This biographical sketch is adapted from the "News
of the Church: Elder W. Mack Lawrence of the Seventy" published in the
Ensign for February 1991 on the occasion of Elder Lawrence's call to the
Second Quorum of the Seventy.
Note: Elder Lawrence was called in 1990 but not sustained
until April 1991.
It’s an interesting sight—Elder W. Mack Lawrence walking
along the street with a string of grandchildren trailing behind him. It
happens every Sunday, and the neighbors often comment about the “Pied Piper”
and his faithful little following.
“Our family is the most important thing in the world
to him,” remarks Elder Lawrence’s wife, Jackie. “He calls our grandchildren
the greatest dividend he’s ever received. He’s devoted.”
The things Elder Lawrence is devoted to are carefully
considered and chosen. But when his priorities are established, Elder Lawrence
works hard to succeed.
That success can be seen in his thirty-nine years
with US West Communications, where he has progressed from his first job
as a “nickel shagger” (the person responsible for gathering coins from
pay telephones) to his assignment as the company’s Utah vice president
and chief executive officer.
Elder Lawrence has also succeeded in his efforts
at community service. Most recently, he was chairman of the building fund
campaign for the recently completed Primary Children’s Medical Center.
He is a member of the board of directors of the Utah
Symphony. And he has served as chairman of the Salt Lake Area Chamber
of Commerce and as a member of the executive committee of the Utah Foundation.
“I think it’s very important for all of us to become
involved in our communities and to work at making them better places to
live and raise our families,” the newly called member of the Second Quorum
of the Seventy explains. “President [Spencer W.] Kimball once said that we have no right
to complain about what’s happening in our community unless
we’re involved. I’ve tried to follow that counsel.”
Born on 28 October 1926 in Salt Lake City, W. Mack
Lawrence was Richard S. and Thelma McKenzie Lawrence’s oldest child. When
Mack was in the fourth grade, the family moved to Provo, where Mack later
graduated from Provo High. After serving in the military forces during
World War II, Mack enrolled at the University of Utah, where he began dating
Jackie Young, a friend from his high school days.
After a two-year engagement, the couple married in
the Salt Lake Temple on 15 June 1949, the day after Sister Lawrence graduated
with a degree in sociology. Elder Lawrence graduated a year later with
a business degree.
Brother Lawrence was then hired by the telephone
company, and the family, which eventually included three children—Craig,
Deborah (Ohlson), and Pam (Castleton)—spent their early years in several
cities—Salt Lake City, Provo, and Denver—as Brother Lawrence steadily advanced
within the company. Eventually, the Lawrences settled in Salt Lake City,
where Brother Lawrence continued to devote himself to his family and the
“That’s really all there is,” he points out. “Family
and church—those two things are the things that matter, the things that
“We had a great bishop, O. Leslie Goates,” recalls
Elder Lawrence. “It was through his caring, loving, patient influence that
I began to recognize that to truly gain happiness, you need to be involved
in the Church and living the gospel.”
It was his calling as a stake missionary that gave
Brother Lawrence an opportunity to share his newfound knowledge with others.
He has continued to share the gospel in callings as stake mission president’s
counselor, bishop, high councilor, and regional representative.
“Mack is a people person,” notes Sister Lawrence.
“He is patient with others and brings out their best. He knows how to get
Those abilities will serve Elder Lawrence well as
he continues to share his testimony as a new General Authority.
“It’s hard to put in words, to record on paper. But
I know the gospel is true,” he testifies. “I want to share that with others
so they can find peace and happiness and purpose in life.
“There’s no one secret to helping others and sharing
the gospel,” he continues. “It’s a continual, loving, patient process.
It’s an arm around a shoulder, both figuratively and literally. That’s
how we build the kingdom. That’s how we do the Lord’s work.”
Elder Lawrence served his five-year calling in the Second
Quorum of the Seventy with distinction and was honorably released October
Jacqueline Elsie Young Lawrence 1926 ~ 2009 Jacqueline
(Jackie) Young Lawrence, age 82, passed away October 6, 2009 after a long
struggle with Parkinson's disease.She was born December 26, 1926 in Los
Angeles, California, daughter of George L. Young and Elsie T. Young Hummel.