“Balanced Economy,” Ensign, Mar. 1994, 69–70
For the last three decades, Thayne Robson, executive director of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Utah, has advised governors, legislators, and business leaders worldwide in matters of economy. As important as the public role of this former Harvard economics professor may be, he has apparently never forgotten the original meaning of economics: the management of the household. “All that I do is for my family,” he explains.
Younger in energy and appearance than his sixty-three years, Thayne credits much of his strength of character to his boyhood life on a farm—a place where excuses don’t work. He is practical, hard-working, and has committed himself to extremely high standards.
Yet he shows another part of his personality when he says, “I have more fun than anybody I know. Life’s too short to live it any other way.” This passion for life allows Thayne to take as much pleasure out of a long workday as some people take from a vacation.
“He’s not all work, though,” smiles his daughter, Elizabeth Romney. “When he gets with his grandchildren and talks in his great Donald Duck voice, gives them ‘horsie’ rides, or gets down on the floor and wrestles with them, he’s as silly as they are. With the older ones, he loves to ask questions that make them think. And when things get sentimental, he isn’t likely to have dry eyes for long.”
Twelve years ago, Thayne’s wife, Lou Jean, passed away. When she died, he took on many of her tasks willingly. One of the tasks that is most appreciated by his children is the gathering of all eight children at his home whenever there is a birthday or other occasion to celebrate.
In his professional life, Brother Robson has had many opportunities for lucrative positions with various companies. But he says, “Wealth has never been one of my personal goals in life. I worry about greed and selfishness and listen to the warnings that are given to rich people in the scriptures. Materialism is a great dilemma for our society and for many Latter-day Saints.”
He loves teaching and working with young people, who have not yet discovered how great their talents really are.—Renon K. Hulet, Salt Lake City, Utah