Leader Biography

Elder S. Gifford Nielsen

Elder S. Gifford Nielsen was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 6, 2013. At the time of his call he had been serving as a member of the Sixth Quorum of the Seventy in the North America Southwest Area. Elder Nielsen has served as a member of the Pacific Area Presidency and as an area assistant in the North America Northeast Area. He is currently serving at Church headquarters as an assistant executive director of the Missionary Department and as First Counselor in the Idaho and North America Central Area Presidencies.

Elder Nielsen received a bachelor’s degree in 1977 from Brigham Young University and was named one of the top five scholar athletes by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. After becoming an All-American quarterback at BYU, the Houston Oilers selected him in the third round of the 1978 NFL draft. Following a six-year career as quarterback for the Oilers, he worked as the sports director and anchor for KHOU-TV in Houston for 25 years. In 1994 Elder Nielsen was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and in 2003 was given the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award for 25 years of distinguished service after his college athletic career.

Elder Nielsen has served in numerous Church callings, including seminary teacher, elders quorum president, Young Men president, Sunday School president, counselor in a mission presidency, bishop, stake president, and Area Seventy.

Stanley Gifford Nielsen was born in Provo, Utah, on October 25, 1954. He married Wendy Olson in April 1975. They are the parents of six children.

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