Moment: Faith Is Priceless

  • 4 January 2016


Elder Hugh B. Brown served as an Assistant to the Council of the Twelve until 1958, when he was sustained as a member of that Council. In 1961 he was called by President David O. McKay as a counselor in the First Presidency. He also served with President Tanner until the passing of President McKay, in January of 1970, at which time he returned to his beloved Quorum of the Twelve.

He served as a major in the Canadian military and related stories from his service. He once said, “I had a companion, a fellow officer, who was a very rich man, highly educated. A lawyer, he was powerful and self-sufficient, and he said to me as we often talked of religion (because he knew who I was), ‘There is nothing in life that I would like to have that I cannot buy with my money.’

“Shortly thereafter he and I with two other officers were assigned to go to the city of Arras, France, which was under siege. It had been evacuated, and upon arrival there we thought there was no one in the city. We noted that the fire of the enemy was concentrated on the cathedral. We made our way to the cathedral and went in. There we found a little woman kneeling at an altar. We paused, respecting her devotion. Then shortly she arose, wrapped her little shawl around her frail shoulders, and came tottering down the aisle. The man among us who could speak better French said, ‘Are you in trouble?’

“She straightened her shoulders, pulled in her chin and said, ‘No, I’m not in trouble. I was in trouble when I came here, but I’ve left it there at the altar.’

“ ‘And what was your trouble?”

“She said, ‘I received word this morning that my fifth son has given his life for France. Their father went first, and then one by one all of them have gone. But,’ straightening again, ‘I have no trouble; I’ve left it there because I believe in the immortality of the soul. I believe that men will live after death. I know that I shall meet my loved ones again.’

“When the little soul went out, there were tears in the eyes of the men who were there, and the one who had said to me that he could purchase anything with money turned to me and said, ‘You and I have seen men in battle display courage and valor that is admirable, but in all my life I have never seen anything to compare with the faith, the fortitude and the courage of that little woman.’

“Then he said, ‘I would give all the money I have if I could have something of what she has.’ ”

President Hugh B. Brown, Conference Report, Oct. 1969, pp. 106-107.