Remembering Elder Perry

Elder L. Tom Perry, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, passed away on May 30, 2015, at the age of 92. He was such an inspiring man, and I have been reviewing and learning more about him.

I love how Elder Perry was true to his testimony and his concern for other people right until his last day (source).

At Elder L. Tom Perry’s funeral in the Tabernacle today, Elders Dallin H. Oaks and M. Russell Ballard both delivered heartfelt tributes to their colleague and friend. During his address, Elder Ballard related the following:

“Three days prior to his passing, Elder . . . Oaks and I called on Elder and Sister Perry. We had a tender visit, and as always, Elder Perry spoke of his love of the members of the Church, and his great anxiety and concern for their spiritual well-being.”

Elder Oaks remembered Elder Perry saying, “I just worry about what is going on in the world! How did we get mixed up in this mess?” Elder Perry continued, “Worldwide morals are declining. At the same time, we have populations all over the world that are suffering. We have lost our good, strong Christian beliefs—it is just a tough time.”

Then Elder Oaks said, “As was typical of Elder Perry, he did not linger on the negative.” He smiled as he recalled these words from a dying apostle: “We have a lot of great talented help in the Church! These young kids who come along—I just love them. They’re strong!”

Elder Ballard recounted the advice that Elder Perry wanted the people of the Church to hear. “[I wish I] could get every member of the Church to go and partake of the sacrament, and when they took the bread, they’d ask themselves, ‘Who am I? What am I doing? How am I living? Where am I going? What should I be accomplishing?’ as they renew their covenants with the Lord.” He finished, “The minute they’d pick up the bread, something [would] happen.”

In those final quiet days, Elder Perry delivered this testimony to his brethren in the apostleship. “Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world. Everything depends on Him. We’d better find a way to stay close to him, and if [we] can’t, there’s not much hope. [He] is what we need.”

Inspiring Teachings from Elder Perry

“The family is the center of life and is the key to eternal happiness” (April 2015).

“The most powerful teaching a child will ever receive will come from concerned and righteous fathers and mothers” (October 2014).

“Obedience is a choice. It is a choice between our own limited knowledge and power and God’s unlimited wisdom and omnipotence” (April 2014).

“Make the honoring of family traditions—holiday traditions, birthday traditions, Sunday traditions, dinnertime traditions—and the development of new ones a priority throughout your lives” (December 2012).

L. Tom Perry, “Becoming Goodly Parents”. October 2012 General Conference.

L. Tom Perry, “Mothers Teaching Children in the Home,” Ensign, May 2010, 29–31

Marriage Matters FHE Lesson (May 2015).

Helpful links 

Life Sketch and A Builder of the Kingdom

Biography and links to his recent conference addresses.

3 Things We’ll Never Forget About Elder Perry

News recap of his funeral service

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