James E. Faust (1920–2007) served as Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from March 1995 until his death on August 10, 2007. As second counselor, he also was assigned to be vice chairman of the Church Board of Education, on the board of trustees of Brigham Young University, on the Welfare Services Executive Committee, and a leader with Deseret Management Corporation.
James Esdras Faust was born on July 31, 1920 in Delta, Utah. His gospel heritage goes back to the earliest days of the Church. James E Faust's great-great-grandfather was Edward Partridge, who was baptized by Joseph Smith and ordained as the first bishop the restored Church in 1831. In 1937 he began attending the University of Utah, and in 1939 was called to serve a mission in Brazil. Following his mission, James E. Faust served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II and advanced to the rank of first lieutenant. During a short leave, Faust married his high school sweetheart, Ruth Wright. President and Sister Faust had two daughters and three sons.
In 1948, President Faust was able to finish school with a bachelor's degree in English and a juris doctorate degree. That same year he was called to be a bishop. James E. Faust served as a member of the Utah Legislature from 1949 to 1951, as an adviser to the American Bar Journal, and as president of the Utah Bar Association from 1962 to 1963.
James E. Faust practiced law in Salt Lake City, Utah, until he received the call to serve as an Assistant to the Twelve Apostles in 1972. In 1975 President Faust was asked to preside over all of South America, and was present for the São Paulo Brazil Temple dedication. He had served as a missionary in Brazil from 1939 to 1942. In 1998, he received a Brazilian national citizenship award and was awarded honorary citizenship of the city of Sao Paulo.
He served in the First Quorum of the Seventy and the Presidency of the Seventy from October 1, 1976, to September 30, 1978. On September 30, 1978, James E. Faust was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He served in various capacities as an apostle, including managing director of the Melchizedek Priesthood MIA, zone adviser over South America, president of the International mission, executive director of the Church Curriculum Department, editor of the Church magazines, vice chairman of the Welfare Committee, and chairman of the Public Affairs Committee.
On March 12, 1995 President Faust received a call as second counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley in the First Presidency of the Church. He served faithfully until his death on August 10, 2007. President Faust died of causes incident to age.