Friday, August 10, 2007
James E. Faust - 1920-2007
James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints died this morning in Salt Lake City. He was 87.
President Faust has been a fixture in the upper echelons of LDS Church leadership for as long as I can remember. I always enjoyed the counsel he provided in the various settings I saw him in. Most times he was a jovial, grandfatherly type but he also had a stern side when he was given an especially difficult or sensitive subject to discuss.
Of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, President Faust was the only one who spoke Portuguese. He, like me, served a mission in Brazil, though when he served, the Brazil Mission took up most of the Southern Hemisphere. 70 years changes many things.
My fondest memory of President Faust occurred when he and Elder Richard G. Scott visited an Area Conference at Brigham Young University. This meeting took place in the Marriott Center and the place was packed to a capacity crowd – something that usually happens when the BYU basketball team has a winning season.
He was preceded at the podium by his wife and before she took her seat he put his arm around her and proceeded to tell the story of their courtship. He stated that he did not kiss his wife until they knelt across the altar and were married for time and all eternity. He went on to explain that he had more than made up for the lack of pre-marital lip-lock in the subsequent years of their marriage.
Then President Faust looked at his wife, and with a devilish smile said:
I don’t think I’ve ever kissed you in front of this many people before…And he proceeded to lay one on her right then and there.
He served his country during World War II in the US Army Air Corps and later practiced law in Salt Lake City. He was called as a General Authority in 1972. His life was full of family, service, and love. He will be greatly missed.
Well done, thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of thy lord. – Matthew 25:21Godspeed, Jim. Welcome home.
Here endeth the lesson.