A keen interest in people marked President James E. Faust's long service on the Deseret News board of directors.

Former publisher Wm. James Mortimer still recalls what President Faust told him in his first days on the job.

"When I was appointed publisher he took me aside and said, 'The thing you want to do to succeed is put your arms around the people.' I'll always remember that good advice he gave me," Mortimer said.

President Faust's ties to the Deseret Morning News go back four generations. His great-grandfather was a Pony Express rider who also wrote some stories for the paper in its early years.

His service on the board spanned 26 years, from 1970 to 1996. He was serving as vice chairman of the board and chairman of the executive committee of Deseret News Publishing Co. when he was named Second Counselor in the First Presidency in March 1995.

Mortimer said he's sure President Faust looked at the financial statements and other reports, but he always was interested in the workers' welfare.

"He'd see a byline, and he'd ask me about that particular person," he said.

Former board member Marie Hafen recalled a delicate matter that came before the board involving an employee. President Faust, she said, was clearly concerned about repairing the situation in a fair manner.

"He cared about the employee who was at a disadvantage," she said.

President Faust had a "largeness to his soul." He applied gospel principles with thoughtfulness and had a "kind of passion in his compassion," she said.

Former board chairman L. Glen Snarr described President's Faust service at the paper as "wonderful."

"He was very important to the Deseret News board," Snarr said, describing him as a wise leader. "He really had a good head. We really appreciated his input."

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