Four days before being released as a stake president, Elder Brent H. Nielson joined
President Gordon B. Hinckley to scout out land for a temple to be built in
Twin Falls, Idaho. A few years later, with a beautiful temple now dedicated to the Lord, Elder and
Sister Nielson have enjoyed being a part of the temple from its beginnings.
The Nielsons have spent their days enjoying the blessings of a nearby temple.
Sister Nielson worked on the grounds crew, and together they attended as often as they possible. They
have made the House of the Lord their home.
Although Elder Nielson's call to the First Quorum of the Seventy took them away
from Twin Falls, they were excited about a new opportunity. Elder Brent Hatch Nielson was sustained
as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy during general conference April 4 2009. Elder Nielson,
54, was serving in the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy at the time of his call.
For the Nielsons this new call meant a chance to continue serving the Lord.
Elder Nielson was born and spent his childhood in Burley, Idaho, where he
enjoyed the small-town life and learned from many great mentors. He loved sports as a young boy and
was constantly involved in many school activities, including serving as student body president his
senior year of high school.
With strong examples of serving in the Church, he saw at a young age what it
meant to "seek ye first the kingdom of God" (Matthew 6:33).
"I had faithful parents," he said. "My father was my bishop as a young man
growing up. He was a great influence in my life."
After high school he packed his bags to attend Brigham Young University in
Provo, Utah. There he began his collegiate education and participated in a performing group on
campus called the Sounds of Freedom. After completing a year of college, Elder Nielson was called
to serve a full-time mission in Finland.
"It changed my life," Elder Nielson said. "It helped me realize what is most
important. I came home realizing I wanted to serve the Lord, and that has been the pattern for me for
From his mission, Elder Nielson said, he gained a greater understanding of the
gospel and learned how to be a dedicated member of the Church.
After returning home from his mission, he returned to BYU to finish his
undergraduate degree. Two months after he was home his cousin introduced him to Marcia Ann Bradford
at a social gathering. A few months later, in December of 1976, they realized they had a class together
and began dating.
"After that we knew it was over," Sister Nielson said. "Not that our relationship
was over - dating other people was over!"
Just after Elder Nielson finished his bachelor's degree, and after dating for a
year and a half, the Nielsons were married on June 26, 1978, in the Salt Lake Temple. They then moved
to Salt Lake City so Elder Nielson could attend the University of Utah's law school and Sister Nielson
could finish her degree in home economics at the BYU Salt Lake Center.
Not long after they moved to Salt Lake City, Elder Nielson was called to serve
on a stake high council at the age of 24. During this busy time they were going to school, involved
in Church and having children.
"We had two babies before we got out of law school," Elder Nielson said. "I'd go
to law school and then come home and she'd go to school at night."
Education was very important to the Nielsons so, in an effort so both could finish
school, they made sacrifices and helped encourage each other.
"It was really important to him that we accomplish my graduation," Sister Nielson
said. "His family was very well educated and he wanted that for me too."
In addition to having a family, Church callings and school, the Nielsons managed
a 10-story condominium complex to help pay the bills. Their responsibilities included cleaning and
running the complex.
"We each had a baby in a backpack and would vacuum the complex," Sister Nielson
said. "He'd start on the bottom and I'd start on the top. We'd meet in the middle. It was hard, but we
Even though it was tough juggling a family, Church, school and work, the Nielsons
said that as they served the Lord first, He always provided a way for everything to work out.
"You are tempted to say no, that's way too much, but when you get a calling from
the Lord, whatever your life looks like you just shift it, you adjust," Sister Nielson said. "I actually
remember that as a really great time in our life. The Lord always picks up the difference and blesses
your effort with wonderful things."
The Nielsons' sacrifices and hard work continued as they finished school and their
family grew. After graduating from law school they moved to Twin Falls, Idaho, where Elder Nielson
practiced law and the rest of their six children were born. There Elder Nielson continued his service
in the Church by spending time as a bishop, a counselor in the stake presidency and as stake president.
Just as both Elder and Sister Nielson were taught to work hard as children, they
tried to instill the same work ethic in their offspring.
Just as important as teaching their children how to work hard, the Nielsons felt
that strengthening family relationships through fun time together is crucial to keeping family
They would often spend part of the day working in the garden together and then
take some time to have fun together as well.
Most important, for the Nielsons, their family and the Lord always come first.
"He's a great father," Sister Nielson said. "I think our children feel like he
made a serious effort to be a part of their lives on every level that he could."
Whether serving the people in Finland, his family or the members of his own
stake, Elder Nielson has made serving the Lord his lifelong pursuit. As he approaches his new call,
he hopes to continue doing the same.
"I am very humbled and overwhelmed, but excited about the opportunity," Elder
Nielson said. "I am determined to serve the Lord in a good way. So, wherever I go, or whatever I do,
I am delighted to help build the Church."
Elder Brent H. Nielson was sustained a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 4, 2009, at age 54. At the time of his call,
he had been serving as a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in the Idaho Area.
Elder Nielson attended Brigham Young University in 1978 and received a bachelor
of arts degree in English. Then in 1981, he received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Utah.
He practiced law in Twin Falls, Idaho, for 29 years.
Elder Nielson has served in numerous Church callings, including full-time
missionary in Finland, ward Young Men president, bishop, high councilor, stake president's counselor,
stake president, and Area Seventy. He served as a counselor in the Pacific Area Presidency from 2009
Brent Hatch Nielson was born in Burley, Idaho, on December 8, 1954. He married
Marcia Ann Bradford in 1978. They are the parents of six children and have thirteen grandchildren.