The following biographical sketch is adapted from the "News of the
Church: Elder Harold G. Hillam of the Seventy" published in the Ensign,
May 1990, page 104 on the occassion of Elder Hillam being called to the
Second Quorum of the Seventy.
A trial of his faith came at an early age for Harold
G. Hillam. When Harold was eleven, his father was very ill with a cranial
tumor. “He was ill and away from home for months,” Elder Hillam says.
His mother had to stay with his father in a hospital
hundreds of miles away while his two older sisters and he assumed their
parents’ duties at their Idaho home. “It was a very
trying, uncertain time. It was during this time that I learned we are
not alone, that we have to put our faith in the Lord because
we can’t control many things.”
Miraculously, his father returned to the family.
He later became the city clerk and justice of the peace in St. Anthony,
Idaho. It was a miracle Harold did not fail to appreciate.
Harold G. Hillam was born in Sugar City, Idaho, on
1 September 1934 to Gordon and Evelyn Skidmore Hillam. He
graduated from high school in St. Anthony and attended Ricks College.
The summer before he received his mission call, Harold
worked as a fishing guide in nearby Yellowstone Park, where he met Carol
Rasmussen in a sacrament meeting. They corresponded during the two and
a half years he served a mission to Brazil. They were married in the Salt
Lake Temple on 5 June 1958.
Both Elder and Sister Hillam attended BYU. Sister
Hillam received her degree in education and music, and he was accepted
into dental school at Northwestern University in Chicago. While Brother
Hillam was in school, Sister Hillam taught elementary school. Upon his
graduation, Elder Hillam set up a practice in Idaho Falls, Idaho. After
two years, he returned to Northwestern in the orthodontics program. When
he received his degree—with honors—the Hillams returned to Idaho Falls.
Elder Hillam served in the bishopric and in the presidency
of the Idaho Falls Idaho South Stake before being called as stake president.
During the Teton Dam disaster, he coordinated all the Church volunteer
efforts during the clean-up and served as Area Welfare leader.
In 1981, Elder Hillam was called to serve as a mission
president. Their oldest daughter, Linda, had already received her call
to the Portugal Lisbon Mission and was in the Missionary Training Center
when her parents received their assignment—to the Portugal mission. Elder
Hillam said, “I sent her a telegram and signed it, ‘Your Mission President.’”
Their oldest son, Rodney, left at the same time to
serve a mission in Holland, and their third child, Bonnie, later served
in the Portugal mission. “During those three years,” says Sister Hillam,
“we had five family members serving missions.” The younger children—Glenn,
Mark, Ryan, and Jared—attended school in Portugal.
In 1985, the Hillams returned to Idaho Falls and
faced the difficulty of starting a practice for the third time.
Elder and Sister Hillam wanted their seven children
to learn to work hard and earn money for missions and schooling. So they
bought an 80-acre farm in Idaho Falls. Raising and selling sweet corn on
their farm has been an ongoing business the children have worked at in
high school, passing it down to the younger children as they have left
home to serve missions or marry.
The Hillams also enjoy an unusual family hobby: scuba
Elder Hillam has served as a regional representative
both in Idaho and in Portugal. He has also served as president of the Teton
Peaks Council of the Boy Scouts and has received the Silver Beaver award.
He has also served as president of several dental and orthodontic societies.
He strongly encourages young people to serve missions.
“There is no other place in the world,” he says, “that they can learn so
From "News of the Church," the Ensign, May, 1991 on the occasion of Elder
Hillam being called to the First Quorum of the Seventy:
Five members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy
were sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy during the first session
of the 161st Annual General Conference. Transferred from the Second
Quorum of the Seventy to the First Quorum [was] Elder Harold G. Hillam.
Elder Hillam, fifty-five, from Sugar City, Idaho, was called in March 1990
and is currently First Counselor in the Brazil Area Presidency.
From "News of the Church," the Ensign, September 1995
on the occasion of Elder Hillam being called to the Presidency of the Seventy.
Elder Hillam has been serving as president of the
Brazil Area. He was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy on 31
March 1990 and to the First Quorum of the Seventy on 6 April 1991.
Born in Sugar City, Idaho, Elder Hillam attended
Brigham Young University and earned a D.D.S. degree from Northwestern
University in Chicago. He served as a regional
representative, mission president, and stake president. Elder Hillam
and his wife, Carol Rasmussen Hillam, have seven children.
Elder Hillam was released from the Presidency of the Seventy in October of 2000 but continued to serve with the First Quorum until he was released from the First Quorum of the Seventy with a vote of thanks, and designated an Emeritus General Authority on October 1, 2005.