A Birthday to Remember

Harold B. Lee


A watchman employed on Temple Square gave me this note:

“One morning not so long ago I was sitting at the desk of the temple gate house reading when my attention was drawn to a knock on the door. There stood two little boys, aged about seven or eight years. As I opened the door, I noticed that they were poorly dressed and had been neither washed nor combed. They appeared as if they had left home before father or mother had awakened that morning. As I looked beyond these little fellows, I saw two infants in pushcarts. In answer to my question as to what they wanted, one of the boys pointed to his little brother in the cart and replied: ‘His name is Joe. Will you shake hands with little Joe? It is little Joe’s birthday—he is two years old today, and I want him to touch the temple so when he gets to be an old man he will remember he touched the temple when he was two years old.’

“Pointing to the other little boy in the other cart, he said this: ‘This is Mark, he’s two years old, too.’ Then, with a solemn, reverent attitude rare in children so young, he asked, ‘Now can we go over and touch the temple?’ I replied: ‘Sure you can.’ They pushed their little carts over to the temple and lifted the infants up, and placed their hands against that holy building. Then as I stood there with a lump in my throat, I heard the little boy say to his infant brother, ‘Now, Joe, you will always remember when you was two years old you touched the temple.’ They thanked me and departed for home.”

—President Harold B. Lee First Counselor in the First Presidency

April Conference, 1957