This biographical sketch adapted from the "News
of the Church: Elder Dennis E. Simmons of the Seventy" in the Ensign for
“The Lord has opened every door of any importance
in my life,” says Elder Dennis E. Simmons. “Every professional pursuit,
every meaningful activity, everything good in my life has been influenced
by my gospel training and my testimony.”
Born at home on 27 June 1934 in Beaver Dam, Utah,
13 miles west of Logan, Elder Simmons married Carolyn Thorpe in the Logan
Temple on 15 October 1953. After earning a music education degree at Utah
State University, he spent two years as athletic officer at an air force
base near Livermore, California, and subsequently taught school for two
years in Tremonton, Utah. He and his family then moved to Las Vegas, Nevada,
where he worked at the Nevada Test Site. In 1965 the family moved to Washington,
D.C., where Elder Simmons earned a law degree at George Washington University
and worked as a legislative assistant.
Soon after his return to Las Vegas to practice law,
Dennis Simmons was called as a bishop, and in 1977 he was called as a stake
president. In 1986 he and his wife returned to Washington, D.C., where
Elder Simmons served as the first president of
the newly created Washington DC North Mission. “Our mission was the
greatest experience of our lives,” he says.
Elder Simmons enjoys vocal music and has led several
youth and stake choirs. He is an avid cyclist, on one occasion having pedaled
from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas with his son and a Scout group. He and
his wife have six children and eight grandchildren.
At the time of his call to the Seventy, Elder Simmons
was serving as an Area Authority. “I know that Jesus is the Christ,” he
says. “He is aware of us, and he cares for us. I have a sure testimony
that President Hinckley is the divinely appointed
representative of the Lord on the earth.”
As of 2005, Elder Simmons continued to serve in the Second Quorum. In fact, he had recently (June 2005) been appointed President of the Logan Utah Temple, this at a time when he had almost doubled his five year term as a member of the Second Quorum. In fact, he had reached the age of seventy, which is the age at which members of the First Quorum are given emeritus status. Elder Simmons is like the Energizer Bunny... he just keeps on going.
But then, on October 1, 2005, a grateful Church, assembled in General Conference, extended an honorable release from the Second Quorum to Elder Dennis E. Simmons, and with raised hands, gave him a vote of thanks for services long and honorably rendered.