Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Derek E. Simmons Dennis E. (Ericksen) Simmons

1934 - living

  • Born 1934 Beaver Dam, Utah
  • Baptized as a child; Aaronic Priesthood as a youth; Melchizedek Priesthood as a young man
  • Married Carolyn Thorpe 1953, Logan Temple; six children
  • Bishop, Stake President, Temple Sealer, Regional Representative, Area Authority
  • President of Washington DC North Mission 1986-1989
  • Second Quorum of the Seventy 1996-2005
  • President of Logan Utah Yemple 2005-present

    This biographical sketch adapted from the "News of the Church: Elder Dennis E. Simmons of the Seventy" in the Ensign for May 1996.
    “The Lord has opened every door of any importance in my life,” says Elder Dennis E. Simmons. “Every professional pursuit, every meaningful activity, everything good in my life has been influenced by my gospel training and my testimony.”

    Born at home on 27 June 1934 in Beaver Dam, Utah, 13 miles west of Logan, Elder Simmons married Carolyn Thorpe in the Logan Temple on 15 October 1953. After earning a music education degree at Utah State University, he spent two years as athletic officer at an air force base near Livermore, California, and subsequently taught school for two years in Tremonton, Utah. He and his family then moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he worked at the Nevada Test Site. In 1965 the family moved to Washington, D.C., where Elder Simmons earned a law degree at George Washington University and worked as a legislative assistant.

    Soon after his return to Las Vegas to practice law, Dennis Simmons was called as a bishop, and in 1977 he was called as a stake president. In 1986 he and his wife returned to Washington, D.C., where Elder Simmons served as the first president of the newly created Washington DC North Mission. “Our mission was the greatest experience of our lives,” he says.

    Elder Simmons enjoys vocal music and has led several youth and stake choirs. He is an avid cyclist, on one occasion having pedaled from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas with his son and a Scout group. He and his wife have six children and eight grandchildren.

    At the time of his call to the Seventy, Elder Simmons was serving as an Area Authority. “I know that Jesus is the Christ,” he says. “He is aware of us, and he cares for us. I have a sure testimony that President Hinckley is the divinely appointed representative of the Lord on the earth.”

    As of 2005, Elder Simmons continued to serve in the Second Quorum. In fact, he had recently (June 2005) been appointed President of the Logan Utah Temple, this at a time when he had almost doubled his five year term as a member of the Second Quorum. In fact, he had reached the age of seventy, which is the age at which members of the First Quorum are given emeritus status. Elder Simmons is like the Energizer Bunny... he just keeps on going.

    But then, on October 1, 2005, a grateful Church, assembled in General Conference, extended an honorable release from the Second Quorum to Elder Dennis E. Simmons, and with raised hands, gave him a vote of thanks for services long and honorably rendered.

   "News of the Church: Elder Dennis E. Simmons...," Ensign May 1996.
   2005 Church Almanac, p.46
   "New Leaders of the Seventy Sustained; Eleven General Authorities Released," Church News Release, Oct. 1, 2005

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