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L Tom Perry
Works at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Attended Utah State University
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L Tom Perry

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A good character is something you must make for yourself. It cannot be inherited from parents. It cannot be created by having extraordinary advantages. It isn’t a gift of birth, wealth, talent, or station. It is the result of your own endeavor. It is the reward that comes from living good principles and manifesting a virtuous and honorable life.
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One of the greatest weaknesses in most of us is our lack of faith in ourselves.
One of our common failings is to depreciate our tremendous worth.
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Many years ago I found myself as part of occupation troops in a foreign land just at the end of a terrible war. It was not long after we arrived in this country before we developed a great love and concern for the people we were there to watch over. This was especially true of the young people, the children. Many times we would find them scavenging in our garbage cans looking for food to keep themselves alive. This deeply touched us, and we wanted to make a more substantial contribution to them. We raised what money we could and found a local religious group that was willing to open an orphanage for them. We donated as much time as possible to improve the facilities and provided them with the operating funds they needed.
As Christmas approached, we sent letters home to our families asking that, instead of sending gifts to us, they send toys for the children in the orphanage. The response of our families was overwhelming! Toys arrived daily from our homes.
We found a tree suitable to use as a Christmas tree, but we had no traditional decorations for it. A lady taught us how to make little birds by folding square pieces of paper, and these became the major part of the decorations for the tree. The presents were wrapped mostly in discarded Stars and Stripes newspapers. I’ll never forget Christmas Eve with those children. I am sure many of them had never seen a Christmas tree in their lives.
We sang Christmas carols to them, but we weren’t very good at this. They had been rehearsing for weeks so they could sing a song to us in English. It was not a Christmas carol, but it was beautiful. They sang, “You Are My Sunshine.” We were deeply touched with the spirit of the children that Christmas Eve, especially as they opened the presents sent from our families. I suppose some of them had not had a toy in many, many years.
This is a Christmas I’ll never forget because we were learning the true meaning of this great holiday season. The greatest joy we can receive in life is giving—to bring into the life of someone else a little joy and happiness.
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All around you in the cities and villages, towns and townships where you have opportunity to dwell, there are those who are separated from the warmth and love of their families at Christmastime.

We want to encourage you to reach out and extend the hand of fellowship to them and bring the warmth of Christmas into every soul you possibly are able to touch.
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Elder Perry is accompanying President Henry B. Eyring in Rome for the colloquium on marriage. During President Eyring's testimony, he quoted "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." Elder Perry briefly touches on how children are using that document.
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"It's important that all Christian, Jewish, Muslim faiths unite and make their own faith stronger in the lives of the people.
After all, the religious faiths have been the conscience of this country." 
Fifty years ago, Elder L. Tom Perry, now of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was living in Scarsdale, New York. Elder Perry, now 92, was serving as a leader in the stake over missionary work and part of that assignment included working on the committee for the 1964 New York World’s Fair in New York City, which is marking its 50th anniversary.
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"Our homes must be holy places in order to stand against the pressures of the world."
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We can't predict all the struggles and storms in life, not even the ones just around the next corner, but as persons of faith and hope, we know beyond a shadow of any doubt that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and the best is yet to come.
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Homes should be an anchor, a safe harbor, a place of refuge, a happy place where families dwell together, a place where children are loved.
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It is my firm conviction that there has never been a period in my many years of life when our Father in Heaven’s children have needed the guiding hand of faithful, devoted parents more. We have a great and noble heritage of parents giving up almost everything they possess to find a place where they could rear their families with faith and courage so the next generation would have greater opportunities than had been theirs. 

We must find within ourselves that same determined spirit and overcome the challenges we face with the same spirit of sacrifice. We must instill in future generations an ever stronger reliance on the teachings of our Lord and Savior.
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Men and women are shaped partly by those among whom they choose to live. Those to whom they look up and try to emulate also shape them. Jesus is the great Exemplar. The only way to find lasting peace is to look to Him and live.
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"We must never let the noise of the world overpower and overwhelm that still, small voice."
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Pamela Stucki's profile photo
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  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, 1974 - present
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
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Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Introduction

Elder L. Tom Perry, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was called to his present Church position April 6, 1974, after serving as an Assistant to the Twelve since 1972.

Elder Perry’s Church service began with a mission to the Northern States in 1942, after which he served for two years with the Marines in the Pacific. Subsequent Church positions include counselor in a bishopric in Lewiston, Idaho; counselor in a stake presidency in Sacramento, California; high councilor in the New York Stake; and president of the Boston Stake.

He was born August 5, 1922, in Logan, Utah, to Leslie Thomas and Nora Sonne Perry.

He received his B.S. degree in finance from Utah State University in 1949 and did graduate work there. His professional career was spent in the retail business, where he served as vice president and treasurer in companies located in Idaho, California, New York, and Massachusetts.

On July 18, 1947, he married Virginia Lee of Hyde Park, Utah, in the Logan Temple. She died December 14, 1974. They are the parents of two daughters and a son.

He married Barbara Taylor Dayton on April 28, 1976, in the Salt Lake Temple.

Education
  • Utah State University
    Finance, 1949