James E. Faust

I remember: I had just graduated from high school about a year previous and Gordon B. Hinckley became the new president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As counselors he chose Thomas S. Monson and some guy I had never heard of before, one James E. Faust.

This was an eye-opener for me, that there could be an apostle whose name I did not even recognize. I mean--I watched General Conference. I read The New Era--or at least the comics--how did I miss a guy who had been one of the Twelve for over thirty years? My personal opinion of myself as a with-it young Mormon took a hit.

So President Faust became a guy I took particular interest in.

Just because he died I'm not going to lie and say he gave some of my favorite talks--honestly, he was never one of my favorite speakers. And it's true I'm biased towards better writers, but President Faust has soul. And the last few years as he has stood to speak--so visibly enfeebled--I have been touched by the greatness of his heart.

Nowhere in scripture does it say blessed are the more talented wordsmiths. Nowhere does it say the clever scribes are more likely to convert.

And really--it was probably just a matter of taste--the man was brilliant, ask anyone who knew him. And his professional life was marked by good deeds. And what's more important, leaving the world a better place or impressing Theric with your prosy?

Now I just need to convince myself of that fact....

Anyway, President Faust, congratulations on your graduation. We'll be thinking of you.


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