This biographical sketch adapted from the "News
of the Church: Elder Gordon T. Watts of the Seventy" in the Ensign,
May 1998 on the occasion of Elder Watts' call to the Second Quorum of the Seventy.
Currently mission president of the Philippines Quezon
City Mission, Elder Gordon T. Watts says this and other experiences have
taught him the importance of following the Lord’s prophet. He affirms,
“What [the prophet] says is not just for different parts of the world;
it’s for the whole world.”
Born in South Weber, Utah, on 23 February 1935, Gordon
grew up in Utah and graduated from Weber State College. He then served
in the U.S. Armed Forces, served a mission to the Hawaiian Islands, and
later graduated from Utah State
University with a degree in business and education. He married Connie
Welling in the Logan Temple on 19 September 1963.
In sales and marketing managerial positions for Ford
Motor Company, Gordon traveled extensively during his 32-year career. Consequently,
the couple and their four children lived in various parts of the United
States, most recently in Roanoke, Texas.
Fortunate in being able to meet many new people,
they tried as a family to focus on setting a good example to others. On
one occasion in Cleveland, Ohio, they rented a city bus and invited their
neighborhood to attend a member-missionary fireside. From that experience,
two of their neighbors joined the Church.
Elder Watts loves spending time with his wife, children,
and grandchildren. He also enjoys woodworking, drawing, golfing, and gardening.
Referring to his gardening, he says, “I take a lot of pride in things looking
very neat and nice.”
Elder Watts’s Church callings include serving twice
as a bishop, as a counselor in a stake presidency, and twice as a stake
president. In February 1993 he was called as a regional representative
and served in the Houston Texas East and Plano Texas regions. He will complete
his current calling as mission president in July.
He attributes many blessings in his life to the strong
work ethic and gospel focus his parents taught. They often told him, “The
most important things in your life should be your family and the Church
and living its standards.” Elder Watts firmly believes this,
adding that “God does direct people in their lives. I have no doubt
in my mind about the divinity of [this] work and of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Having fulfilled the term of his calling, Elder Watts was honorably released from the Second Quorum in October of 2004.