died Deceber 31, 2003 at Salt Lake City, Utah

    This biographical sketch is adapted from the "News of the Church: Elder Andrew W. Peterson of the Seventy" published in the Ensign for November 1994 on the occasion of Elder Peterson's call to the First Quorum of the Seventy
    Elder Andrew W. Peterson fondly remembers his service as a stake mission president while attending dental school in San Francisco. Evenings of teaching the gospel often followed full days of studying.

    Despite his busy missionary schedule, Elder Peterson graduated with honors. “I gained a testimony that the Lord can truly help us in our studies,” he recalls.

    Elder Peterson’s calling as a stake missionary helped prepare him for his call to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy. He served a mission to northern Argentina and southern Bolivia from 1966 to 1968; as president of the Mexico Mérida Mission from 1981 to 1984; as a counselor in the Salt Lake University Third Stake presidency from 1984 to 1988; then as stake president from 1988 to 1992; and as a regional representative. Elder Peterson also enjoyed serving as a Primary teacher upon being released as stake president. “The children taught me many valuable lessons,” he says.

    Andrew Peterson was born 8 June 1947 in San Francisco. Three years later, his family moved to Utah, where his father set up dental practice—first in Payson and then in Salt Lake City, where Andrew spent the remainder of his childhood and where he began practicing dentistry following his graduation from dental school in 1974.

    Elder Peterson’s love for the Church and its leaders began when he was a child. His grandfather, a stake president in the Salt Lake Hillside Stake, often introduced him to visiting General Authorities following stake conference. When he was sixteen, Andrew was greatly influenced by participating in the Hill Cumorah Pageant in New York and by attending a testimony meeting in the Sacred Grove.

    On 20 June 1969, he married Christine Ann Swensen in the Salt Lake Temple. They are the parents of eight children, with whom they enjoy spending as much time as possible.

    The Petersons have been active in local and international community service. Through their involvement with the Partners of the Americas—a national people-to-people program—they were able to assist Bolivian school children.

    Elder Peterson, who believes that Heavenly Father exercises a guiding hand in our lives, looks forward to giving full-time service to the Church. “I feel very blessed,” he says. “I have a firm testimony of the importance of this work.”

    Elder Peterson was serving as president of the Mexico North Area in September 1997. While on vacation at the family cabin in Parley's Canyon near Salt Lake City, he suffered severe injuries when he lost control of a trail bike and went over an embankment. His injuries were extensive and required resuscitation efforts by the family to keep him alive until the arrival of medical help. He was transported by helicopter to the University of Utah Medical Center, where he remained in critical condition for days. His injuries proved paralyzing and in the October 1999 General Conference he was granted Emeritus status from his call to the First Quorum of the Seventy.

    Elder Peterson died on December 31, 2003 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    "News of the Church: Elder Andrew W. Peterson...," Ensign, Nov. 1994 (principal source)
   "Church leader critically hurt in accident," Church News Archives, Oct. 4, 1997
    "Leader eulogized: In affliction, he never lost his desire to serve God," Church News Archives, Jan. 10, 2004
    2005 Church Almanac, pp.18, 85

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