I received notice that Lewis Farr, a dear friend and mentor, passed away. Words cannot begin to pay tribute to the man.
In the 1980's I was attending a student ward at the University of Utah. Bishop Farr became the Bishop while I was there. He was a gentle and caring soul. I don't know how he was able to make so many of us feel loved, but he did so. Even after so many years, we still have a closeness as a ward. We have reunions, we share memories. I believe that most of those who were there have good lives and good marriages. Somehow, Bishop Farr taught us well.
I have two special memories of him. I had graduated from the University and decided that it was time to leave the Ward and move on. I went to Bishop Farr's home to say goodbye. We talked about the Ward and the fact that he would soon be replacing his Relief Society President. He asked me what qualities I thought he should look for. I told him that it needed to be a person who could give without feeling it. I hated to leave his influence, but I went on to the resident ward. I introduced myself to the Bishop of the resident ward. (The resident Ward Bishop subsequently told Elder Dixon that he (the Bishop) had just met the woman he was going to marry. That is a story for another time). I didn't stay in that ward long because my roommates and I moved.
I tried really hard to find peace in my new ward, and was treated very well, but it did not feel right. I remember crying to the Lord one night about my feelings and pleading that he would help me know what I was supposed to be doing. Bishop Farr called me that night and listened to my story. He invited me to return to the student Ward. I immediately knew that he was right, and that is what I did. He then called me to be the Relief Society President. My guess is that he knew all along that was what was supposed to happen, but I had to find my way.
Working with him was wonderful. I always felt the love of the Savior through him, and felt encouraged to grow. I became the best I could be while working with him. He gave me wings to fly.
I remember returning to the church building one evening. Bishop Farr was in his office with the door partially open. He didn't know I was there. I was able to see him there, agonizing for those of us in the Ward. I knew that he loved us, only at that moment I also began to know the depth.
Bishop Farr was in my thoughts often, but I didn't make it over to see him. Still, when we had the last reunion I attended, he treated me like a favored queen. I can only hope that I can grow to be like him.
I love you, Bishop. Tell Marilyn "hi" for me.
Bishop Farr's obituary