Elder Athos M. Amorim, who served as a General Authority Seventy from 1998 to 2002, died April 25, 2021, in Resende, Brazil, at the age of 88.
Elder Amorim and his wife, Sister Maria Amorim, served as president and companion of the Brazil Fortaleza Mission from 1990 to 1993 and as president and matron of the São Paulo Brazil Temple from 1993 to 1996.
In an interview after being called a General Authority, Elder Amorim declared his love for the Church. “I want to share with everyone my testimony of Jesus Christ. That is my greatest desire.”
Athos Marques Amorim was born on June 14, 1932, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the middle son of Antonio Marques and Maria Carlota Martins Ferreira Amorim.
To create a sense of unity among their children, Antonio and Maria Amorim named their three sons after the main characters in the novel “The Three Musketeers.” Although Dartagnan, Athos, and Aramis Amorim were all very different growing up, “we have always been very close,” Elder Amorim said in an article published in the Friend magazine. They exemplified the motto of the Three Musketeers: “One for all, all for one.”
He married Maria Alice Pires Ferrao on May 31, 1957. They were sealed in the Washington D.C. Temple in 1978. Together they have two sons, Manoel Luiz Ferrao Amorim and Paulo Cezar Ferrao Amorim, and many grandchildren.
As a young husband and father, Elder Amorim joined the Church along with his wife and children after two missionaries knocked on their door in Rio de Janeiro and began to teach them the gospel. In a Church News interview, Elder Amorim related that when the young missionary, Elder Kent B. Furness, laid his hands on his head to confirm him, he felt himself changing inside. “I confess I cried very much because something happened inside of my heart.”
Since that first knock on his door by the missionaries, Elder Amorim and his wife received many opportunities for Church service. Through the years, Elder Amorim served as a branch president’s counselor, branch president seven times, high councilor, and district president, in addition to his general Church service.
Elder Amorim attended military schools and earned the equivalent of a Ph.D. in military studies. While living in Brasilia, he was secretary to the Brazil Minister of the Army, a cabinet-level post. At the time he retired, he was a colonel.
An article that ran in the Ensign magazine shortly after his call as a General Authority reported that he was given the chance to serve as chief of staff for Brazil’s highest military court, but he declined and chose to stay home in Resende, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, “as a gardener.”
He cultivated flowers because he loved their beauty, and he fed the birds because “I love to hear them singing in the morning and the evening, happy in my garden.”
In his address during the October 1998 general conference, Elder Amorim said, “I am, like each one of you, a child of God, who wants to obey the Lord and serve wherever He sends me, and thus be a better child of our Heavenly Father.”