Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Vaughn J Featherstone Vaughn J (NMN) Featherstone 

1931 - living
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  • Born 1931 Stockton, Utah
  • Baptized as a child; Aaronic Priesthood as a youth; Melchizedek Priesthood as a young man
  • Married Merlene Miner 1950; five sons
  • Scoutmaster, Stake Mission President, Bishop's Counselor, Stake High Councilor, YMMIA General Board Stake President, Young Men's General President
  • Second Counselor in Presiding Bishopric 1972-1976
  • First Quorum of Seventy 1976-2001
  • Released from First Quorum and named General Authority Emeritus 2001
  • President of Logan Utah Temple 2002-2005

    Vaughn J Featherstone is somewhat anomalous as a General Authority. Although an ordained Bishop, he never served as a Ward Bishop. Although he served on the General Missionary Board, he never served a full-time mission as a young man and wasn't called as a Mission President until after his call to the First Quorum of the Seventy. The product of a part-member family and later a broken home, he did not receive a testimony of the Gospel until well into his teen years. Lacking a college degree, he is yet renowned as a seasoned theologian, his teachings harkening back to an earlier day when the Brethren seemed to teach a stronger doctrine and reveled in eschatolgy.
    Vaughn J (He has no middle name, only an initial.) Featherstone was born March 26, 1931, in Stockton, Tooele County, Utah, a son of Stephen E. Featherstone and his wife Emma Marie Johnson. After a move to Mountain Home, in eastern Utah, the family settled in Salt Lake City when Vaughn was about five. Vaughn had an older brother and sister, four younger brothers and a younger sister.
    Vaughn's early home life was not that which would be thought conducive to producing a General Authority. His mother was not a member and because of demands of his work, Vaughn's father was away much of the time and eventually fell into inactivity. Worse, family dificulties led to a separation. Fortunately, Vaughn always lived in strong Latter-day Saint communities and he benefitted from active friends and excellent Primary and Sunday School Teachers. He recounted to a writer from the Ensign, "The first thing I remember about the Church was being invited by a friend to attend Primary with him. I guess I was eight or nine years old. I remember the Blazer class. We had a checklist of different accomplishments. One of them was baptism. I hadn't been baptized—but I wanted to be because I wanted that space on the checklist filled. My mother, a great supporter of mine, gave me permission; she later joined the Church, as did my brothers and sisters."
    Vaughn received the Aaronic Priesthood as a young man but did not have a testimony of the Gospel at the time. "A good friend of mine, Gordon Augason, stood up in fast meeting when I was about fifteen years old and said that he knew the Church was true. Everything in my heart told me that he knew it."
    Asking his Sunday School teacher how he also could receive a testimony, he was told, "Read and study the Book of Mormon."
    "I literally lived every page of the Book of Mormon, and I wept as I went through it. It was a great spiritual experience, Elder Featherstone recalled. "Reading through tears, I actually felt as if I were there when these great things took place. When I finished, all I could do was kneel down and thank the Lord for my testimony, because then I knew the gospel was true."
    Vaughn was an excellent high school student and was Class President in both his Junior and Senior years. He lettered in football three years and participated in track and field evnts two years. In 1949, his senior year of High School, he bagan dating Merlene Miner, a schoolmate who was to become his eternal companion. They were married a year later in 1950 in the Salt Lake Temple.
    Vaughn was working for a Salt Lake City supermarket, and now with a wife to support, he redoubled his efforts. He shortly affiliated with the produce department of a supermarket chain and began a succession of promotions which would propel him to the highest levels of the executive suite. With promotions came transfers and he served in Utah, Idaho, and California.
    Even as he received greater responsibility in his chosen avocation, he also received greater responsibility in various Church callings. Vaughn had become an Eagle Scout as a youth and as an adult was soon called as a Scoutmaster. He would be called to this position several times in his life. Each of his sons has followed him along the Eagle Trail. He also found time to serve as a stake missionary, stake mission president, counselor to a ward bishop, and on the Stake High Council. Because of his extensive service working with the youth, he was called to serve on the General Board of the the YMMIA.
    As a member of a general board he came under the eye of the General Authorities. When a transfer by his company to Idaho coincided with the need for a new Stake President, he was called to be President of the Boise North Stake in October of 1970. There he would serve until April 6, 1972, when, in recognition of His servant's extensive knowledge of business principles and experience in working with youth, Vaughn J. Featherstone was called as Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, thus becoming a General Authority at the age of forty-nine. He would serve in the Presiding Bishopric but four years when on October 1, 1976, he was called into the First Quorum of the Seventy.
    As a member of the First Quorum, he was immediately called to preside over the Texas San Antonio Mission. Later, Elder Featherstone was called upon to continue his work with the youth as he served as General President of the Young Men. He would serve in the First Quorum twenty-five years, a total of twenty-nine years as a General Authority. Then on October 6, 2001, a grateful Church, assembled in the 171st Semi-annual General Conference, gave him a vote of appreciation as he was released from the First Quorum and named an Emeritus General Authority.
    In an interview with the Ensign, Elder Featherstone declared, “I've had many blessings in life—the gospel, my family, my work. I've been accused of being a self-made man, but that's not true. I've got so many to thank for helping and inspiring me along the way. I learned early in life the importance of the help you can receive from the Lord. That's been one of my greatest blessings.”
    But the Lord was not yet through with Vaughb J Featherstone. In 2002, he was called as President of the Logan Utah Temple with his wife Merlene as Temple Matron. After a three-year term, they were honorably released. Grampa wonders if the Lord might yet have other callings for this great man.

Bibliography
    The Ensign; July 1972; "Bishop Vaughn J. Featherstone" by Norman R. Bowen
    Deseret News 1999-2000 Church Almanac; p.29
    The LDS Church News; October 13, 2001; "Emeritus Seventy: Changes in the Quorums of Seventy"
    Church News Archives, September 21, 2002, "New temple presidents announced"
    Church News Archives, June 11, 2005, "New temple presidents"
   2005 Church Almanac. p.81



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