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Longtime LDS leader H. Burke Peterson dies at 89

Published April 17, 2013 1:14 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Longtime Mormon general authority H. Burke Peterson — who helped oversee the LDS Church's physical facilities, its massive translation efforts, and its programs for young men and women — died Sunday. He was 89.

In 1972, Peterson, a World War II veteran and successful engineer in Arizona, accepted a full-time assignment as first counselor in the LDS Presiding Bishopric, which oversaw the Utah-based faith's "temporal affairs," including its many building projects, health and welfare services and "tithes and offerings."

As part of a three-member "bishopric" — including Bishop Victor L. Brown and Vaughn J. Featherstone, second counselor — Peterson worked tirelessly to help manage the various departments assigned to the team.

In 1985, Peterson was "released" from that position and reappointed as a member for the First Quorum of the Seventy, where he had several assignments including president of the Jordan River LDS Temple in South Jordan. He was also extensively involved with the Boy Scouts of America, according to the family obituary.

He remained a Seventy until he was made an emeritus general authority in 1993.

"Burke has been especially faithful to the church," Brookie Peterson, the LDS leader's wife, who died four months ago, was quoted in the Ensign as saying in 1972. "He has never questioned any call or any program. His support of the church and its leaders has always been immediate and absolute. I've never seen him express anything but enthusiasm about any church program."

The funeral is planned for Saturday.

Peggy Fletcher Stack