Ruth Faust is 'welcomed home'

Sister Ruth Wright Faust has been "welcomed home to Paradise," said President Thomas S. Monson in addressing mourners at her funeral Feb. 13.

Sister Faust passed away Feb. 10, six months to the day after her husband, President James E. Faust, died August 10. President Faust had served 12 years as a member of the First Presidency.

Joining President Monson in paying tribute to Sister Faust were President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency; President Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve; and Sister Faust's daughters, Janna F. Coombs and Lisa F. Smith.

Hundreds gathered for the funeral, held in Salt Lake City and attended by numerous General Authorities and general auxiliary leaders.

President Monson spoke of how President and Sister Faust always admired each other, and of the deep and genuine love they had for each other.

"Jim would always smile when he talked about her," President Monson said of his late colleague. "She always had a big smile for him."

President Monson said that he and President Uchtdorf went to Sister Faust's home and gave her a blessing on Thursday before she passed away on Sunday morning.

"We never expected her to go so quickly. We feel that Heavenly Father inspired that blessing. As we started to leave, I said, 'Take care, Ruth. We'll pray for you.' Those were the last words I spoke to her."

He said that when he received word of her passing, his first thought was, "Jim, you've been working hard to get her over there."

"Don't think that her passing was untimely," President Monson said. "Ruth will not be a stranger in paradise. Her beloved Jim is there, with outstretched arms, and saying 'Welcome home, Dear."'

He said that President and Sister Faust each had earned through their service the right to hear the words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" (Matthew 25:21).

President Monson quoted President Hugh B. Brown, a counselor to President David O. McKay: "'Death is not the end. It is putting out the candle because the dawn has come."'

During his remarks, President Uchtdorf said he cannot think of Sister Faust without immediately thinking of President Faust. "They have always been and always will be the perfect example of a couple in never-ending love."

President Uchtdorf made reference to a quote from President Faust about his dear wife: "'With all my heart I want to thank Ruth Wright Faust for letting me share her life and giving me the hope that we can share eternity together. She is more than a wife and a sweetheart, because she has become part of my very being."'

President Uchtdorf called Sister Faust an elect lady. "We mourn because we miss her. We will always miss her and her beautiful personality of kindness and compassion that lifted our spirits and brought sunshine to the cloudiest day." But, he continued, "death is a mechanism of rescue and a central step in the Lord's great Plan of Happiness."

President Packer directed his remarks to members of the Faust family, especially the grandchildren.

"There will be weeping, I am sure," he said. "But in this funeral there will be no agony."

President Packer spoke of a meeting with the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve when President Faust laid his prepared remarks aside and instead spoke of the birth of his 30th great-grandchild.

"I am not going to get the chance to bear testimony to that child," President Faust remarked. "She is too young and I am too old." Instead President Faust said, he would have to tell the baby's mother to express his love to her.

President Packer spoke of the joy President and Sister Faust found in each other and their family. "You grandchildren have the model," he said. "It is a simple formula really.... Obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel."

Lisa F. Smith called the story of her parents' life a story of "great love and admiration."

"Because of her relationship with her Savior, Mother knew who she was.... She was a daughter of God. She was a wife and a companion to her husband. She was an exceptional mother."

With that knowledge as her foundation, she didn't view anything as a sacrifice, but saw challenges as opportunities to show her Heavenly Father just how much she loved Him, Sister Smith said.

Janna F. Coombs said one of her mother's favorite phrases was, "You are only as happy as you think you are."

"Our mother would tell us that we needed to make our own happiness. Anyone who has known our mother will remember the warmth that radiated from her smile. She always chose to be happy."

In addition to speakers, a special musical tribute was performed in honor of Sister Faust. The words to the song, "A Woman of Grace," were written for Sister Faust by Patricia Holland; music was by Merrilee Webb. During the funeral, Melinda Lockwood DeBirk sang the musical selection with Andria Thatcher on the oboe and Merrilee Webb on the piano. — Gerry Avant and Sarah Weaver

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