News Release

Elder Johnny Leota Called to Serve as Area Seventy

Johnny Leota was announced as an Area Seventy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the faith’s 185th Annual General Conference on 4th April 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Area Seventy teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and administer the Church in a particular part of the world, such as the Pacific Area.  This will be Elder Leota’s area of service.

They operate under the direction of the Area Presidency who, in turn, are directed by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at Church Headquarters in Utah.

He married Betty Tofia on 26th of March 1988 in the Hamilton Visitors Centre and they were sealed in the New Zealand Temple that same day.  They are the parents of three children, Dallin, Rachel, and Pearl and have one grandchild. 

Elder Leota has a long history of Church service, beginning in 1985-87 when he was called as a missionary to the Australia Brisbane Mission as a young man. He has since served as a bishop (lay minister) of a congregation, president of the Hebersham stake (administering several congregations), multi-stake public affairs specialist, stake high councillor and many other callings in the Church.

He said of the recent assignment, “I feel overwhelmed and humbled that the Lord would call me to this position, but I am determined to fulfil the role given me to hasten the Lord’s work wherever I am called.”

Prior to his call as an Area Seventy he was president of the Church’s Samoa Apia Mission, with his wife Betty, from 2011 to 2014. The Church currently has 406 missions around the world with over 85,000 missionaries serving at any one time.

In addition to his many years spent in voluntary Church roles, he has been employed by the Church as an area manager for the Presiding Bishoprics office in three different departments.  He was the Australian Human Resources Manager from 2009 to 2011 before he was called to serve as a mission president.  After being released as mission president, he has been the manager for self-reliance services in Australia for NSW, ACT, Victoria and Tasmania.

Elder Peter Meurs, who lives in Perth, was released as an Area Seventy at the Church’s general conference after several years of service for the Church in the Pacific Area. 

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