One of Elder Timothy John Dyches' favorite roles in life is to "be a witness"
and testify to others to help them come unto Christ. Whether it is serving as a missionary, working
in his profession or just being at home with his own family, he enjoys that charge and tries to help
others do the same.
"My mother was a convert to the Church, and of the four boys that she had, each
one of us has married converts to the Church," Elder Dyches said. "So we have a great admiration for
the missionary program in reaching out to invite all to come unto Christ."
Born on Jan. 15, 1951, in Murray, Utah, to Milo Fredrick and Mary Katherine
Dyches, he was the second of seven children. When he was a young deacon, his father sold his pharmacy
in Utah and moved the family to Elko, Nev., to open another pharmacy.
"Moving can be arduous but it was a good move for us," Elder Dyches said. "We
really had to turn into being each other's best friends."
While a young man, Elder Dyches spent a lot of time after school working at his
father's pharmacy. As they worked side by side, his father taught him the importance of hard work -
something that would serve him well for the rest of his life. His ability to stay on task at a young
age - and to help others do the same - encouraged his siblings to nickname him "the administrator."
"Mom would produce a detailed list of every chore that needed to be done before
we could go play," he said. "There was basic need for coordination, and maybe a tiny bit of sibling
encouragement, for the list to be accomplished. . I come from a family with a mom and dad that always
showed us the right way and I am ever grateful for them."
Remembering an experience he had as a young man in Elko preparing to serve a
mission, Elder Dyches said, "I went to get my physical to go on my mission, and though the attending
physician spent 45 minutes detailing why I shouldn't serve a mission, I still went, and have never
regretted serving that mission." That determination blessed him while serving in the Germany South
Mission from 1970-72.
"That hard work I'd grown up with - that was expected by my grandfather, Milo T
Dyches, and my dad - helped me to rise up to do just that," he said. "It was a tough mission, but it
was a great mission for me. I learned the value of hard work and obedience and not giving up just
because things are hard."
After returning home from his mission, he
attended Brigham Young University where he met his future wife, Jill Dudley, a convert from Glens
Falls, N.Y. She had been introduced to the Church as a teenager when missionaries knocked on her
family's front door.
"We had never felt anything like that before," Sister Dyches said. "The
missionaries came to give us a message. They came and taught us the plan of salvation. That touched
my heart deeply and I started reading the Book of Mormon at a young age. I could not deny these
things, especially when [I could] feel it so strong. I love the Book of Mormon."
It was a few years after her baptism that the couple met while on campus at BYU.
Although she declined his first invitation to go out, he later became her math tutor, which led to a
five-month courtship before they were married on April 26, 1974, in the Manti Utah Temple. They have
After completing his undergraduate degree in university studies in only three
years, Elder Dyches continued his schooling in medicine and, ultimately, in the field of
otorhinolaryngology - an ear, nose and throat specialty - graduating from and completing his residency
at Washington University Medical School in Saint Louis, Mo. He has spent his career as a surgeon in a
private practice and was in senior management at a national surgical management company following his
most recent mission service.
During those years of medical training, Elder and Sister Dyches moved and each
of their three children was born in a different state - one in Arizona, one in Nevada and one in
Missouri. It was also during those years that his family established a great love for reading the
While they were living in St. Louis, Elder and Sister Dyches attended a stake
conference, in which one of the speakers encouraged family scripture study. He recognized a need to
improve but found it difficult because of his busy schedule during his medical training.
After a grueling night on call, he came home to his wife, Jill exclaiming,
"Honey, guess what just came in the mail? The Book of Mormon storybooks and tapes!"
Sister Dyches encouraged her husband to read the scriptures with their family
and he quickly came up with reasons why it wasn't a good night. She responded to him by saying that
if "Dad wasn't going to do it, Mom would." In that moment, they decided to make the scriptures a
priority for their family.
"That was Aug. 13, 1981, and we haven't missed a night since," he said. "So
our children grew up reading scriptures. Some nights we'd only read one scripture or quote the
Articles of Faith - you do the best you can. But it didn't matter if we were on trains or planes
traveling, if that is the time we had to read with our kids, we would do it."
One of the greatest joys in the lives of Elder and Sister Dyches is to see
their own children, now grown, read the scriptures with their children. That love of the scriptures
has guided his Church service, especially when he was called to preside over the Oregon Portland
Mission from 2008-2011. He would often ask his missionaries to share their favorite scripture.
"We wanted them all to be successful master teachers," he said. "When you have
a missionary who humbly and meekly truly knows the scriptures and of whom they testify, it refreshingly
passes on to others that they can trust the missionaries with their friends."
It is through reading the scriptures and relying upon the Spirit that they were
really able to work, he said. Elder Dyches said he takes that same formula he tried to teach his
missionaries with him as he starts his new assignment in the Second Quorum of the Seventy.
"As we go forward that is what we will be doing, inviting all to come and sup at
His table and answer the door as He knocks, because that is the only way to true happiness and lasting
happiness," he said. "We are willing to do and go wherever He may send us. ... As President Monson has
said, 'When you are on the Lord's errand you are entitled to the Lord's help,' so with that assurance
we move forward."