President James E. Faust dies at age 87

Published: Friday, Aug. 10 2007 7:02 p.m. MDT

Sunday Afternoon conference April 6, 1997--President Hinckley and President Faust share a moment before the afternoon session begins.

Kristan Jacobsen, Deseret Morning News

President James E. Faust, 87, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a general authority for nearly 35 years, died early today.

A news release from the LDS Church said he died at his home of "causes incident to age," surrounded by his family. The time of death was reported as 12:20 a.m.

Funeral services will be at noon Tuesday in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

Bruce Olsen, managing director of Church Public Affairs, said this morning that President Faust's "gentle manner and depth of knowledge, which was an important part of his ministry for nearly 35 years, will be missed."

"He was a true Christian who spoke and wrote with wit and wisdom," Olsen said. "Many members of the church loved his unique way of teaching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ at General Conference."

Olsen said church members around the world are calling to extend to President Faust's family their heartfelt condolences.

 · · · · · 

President Faust was set apart as Second Counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley on March 12, 1995, and served there for nearly 12 1/2 years. He was ordained an apostle on Oct. 1, 1978, at the age of 58, and served in the Quorum of the Twelve for 16 years.

One of his last notable public appearances was on June 23, 2007, the occasion of President Gordon B. Hinckley's 97th birthday and also the dedication of the new Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center at Provo's Brigham Young University.

"These past 12 years have been a tremendous blessing to serve with him and Thomas S. Monson and see quite literally the Lord working through a prophet," President Faust said during the dedication.

In his final General Conference address on April 1, 2007, President Faust extolled the healing power of forgiveness.

"Let us remember that we need to forgive to be forgiven," he said. "In the words of one of my favorite hymns, 'Oh, forgive as thou wouldst be/E'en forgiven now by me.' With all my heart and soul, I believe in the healing power that can come to us as we follow the counsel of the Savior 'to forgive all men.'"

His physical mobility had been limited the past several years and he delivered remarks from a seated position.

During his years as a general authority, he was president of the church's international mission, general authority adviser for South America, executive director of the Church Curriculum Department, director of Welfare Services and editor of the church's three monthly magazines — Friend, Ensign and New Era. He had also served as managing director for the Melchizedek Priesthood MIA.

President Faust was sustained as an Assistant to the Twelve on Oct. 6, 1972. He was called to the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1976. He had also served as stake president of the Cottonwood Stake (1956-68), on the high council in the Big Cottonwood Stake (1947-48) and as bishop in the Big Cottonwood Ward (1949-55) and as counselor in the bishopric of that ward. He was called as a regional representative for the church in 1968.

He was also chairman of the Jordan Valley Bishops Council and a second counselor in the Cottonwood Stake Presidency, 1955-56.

President Faust served a mission to Brazil from 1939-42, where he was a district president. In 1998, he received a Brazilian national citizenship award — an honor given to only a few world leaders — and was awarded honorary citizenship of the city of Sao Paulo.

A 1937 graduate of Granite High School, he lettered in football and track and was also a prosecuting attorney in student court. He was later inducted into the Granite High Hall of Fame.

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