During the solemn assembly, Gerrit W. Gong and Ulisses Soares were sustained at our newest apostles. Both can be considered non-white. From Wikipedia,
Gong was born in 1953 in Redwood City, California, to Walter Gong and Jean Char and raised in Palo Alto, California. Gerrit was named after Gerrit de Jong because his mother had lived with de Jong and his family while she was a student at BYU. His mother’s family were ethnic Chinese in Hawaii, while his father’s family lived in California and other parts of the United States after his ancestors emigrated from China in the late 19th century.
Soares is the 2nd non-American in the quorum, hailing from Brazil. (Dieter F. Uchtdorf is from Germany.)
Soares was born in São Paulo, Brazil, the son of Apparecido and Mercedes Carecho Soares. His family joined the LDS Church when he was about five. As a young man, Soares served as a Mormon missionary in the Brazil Rio de JaneiroMission.
Soares was educated in Brazil, receiving a bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics from Pontificia Catholic University and an MBA from the National Institute of Postgraduate Study. Prior to his call as a general authority, Soares was employed as the director of temporal affairs for the LDS Church’s Brazil South Area.
Thoughts? Are you excited for some diversity, or no big deal?
EDIT: The post’s title has been updated to clarify that Elder Soares is Latin American (specifically Brazilian), not Hispanic. The post’s title has also been updated to provide clarification that Gong is Chinese-American.
God bless Pres Nelson.
(It’s about friggin time.) I’m very excited about Gong and Soares.
Elder Gong has a gay son. I wonder how that will impact his ministry.
As a parent of a queer child I am overjoyed that Elder Gong has joined the Quorum.
May God bless both of these men.
If we have to apply labels, i don’t think we can use non-white for Elder Soares. I suppose he is Caucasian of European ancestry, as are many from South America. I still celebrate his call, but not because he is non-white.
Soares is the 2nd non-American in the quorum, hailing from Brazil.
This only applies to the current quorum. Many apostles have been non-American Europeans.
Your headline is imprecise: Gong is not Chinese, he’s American of Chinese descent; neither is Soares Hispanic, he’s Latino, since he’s from Brazil and therefore not a Spanish speaker. C’mon, folks.
Toueche Ji and JPV, my wife said both man looks white to her. I do know that many Hispanics refer to themselves as a brown, though. Even though that is not what we would consider a race, Hispanic is an ethnicity.
Aleleuia, I was wrong. I look forward to being more wrong when I see people of colour leading the church.
So happy about Elder Gong! Seconding that alleluia.
I miss polls. And MH!
From a public post:
Gong’s son is gay and did an art show at my gallery.
Gong himself came to the opening presentation. He asked very smart questions during the Q&A.
Afterward, he came up to me and told me how grateful he was that I was showing his son’s work and giving him a chance to get more public recognition.
This was explicitly queer art whose central subject was family rejection of queer kids.
For more public discussions see:
Me looking at my wife during the announcement:
“The critics, nitpickers, and malcontents will find some way to diminish this.”
I was not disappointed.
People of color?
Stephen, any more info on the art show?
I love that people were offended by “men of color” if similar backgrounds were called to RS presidency, would “women of color” be offensive?
I’m grateful for two new apostles. They could be purple, it doesn’t matter. They are God’s servants, that’s all that matters.
Why do people keep saying Soares is non-white? Of course he’s white
Soares is Latino (I didn’t know the difference with Hispanic–learned that this weekend.) Being from Brazil, more than one person has mentioned Soares probably has *some* African blood in his genealogy (more than 1 drop, which used to be a disqualifier). Many Latinos/Hispanics refer to themselves in the United States as Brown, although Soares is indeed quite light-skinned. He’s certainly no Anglo-Saxon as has been the case with >99% of previous apostles.
Thanks for the shout-out JPV. I’ve been super busy, but I’ll post when I can.