SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – May 29, 2015 – Gephardt Daily
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has died.The 92-year old LDS apostle passed away Saturday about 3:00 p.m. while under going hospice care at his Salt Lake area home.It was recently made public that Perry was suffering from thyroid cancer. Just Friday the LDS Church issued a statement saying Perry’s cancer had spread.News of Elder Perry’s passing, while not completely unexpected, drew an emotional response from the LDS community.A Church statement reflecting on Perry’s service spoke of his legacy of promoting religious freedom, as well as his larger than life persona. The statement reads:“That warmth, that graciousness, the fact that he really did like people and he liked all the members of the Church and appreciated them — I think that’s how he’ll be remembered,” said Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.Elder Cook said Elder Perry’s witness of Jesus Christ would also be remembered. “Tom Perry bore a powerful witness of Jesus Christ. He knew the Savior; he loved the Savior.”“We must be bold in our declaration of Jesus Christ,” Elder Perry taught in the Church’s October 2011 general conference. “We want others to know that we believe He is the central figure in all human history. His life and teachings are the heart of the Bible and the other books we consider to be holy scripture.”As with the apostles in New Testament times, Latter-day Saint apostles are called to be special witnesses of Jesus Christ. Elder Perry was one of 15 men who help oversee the growth and development of the global Church, which now numbers over 15 million members.
Elder Perry spoke frequently about the importance of religion in society, the family and preserving religious freedom, emphasizing that the “essential freedoms of conscience, embedded in religious liberty, must be diligently preserved and protected.” He worked closely with leaders of other faiths to promote the cause of religious freedom.
“He had this common touch and he was as comfortable with the common man as presidents and rulers and treated them all pretty much the same and had a way of relating to them and connecting with them that’s just profound,” said Lee Perry, Elder Perry’s son.
“I think he’ll be remembered as a champion of the family,” Lee Perry said.