With little fanfare over the weekend, President Uchdorf announced the call of only the second black general authority, Joseph Sitate of Nairobi, Kenya. He was called to the First Quorum of 70, as well as Yoon Hwan Choi of Seoul, Korea.
So, I decided to see what other races/nationalities we had in the Quorums of 70. In 1976, Spencer W Kimball reinstituted the 1st Quorum of 70. In 1989, the Quorum was split, and now there are currently 8 quorums of 70. The First and Second Quorum are considered General Authorities, while quorums 3 through 8 are not, but are considered Area Authorities, and serve in geographical areas throughout the world.
So, since the 1976 reorganization, there have been approximately 201 men called to either the First or Second Quorum. I decided to do a quick search to figure out who the African, Asian, and Hispanic members were, in a sort of Affirmative Action test. I was not at all scientific. I pretty much looked at the name, and tried to determine ethnicity, so my numbers very well could be wrong. But, in the interest of a quick research, I came up with the following statistics.
- 1 Native American (George P Lee, excommunicated in 1989)
- 2 Africans, Joseph Sitate, and Helvicio Martins (though he was actually from Brazil.)
- 8 Asians (Augusto A. Lim, Han In Sang, Sam K. Shimabukuro, Tai Kwok Yuen, Won Yong Ko, Adney Y. Komatsu, Yoshihiko Kikuchi, Yoon Hwan Choi)
- 33 Hispanics
This would seemingly reflect the church’s strong growth in South and Central America. I didn’t bother to check European members of the 70 (like Uchtdorf), but that would be interesting to see as well. So, what do you think of the church’s Affirmative Action? Were you surprised at all? Is it better or worse than you expected?