Friend to Friend

From a personal interview by Joleen Meredith with the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of a General Authority.

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    “Grandpa loves athletics. He was a fine athlete himself. When he was younger, he loved to play baseball and was very good at it. A major league team sought him out for their team. When he went to the tryouts, he asked if they would have to play on Sunday. The manager said they did. Grandfather quickly left, not even waiting to try out.”

    As we sat outdoors in the afternoon sunshine, it became evident that both the daughter and grandchildren of this gentle man adored and admired him greatly.

    “Dad has eight brothers and sisters. He helped his mother a great deal around the house. He often told us he liked to cut the weeds along the ditch bank because it helped develop strong muscles.”

    “A special talent Dad has is the ability to compute some things in his head in seconds, long before the costly machines can come up with the answer.”

    “Grandpa is fond of using a lot of common sense sayings such as: When you think you are better than others—look out! Anything short of your potential is not good enough. Be prudent. A good laugh takes the kinks out of the chain of life.”

    “Dad believes and stresses strongly that sacrament meeting should be a spiritual occasion where the gospel is taught. He does not believe it should be a meeting for relating someone’s recent travels, scientific data, a history lesson, or the like unless the recounting of such examples strengthens a gospel concept.”

    “He has a great memory and remembers the names of adults as well as children. If he’s placed in a group of children, he immediately shows his love for each one of them, recognizing and talking with them.”

    “We could not tell about Father without saying something about his spiritual gifts. Besides being a very kind and generous man, he is blessed with the powers of healing and of discernment.”

    One daughter, in speaking about his gift of discernment, said, “You may as well say what your problem is straight out, because he always seems to know what it is even before you tell him.”

    A grandson added, “He has so much insight into people’s hearts that I wouldn’t dare keep anything from him.”

    About the gift of healing, a grandchild remarked, “Grandfather came to me when I was very ill and asked if I wanted a blessing. When he laid his hands on my head, there was no doubt about the power of that blessing.”

    “A woman who was seriously ill told Dad that while she was grateful for her doctors and what they could do for her, nothing quite equaled the relief she gained from a spiritual blessing from my father.”

    In speaking with ten-year-old Marsha, a great-grandchild of this man, I asked, “What are some of the nice things your great-grandfather does for you?” After a pause came the answer, “He always gives me a hug when I come and a cookie when I leave.”

    An older grandchild remarked, “He always tells us to obey our parents if we want to be happy.”

    A child of this General Authority remarked, “One of Dad’s prominent characteristics has been his love and concern through the years for the widows, the aged, and the poor. He has helped many of them pay their way when they couldn’t manage it themselves. Dad helped support countless missionaries who otherwise couldn’t have served. He’s truly interested in people and their welfare.”

    This man’s family remembers happy camping experiences. “Dad always loved to camp out and sleep under the stars,” one child said. “I can remember him telling me the names of some of the stars and about the constellations. He also knew the names of many of the plants and wild animals. Our trips were made more enjoyable because of his knowledge of these things.”

    Another one told how her father enjoys cooking a freshly caught trout. “The fish is always delicious because he seems to have just the right touch to make it extra tasty! And I couldn’t possibly omit what a great Scouter Dad is, serving in Scouting leadership positions for over 50 years!”

    One of his children recalled a conversation that tells a lot about the dedication of this man. He was once asked, “Why don’t you take more time to rest?”

    And the response came: “I wasn’t called to this position to rest, I was called to work!

    Show References

    • Delbert L. Stapley

      This General Authority’s name is Delbert L. Stapley of the Council of the Twelve.