Friend to Friend

From a personal interview by Joleen Meredith with the daughter-in-law and grandchildren of a General Authority.

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    “Always being on time and paying debts and obligations promptly are very important to my grandfather.”

    “Grandfather always says that unless you’re five minutes early, you’re late!”

    “His first initial O really stands for Oscar, but we have said as a family that it stands for Organization.”

    These opening remarks of sincere respect were voiced by the teenage grandchildren of this fine man and General Authority. As I visited with his family I felt the strong influence this man has upon them.

    “You feel secure with Grandfather. The pathway always seems smoother when he’s walking ahead preparing the way.”

    An older granddaughter stated, “I have been considering marriage in the near future and have been making some tentative preparations. When Grandfather heard of my plans, he and Grandmother came down to see me, gave me some possible temple dates, offered other suggestions, and in an hour the entire thing was coming together. He said that evening, ‘You need a plan; if it doesn’t happen, you’re out nothing. You can cancel, but you can’t just materialize a wedding. Things just won’t fall into place if you don’t plan ahead.’”

    Others in the family also shared their experiences:

    “Once when Grandfather came to visit us, we were cleaning our storage room and he offered to help. It took until late that night to clean the room because it was in such a mess. However, Grandfather stayed and helped the whole time.”

    “Dad can’t understand why people won’t collect the facts, make a decision, and then act. He really believes that a lot of time is wasted in people’s lives when they’re indecisive.”

    “Grandfather is always telling us to keep our hair short. He’ll say, ‘Don’t go down and get a confidential haircut!’ He means the kind that only you and your barber know about after you’ve had one!”

    An older grandson made some comments on the subject of work. “He has really taught me the importance of hard work—to give your employer an honest day’s work, to do more than he pays you for, and to go the extra mile. He has said that if an employee takes even one-half hour a day for his own needs and not the needs of the company, it only takes a short while before his employer is cheated out of a month’s time he has paid for.”

    “We couldn’t describe the attributes of this wonderful man without using the word generosity,” said a daughter-in-law. “He is and always has been generous with his time and his means. He might say to one of us, ‘That car is getting old. Let’s see what we can do about getting you another one.’ To a young missionary who was once admiring his watch he said, ‘Here, you can have it.’ He has helped many people find employment. It’s his nature to be unselfish and give freely whenever he can.”

    “He’s a vigorous man who was raised in the tradition of hard work. His father taught him the value of money at an early age. At seventeen, Grandfather held five jobs.

    “Grandfather likes to tell us about experiences he had when he was young. He recalls with a smile that once when he was attending school away from home, he wrote his father, telling him that he needed money for a new pair of shoes and hoping there might be a little left over to take out his girl friend. His father responded by sending him only the new shoes.”

    “This is one of Grandfather’s favorite scriptures:

    I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise. (D&C 82:10.)

    He lives as an example to all who know him, an example of courage, strength, and a man who truly lives the commandments of our Heavenly Father.”

    Watch courtesy Church Historical Department

    Show References

    • O. Leslie Stone

      The General Authority’s name is O. Leslie Stone of the First Quorum of the Seventy.