By Cecily Markland
New Temple Presidency Called for the Mesa Arizona Temple
J Brent Hatch, 70, of the Grove 3rd Ward, Chandler East Stake, has been called as president of the Mesa Arizona Temple. President Hatch is the 21st to serve in that capacity and succeeds President R. Gordon Porter.
President Hatch’s wife, Ranae Geddes Hatch, has been called as temple matron, succeeding Susan Porter.
President and Sister Hatch have always had a love for the temple and have found frequent temple attendance fills a void that can’t be filled in any other way.
“Attending the temple regularly keeps us strongly anchored to Christ, to our covenants, and to one another as husband and wife,” President Hatch says.
Born in Ogden, Utah, to Theron and Lucille C. Hatch, President Hatch received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Utah State University before moving to Arizona in 1970, where he was employed by Mesa Public School District for 34 years.
President Hatch was serving as a counselor in the temple presidency. He has served as an ordinance worker, counselor to two mission presidents, stake president and high councilor in the Chandler Alma Stake and bishop of Alma 1st Ward. The Hatches served a couples mission in the Arizona Tempe Mission.
Sister Hatch was serving as assistant to the matron. She previously served as a temple ordinance worker, stake young single adult leader, ward Relief Society president and counselor in stake and ward Primary presidencies.
Sister Hatch was born in Logan, Utah, to Grant and Verna Geddes. She and President Hatch have five children and nine grandchildren.
Robert H. Cochran has been called as first counselor in the temple presidency and his wife, Linda K. Kemppel Cochran, as assistant to the matron.
Brother Cochran was born in Barberton, Ohio, and raised in Akron. He and Sister Cochran have lived in Mesa 37 years and currently reside in the Parkcrest Ward, Citrus Heights Stake.
He has served several times as a high councilor, in several bishoprics, and has been a bishop, high priests group leader, stake mission president and counselor to two stake presidents.
Sister Cochran was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. A convert to the Church, she was baptized in the Akron Ward when she was 19.
She has served as nursery leader, Primary president, Relief Society president, Beehive advisor, ward missionary and counselor in stake Primary, Relief Society and Young Women organizations.
The Cochrans have four children and 13 grandchildren, with one on the way.
Arthur L. Meacham has been called as second counselor to President Hatch. His wife, Janet, is assistant to the matron.
Brother Meacham was born in Virginia and raised in Southern California. Sister Meacham was born in Arizona and raised in Southeastern Idaho. They met at Brigham Young University, were married in the Salt Lake Temple, and moved to Mesa in 1975. Brother Meacham taught Seminary and Institute for 38 years in Mesa, Tempe and Scottsdale and eventually became the Tempe Institute Director. He also was a volunteer Institute instructor at the Florence Complex of the Arizona Department of Corrections for approximately four years. He has had several callings as a teacher and served as bishop, in a bishopric and on the high council.
Sister Meacham has served as a teacher in all the auxiliaries, a Relief Society president, Young Women counselor and was an early morning Seminary teacher in Southern California for seven years.
The Meachams moved to Southern California in 2004 to help care for his parents. While there, they served as ordinance workers in the Newport Beach Temple. After Brother Meacham retired, they moved back to Mesa in 2014 and currently live in the Beverly Ward, Mesa Maricopa Stake. They have five children and 14 grandchildren.