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Idahoans to lead family history missionaries

In an administrative change approved by the First Presidency, Preston Burns Brimhall has been called to preside over Family History missionaries who are headquartered in Salt Lake City.

With his wife, Elizabeth Ann Poole Brimhall, he will preside over more than 300 full-time missionaries and 420 part-time Church service workers who are assigned to Family History.The position of president of the Family History missionaries was recently approved by the First Presidency. Formerly, a couple served as coordinators of Church service in the department. W. Arnold and Gladys Finchum of Logan, Utah, were recently released as coordinators, along with counselors Allen White and Grant Williams and their wives.

Counselors in the new mission presidency are Eldean Price and F. Ralph Kennard, assisted by their wives, Marcine and Theora.

The presidency will have administrative responsibilities such as training and assigning missionaries, helping them meet such challenges as finding housing. They will also arrange and conduct a devotional every morning for the missionaries and Church service workers.

Like other mission president couples, the Brimhalls will serve for three years. President Brimhall will report directly to Elder J. Richard Clarke of the Presidency of the Seventy, who is executive director of the Family History Department.

The Brimhalls are members of the Idaho Falls 2nd Ward, Idaho Falls Idaho Stake. He is a former stake president and counselor, high councilor, bishop and high priests group leader. She is a former counselor in a stake Relief Society presidency and ward Relief Society president.

Pres. Brimhall is a former high school coach, contract negotiator for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and member of the Idaho State Legislature. He earned a juris doctorate from Idaho State University. The Brimhalls, who have three children, were serving as Family History missionaries when they were called.

Pres. Price was a general contractor and was also a Family History missionary when called to the presidency.

Pres. Kennard was director of music in the Cardston, Alberta, school system. He also served as a Family History missionary.

Church service missionaries cover all facets of work in the Family History Department, such as helping at reference counters in the library, serving as attendants, working in the library's bindery, helping with correspondence, and giving guide service to first-time library visitors.

They also work in names processing, helping prepare records of deceased persons for temple ordinances, checking records for errors, extracting names from records and entering data. Some Church service missionaries help at the Granite Mountain Records Vault southeast of Salt Lake City, working with microfilm.

Most serve for 12 or 18 months and then have the option to extend their service for up to six months.

The Church service personnel in the Family History Department are part of some 60,000 Church service workers throughout the world working in various departments.

Growth of the Church requires that missionaries be called to assist in all phases of activity, Elder Clarke said.