L. Tom Perry

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L. Tom Perry is an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is known for his faith and encouragement.

L. Tom Perry was born on August 5, 1922 in Logan, Utah. He was the oldest boy. His parents were strong members of the Church and encouraged their children to participate by involving them in their 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. On his mission he developed a great understanding of the Book of Mormon. Just six short weeks after returning from his mission, L. Tom Perry was drafted into the military. He volunteered to be in the Marine Corps and when he arrived overseas he was put in 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 army respected Elder Perry and many of them joined the Church because of his willingness to share the gospel with them.

L. Tom Perry graduated from Utah State University in 1949 focusing 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, just after moving 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 and has said,

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 and on April 11, 1974 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 puts 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.