Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone Dies at Age 87

Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News associate editor

  • 15 May 2018

President Thomas S. Monson, right, and Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, seated, attend a meeting with the Church’s current and former members of the Young Men General Presidency at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City on February 2, 2009. Elder Featherstone was Young Men General President from 1985 to 1990. Photo courtesy of the Deseret News.

Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone—an emeritus General Authority Seventy, former temple president, and beloved youth leader—died May 12 at his home in Bountiful, Utah.

He was 87.

A native of the Tooele County, Utah, town of Stockton, Elder Featherstone served for 29 years as a General Authority—as a member of the Presiding Bishopric from 1972 to 1976 and as a General Authority Seventy from 1976 to 2001.

Elder Featherstone possessed a renowned love for the young people of the Church. He was a popular speaker and author, focusing many of his messages on the youth and their many challenges and gospel opportunities.

He served as the Young Men General President from 1985 to 1990. He also presided over the Texas San Antonio Mission (1976–1978) and four areas of the Church.

After becoming an emeritus General Authority, Elder Featherstone served as president of the Logan Utah Temple from 2002 to 2005.

Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, emeritus General Authority Seventy, died May 12, 2018.

He is survived by his wife, Merlene Miner Featherstone; six of their seven children; 33 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by his eldest son, Ronald Vaughn Featherstone, who died in May of 2011.

Current Young Men General President Brother Stephen W. Owen regards Elder Featherstone as much more than a predecessor in his general auxiliary calling—he was also young Stephen Owen’s mission president in Texas.

Brother Owen told the Church News that he was a nervous, terribly green missionary when he arrived in Texas. “But as I walked off the plane, I was given a huge bear hug from President Featherstone.”

The mission president knew his new young elder was feeling a bit uneasy in his new calling—“and President Featherstone made me feel so welcome.”

Now as the Church’s Young Men General President, Brother Owen still finds himself relying upon his mission president’s example when facing tough decisions. “I often ask myself, ‘What would President Featherstone do in this situation?’” he said.

Elder Featherstone’s funeral arrangements are pending.

Young Men General President Brother Stephen W. Owen, left, visited with his former mission president, Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, right, at Elder Featherstone’s home on March 29, 2018. He was joined by a former missionary companion, Kelly Sheffield, center. Elder Featherstone previously served as the Young Men General President. Photo courtesy of Brother Stephen W. Owen.