The following biographical sketch is adapted from the "News of the
Church: Elder Han In Sang of the Seventy" published in the Ensign
for August 1991 on the occasion of Elder Han's call to the Second Quorum
of the Seventy.
When Han In Sang was in school, he was required to learn
a second language. He chose to learn German, and the first sentence he
learned in German class made him laugh. Translated, it meant: “The sky
is blue and life is beautiful.”
“I knew that wasn’t true,” he recalls. With his father
in hiding from the government, the young Korean teenager—the oldest in
his family—was desperately trying to shoulder family responsibilities.
“At the time, I was barefoot, walking on snow, hunting
for firewood. I chased fish through frozen creeks so my pregnant mother
could have food. Life was terrible, with no hope, no dream, no future.”
His life has certainly changed for the better in
the last forty years. And Elder Han (Han is the surname, pronounced Hahn),
called in June 1991 as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, attributed
that change to the gospel.
“I learned about the gospel from a fellow student
in high school,” Elder Han relates. “He invited me to go to church with
The first meeting that the future General Authority
attended was an MIA activity. “I was impressed. The people were very nice
to me and they were talking of family, love, happiness. Again, I laughed
at these ideas, but then I became interested.” In 1957, after a year of
investigation, seventeen-year-old In Sang (pronounced In Sahng) was baptized.
His parents, who were staunch Buddhists, were not pleased with their son’s
decision, but they finally gave their approval. Today, all six of Elder
Han’s brothers and sisters are members of the Church, as well as his mother,
whom he baptized while serving as the first Korean missionary to serve
in Korea. Elder Han’s father is deceased.
Elder Han was born in Seoul on 10 December 1939.
A graduate of a junior college in Inchon, he has served for the past seven
years as regional manager for temporal affairs in the Church’s administrative
office in Seoul. He previously managed the Seoul Distribution Center. He
has also served as translation supervisor for the Church in Korea, and
he translated the Book of Mormon into the Korean language while serving
After returning from his mission, Elder Han married
Lee Kyn In, a young lady he had met several years earlier while he was
teaching a Sunday School class. The two are the parents of five children:
two daughters, Po Hee and Sun Hee (born while Elder Han was serving as
mission president in Pusan); and three sons, Yong Hee, Tae Hee, and Chang
“I don’t have many monetary assets,” Elder Han points
out. “But I feel as if I’m the richest man in the world because we are
living in a happy home in a close family. Those are the things that are
Serving in the Church is also important to Elder
Han. He was the first Korean native called to serve as a mission president
and was also the first to serve as a regional representative.
As the first Korean General Authority, Elder Han
was overwhelmed at the outpouring of love and support he received
from Saints all over the world. “I was scared and shocked when I received
this call,” he explains. “But the support from others has been a strength
to me as I realize the trust they feel.”
Elder Han looked back on his ordination as an elder
in 1960 as an important moment in his life. At the time, “my relationship
with my Savior was not what I wanted,” he explained. As he prepared to be
ordained by Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, who was then an Assistant to the
Quorum of the Twelve, “I realized that this man who was laying his hands
on my head was a man of God,” recalled Elder Han. “Although I couldn’t touch
my Savior, I could touch President Hinckley. So at that time I committed
to always follow and obey this man’s counsel. By doing that, I knew I could
be loyal to my Heavenly Father and the Savior. Now, whenever I have the
chance to see President Hinckley, I quietly shout in my heart, ‘I’m all
right. My life is in order.’ I want to be able to do that for the rest
of my life.
“The gospel has given me a vision about the future,
my family, and happiness,” Elder Han continued. “Because of the gospel,
I have hope. Now I say yes, the sky is blue—any time, under any conditions.
And life is beautiful.”
Elder Han completed the term of his five-year call to
the Second Quorum of the Seventy and was honorably released on October