Church News

Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, 87, dies

Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
President Thomas S. Monson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attends a meeting with the current and former Church's Young Men General Presidency at The Joseph Smith Building. in Salt Lake City, Utah, Monday, Feb. 2, 2009. At left is past Young Men's President Vaughn J. Featherstone. August Miller, Deseret News Credit: Deseret News file photo
YoBrother Stephen W. Owen, left, visited with his former mission president and

Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone — an emeritus General Authority, former temple president, and beloved youth leader — died Saturday night at his home in Bountiful, Utah.

He was 87.

A native of the Tooele County, Utah, town of Stockton, Elder Featherstone served 29 years as a General Authority — as a member of the Presiding Bishopric from 1972 to 1976, and as a General Authority Seventy from 1976 to 2001.

Elder Featherstone possessed a renowned love for the young people of the Church. He was a popular speaker and author, focusing many of his messages on the youth and their many challenges and gospel opportunities.

He served as the Young Men general president from 1985-1990. He also presided over the Texas San Antonio Mission (1976-1978) and four Areas of the Church.

After becoming an Emeritus General Authority, Elder Featherstone served as president of the Logan Utah Temple from 2002 to 2005.

He is survived by his wife, Merlene Miner Featherstone; six of their seven children; 33 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by his eldest son, Ronald Vaughn Featherstone, who died in May of 2011.

Current Young Men general president Brother Stephen W. Owen regards Elder Featherstone as much more than a predecessor in his general auxiliary calling — he was also young Stephen Owen’s mission president in Texas.

Brother Owen told the Church News that he was a nervous, terribly green missionary when he arrived in Texas. “But as I walked off the plane, I was given a huge bear hug from President Featherstone.”

The mission president knew his new young elder was feeling a bit uneasy in his new calling — “and President Featherstone made me feel so welcome.”

Now as the Church’s Young Men general president, Brother Owen still finds himself relying upon his mission president's example when facing tough decisions. “I often ask myself, ‘What would President Featherstone do in this situation?’ ” he said.

Elder Featherstone’s funeral arrangements are pending.

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