David Allen Bednar was born on June 15, 1952. He grew up with a mother who was strong in the Mormon Church and a father who was not a member but faithfully went to Church with his family and joined in Church functions. “Throughout his youth and even from the mission field, Elder Bednar would ask his father, ‘Dad, when are you going to be baptized? The answer was, ‘I’ll join this Church when I know it’s the right thing to do.’ Years later, after Elder Bednar’s mission and after he was married and living far away from home, his father called on a Wednesday to ask, ‘What are you doing Saturday? Can you be out here (in California) to baptize me?’ Elder Bednar baptized, and confirmed his father a member of the Mormon Church and ordained him to the Aaronic Priesthood. He says of that phone call and the question from his father: ‘I honestly believe that’s why I was born. Not to teach him, but to assist him in learning about the restored gospel’” (lds.org).Elder Bednar served as a Mormon missionary in Germany. When he returned home, he met and married Susan Kae Robinson in 1975. They met at Brigham Young University where Elder David A. Bednar continued to pursue his degree after they were married. He received his Baccalaureate degree in 1976 and continued studying at BYU until he received his Master’s degree in 1977. He then attended Purdue University to obtain his Ph.D, which he completed in Business. Since then Elder Bednar has been a bishop, stake president, regional representative and area authority. He was associate dean at the University of Arkansas, and in 1997 accepted a job as the president of Ricks College. Ricks College has since changed from a two-year institution to a four-year university and is now known as Brigham Young University-Idaho.
When he accepted the job, Ricks College was the largest privately owned junior college in the United States. In 2000, the school’s board made the decision to change Ricks College into a four-year university. Elder Bednar was instrumental in this transition. He said about the experience,
If I thought we had to execute this transition relying exclusively upon our own experience and our own judgment, then I would be terrified. But we will have help from heaven. Because we know who is in charge and that we are not alone, then no, I am not scared. I have come to know that President Hinckley’s vision concerning the future of BYU-Idaho is not really about two-year or four-year status. It is not really about academic rank or athletics. And it is not really about a name change. This announcement is about faith-faith in the future. Given all the changes that have taken place at this institution in a relatively short period of time, I testify that miracles have occurred, revelations have been received, and doors have been opened, and we have been greatly blessed as individuals and as an institution. These truly are days never to be forgotten (lds.org).
On October 2, 2004, Elder David A. Bednar was announced and sustained by the members of the Mormon Church to become an apostle. He was called to replace Elder David B. Haight who had just recently passed away. President Hinckley ordained him as an apostle on October 7, 2004.