This text has been circulated widely on the Internet. These reportedly are notes taken by someone who heard a speech by LDS apostle L. Tom Perry at the Kuna, Idaho, LDS Stake Conference on March 21.
In our present Council of the 12 Apostles, there has been no change in nine years. This is the longest in the history of the Church that the same 12 apostles have served together. We asked President Hinckley why this is so and he said our wisdom is needed to stand up against the great changes in the world.
President Packer is the most inspirational spiritual man I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with. He also can get very irate and it is my job to kick him in the shins if he gets too irate. Next time you see him, ask him to lift his pant legs so you can see my kick marks on his shins!
Elder Haight is stronger today than he has been in a long time. We fully expected him to die last July. His daughter called us and told us the doctors gave him just days to live. But he rallied and he now has a physical therapist that comes to his house every day and works with him. I visited him in his apartment and he showed me that he walks around his table 12 times, then he walks around his couch 12 times, then he walks a circuit in his apartment. He said, “Anything the physical therapist asks me to do, I do twice!” He comes to our council meetings and contributes to each one. We even plan on him speaking for General Conference for 5 minutes — we hope! He can’t see well and he doesn’t see the teleprompter so we don’t know what he will say or how long he will go.
Elder Maxwell’s life has been preserved in a most remarkable way. He has been preserved to bless us with that brilliant mind of his. Oh the jewels that come out of Elder Maxwell!
Elder Nelson is the physician to the First Presidency and to the Twelve. If we have an ailment we can talk to him about it. He is our doctor. He still makes hospital rounds. He is the greatest ambassador we have because he has a reputation all over the world. He can go anywhere in the world and people know and respect him because of his great pioneering work in heart surgery.
Elder Ballard is our used car salesman! He is our enthusiastic leader of the missionary department. He is telling our missionaries, “Stop being robots! Learn how to teach by the Spirit!” He has convinced President Hinckley to raise the bar. Now you have to qualify for a mission. We should raise the bar in our own activities.