- Born 1918, Granger, Utah
- Baptized as a child; Aaronic Priesthood as a youth; Melchizedek Priesthood as a young man
- Mission to Brazil 1939-1941
- Married to Mildred Lee Schwantes, four children; She passed away in 1952.
- Married to Geraldine Hamblin 1953; seven more children
- President of Brazilian Mission 1958-1963
- Assistant to the Twelve 1975-1976
- First Quorum of Seventy 1976-1989
- Presidency of the Seventy 1978-1980 and 1985-1989
- Named Emeritus General Authority 1989
- Died 2010
Elder Wm. Grant Bangerter, a quiet man, soft spoken
and deliberate but one of his most frequently used words was 'urgency.'
“In the past four years, since I was called to be
an assistant to the Twelve, I have had experiences that have made me understand
the course that the gospel is taking," "he said in an interview with the
Church News. I feel the great urgency of President Kimball and have
participated, to some extent, in his vision of what the Lord wants done. I feel
the urgency of getting the gospel news to the world.”
That urgency is particularly keen when it comes to
Brazil, a country he said he feels “married to” because of his work there, first
as a missionary from 1939-41, then as mission president from 1958-63, and
most recently as Area Supervisor, his assignment as a member of the First
Quorum of the Seventy, to which he was sustained 1 October 1976. “There
must be millions of members in that country,” he said. “The Lord expects
it and it can be done.”
He was called to the presidency of the First Quorum
of the Seventy on “that busy Thursday afternoon” before general conference,
when the other new General Authorities were called. “Early in the interview,
President Kimball advised me that I had been selected to serve in the presidency
since there would be a vacancy. I guess I’d describe my feelings as melting,
“President Kimball was so warm and kind. He was very
appreciative about our work in Brazil. He embraced me and recalled the
many contacts we’d had in the past and made me feel very warm.”
Remembering his family’s reaction brought tears to
his eyes momentarily. “My family expects greater things of me than I do.
They all said they were not surprised. And my mother said that it had been
made known to her a week ago that I would be receiving a new assignment.”
His family included his ten brothers and sisters
as well, all of whom are equally devoted to the Church. “My mother raised
us all in the spirit of Hannah: to be whatever we could, but foremost to
serve the Lord. When I was called to be a stake president at a young age,
several of the General Authorities who knew my father, including Elder
Harold B. Lee and Elder Spencer
W. Kimball complimented him on his ‘fine son.’ My father consistently
replied, ‘I have five fine sons.’ And he does.”
Describing his wife Geraldine, Elder Bangerter
said she has “for twenty-five years been worth at least three counselors”
in all his assignments.
Elder Bangerter was born 8 June 1918 in Granger,
Utah, to William Henry and Isabella Bawden Bangerter. Graduating from the
University of Utah, he became a building contractor with a brother.
Elder Bangerter was the second of 11 children and grandson of Mormon
pioneers and Swiss immigrants. He spent his early years working with his
father on the family farm using mostly horse drawn equipment. He enjoyed
farming and horses throughout his life.
Elder Bangerter served as a
missionary to Brazil, 1939-1941 learning to speak Portuguese and German. Soon
thereafter he was called to the Bishopric but was drafted into the US Army
after Pearl Harbor and became a bomber pilot, squadron commander and flying
He married Mildred Lee Schwantes in the Mesa, Az. Temple on March 8, 1944.
She died in 1952, one year after the death of their fourth child. In 1953 he
married Geraldine Hamblin in the Salt Lake Temple. They had seven children.
Elder Bangerter’s response to his call was typical
of his lifelong attitude toward service: “I feel honored and humbled by
this new responsibility, and very concerned about how I’ll perform.” Those
who know him did not share that concern.
Elder Bangerter was released as a President of the Seventy in 1980 but
was again called to the Presidency of the Seventy in 1985. He continued
to serve in both the quorum and the presidency until he was granted Emeritus
Status in 1989.
William Grant Bangerter 1918 ~ 2010 William Grant Bangerter, emeritus member of the
First Quorum of The Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of
Alpine, Utah, died April 18, 2010, at age 91.
"News of the Church: Elder W. Grant Bangerter of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy,"
The Ensign, November 1978, p. 96
"A Light to all who knew him," by by Marianne Holman, The Church News, May 1, 2010
"William Bangerter Obituary," The Salt Lake Tribune April 23, 2010
2005 Church Almanac, p.76