President Spencer W.
Kimball was in West Berlin. He had just returned from Poland, and at
8:00 P.M. he spoke to the Saints in the Berlin Germany Stake. For an hour,
Elder F. Enzio Busche, then the Regional Representative for the seven German
stakes, translated for the prophet as he spoke.
At 10:00 the meeting ended. “Everyone was inspired—but
tired,” Elder Busche recalled. “There were some light refreshments—but
even before we were through with them, President Kimball said, ‘Well, Brother
Busche, why don’t we go to the stake president’s office?’ ”
They sat in the office together, and President Kimball
asked Elder Busche if he would be willing to serve as one of the General
When asked later how he felt about the calling at
the time, Elder Busche responded, “I think the Lord helps by not giving
you the full understanding at the time. If you really understood all that
it meant, you wouldn’t be able to respond.”
But after a long pause of shock Elder Busche did
respond. “I can’t see an honest way to escape,” he said.
“Can you put that in a positive way?” President Kimball
And he did, for putting things positively always seemed to
come easily for Elder Busche. In fact, it was one of the rules
in his family, and something he particularly stressed in his teaching
as Regional Representative in Germany.
“We have a few dos and don’ts in our family. One
of them is to try never to speak bad of others. Speaking bad of people
builds up an evil spirit in the home, and it’s hard to overcome it. Also,
the use of low or vulgar language of any kind we always took note of so
we could overcome it.
“Another rule is that we try not to argue,” he went
on. “Successfully avoiding argument has the good result of setting the
right priorities in the home. The atmosphere of protection, help, and true
love must supersede all other desires. And daily earnest
study of the scriptures and humble prayer are the prerequisites.” Brother
Busche said, however, that there is nothing unique in the way he and
his wife have raised their family. “We have always learned from the good
example of other people.”
Elder Busche felt very happy about the positive
development that the Church made in Germany.
The most important concern, he said, “is not so much that the members do
not know the program or do not have the best desires to serve—for they
do. But just as important are little things like the manner of behavior
and questions of style, which must be improved: extending a heartfelt welcome
to other members of the Church; learning to ask people for forgiveness
successfully; calling people to repentance without offending; refraining
from judging or condemning other people.
“To bridge the gap between knowledge and actions
is the goal of the leaders in Germany.” And everywhere else, too!
Born 5 April 1930 in Dortmund, Germany, in the heart
of the industrial center of that nation, Elder Busche grew up during years
of tumult, depression, and then the rise of strong nationalistic feeling
before World War II. At the age of fourteen, he was drafted into the German
army as part of the last reserve. Living as he did in one of the most heavily
bombed parts of Germany, he was already familiar with devastation and starvation.
Though he was a soldier, he is very thankful that “I was never forced to
hurt or kill anyone.” When the war ended, his father gradually built up
the business he had started in 1922, a publishing firm which Elder Busche
has continued to build into a company with several partnerships and wholly
His father, Fritz Busche, who died in 1964, “was
one of the greatest men I can imagine, besides the General Authorities,”
says Elder Busche, and his strong love for the family he was born into
continues with his own family today.
Elder Busche first learned about the Church in 1956,
and after his baptism in 1958, he received his first calling, as branch
clerk. Soon he became elders quorum president—with responsibility for all
the elders in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia,
one of the most densely populated states in West Germany.
After that, he served as Dortmund Branch president,
Ruhr District president, and as a counselor to two mission presidents,
culminating in his call as Regional Representative in Germany in December
1970. During his service as Regional
Representative, three German-speaking stakes became seven.
Throughout all his work, with the Church and with
his publishing company, he received support from his wife, Jutta. In
fact, she was a part of his life since they met in childhood! Elder
Busche clearly remembered their meeting. He was seven years old, and had
built a cathedral out of wooden blocks. His father, proud of his son’s
work, closed off the living room so that the younger children couldn’t
knock it down.
“Then Mrs. Baum, an old friend of my mother’s, came
to call—bringing her two-year-old daughter Jutta. The living room was opened,
and the little girl went straight to my building and—crash.” Enzio’s mother
was upset. “What will the boy say?” she asked.
But when seven-year-old Enzio stood in the doorway
and surveyed the damage, he only said, “It’s OK, it’s OK. It doesn’t matter.”
“I was in love with my wife from the very beginning,”
he says. They were married in 1955, and soon afterward began the saga of
Church service and devoted love for family and friends that has brought
Elder F. Enzio Busche to the ranks of the General Authorities.
In Europe, where nations and language groups rub
shoulders, Elder Busche saw that the gospel transcends such differences.
“In the Swiss Temple we meet with many different languages, many different
nationalities. But the Spirit is the same. The Spirit knows no boundaries.”
Elder Busche served in the First Quorum of the Seventy
with honor and distinction until October 7, 2000 when he was granted emeritus
status and named an Emeritus General Authority.