Friend to Friend

“Most people don’t know that my father has a lovely tenor voice. He sings beautifully, but now he is so busy that he hardly has time to sing at all except in Church meetings.”

“Does your father spend time reading, and if so, what kind of books does he enjoy?” I inquired. The answer came that this father spends most of his time studying the scriptures, especially when he prepares for each of his many speaking assignments.

“My father has a high standard for boys and girls. He has raised us to serve different roles. He talks to the boys about priesthood responsibilities, and he talks to the girls about becoming good mothers.”

“One of my father’s most interesting qualities is his ability to love best whatever he is doing at the time. For instance, his favorite food is the food he is eating. His best trip is the one from which he has just returned. This is a great quality.”

“When I think of Dad, I think of the words integrity, dependability, and respect. When he says he’ll do something, he does it. When he says he’ll be there, he’s there. I never have to worry. His life is a great example to me.”

“I remember our Primary Daddy-Daughter parties best of all. I was his partner for the whole evening and he treated me as though I were a great lady.”

To this same delightful young lady, I asked, “What makes your father the happiest?”

“My mother,” came the reply.

“Do you wish to add anything to that?” I continued.

“No, just my mother, that’s all I need to say.”

“My father has a joy for life. He loves the gospel and he loves the Savior. He often talks of Moses and Daniel and tells stories of their great lives. He often bears his testimony to us, and tells us that he knows without question that President Kimball is a prophet and that all of the presiding brethren are called of God. This is a great strength to my testimony.”

“One day I remember I was injured and knocked almost unconscious. My father was the first to the scene. He just held me close for the longest time while I cried and cried. When we walk he holds my hand. I love to sit on his lap at home.”

“I love our family home evenings when we take turns telling how much we love each other and what we like most about each one. Sometimes it’s hard to tell your brother and your sister what you really think about them, but it’s a neat experience and we all really enjoy it. For one thing, it seems to bring us closer together.”

“Dad isn’t silly. In fact, he is serious most of the time. But he has nicknames for each one of us and he loves to visit with his grandchildren. They make him laugh.”

“My father sees the small beauties of nature—not the big things as much as the small things—the song of a particular bird or the color of the sunset. He’s never too busy to notice the small things.”

As a closing question, I asked this General Authority’s brother about the family’s history.

“One of our ancestors came to Utah when he was only six years of age. He lived to be the first man to import purebred cattle into the state, and he used to supply all of the horses for the Pony Express. He also was a bodyguard for Brigham Young and served in the Utah State Legislature in 1899.

“One of our other ancestors converted to the Church in England, gave up all he had, and came to Utah. Brigham Young asked him to settle the city of Fillmore, Utah. He later moved to Oak City. So you see, our family has quite a pioneer heritage.”

I could see many things that afternoon. I could see that the great heritage of his past was being expanded by this fine man and his family who are living so faithfully in the present.

Answer to Friend to Friend: Elder James E. Faust