By Rachel Lewis
Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy and the speaker for Tuesday, Nov. 12, Devotional, doesn”t have an ordinary job, but you may catch him riding the bus to Salt Lake like any other business person each weekday.
Elder Neuenschwander begins his day at 5 a.m. to exercise and to catch the bus for work in the city at 6:15 a.m.
“I like the bus because it gives me a half an hour to think. I will often read Russian during that period of time,” he said.
Elder Neuenschwander, an Ogden native, taught Russian at BYU, University of Utah and Weber State College, and he also speaks Finnish and German.
He first developed an interest in languages while serving a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Finland.
When he returned from his mission he pursued his interest in languages and received an associate”s degree at Weber State College, a bachelor”s degree at BYU and a doctorate in Russian Literature from Syracuse University in 1974.
In 1987 he and his wife, LeAnn, were called to preside over the Austria Vienna East Mission, which included Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Greece, Egypt, Turkey and Cyprus.
At the conclusion of their mission, the First Presidency asked Elder and Sister Neuenschwander to stay an extra year to direct missionary efforts starting in Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, and other parts of the Soviet Union.
In April of 1991 he was sustained as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. In 1994 he became a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
He is currently serving in the Presidency of the Seventy and mainly oversees the church”s curriculum and magazines.
“The education of the church across the world is an intriguing and wonderful problem to work on,” Elder Neuenschwander said.
After a day at work Elder Neuenschwander is generally on the bus by 5:15 p.m. and spends the rest of his evenings going for walks and reading. His favorite book is “Crime and Punishment.”
Elder Neuenschwander will speak at 11:05 a.m. in the Marriott Center. His theme will be “Remembering God.”