SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) Elder Ulisses Soares and Elder Gerritt W. Gong are now the newest members of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The two men were called on Saturday during the LDS Church’s General Conference in Salt Lake City.
Both Gong and Soares have long histories of service in the LDS faith. The following information is provided by Mormon Newsroom:
Elder Gong had served as a General Authority Seventy from April 3, 2010 until the time of his call to the Twelve. He was named a member of the Presidency of the Seventy on October 6, 2015. From 2011 to 2015, Elder Gong was a member of the Asia Area Presidency, headquartered in Hong Kong, and concluded that service as the Area President.
Elder Gong received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Asian and university studies from Brigham Young University in 1977. In 1979, he received a Master of Philosophy degree and in 1981 a doctorate in in international relations from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. In 1985 he served as special assistant to the undersecretary of state at the U.S. State Department and in 1987 as special assistant to the U.S. ambassador in Beijing, China. From 1989 he served in several positions at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He was assistant to the president for planning and assessment at Brigham Young University until April 2010.
Elder Gong has served in numerous Church callings, including full-time missionary in the Taiwan Taipei Mission, high councilor, high priests group leader, stake Sunday School president, seminary teacher, bishop, stake mission president, stake president and Area Seventy.
Gerrit Walter Gong was born in Redwood City, California on December 23, 1953. He married Susan Lindsay in January 1980. They are the parents of four children and three grandchildren.
Elder Soares had been serving as a General Authority Seventy since April 2, 2005 and was named a member of the Presidency of the Seventy on January 6, 2013. He served previously as a counselor in the Africa Southeast Area, President of the Brazil Area and as a counselor in the Brazil South Area.
Elder Soares received a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting and economics from the São Paulo Pontifical Catholic University, School of Economic Science in 1985 and later received a Master of Business Administration degree. He was an accountant and auditor for multinational corporations in Brazil and director for temporal affairs in the Church area office in São Paulo, Brazil. At the time of his call as a General Authority, he was serving on a special assignment for the Presiding Bishopric of the Church in Salt Lake City.
Elder Soares has served in a number of Church callings, including full-time missionary in the Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission, elders quorum president, counselor in a bishopric, high councilor, stake executive secretary, regional welfare agent, stake president and president of the Portugal Porto Mission (2000–2003).
Ulisses Soares was born in São Paulo, Brazil, on October 2, 1958. He married Rosana Fernandes in October 1982. They are the parents of three children and three grandchildren.