This biographical sketch is largely adapted from "News of
the Church: Elder Charles A. Didier of the First Quorum of the Seventy"
in The Ensign, November 1975, page 135.
“I was just invited to attend the seminar for Regional
Representatives and a seminar for my job,” smiled Elder Charles A. Didier,
new member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. “But when I found myself
being escorted to President Spencer W. Kimball’s
home Tuesday evening, I knew something else was coming.
“I accepted the calling at once,” he said, adding
with his quick smile, “then President Kimball opened his Doctrine and Covenants
and explained my calling to me.”
Elder Didier, former president of the France-Switzerland
Mission and current Regional Representative for the France Paris and Belgian
Brussels missions, is Belgian, the first resident European General Authority
called in this dispensation.
He was born October 5, 1935, in Ixelles, Belgium
to Andre Didier and Gabrielle Colpaert Didier
The principle of eternal marriage was a major force
in his conversion. “You see,” he explains, “my parents divorced after 25
years of marriage. I was the oldest child, very close to my mother, and
the experience still leaves a painful taste. I promised myself as a boy
that it would never happen to my marriage.”
His mother, two brothers, and sister are also members,
and one of his sister’s missionary companions was Lucie Lodomez, formerly
one of his fellow students at the University of Liege. They met again at
a youth conference after her mission, were
married a year later, and now have two sons, Marc, age 12, and Patrick,
Sister Didier had the opportunity to fly to Salt
Lake to see her husband set apart. She says, “I think the Lord educated
us carefully for this calling. I am an only child and very attached to
my parents and country, but when I went on my own mission I became much
more independent; and when my husband was called as mission president,
I had the feeling in my heart that I should not really plan to go home
In fact, they went straight from the mission field
to Frankfurt where the quadrilingual Elder Didier is European manager of
Translation and Distribution Services for the Church. “My husband taught
me early that we must always be ready—that a call could come at any moment
and we must say yes then.”
“I have a testimony that the Church can change human
nature,” says Elder Didier. “I was shy. Not just shy—but terribly shy.
I refused to give a prayer the first time I was asked. I didn’t dare.
“Knowing that we have a living prophet gives me security
in a very tragic world, and knowing that he has so much confidence in me
makes me feel very humble—and very eager to learn. I think the question
you always ask at times like this is ‘Why? Why me?’ I’ll probably find
out someday, but in the meantime, it’s very good to know that President
Kimball and the other General Authorities think I can do it.”
Time would prove that Elder Didier could indeed "do
it." On August 15, 1992, Elder Didier was called into the Presidency of
the Seventy. He served as one of the seven presidents three years to the
day until August 15, 1995 when he was released from the Presidency of the
Seventy and called as First Counselor of the European East Area. While a
member of the First Quorum, Elder Didier also received the assignment to
serve as General President of the Sunday School in 1994-1995.
In June of 2001, he was recalled into the Presidency of the Seventy. This
second call into the Presidency lasted until August 1, 2007 when he was
Elder Didier was granted Emeritus Status in the October
General Conference of 2009.