News Release

Philippines Area Presidency

The Church is led by 15 apostles. The most senior apostle is the president of the Church, and he selects two other apostles as counselors. These three function as the First Presidency, which is the highest governing body of the Church. Twelve others form the Quorum of the Twelve — the second-highest governing body of the Church. Together, the First Presidency and the Twelve oversee the entire Church. Church members trace this organizational structure to the New Testament.

All of the apostles are regarded by Church members as "special witnesses" of Jesus Christ throughout the world. They travel frequently, addressing and encouraging large congregations of members and interested nonmembers and meeting with local leadership.

Leaders called seventies — another New Testament office — assist the Twelve Apostles and serve in various locations throughout the world. There are currently eight quorums of the Seventy. Each quorum may have up to 70 members. Some seventies are assigned to headquarters administrative functions, but most live and work within a specific geographic region of the Church.

Three members of the Seventy help lead the Church in the Philippines.

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Elder Ian S. Ardern was sustained a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 2, 2011, at age 57. At the time of his call, he had been serving as a member of the Eighth Quorum of the Seventy in the Pacific Area.

Elder Ardern received a bachelor's degree in education in 1982 and a master’s degree in education from the University of Waikato, New Zealand, in 1994. In 1981 he joined the Church Educational System as a teacher and later was principal of the Church College of New Zealand. In 2004 he became the Pacific Church Educational System area director and later worked as the institute director and seminary coordinator for the Church Educational System in New Zealand.

Elder Ardern has served in numerous Church callings, including full-time missionary in France and Belgium, stake Young Men president, high councilor, bishop's counselor, bishop, stake president's counselor, president of the Fiji Suva Mission, and Area Seventy.

Ian Sidney Ardern was born in Te Aroha, New Zealand, on February 28, 1954. He married Paula Ann Judd in January, 1976. They are the parents of four children and have six grandchildren. Elder and Sister Ardern currently reside in Manila, Philippines.


Elder Shayne M. Bowen was sustained a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 1, 2006. He had been serving as an Area Seventy in the Idaho Area prior to his call as a General Authority. He served as president of the South America South Area between 2008 and 2010. He is currently serving as an assistant Executive Director in the Priesthood Department and in various other capacities at Church headquarters.

Elder Bowen attended Brigham Young University, and in 1977, he received a bachelor of arts degree in English, with a minor in Spanish. He studied insurance and finance at The American College, becoming a Chartered Life Underwriter in 1984 and a Chartered Financial Consultant in 1999. Elder Bowen pursued a career in insurance, owning and operating his own agency.

Elder Bowen has served in a number of Church callings, including full-time missionary in the Chile Santiago Mission, president of the Spain Barcelona Mission (2000-2003), stake president, high councilor, bishop, high priests group instructor, elders quorum president, and Varsity Scout leader.

Shayne Martell Bowen was born in Rigby, Idaho, on August 29, 1954. He married Lynette Mortensen in 1976, and they are the parents of seven children, one of whom is deceased. They have 12 grandchildren.

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Elder Larry Echo Hawk was sustained a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on March 31, 2012, at age 63.

Elder Echo Hawk received a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in 1970 and a Juris Doctor degree in law from the University of Utah in 1973. A member of the Pawnee Nation, Elder Echo Hawk was elected attorney general of Idaho in 1990, the first American Indian in U.S. history elected as a state attorney general. He had served as the Bannock County prosecuting attorney since 1986. Before that, he served two consecutive terms in the Idaho House of Representatives, from 1982 to 1986. He subsequently worked as a law professor at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School. At the time of his call to the Seventy, he was serving as Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior.

Elder Echo Hawk has served in numerous Church callings, including bishop, high priests group instructor, and stake president.

Larry Echo Hawk was born in Cody, Wyoming, on August 2, 1948. He married Teresa Joanne Pries in December 1968. They are the parents of six children and reside in Arlington, Virginia.

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