Friend to Friend

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

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    “When I picture my father in my mind, I see a smiling, friendly face. He always says hello to people as we go along in the car as though he knew them all—he loves people.”

    “What do you think of when you think of your dad?” I asked the youngest child of this General Authority.

    “Once Dad made a car out of a big box for my friend and me. It was really neat.”

    “When you need something done he just does it, even without asking. He just seems to know what needs to be done,” added another daughter. “He’s patient and listens to everything that happens to us at school. Dad’s a very calm person, and he never ‘blows up.’ He helps us recognize our problems, and soon we’re telling him all about them,” said a fourth daughter.

    “There are several things about Dad that are neat,” said his son. “He always asks our opinion about his talks and letters. He likes to get advice from us about what to say or what approach to use in solving different problems. Dad wants to know what our true feelings are especially about decisions that might involve the whole family. Another thing, Dad always makes a point of telling us how much he and Mom love us.”

    “He never argues. He doesn’t believe in it. He doesn’t believe in children talking back to their parents either, because he didn’t talk back to his parents. He sets the example by reasoning through situations so that they don’t have to be yelled about.”

    “Dad works very hard keeping our yard and vegetable garden nice. He wears his old straw hat while working outside. Some mornings he gets up at five o’clock to mow the lawn before he goes to his office.”

    “We never get tired of hearing the stories of his navy sea adventures. Dad loves the sea. He doesn’t like to hunt and kill animals because he loves them. When he was a boy he did go deer hunting, but a deer stood there watching him and he just couldn’t shoot it.”

    “Once when Dad and I were home alone, we decided to make cookies,” remembered his youngest daughter. “He decided to make the project go faster, so he made one big cookie instead of a lot of little cookies. When Mom came home, she laughed so hard that we decided to take a picture of the giant cookie.”

    “Dad enjoys making pancakes and he makes good ones. He loves ice cream. He’ll always say, ‘Would anyone else like some ice cream?’ Then he’ll go get some bowls and spoons and the ice cream and we all help ourselves.”

    “He puts peanut butter on everything!”

    “He fasts many times, but he’ll come in and sit and talk to us at the supper table and never mention that he’s fasting. He just doesn’t eat and we all understand.”

    “When our family went to a family summer camp at Aspen Grove, Dad involved our entire family in the activities. We all played horseshoes, swam, and had a grand time. Dad usually ends up with a sunburn.”

    “When Dad was a mission president, we traveled with him and Mom to zone conferences. We were able to see what Dad did. It was a spiritual time for our whole family.”

    “At the airport Dad usually finds a missionary and takes him under his wing. He has a personal interest in all missionaries.”

    “Dad played the bass drum when he was in school and said he chose it because it didn’t take too much talent. He loves music, though, and has a nice singing voice. He loves classical music and his favorite is Dvorák’s New World Symphony.

    “One time when Dad was a little boy his eyes were badly burned, and the doctor told him he would never see again. When the doctor changed the bandages, it was very painful so Dad would sing songs to help him get through the ordeal. To comfort his parents he would tell them not to worry because he was going to be fine. His faith proved so strong, even as a young boy, that not only does he see normally now, but no visible scar remains.”

    “Dad is a twin and always shared things with his twin brother. His brother contracted rheumatic fever when they were in school and could not work, so when Dad worked, he would share his paycheck with his brother.”

    “Dad gives us a father’s blessing when we have a problem or a big challenge facing us.”

    “He also takes us aside individually once a month to ask us about our lives and what we’re doing. He asks us about our goals, how we can do better, and how he can help us achieve them.”

    “Once I decided on a goal of trying not to say anything mean to anyone. Dad and I worked out a system where he’d wink at me when I was beginning to get upset, and it would stop me.”

    “My father has been obedient since he was a boy. And I have never heard him complain about a church assignment. He just does whatever President Kimball asks him to do.”

    Show References

    • Rex D. Pinegar

      This General Authority’s name is Rex D. Pinegar, of the First Quorum of the Seventy.