The two counselors in the First Presidency - President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson - and the president of the Council of the Twelve, President Howard W. Hunter, paid tribute in funeral services April 13 to Dorothy Hunter Rasmussen, the sister of President Hunter.
She died April 9 in Sandy, Utah, at age 84, and was remembered in funeral services in the Sharon 4th Ward, Orem Utah Sharon Stake, as "a marvelous, spirited woman of wit and humor, easy to love and admire."President Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency, spoke of the "torch of faith" Sister Rasmussen passed along to her children and all who follow, and of the love and appreciation that she and President Hunter had for each other as brother and sister.
He mentioned Sister Rasmussen's travels with President Hunter to such places as the South Pacific when temples were dedicated in Tahiti, Tonga and Samoa.
President Hinckley said he called on Sister Rasmussen to speak at some of the temple dedications. He spoke of her expressions of faith, of absolute confidence. "It was that faith which was really the lodestar of her life," he said. "She served the Lord. She served with love, with gratitude, with kindness and with goodness."
President Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, said Sister Rasmussen "will be known as `blessed' in the Book of the Lamb of God for the tender care she gave to President Hunter."
He spoke of Sister Rasmussen's sense of humor and how much pleasure she gained from life and the joy she brought to others. "All we knew and loved about Dorothy Rasmussen continues to live," President Monson said. "And if we are worthy, we'll have the opportunity to be with her again. Let's not think of her as gone, but just away for a short time.
"Let us remember the words of the Lord: `I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.
" `And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.' " (John 11:25-26.)
President Hunter shared a few thoughts that portrayed his sister's deep convictions and gave her strength.
"We come today with more than a mere hope but with a firm witness of the reality of the resurrection," President Hunter said. "We know that death is not the end. But our belief in the Lord Jesus Christ gives us the knowledge that those who die will live again. We are mutually grateful for the knowledge of the reality of the atoning sacrifice of the Master.
"It was Dorothy's firm conviction that there is no death in the sense that it is the conclusion of man's existence. She had a positive belief that what man refers to as death is merely a transition from one sphere of existence to another. Death is only the end of one's mortal existence. As we go through life, a point of spiritual maturity is reached when we come to an understanding of the great atoning sacrifice of the Savior."
President Hunter spoke of the final hours of the Savior's mortal ministry. He described the last supper Jesus shared with His apostles, His walk from Jerusalem across the brook Kidron to Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. He told how the Savior withdrew a short distance from His disciples and knelt, praying "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." (Luke 22:42.)
"So it is with us today," President Hunter said, "and we submit to the will of the Lord. It was only a few hours before the Savior gave His life; then there was the resurrection, that men might arise from the grave and live again."
President Hunter further said: "My conviction is the same as Dorothy's that death is not the conclusion of our existence. . . . That is the thing that has prompted our belief since we were children."
Also offering remarks during the funeral services were Sister Rasmussen's three daughters - Jolene (Mrs. John) Darrington of Shelley, Idaho; Kathy (Mrs. Ron) Rodda of Orem, Utah; and Susan (Mrs. Ron) Bagley of Salt Lake City. Other speakers were James D. MacArthur of the stake presidency, and L. Robert Webb, Sister Rasmussen's home teacher and neighbor. The service was conducted by Bishop Dale R. McCann. Several other General Authorities attended the services.
Sister Rasmussen was born Nov. 1, 1909, in Boise, Idaho, to John William and Nellie Marie Rasmussen Hunter. She married Karl Marvin Rasmussen Dec. 3, 1935. He died May 5, 1990.