From the time he was young, nothing was going to stand in the way of Tyler Mayle's mission.
Because according to Mayle's former seminary teacher, Benjamin Whitehead of Windsor, Colo., that's just who Mayle was.
"He was strictly obedient," said Whitehead of Mayle, whose body was discovered June 5 after a search for the missing hiker and BYU student.
After completing four years of seminary under Whitehead's tutelage, Mayle served a mission to the Germany Frankfurt Mission from 2010-12.
Whitehead said that he had no doubt Mayle was an exemplary missionary because of his obedience and preparation.
Now, Mayle's loved ones remember the caliber of life that he led.
A June 1 hiking trip near Y Mountain ended in a search for Mayle, which commenced June 4 and concluded the evening of June 5 when searchers located his body.
Friends and family, including his sister, Hailey Mayle, who entered the Missionary Training Center in Provo the day Mayle's body was located, gathered together Thursday night in tribute to Mayle.
"Tonight was perfect, exactly what Tyler would have wanted for his friends to remember him," Hailey posted on her Facebook page late Thursday evening. "So grateful for the many wonderful memories and laughter shared tonight! I'm proud to be his sister and happy to have been able to see how much he was loved."
It seemed that Mayle was one of those people with the gift of affability.
Whitehead, who was also the Mayle family's LDS home teacher, said Mayle was a friend to everyone and an all-around good person.
"He was quiet in class, he participated. He didn't have that rebellious streak that some kids have," Whitehead said.
And while Mayle's seminary teacher knew him well, Whitehead said there was always something about Mayle that he couldn't put a finger on — a dichotomy of strong independence and complete obedience.
"I've never figured him out," Whitehead said. "He didn't care what everyone thought about him, and he always wanted to do what was right. He stood out from the rest in that way."
Whitehead recounted how every morning for four years, Mayle rode his bike to Whitehead's home for early-morning seminary.
"Cold, rain, snow, he still rode his bike," Whitehead said. "He was always on time, and he was usually early."
And if his attitude toward seminary was any indication, Mayle, who has been described as hard-working and dedicated, took his faith very seriously.
"He had perfect attendance. And he got himself there. You could always count on him being there with a smile."
In addition to his passion for his faith, Mayle also was an accomplished musician and a skilled outdoorsman.
Whitehead said that Mayle shared his love of hunting and the outdoors with his father and his love of music with his mother.
"He was always a leader in band," Whitehead said.
He said that ability to lead extended to every aspect of Mayle's life.
"He led more than he followed," Whitehead said.
The former seminary teacher has always held the belief that missionary work is done in the hereafter as well.
He believes that Mayle has passed on to a place where he will be a missionary once again.
"I can see Tyler clear as day doing that," he said.
Whitehead said that Mayle and his sister, who will return to her call to the New Hampshire Manchester Mission, will be doing missionary work together — just on different sides of the veil.
Emmilie Buchanan is an intern for the Deseret News with Mormon Times. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho. Contact her by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @emmiliebuchanan
- Christmas lights on Temple Square in pictures...
- LDS Church alters Christmas devotional tradition
- Mormon missionaries shine shoes, teach the...
- Mormon-raised Paul Walker remembered for...
- LDS missionaries developing strategies to...
- LDS growth in India draws media attention
- What's new: 'Women and the Priesthood' by...
- Tips for LDS bloggers from the 'ultimate...
- Mormon-raised Paul Walker remembered... 63
- Cardinal Dolan says Catholic church... 38
- Court: Mormon church, members not... 35
- Notre Dame sues over health care law's... 31
- BYU's linebacker Kyle Van Noy engaged... 28
- Seeing is believing: Doctor, family say... 25
- LDS Church alters Christmas devotional... 21
- Ask Angela: Woman shares update on... 20