Few Latter-day Saints have their life's credo determined while sitting in the sanctuary
of a protestant church. Elder Lance Bradley Wickman of the First Quorum of the Seventy did. At the age of
eight, while in East Orange, New Jersey, his ward did not have a meetinghouse of its own. Instead, they
used the building of another church. Above the pulpit hung a plaque inscribed with Joshua's immortal words,
"Choose ye this day whom ye will serve...; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Week after
week, these words seemed to penetrate his soul and speak to his spirit. They became the standard by which
he ordered his life.
Lance B. Wickman was born November 11, 1940 in Seattle, Washington to Alton C. Wickman
and his wife Irene Carlson. The family remained in Seattle until 1947 when they moved to East Orange for four
years, subsequently moving to Glendale, California, where Lance spent his teen years. Speaking of his parents
to a reporter for the Church News, Elder Wickman said, "My parents loved us, and my mother was always
a great friend and exemplar of righteousness. My dad was always a man of principle. When I think about my dad,
integrity is the word that first comes to mind. He taught me lessons of doing what's right no matter what, and
that was the way he lived his life."
Lance attended the University of California at Berkeley and was active in the LDS
Institute of Religion and the university ward. He first met Patricia Farr at an Institute activity. The
following day, arriving late for the first day of an Anthropology clas, the only seat available was down
front... and right next to Patricia Farr. An acquaintanceship grew into a courtship which lasted through Lance's
Junior year, in which he served as Class President. But he knew there were other obligations to be met before
accepting the responsibility of marriage.
In 1961, Lance accepted a call to serve as a full-time missionary to the Central British
Mission. With a bit of fear, he left Patricia and Cal-Berkeley. Would she wait? In the mission home, the
president's wife spoke to that very issue, promising the young missionaries that if they served the Lord with
all their heart, He would not let them down but would provide the right girl for them... maybe not the one they
left, but the right one. Thus reassured, Lance served an exemplary mission. He was honorably released and
returned to Berkeley in 1963. Two days later he was engaged to Patricia Farr. On December 17, 1963 Lance and
Patricia were married in the Los Angeles Temple. They would give birth to five children.
The newlyweds resumed their academic careers and Lance graduated in 1964 with a bachelors
degree in Political Science... and four years of ROTC. The ROTC earned him a commission as a Second Lieutenant
in the infantry of the United States Army. This, of course, was at a time when the conflict in Viet Nam was just
getting started and in 1966, he was sent there as a platoon leader. In Viet Nam he learned that the arm of man
is not sufficient unto salvation but that he must always trust in the Lord. He earned the Bronze Star in an
incident when the armored personnel carrier in which he was riding was destroyed by a land mine.
Having completed his military obligation, Lance returned to the States and returned to
school, this time earning in 1972 a law degree from Stanford University at Palo Alto, California. With the law
degee, he began a career in law in Glendale, California. He has also practiced law in Los Angeles, and San Diego.
All has not been lightness and joy within the Wickman home. In 1974, their son Adam was
stricken with Rey's Syndrome and died after being in a coma for four days. And their only daughter Courtney,
born in 1979, suffers cerebral palsy and developmental disability. The trials, which could have destroyed lesser
folk, instead pulled the family closer and made it stronger.
In the Church, Lance has held numerous callings. In addition to his mission, he served as
a Priesthood Group Leader while serving in southeast Asia with the Army. Back in the States, he has been a Bishop,
a Stake President, and a Regional Representative of the Twelve. The Boy Scouts of America awarded him the Silver
Beaver for service to that organization. In 1994, he was called into full-time service to the Lord as a General
Authority, being ordained a Seventy and callwed to serve five years in the Second Quorum of the Seventy. He
served the term of his calling but instead of being released, in April of 2000 he was called to an indefinite
term of service as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He continued to serve in the
the First Quorum until October 2, 2010. On that date he was released from the
First Quorum of the Seventy with a vote of appreciation from a grateful
Church and named an emeritus General Authority.
The Ensign; May 1994; "News of the Church: Elder Lance B. Wickman of the Seventy"
Julie A. Dockstader, "But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," Church News; May 28, 1994
The Ensign; May 2000; "News of the Church"
Church News; April 8, 2000; "New Callings"