Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Cecil O. Samuelson Cecil O. (Osborn) Samuelson Jr.

1941 - living
  • Born 1941 Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Baptized as a child; Aaronic Priesthood as a youth; Melchizedek Priesthood as a young man
  • Mission to Scotland
  • Married Sharon Giauque 1964, Salt Lake Temple; five children
  • Elders Quorum President, High Councilor, Stake President, Regional Representative
  • First Quorum of the Seventy 1994-2011
  • Presidency of the Seventy 2001-2003
  • President of BYU 2003-present
  • Named General Authority Emeritus 2011

    This biographical sketch is adapted from the "News of the Church: Elder Cecil O. Samuelson, Jr. of the Seventy" published in the Ensign for November 1994 on the occasion of Elder Samuelson's call to the First Quorum of the Seventy.
    As he adjusts to his new calling as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Cecil O. Samuelson, Jr., is sustained by two major influences in his life: his wife and his testimony.

    “I’ve known the gospel is true all my life,” he says, pausing from cleaning out his desk at Intermountain Health Care, where he was a senior vice president. “While in the military, I prayed for a confirmation about the Prophet Joseph and the Book of Mormon. I received an impression as vivid as a sound or picture: Why do you pray for an answer to something you already know is true?”

    Of his wife, the former Sharon Giauque, whom he married in the Salt Lake Temple on 25 November 1964, Elder Samuelson says: “My wife is my best and most honest critic. She has always embraced any call that has come our way. Her support of me is absolute.”

    Born 1 August 1941 and raised in Salt Lake City, Elder Samuelson interrupted his studies at the University of Utah to serve a mission to Scotland. After earning a master’s degree in educational psychology and a medical degree, he completed his internship and residency at Duke University in North Carolina. He spent the next seventeen years practicing rheumatology and serving on the University of Utah medical faculty, including working as the university’s vice president for health sciences and dean of the school of medicine. Four years ago, he accepted his position at IHC.

    Elder Samuelson’s Church experience has included serving as elders quorum president, high councilor, and president of a University of Utah stake from 1977 to 1982. More recently, he has served as a regional representative. At the time of his call to the Seventy, he was serving as high priests group leader in the Holladay Eighteenth Ward, Salt Lake Holladay South Stake.

    An avid reader, Elder Samuelson favors history and current events. With his wife and their five children, who range in age from twelve to twenty-six, he enjoys boating on Lake Powell and watching sporting events. He plays a little tennis and has grown to love walks of solitude.

    Of his work experience, Elder Samuelson says, “Medicine is fundamentally a mission of service, and service is what Jesus wants us all to be doing. I’m more and more convinced that everything good we do in life is somehow connected to the gospel.”

    In June of 2001, Elder Samuelson was called into the Presidency of the Seventy. This call was to last but two years when in 2003 he was released from the Presidency and appointed President of Brigham Young University, succeeding Merrill J. Bateman in that position. Elder Samuelson continued to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy until 2011, while Elder Bateman was called into the Presidency of the Seventy. In essence the two switched positions.

    "News of the Church: Elder Cecil O. Samuelson, Jr...," Ensign, Nov. 1994 (principal source)
    "Two New in Presidency of Seventy," Church News Archives, June 16, 2001
    "Changes announced in leadership positions," Church News Archives, April 5, 2003
    2005 Church Almanac, p.39

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