L. Tom Perry

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L. Tom Perry is a current member of the Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Lowell Tom Perry was born on August 5, 1922 in Logan, Utah. He was the oldest son and had five siblings. His parents were strong members of the Church and encouraged their children to participate by involving them in their own callings. Elder Perry said that in his family it was hard not to have a testimony because of the example of his parents.

In 1942, L. Tom Perry was called on a mission to the Northern States. While on his mission he developed a great love and understanding of the Book of Mormon. Just six short weeks after returning from his mission, L. Tom Perry was drafted into the military during WWII. He volunteered to be in the Marine Corps and when he arrived overseas he was assigned an office job. He was one of the first to enter Japan after the atomic bomb was dropped and did all he could to help the Japanese people rebuild their country. His comrades in the military respected Elder Perry and many of them joined the Church because of his willingness to share the gospel with them.

Elder Perry graduated from Utah State University in 1949 with a focus on business. While there he met and courted Virginia Lee. They were married on July 18, 1947 and eventually had three children. Elder Perry found a job with a company in Idaho, and just after moving there he was called to be second counselor in the bishopric. The family moved many times with Elder Perry’s job and he had new Church callings all along the way. He served as a seminary teacher, in bishoprics, on the high council, and in stake presidencies. Throughout it all, Elder Perry maintained his standards. He advises others,

Set your standard of values and never compromise it. Have it grounded on the gospel. Don’t be afraid to let people know what you believe in and what you live by (Loren C. Dunn, “Elder L. Tom Perry: Serving with Enthusiasm,” Ensign, Aug. 1986, 17).

On October 6, 1972 Elder Perry was sustained as an Assistant to the Twelve Apostles and two years later, on April 11, he was ordained as an Apostle. As an Apostle he has served on the Temple and Genealogy Executive Council, the General Welfare Services Committee, and the Church Board of Education Committee.

In December 1974, Elder Perry’s wife Virginia passed away, and in 1983 their daughter passed away; his family has also unfortunately lost two grandchildren. Despite these trials Elder Perry has ever put his faith in Christ,

The Lord is very kind. Even though some experiences are hard, he floods your mind with memories and gives you other opportunities. Life doesn’t end just because you have a tragedy—there’s a new mountain to climb. Don’t spend a lot of time sulking over what you’ve lost. Get on with climbing the next mountain (Ibid.).

In 1976, Elder Perry was introduced to Barbara Dayton and they were married that spring.

Quotes from Elder L. Tom Perry

  • "It appears to me that the crosshairs of Satan’s scope are centered on husbands and fathers. Today’s media, for example, have been relentless in their attacks--ridiculing and demeaning husbands and fathers in their God-given roles.... Satan, in his carefully devised plan to destroy the family, seeks to diminish the role of fathers. Increased youth violence, youth crime, greater poverty and economic insecurity, and the failure of increasing numbers of children in our schools offer clear evidence of lack of a positive influence of fathers in the homes. A family needs a father to anchor it."
“Fatherhood, an Eternal Calling,” Ensign, May 2004
  • "Our community of Saints is not one of exclusion but one of inclusion, built upon a foundation of apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone. It is open to all of us who love, appreciate, and have compassion for our Father in Heaven’s children. The dual foundations of our economic welfare are the principles of charity and hard work. It is a progressive community in which we educate our youth in courtesy and civility and also in the deeper truths of the restored gospel. Our community has a spiritual center, allowing us to live with the companionship of the Holy Spirit that guides and directs us in our lives."
“Building a Community of Saints,” Ensign, May 2001