Harold David Burton has given a lifetime of unparalleled service and commitment to his church and to the betterment of communities worldwide, making him the ideal person to serve as the 2013 Freedom Festival Grand Marshal.
Born April 25, 1938 in Salt Lake City, to Latter-day Saint parents, Burton graduated from South High School in 1956 and then served as a missionary for the LDS Church in southern Australia in the late 1950s.
Burton met his future wife, Barbara Matheson, in eighth grade and in September 1960 they were married. He graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in economics and completed an MBA from the University of Michigan.
Before beginning his work for the LDS Church, Burton worked for the Utah Tax Commission and for Kennecott Utah Copper. In 1977, Burton was hired as the assistant budget officer for the Church.
A year and a half later, he accepted a position as the executive secretary to the Church’s Presiding Bishopric.
In October 1992, Burton was called by Presiding Bishop Robert D. Hales to be the first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric.
In 1994, he was again called as first counselor to the new Presiding Bishop, Merrill J. Bateman.
And in 1995, Burton was elevated to the position of Presiding Bishop, where he served until March of 2012 and was given General Authority Emeritus status.
Bishop Burton exemplifies a lifelong commitment to the teaching and philosophy that it is our duty to look after one another, regardless of church affiliation.
Many people around the world have been touched by the efforts of Church members wearing their bright yellow Mormon Helping Hands T-shirts. Bishop Burton calls them the Good Samaritans of today. H. David Burton is an example among those Good Samaritans, as witnessed by his dedication to God, country, and the world!
He and his wife, Barbara, live in Salt Lake City and have five children, 21 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.