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J. Thomas Fyans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

J. Thomas Fyans
Photograph of J. Thomas Fyans
Emeritus General Authority
September 30, 1989 (1989-09-30) – May 18, 2008 (2008-05-18)
First Quorum of the Seventy
October 1, 1976 (1976-10-01) – September 30, 1989 (1989-09-30)
End reasonGranted general authority emeritus status
Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy
October 1, 1976 (1976-10-01) – October 6, 1985 (1985-10-06)
End reasonHonorably released
Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
April 6, 1974 (1974-04-06) – October 1, 1976 (1976-10-01)
End reasonPosition abolished
Personal details
BornJohn Thomas Fyans
(1918-05-17)May 17, 1918
Moreland, Idaho, United States
DiedMay 18, 2008(2008-05-18) (aged 90)
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

John Thomas Fyans (May 17, 1918 – May 18, 2008) was a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1974 until his death.[1]

Early life

Born in Moreland, Idaho, Fyans was the son of Joseph Fyans and Mae Farnsworth. From 1940 to 1943, Fyans served as a missionary in the Spanish American Mission of the LDS Church, which had jurisdiction over missionary work among the Spanish-speaking population of the southwestern United States. After his returned from his mission he married Helen Cook, and they eventually became the parents of five children.[2]


Prior to becoming a mission president Fyans worked at ZCMI for 20 years eventually becoming the head of their school supply department. After returning from serving as a mission president he returned to ZCMI but later accepted full-time employment with the church.[3]

Fyans was a director and eventually president of the Memorial Estates Security Corporation (MESC) in the 1960s. Along with Bruce R. McConkie and several others, the company was formed to construct memorial parks for deceased "loved ones".[4] The company went bankrupt, and was sued by investors for failing to register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as an investment company, misrepresenting LDS Church endorsement, and failing to inform investors of insolvency. On April 25, 1969 MESC settled with investors three days prior to the beginning of a jury trial.[5]

Prior to his call as a general authority, Fyans worked as director of distribution and translation for the LDS Church. This is the position he held in 1967.[6] He then served as an administrator with the office of the church's presiding bishop and in March 1972 became the managing director of the church's internal communications department.[2][7]

Church service

Fyans served as the bishop of the Butler Ward in Salt Lake City. He then served for nine years as a counselor in the presidency of the East Jordan Stake, which was headquartered in Midvale, Utah.[3]

During the time he was a full-time church employee, Fyans was also a regional representative for the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.[7] While serving as director of internal communications, Fyans was involved with the initial steps of developing the LDS Church's edition of the King James Bible.[8][9]

Fyans served as president of the Uruguayan Mission of the church from 1960 to 1964.[2] As the president of this mission, Fyans also oversaw missionary work in Paraguay. While mission president Fyans oversaw a shift from most branches in Uruguay and Paraguay being led by full-time missionaries to having local men lead them.[3]

Fyans also served as the coordinator for the area conferences in Manchester, England; Mexico City; Munich, Germany; and Stockholm, Sweden.[2]

General authority

In 1974, Fyans became an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He held this position until 1976, when the position of Assistant to the Twelve was discontinued. At this time, Fyans remained a general authority and was transferred to the First Quorum of the Seventy. He served in the latter position until 1989, when he was given general authority emeritus status. From 1976 to 1985, he was a member of the Presidency of the Seventy; from 1983 to 1985, he was the senior member of the presidency.

For part of 1978, Fyans worked as the Executive Director of the Genealogy Department of the church.[10]

Fyans served for a time as president of the South America South Area of the church.[11] He was released as one of the presidents of the seventy to take on this assignment.[12] He also served as president of the Utah North and Utah Central Areas of the church.[3]

Fyans became the president of the St. George Utah Temple in 1992.[13] He died at his home in Salt Lake City.[14]


  1. ^ FindAgrave Memorial for J. Thomas Fyans Note: all family records show his first name as John (Not Joseph)
  2. ^ a b c d “Elder J. Thomas Fyans, Assistant to the Council of the Twelve,” Ensign, May 1974, p. 122.
  3. ^ a b c d "LDS Church leader Elder J. Thomas Fyans dies at 90", Deseret Morning News, 2008-05-20.
  4. ^ "History of LDS Fraud Chronicled" Sunstone Magazine, December 1990 page 59. online at:
  5. ^ Shupe, A. D. (1991). "The darker side of virtue: Corruption, scandal, and the Mormon empire." Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books. pp. 57-61
  6. ^ James A. Toronto, Eric R. Dursteler and Michale W. Homer, Mormons in the Piazza: History of Latter-day Saints in Italy (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and BYU Religious Studies Center, 2017) p. 328
  7. ^ a b “Policies, Procedures, People,” Ensign, March 1972, p. 77.
  8. ^ Wm. James Mortimer, “The Coming Forth of the LDS Editions of Scripture,” Ensign, August1983, p. 35.
  9. ^ Lavina Fielding Anderson, “Church Publishes First LDS Edition of the Bible,” Ensign, October 1979, p. 9
  10. ^ Allen, James B., Jessie L. Embry and Kahlile B. Mehr. Hearts Turned to the Fathers: The History of the Genealogical Society of Utah. (Provo, Utah: BYU Studies, 1995) p. 267
  11. ^ “New Assignments Announced for Members of First Quorum of the Seventy,” Ensign, September 1986, pp. 74–75.
  12. ^ “The Sustaining of Church Officers,” Ensign, November 1985, p. 71
  13. ^ “Appointments,” Ensign, August 1992, p. 75.
  14. ^ "J. Thomas Fyans", Deseret Morning News, 2008-05-20.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 February 2021, at 01:06
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