This biographical sketch adapted from "News of the
Church: Elder L. Aldin Porter of the First Quorum of the Seventy" in The
Ensign, May 1987, page 92 on the occasion of his call to the First
Quorum of the Seventy, and from other sources.
After nine months, L. Aldin and Shirley Porter were
just settled into their leadership roles in the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission.
President Porter was interviewing missionaries when there came a telephone
call from President Gordon B. Hinckley,
First Counselor in the First Presidency. Undoubtedly, it concerned
mission business, President Porter thought.
Instead, President Hinckley relayed the call to serve
in the First Quorum of the Seventy. Elder Porter, fifty-five, was among
eight men sustained to that quorum on April 4. He will be released as mission
Reflecting on the caliber of men in the First Quorum
of the Seventy, Elder Porter wondered momentarily if his own abilities
and strengths could help him rise to the required level. But he humbly
accepted the call.
Whatever one's strengths may be, he comments, “I
have great faith that if you accept an assignment in the Church, and move
ahead, the Lord makes up the difference.”
“I know this: Sister Porter and I love the Brethren
and will follow their counsel.”
Born in Salt Lake City on 30 June 1931, a son of
J. Lloyd and Revon Hayward Porter, Aldin Porter grew up in Idaho Falls,
Idaho. After serving in the West Central States Mission, he married Shirley
Palmer of Houston, Texas. They have six children and sixteen grandchildren.
Elder Porter associated with and then replaced Bishop
J. Richard Clarke as head of an insurance agency in Idaho before his call
as mission president in 1986. Before that, he served the Church as a bishop,
stake president, and regional representative. At the time of his call,
he was a patriarch in the Meridian Idaho Stake, and he and his wife were
serving as a counselor and assistant matron, respectively, in the Boise
He has spent twenty-nine years in the insurance business.
It would be accurate to describe him as “successful,” but Elder and Sister
Porter's concern for their family has always been greater than their concern
for his career.
“We have a little farm up in Meridian,” he reflects.
Its agricultural products were cattle, hay, grain, and corn. But there
was a more important crop. “It raised fine sons and daughters.”
The Porters bought their farm to help teach their
children responsibility, the value of work, and reliance on the Lord. It
worked well, he says. The children willingly, even eagerly, shouldered
their part of the farm responsibilities. Elder Porter praises his wife
not only for giving direction to the farm work while he was busy with business
and Church responsibilities, but also for her strengths as a mother and
as a companion.
“Any parent should have the support we have from
our children,” Elder Porter comments. Their four married daughters and
two sons have helped strengthen the Porters in their missionary service,
as have his two sisters.
Some might think it a sacrifice to be separated from
their family, but the blessings of their missionary service—for parents,
children, and grandchildren—“have more than compensated” for any effects
of the separation, Elder Porter says.
Elder Porter says he is willing to do whatever is
necessary to fulfill his calling faithfully. That is typical of him, Sister
Porter says. “He's a devoted Latter-day Saint, and is totally committed.”
What does he hope to contribute to people during
his service? The number-one contribution anyone can make to others is to
help them build faith and testimony, Elder Porter answers. And this he
believes he will be able to do because “I'm certain of the
divinity of this work.”
On April 1, 1989, Elder Porter was sustained to the
Second Quorum of the Seventy; then two years later on April 6, 1991 he
was called again into the First Quorum. After serving there scarcely a
year and a half, he was called to the Presidency of the Seventy August
15, 1992. In June 2001, he was released from the Presidency of the Seventy in anticipation of being granted Emeritus Status in October of the same year. Then on October 6, 2001, a grateful Church, assembled in the 171st Semi-annual General Conference, gave him a vote of appreciation as he was released from the First Quorum and named an Emeritus General Authority.