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Merrill J. Bateman
Full name Merrill Joseph Bateman
Born June 19, 1936 (1936-06-19) (age 73)
Place of birth Lehi, Utah
LDS Church General Authority
Second Quorum of the Seventy
Called by Ezra Taft Benson
Start of term June 6, 1992 (aged 55)
End of term April 2, 1994 (aged 57)
End reason Called as Presiding Bishop
Presiding Bishop
Called by Ezra Taft Benson
Start of term April 2, 1994 (aged 57)
End of term December 27, 1995 (aged 59)
End reason Released to become president of BYU
First Quorum of the Seventy
Called by Gordon B. Hinckley
Start of term December 27, 1995 (aged 59)
End of term October 6, 2007 (aged 71)
End reason Granted general authority emeritus status
Presidency of the Seventy
Called by Gordon B. Hinckley
Start of term August 15, 2003 (aged 67)
End of term August 15, 2007 (aged 71)
End reason Honorably released
Emeritus General Authority
Called by Gordon B. Hinckley
Start of term October 6, 2007 (aged 71)

Merrill Joseph Bateman (born June 19, 1936) is an emeritus general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). From 2003 to 2007, Bateman was a member of the Presidency of the Quorums of the Seventy of the church.[1] He was president of Brigham Young University (BYU) from January 1, 1996 until May 1, 2003 and was the twelfth presiding bishop of the LDS Church in 1994 and 1995. He has been a general authority of the church since 1992, when he was made a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. In 2003 and 2004, Bateman was the general president of the church's Sunday School organization. In 2007, Bateman became the president of the church's Provo Utah Temple.[2]


Early life and education

Bateman was born in Lehi, Utah. As he was starting the third grade his family moved to American Fork.[3] He served as a missionary in Great Britain in the mid-1950s.[4] After returning from his mission he married Marilyn Scholes. Bateman earned a bachelor's degree in economics at the University of Utah in 1960 and went on to receive his doctorate in that subject from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965.

Academic background

Bateman's academic assignments included lecturer in economics at the University of Ghana, 1963; assistant professor of economics at the United States Air Force Academy, 1964–1967; associate professor of economics at BYU, 1967–1969; professor of economics at BYU, 1969–1971; and former dean of the BYU business school, now the Marriott School of Management, 1975–1979.

Bateman wrote or co-wrote at least three scholarly papers on the cocoa industry and Ghana.[5]

BYU presidency

During Bateman's administration at BYU, the school's endowment was significantly increased through the Lighting the Way Campaign. Emphasis on the school's Honor Code was a hallmark of his administration. The Mentored Learning program, involving undergraduates more directly in research, was inaugurated as well.

Work and family

Bateman also headed his own consulting and capital management companies and was an executive with Mars, Inc. in England and the United States.

Bateman and his wife, the former Marilyn Scholes, are the parents of seven children.

Religious assignments

In the early 1980s Bateman served as president of the Provo Utah Sharon East Stake.[3]

Due to his work in the cocoa business, Bateman made many trips to Africa. In 1977, James E. Faust—then president of the International Mission of the LDS Church—asked Bateman to contact church members and people who had asked for church material on his next visit to Ghana, Bateman did this in early 1978.[6] Later in 1978, shortly after the church decided to allow blacks to receive the priesthood, Bateman was sent on a special assignment by the First Presidency with International Mission counselor Edwin Q. Cannon to Africa to lay the groundwork for the opening of missionary work there.[3] They visited people who desired to join the church in both Ghana and Nigeria, including Billy Johnson.[7]

After his time as president of BYU, Bateman was made a member of the Presidency of the Seventy. While in this capacity he went on a tour of Africa in November 2005 with Richard G. Scott. They visited Ghana, Tanzania and other countries.[8]


  1. ^ LDS Church News, 2007-06-09.
  2. ^ Provo Utah LDS (Mormon) Temple Presidents.
  3. ^ a b c Merrill J. Bateman: Breadth and Depth
  4. ^ Wilkins, Alan L. "Merrill J. Bateman" in Garr, Arnold K., Donald Q. Cannon and Richard O. Cowan ed. Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2000) p. 78
  5. ^ Dell Search Results
  6. ^ Lloyd, R. Scott. "A Pioneer in Building the Kingdom" in LDS Church News July 4th, 1992
  7. ^ Deseret Morning News | Knight & Co. put zip in LDS hymns
  8. ^ "Look Forward with an Eye of Faith" - Merrill J. Bateman

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
Rex E. Lee
President of BYU
Succeeded by
Cecil O. Samuelson
Religious titles
Preceded by
Robert D. Hales
Presiding Bishop
Succeeded by
H. David Burton


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