Choir Loses Dear Friend at Death of Elder L. Tom Perry
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has sung its traditional “God Be With You” to Elder L. Tom Perry, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since April 6, 1976, for the last time. He died May 30, 2015 at his home with his wife Barbara and family members at his side. He was 92. For additional information http://www.mormonnewsroom.org
“Elder L. Tom Perry has been a strong supporter of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for a very long time,” Choir President Ronald B. Jarrett said at the death of what he called “this choice servant of God.” “For decades he has attended special Choir concerts and performances at home and away. We have been with him at General Conference; he has been a strength to all of us. To lose this trusted and inspired friend is a tremendous sorrow to all members of the Choir. We express our love to his wife Barbara who has been faithfully at his side during for so many years.”
In 1976 Elder Perry joined the Choir’s much celebrated Bicentennial Choir tour to Washington D.C. and other east coast locations as the Church advisor. He said of that experience, “This summer I was privileged to see a different side of you. I was with you for six days and nights as you toured Philadelphia, Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. I watched 350 people, 1,400 pieces of luggage go through a tight and rigid schedule of pack, move, unpack, rehearse, and perform over and over again with a spirit I’ve never before witnessed. You were happy even when weary; considerate even under pressure; dedicated, determined, and anxious to always be at your best. This was not for personal gain, but for the contribution you could make in building the Lord’s kingdom—with anthems, hymns, and songs. I have discovered your greatness. We know of your artistic talent, which is abundant; but in your spirit I find no equal. May God’s blessings continue to be with you in bringing heavenly music to a troubled world.”
The Choir at this solemn time pays tribute to Elder Perry for what he taught us in robust and sincere terms about the essence of gospel service:
“First, to exercise faith in God our Eternal Father and to place our trust in Him as a foundation for all things; second, to have courage to uphold righteousness and be a part of preserving it; third, to be industrious and build for the future; fourth, to learn to sacrifice willingly for a brother or sister in need.”
We will miss his presence, his looming stature and his spirit to match, his bold pronouncements, his goodness, his love for the Lord and all He has given us, and his constant encouragement to go forward in life with faith in Jesus Christ.
From the Choir we say, “Till we meet again.”