When I heard of the passing of Elder L. Tom Perry on Saturday afternoon I instantly thought of some sound principles the man lived by. They were brought to my attention when I read his biography over a year ago (See: L. Tom Perry: An Uncommon Life—Year of Preparation; written by his son Lee).
Using his son’s words I share the following principles. My father has a talent for deflecting compliments and rarely allows praise to inflate his perception of himself. He is also someone who lives in the present, and he seldom dwells on previous accomplishments. This presented a formidable challenge for me as his biographer. On the rare occasions when he reflects on his uncommon life, he does not cast himself as the central character in the story he tells. It is usually someone else who receives the credit or plays the hero. And when pushed about his role, he dismisses its significance. He’ll shake his head, smile, and even laugh at the thought that perhaps he’s not attaching sufficient significance to his role. Then he’ll often say, ‘I am as common as dirt’ (pgs. 2–3). Continue reading