Early in the afternoon on Saturday, May 30th, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles passed away peacefully at his home. He was an incredible man with endless enthusiasm for life and a smile that could light up a room. Not only that, but he had a deep and abiding love for the Savior that he shared whenever he could.
In tribute to this remarkable apostle of the Lord, here are ten moments from Elder Perry’s life that prove he was a man among men.
1. When he did the actions to “Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree” as he was leaving conference.
(Saturday morning session of 179th General Conference; photo via Deseret News)
2. When he helped rebuild Japanese churches after World War II and taught us what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
3. When he did everything possible to make it to church, even when he had tonsillitis.
As a young boy, Elder Perry had a perfect church attendance record. One week, when he was sick with tonsillitis, the entire family left Elder Perry and his mother at home and went to church. They were all shocked to see young L. Tom Perry walking through the chapel doors only a few minutes after the services had begun. He refused to ruin his perfect record.”
4. When he gave Elder Bednar a fistbump and the Internet went wild.
5. When he challenged Elder Packer to a snowmobile race.
“I don’t remember the exact date when this took place, but it was a great time for me. Each year the Board of Education of the Church met at Ricks College. As food service director it was a special time to provide meals and snacks for the board. On one occasion Elder Perry, Elder Packer, President Eyring, Elder Jeffey Holland and others, along with their families were invited to go into Yellowstone Park on snowmobiles the day after the Board meetings. We stayed in a cabin near West Yellowstone Park. I was along as their chef. After breakfast we loaded onto the bus and went to West Yellowstone where we assigned either snow coaches or snowmobiles. Elders Perry and Packer each had a snowmobile. It was so much fun to see them all suited up and ready to go. As we were about to depart, Elder Perry looked over at Elder Packer and said, “Boyd, I’ll race you into Old Faithful.” With that the race was on. It was hilarious.”
via ftrver commenting on ldsliving.com
6. When he consistently proved that age is just a number.
7. When he focused on the one.
“While serving as a Guest Service Missionary (usher) on Temple Square & in the Conference Center, we were instructed to “never approach a General Authority”. Ushers put in many long hours on our feet, before, during and after events, mostly with very little acknowledgement. Following a First Presidency Christmas Devotional, many of the General Authorities passed through the door at which I was stationed. Mostly we are “invisible”. Elder Perry stopped, put one hand on my shoulder, shook hands with me, looked at my name tag and said, “Sister (my name), thank you for your service. Now you go home and get some rest!” What a kind acknowledgement!”
via grma747 on ldsliving.com
8. When he gave an exceptional BYU Devotional talk in 1974 and indirectly inspired P. Diddy.
Read the talk here: https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/l-tom-perry_best-whatever/
9. When he gave his first talk as an apostle and started it with a joke.
“Elder Loren Dunn, as I left for lunch, whispered in my ear and said, “They grade General Authorities on how little time they take in their first address.” I am trying for a straight A today.”
Watch and read the rest here: www.lds.org
10. When he eloquently defended the family.
In his last general conference address, Elder Perry gave an incredible defense of the family.
“What the restored gospel brings to the discussion on marriage and family is so large and so relevant that it cannot be overstated: we make the subject eternal! We take the commitment and the sanctity of marriage to a greater level because of our belief and understanding that families go back to before this earth was and that they can go forward into eternity.”
He ended with these sweet and powerful words:
“Let me close by bearing witness (and my nine decades on this earth fully qualify me to say this) that the older I get, the more I realize that family is the center of life and is the key to eternal happiness.
“I give thanks for my wife, for my children, for my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren, and for all of the cousins and in-laws and extended family who make my own life so rich and, yes, even eternal. Of this eternal truth I bear my strongest and most sacred witness in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
Read it here: www.lds.org
God be with you ‘til we meet again, Elder Perry.
What are your favorite memories of Elder Perry? Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page.