A Memory of Elder Faust

By now you may have heard that Elder James Faust has died.  There is an article about his death here.

 I am reminded of a story my father told me about an experience he had with Elder Faust.  Elder Faust was the one who released my father from the stake presidency and reorganized a new presidency.  During a planning meeting for the stake conference Elder Faust instructed that the release of the old presidency and the sustaining of the new presidency would be the first order of business.  After that was completed, he asked if my father would conduct any other stake business that needed to be done.  My father objected.  He explained to Elder Faust that he would then be released, and would not be in the stake presidency any more.  My father suggested that one of the new presidency members might be a better choice to conduct this business.  Elder Faust said no, and that he would like my father to conduct the business.

 After the planning meeting was over, my father approached Elder Faust and again objected to conducting the business after having been released.  Elder Faust grasped my father by the lapels of his suit jacket and pulled him in close.  Elder Faust then said something like this, ‘Brother Nielson, I am an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am presiding at this meeting.  I would like for you to cunduct the stake business.  Do you understand?’  My father meekly said yes, and then Elder Faust ‘released’ him.

 I will miss Elder Faust.  I frequently liked his conference talks.  My best wishes go out to his family and friends.

14 Responses to “A Memory of Elder Faust”

  1. 1 Geoff J August 10, 2007 at 12:29 pm


    I’m picturing Clint Eastwood…

  2. 2 Matt W. August 10, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    Wow. I mean. Dunno what to say except wow.

  3. 3 Eric Nielson August 10, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    Why are comments not working????

  4. 4 Bookslinger August 12, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    A great lesson on the principle that he who _conducts_ is under the authority of he who _presides_. As he was the one who presided, Elder Faust could have called on any Melchizedek priesthood holder to conduct. He probably could have called on any Aaronic priesthood holder to conduct, too.

  5. 5 Eric Nielson August 12, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    I was wondering if he could have asked my mom to conduct the stake business. Is there any priesthood necessary to call for a sustaining vote, as long as the one who presides assigns the task? Is it just cultural that a member of the bishopric usually does it? I don;t know.

    I would also like to say that while I was not there, I suspect that this was one of those times when President Faust could be both stern and kind at the same time.

  6. 6 Bradley Ross August 12, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    Another blog had a really funny memory of President Faust meeting Rulon Gardner.

  7. 7 Eugene Kovalenko August 20, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Regarding Faust stories, here is one I heard from a former regional representative at a high priests meeting in Bountiful the Sunday after the recent Salt Lake Sunstone symposium. “Brethren,” Faust had said gravely to several local older leaders, “I have counsel of offer to which you must pay careful attention, because I will say it only once. It is this: when you pass a restroom, be sure to enter it, since you never know when you’ll get another chance.”

  8. 8 Eric Nielson August 20, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    Haha. He was a funny guy.

  9. 9 Bandanamom August 28, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    I know you Eric Neilson. We went to part of grade school together…4th grade on? And then all the way through High School. I am Lezlee Hays (formerly Lezlee Peterson) – I came across the blog while on the ‘bloggernacle’, I’m not even exactly sure how I got here. I read BCC fairly often and Zelophehadsdaughters, but I think I was somewhere else first before I got here. Interesting to read your blog, odd that I know you, sort of. I wasn’t positive it was you until I read your “about”. I took a class from your dad while at Ricks and it was one of my favorite classes I ever took – despite my somewhat abysmal ‘c’ grade.

  10. 10 Eric Nielson August 28, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    Lezlee Peterson!!!

    I do remember you, quite fondly in fact. I always liked you.

    Hope all is well.

  11. 11 Bandanamom August 30, 2007 at 9:08 am

    Hi Eric,

    I am glad that you remember me in a good light. It’s always interesting to see if people even DO remember and then what the perception was…it’s not always pleasant. 🙂

    I always liked you as well. I had a crush on you the year we were in Mr. Whatcott’s class.

    The internet is a small world!

  12. 12 Eric Nielson August 30, 2007 at 11:31 am

    Small world indeed.

    The crush thing is hard for me to imagine.

    Anyway, I’ll be keeping an eye out for bandanamom comments.

  13. 13 Chet September 11, 2007 at 11:19 am

    I will never forget President Faust’s story of his lamb he had as a boy. I will never forget the pain I heard in his voice as he related the story, many years later as a general authority in conference, of how he left the lamb tied up outside but not in a pen one night, because he was tired and didn’t feel like going outside to take care of it, and after a night of the lamb crying out, he woke up the next morning and went out to find the lamb had been taken by wolves or some other predators.

    I will never forget the guilt I could hear in his voice, as an old man telling this story, and how he obviously felt he had committed a greivous betrayal. It was humbling to hear it. I learned more from that talk in terms of character than any other talk he ever gave.

    This will be how I remember him.

  14. 14 Eric Nielson September 11, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    Yes, Chet. That was a nice story.

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