L. Tom Perry

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For the Latter Day Saint academic and hymnwriter, see Lee Tom Perry.
L. Tom Perry
Photo of L. Tom Perry
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
April 6, 1974 (1974-04-06)
Called by Spencer W. Kimball
April 11, 1974 (1974-04-11) – Incumbent
Called by Spencer W. Kimball
Reason Death of Harold B. Lee and reorganization of First Presidency
Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 6, 1972 (1972-10-06) – April 6, 1974 (1974-04-06)
Called by Harold B. Lee
End reason Called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Military career
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Battles/wars World War II
Personal details
Born Lowell Tom Perry
(1922-08-05) August 5, 1922 (age 92)
Logan, Utah, United States
Alma mater Utah State University (B.S.)
Spouse Virginia Lee (1947–1974; deceased)
Barbara Dayton (1976–present)
Children 3
Signature of L. Tom Perry

Lowell Tom Perry (born August 5, 1922) is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having become a member of that body in 1974. Currently, he is the third most senior and oldest living apostle in the church.[1]

Early life[edit]

Perry was born in Logan, Utah, to Leslie Thomas Perry and his wife, Elsie Nora Sonne. Perry, Utah is named for Perry's ancestor, Gustavus Adolphus Perry and his family, who were among the first settlers in that area.[2]

From the time of Perry's birth until he was eighteen, his father was bishop of their LDS ward in Logan. From 1942 to 1944, Perry served as an LDS missionary in the Northern States Mission, headquartered in Chicago. After returning from his mission he joined the United States Marine Corps and was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division.[3] During the Second World War, Perry was part of the American forces that landed on Saipan, and remained there for about a year. While there he participated in the construction of an LDS chapel on the island.[4] He was among the United States troops sent to occupy Japan after the war. While in Nagasaki, Perry coordinated a group of Marines to help rebuild a local Protestant church.[5]


Perry graduated from the Utah State Agricultural College (modern Utah State University) in 1949 with a B.S. in finance.


Perry's first job out of college was with a retail business in Idaho. He was later involved in business jobs that took him to Washington, California, New York, and Massachusetts.

Perry was in the retail business during his time in Boston, Massachusetts. He became a fan of the Boston Red Sox and threw out the first pitch at a Red Sox game on May 8, 2004.

Early church service[edit]

In addition to his mission to the Northern States, Perry has served in the LDS Church as an early-morning seminary teacher, as a counselor in a bishopric, high councilor, counselor in a stake presidency, and as president of the church's Boston Massachusetts Stake.

General authority[edit]

Soon after his call to Twelve (c. 1975)

Perry was called as a general authority and Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1972. The death of church president Harold B. Lee created a vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve when Spencer W. Kimball, who had been serving as quorum president, became church president. Perry was sustained as a member of the Twelve on April 6, 1974, and was ordained an apostle on April 11, 1974.

Today, Perry ranks behind only church president Thomas S. Monson and quorum president Boyd K. Packer in apostolic seniority. As a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, Perry is accepted by the church as a prophet, seer, and revelator.

In 2004, Perry was asked by church president Gordon B. Hinckley to serve as president of the church's Europe Central Area, headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, a position normally held by a member of the seventy. This made Perry one of the most senior officials of the church ever to be stationed away from Salt Lake City. While serving in this capacity, Perry initiated a more proactive institute program that emphasized meeting the social and intellectual needs of young single adult church members.


Perry married Virginia C. Perry (née Lee) in the Logan Temple on July 18, 1947.[5] They had three children together. Perry's son, Lee Tom Perry, is an academic and is currently dean of the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. Virginia Perry died of cancer in December 1974.[6] Their daughter, Barbara, died of cancer in 1983.

In 1976, he married Barbara Dayton.[7]




See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peggy Fletcher Stack, "Meet the unassuming, optimistic, LDS apostle", The Salt Lake Tribune, published 4 April 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  2. ^ Perry, Lee (February 1975), "Elder L. Tom Perry of the Council of the Twelve", Ensign: 9, retrieved 7 March 2015 
  3. ^ "Elder Perry creates first Kiribati stake, dedicates islands", Church News, 21 September 1996, retrieved 7 March 2015 
  4. ^ "Constructing a chapel and testimonies", Church News, 15 January 2011, retrieved 7 March 2015 
  5. ^ a b Dunn, Loren C. (August 1987), "Elder L. Tom Perry: Serving with Enthusiasm", Tambuli: 9, retrieved 7 March 2015 
  6. ^ Stack (2011).
  7. ^ 2008 Deseret Morning News Church Almanac (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Morning News, 2007) p. 36.
  8. ^ "Catholic Community Services Honors Mormon Apostle and Wife", mormonnewsroom.org, 6 November 2014.


External links[edit]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Bruce R. McConkie
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
April 11, 1974 – Present
Succeeded by
David B. Haight