Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Marion G. Romney Marion G. (George) Romney

1897 - 1988

  • Born 1897 Colonia Juarez, Mexico
  • Baptized as a child; Aaronic Priesthood as a youth; Melchizedek Priesthood as a young man
  • Married Ida Olivia Jensen 1924;two children
  • Assistant to Twelve 1941
  • Ordained Apostle and sustained to Twelve 1951
  • Second Counselor to Harold B. Lee 1972
  • Second Counselor to Spencer W. Kimball 1973
  • First Counselor to Spencer W. Kimball 1982
  • President of Twelve, 1985-1988
  • Died 1988 Salt Lake City, Utah

    Marion George Romney was born September 19, 1897 in Colonia Juarez. Mexico whither his family had fled to escape the unconstituttional and unconscionable persecutions of those who practiced plural marriage. His parents were George Samuel Romey and Teressa Artemis Redd Romney. Let us read of his early life in his own words.
    I'm a Mexican by birth. I was born in Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. My parents happened to be down there at the time. I was raised there until I was about fifteen years old. During the last two or three of those years, the Madero Revolution was in progress. The rebels and the federalists were chasing each other through the country, each taking everything we colonists had, by way of arms and ammunition and by way of supplies. Finally we were forced to leave. I came out of Mexico with the Mormon refugees in 1912.

    I remember I had a very thrilling experience on the way from where we lived to the railroad station about eight miles south of Colonia Juarez. We went in a wagon. . . . I was riding with my mother and her seven children and my uncle (her brother) and his family of about five or six children. . . . We had one trunk -- that was all we were able to bring. I was seated on the trunk in the back of the wagon.

    The Mexican rebel army was coming up the valley from the railroad station toward our town. They were not in formation. They were riding their saddle horses. Their guns were in the scabbards. Two of them stopped us and searched us. They said they were looking for guns. We didn't have any guns or ammunition. They did find $20 on my uncle -- pesos, not dollars... They took that and then waved us on. They went up the road about as far as from here to the back of this room, stopped, turned around, drew their guns from their scabbards, and pointed them down the road at me. As I looked up the barrels of those guns, they looked like cannons to me. They didn't pull their triggers, however, as evidenced by the fact that I am here to tell the story. That was a very thrilling experience. One of my maturing experiences.

    The rebels blew up the railroad track after the train we were on passed over it. Later, Father and the rest of the men came out to El Paso, Texas, on horseback. We never returned nor did we recover any of our property while my father lived.

    Father and I went to work to earn a living for his large family. There were no welfare programs then. We had a difficult time making a living. We had to "root hog" or die.

(Marion C. Romney, speech at Salt Lake Institute of Religion, October 78, 1974, quoted by James E. Faust, devotional address at BYU, February 21, 1978.)

    Elder Romney married Ida Olivia Jensen September 12, 1924. The couple had two children. After studying law and passing the bar, he became an attorney. Among his Church callings before becoming a General Authority, he was a stake president and  managing director of the Church Welfare Program.

    Of the thirty-eight men called to serve as assistants to the Twelve Elder Marion G. Romney was the first, being called April 6, 1941. He was ordained an apostle ten years later, October 11, 1951 and served faithfully until his death in 1988.

    On July 7, 1972 he was called to serve as Second counselor to President Harold B. Lee. President Spencer W. Kimball called him as Second Counselor until the death of N. Eldon Tanner, when he was called as First Counselor commencing December 2, 1982. On November 10, 1985, with President Kimball's death, he became President of the Quorum of the Twelve, with Howard W. Hunter serving as Acting President because of President Romney's frailty incident to age and health.

    President Marion G. Romney died May 20, 1988 in Salt Lake City, Utah at the age of ninety after forty-seven years as a General Authority, longer than any other General Authority then living.

    The Ensign; July 1988, p. 73; "President Marion G. Romney: “All Is Holy Where This Man Kneels”"
    The LDS Church News; May 28, 1988; Multiple articles incident to President Romney's death
    1999-2000 Church Almanac; p.52

Talks, Treatises, Sermons, and Discourses
   "Fruits of the Gospel" General Conference, 1 October 1949
   "Making Our Calling and Election Sure" General Conference, October 1965

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