This biographical sketch is largely adapted from "News of the Church: Elder John
B. Dickson of the Seventy" from the Ensign, August 1992, page 77 on the
occasion of his call to the Second Quorum of the Seventy.
The only way we can return to our heavenly home and
ultimately reach perfection is in “total companionship with the Savior,”
says Elder John Baird Dickson. “My great longing is to help others know
him and come unto him.”
Born in Tacoma, Washington, to John H. Dickson and
Helen Baird on 12 July 1943, Elder Dickson moved with his family several
years later to nearby Arlington, where his father worked in the timber
industry and young John grew to appreciate hard work and nature.
After receiving a mission call to Mexico in 1962,
he learned he had bone cancer in his right arm. Doctors did not expect
him to live more than a month.
Strong family support and the comforting words his
father gave him in a blessing sustained him. Ten months later, he left
for his mission grateful that his life had been spared, though his arm
had been amputated.
What some may consider to be a handicap has never
bothered him. “Losing my arm has proved to be one of the greater blessings
in my life. I am more patient with other people because I have had to be
patient with myself.”
After his mission, he married Delores Jones in the
Oakland Temple in 1966. Two years later, he graduated from Brigham Young
University and joined a family sawmill operation in Washington.
In 1978 Elder Dickson returned to Mexico to preside
over the newly created Mexico City North Mission. For the last eight years,
he had been president of the Mt. Vernon Washington Stake.
His “most significant calling” is that of father
to eight children (seven girls) and husband to “an angel from heaven.”
He also places great importance on being an effective home teacher.
Although he has helped point many souls to Christ,
his longing to share the gospel is insatiable, his wife, Delores, says.
“He loves everyone.”
Elder Dickson calls himself “extremely ordinary,”
but his capacity to love and serve is, by all accounts, extraordinary.
Elder Dickson served in the Second Quorum
until April 1, 1995 when he was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy.
On October 5,2013, Elder Dickson was released from the First Quorum and
designated an Emeritus General Authority. A grateful Church gave hime a vote
of thanks for his services.