Saturday, May 30, 2015

Memory of Elder L. Tom Perry

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints passed away today. I have one vivid memory of Elder Perry that I want to share here.

The year was 1989. I had entered the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo, Utah in early June. My mission call was to the Cochabamba Bolivia mission. The week before I entered the MTC two missionaries were killed in Bolivia. I entered the MTC not knowing if I would go to Bolivia or not.

During our time in the MTC, newly called mission presidents were being trained also. There were several times where members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came to the MTC to speak or to train. As missionaries we would take breaks by walking around the MTC. As we were on a walk one day we were passing by the front door when an elderly gentleman stopped us and asked where we would serve. Four of the missionaries in our district were headed to California and told this man so. Myself and another missionary were headed to Bolivia. We informed the gentleman that we were assigned to Bolivia. With a well known smile he looked at both of us and said "Don't hold your breath". It was then we knew that we would not be going to Bolivia, however the impression was made.

As we walked away we discussed what had happened. We must have been too caught up trying to learn spanish and/or the culture of the people we were going to serve. Our teacher asked us if we knew who we had spoken with. When we answered we did not, he asked us how we did not recognize Elder L. Tom Perry. Again, the moment stuck with us.

I will never forget the smile of Elder Perry. I loved to hear him speak in General Conference. And finally, I will never forget the day I met Elder Perry and had him inform me that I would probably not be serving where I was originally called. He was an Apostle of God, that I know and he will be missed.

Friday, May 1, 2015


Counterfeit: an imitation to be passed off fraudulently or deceptively as genuine; forgery.

The term counterfeit has been used recently in many areas of my life. The definition above gives us the meaning of the word and can be used to determine is something is counterfeit or not. First it's important to understand that for something to be counterfeit there has to be a recognized authority that creates the original. This authority can be government, nature, God, etc.

Now if an authority as created (or defined) something, then by definition, anything that is an imitation of the creation is counterfeit. So let's look at a couple examples:

  1. The U.S. Government has created and defined the standards for currency and where it is created. Counterfeit currency is then anything that imitates this currency and is passed off as the original.
  2. In my faith God has defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Counterfeit marriage would then be anything that imitates this definition and is passed off as the original.
So something is counterfeit when it creates an imitation to be passed off fraudulently or deceptively as genuine. Using this definition there are a lot of things in life that could be considered counterfeit based on the acceptance of the proper authority. For me that means if God has defined something, then anything that imitates that something and tries to substitute pieces for the defined entity is counterfeit.