Theodore M. Burton

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Theodore M. Burton was a General Authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was sustained as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on October 8, 1960, where he served until October 1, 1976, when the position was eliminated. He was then sustained as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He was given emeritus status on September 30, 1989, and passed away almost three months later on December 22, 1989.

Burton was born on March 27, 1907, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Utah and was an assistant bacteriologist with the Salt Lake Health Department. In 1934, he became technical assistant to the US Treasury Attaché in Vienna, Austria, and then Berlin, Germany. In 1941, he taught at Carbon College, then became a professor of organic chemistry at Utah State Agricultural College (later Utah State University) in 1943. He completed his PhD from Purdue University in 1951.

He became the first Eagle Scout in the Pioneer Stake of the Church. He served a full-time mission in the Swiss-German Mission. He presided over the Western German Mission (1957–1962) and then the European Mission (1962–1964). From 1964 to 1978 he served as president of the Genealogical Society of Utah and managing director of the Church Genealogical Department. He then returned to Europe where he served as the Area Supervisor.

Burton and his wife, were the parents of one son.