Friend to Friend

From a personal interview by Joleen Meredith with the children of a General Authority.

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    “Shoes are made out of leather, but banana peels make the best slippers! Dad tells us puns like this one every once in a while. He really has a sense of humor,” declared a teenage daughter of this General Authority.

    “He uses humor instead of anger quite often,” came another comment. “When I’m outside working, he comes out and says something funny to me,” said a younger son.

    “Dad really enjoys carving things like ducks out of wood, and then he paints them. He carved a mantlepiece for our home showing the Pioneers coming across the plains and some beautiful carved sego lilies down both sides of the fireplace. He also carved some waxwing birds that we keep under a bell jar on top of our piano.

    “Dad is also a very fine artist, and did all of the artwork as well as the writing in a recent book. Once he used oils, but he usually paints with acrylics. He’s too busy to wait for the oil paints to dry.”

    “The quality I like most about my father is his ability to understand the feelings of each member of our family. He never gets upset with us.”

    When I asked the question, “How does your father show his love for you?” there were a number of insightful replies.

    “He shows his love by leaving whatever he’s doing and helping me when I need it. Sometimes when I’m making something at the workbench, I’ll ask him to help me. He stops whatever he is doing and patiently shows me how to do it.”

    “I know Dad loves me because he helps me fly my kite and ride my bike and we go camping together.”

    “Dad’s always there when you need him and he understands you. He lets us have horses even though it costs a lot to raise them. He knows how much we love them.”

    “He tells us he loves us and arranges to be with each of us alone. He makes time for us and he’ll always listen. He’s never cross.”

    According to his children, this General Authority delights in the wonders of nature.

    “Dad really enjoys the out-of-doors and likes to work in the yard. He goes around trimming and keeping everything neat.”

    “Bird-watching is relaxing to him. He can meditate, plan a talk, or think over a problem while he’s watching the birds. We feed mandarins, pintails, wood ducks, pheasants, quail, peacocks, Canadian geese, and chickens. Besides our horses, we have two lambs named Licky and Pokey, and a dog.” (While I was visiting this home, I saw a snow-white peacock strutting with full plumage—what a glorious sight!)

    “When Dad was a little boy, he went to the bird refuge and learned all about the birds—their names, their habits, their calls. He’s loved them ever since.”

    Two family members expressed their appreciation for family and home life.

    “On family home evening nights we usually plan the calendar for the coming week, then Dad tells us about some experiences he’s had on a recent church assignment. Other times we have a lesson and often use a flannel board to present it.”

    A married son commented: “As my wife and I have children of our own, I appreciate my father more and more. He always was thoughtful of others, not just our family, but all those who needed him. I especially remember when he showed me how to draw animals and get the proper dimensions.”

    “Dad suggests a better way, rather than just putting down the way I’m doing something. I really appreciate that.”

    I asked a final question, “Are there special gospel principles that your father emphasizes?”

    Obedience, being family oriented—doing things for your brothers, sisters, and parents—and loving others are just a few of the principles the children were quick to mention.

    Show References

    • This General Authority’s name is Boyd K. Packer, of the Council of the Twelve.