The only way we can return to our heavenly home and ultimately reach perfection is in “total companionship with the Savior,” says Elder John Baird Dickson. “My great longing is to help others know him and come unto him.”
Born in Tacoma, Washington, to John H. Dickson and Helen Baird on 12 July 1943, Elder Dickson moved with his family several years later to nearby Arlington, where his father worked in the timber industry and young John grew to appreciate hard work and nature.
After receiving a mission call to Mexico in 1962, he learned he had bone cancer in his right arm. Doctors did not expect him to live more than a month.
Strong family support and the comforting words his father gave him in a blessing sustained him. Ten months later, he left for his mission grateful that his life had been spared, though his arm had been amputated.
What some may consider to be a handicap has never bothered him. “Losing my arm has proved to be one of the greater blessings in my life. I am more patient with other people because I have had to be patient with myself.”
After his mission, he married Delores Jones in the Oakland Temple in 1966. Two years later, he graduated from Brigham Young University and joined a family sawmill operation in Washington.
In 1978 Elder Dickson returned to Mexico to preside over the newly created Mexico City North Mission. For the last eight years, he has been president of the Mt. Vernon Washington Stake.
His “most significant calling” is that of father to eight children (seven girls) and husband to “an angel from heaven.” He also places great importance on being an effective home teacher.
Although he has helped point many souls to Christ, his longing to share the gospel is insatiable, his wife, Delores, says. “He loves everyone.”
Elder Dickson calls himself “extremely ordinary,” but his capacity to love and serve is, by all accounts, extraordinary.