President James E. Faust was the second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) under late prophet Gordon B. Hinckley. As second counselor, he was also 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 Deseret Management Corporation.James E. Faust was born on July 21, 1920, in Delta, Utah. In 1937 he began attending the University of Utah. In 1939, he was called to serve a Mormon 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, James E. Faust married his high school sweetheart Ruth. They were apart much of the first years of their marriage because of the war, but kept in touch through letters. James E. Faust wrote a letter every day to her. The letters arrived irregularly, and one day Ruth received ninety letters; her employer thoughtfully let her have the afternoon off to go home and read them. They eventually had two daughters and three sons.
In 1948, James was finally able to finish school with a degree in law. This 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 advisor to the American Bar Journal, and was president of the Utah Bar Association in 1962–63.
James E. Faust practiced law in Salt Lake City, Utah, until he was called to be an assistant to the Twelve Apostles in 1972. In 1975 President Faust was asked to preside over all of South America, and he was present for the Sao Paulo Brazil Temple dedication. On September 30, 1978, James E. Faust was called to be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He has 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 Mormon Church magazines, vice chairman of the Welfare Committee, and chairman of the Public Affairs Committee. On March 12, 1995, President Faust was called to be the second counselor in the First Presidency of the Church. He passed away on August 10, 2007, of causes incident to age.