What does one remember of mothers?
This one was always home.
Never a time our childish
Voices raised to call
But that she answered,
And we were happy
She was there.
We were secure.
What more can a mother do
Besides give birth? Why,
Make her brood secure
This she did.
These lines were penned by this General Authority about his mother, whom he loved and tenderly cared for until her death.
“When I think of Dad, I think of a great teacher; he uses every available moment to teach,” recalls his daughter. “Whenever I see anyone who knows Dad, they tell me how much he has influenced their lives, even to the deciding of their careers. I never hear from Dad about the many kindnesses he does for others; it is usually from the recipient.”
“He’s a rugged individualist who stands firm for his principles,” his son-in-law remarked. “He’s really one of a kind and so versatile—a great outdoorsman, yet extremely artistic and poetic—a study of contrasts.”
“Dad does everything well. One time he told such realistic ghost stories to a Scout troop that the boys were afraid for months afterward.”
“He’s an honorable man—honest, truthful, dedicated, and loyal. He explains things so simply that anyone can understand them.”
“He wears a funny hat.”
“He’s sincere and makes no pretense of being somebody he’s not.”
“Sometimes he frightens people because of his directness. But he’s really a gentle, caring, loving person.”
“Grandpa’s favorite food is fish. He says it helps his gout. He loves to bake whole wheat bread and raisin bread for himself and also to share with his neighbors and friends.”
“He’s always been a great reader. When he was a little boy, his mother would give him ten cents for carfare to the library. But instead of riding, he would walk and spend the money for jelly beans. After getting his books, he would start home again, reading the books and eating the jelly beans he had carefully rationed out at so many per block.”
“Grandpa is a good speaker,” a sixteen-year-old grandson declared. “He loves people and enjoys talking with them, even though he often talks about unconventional or unexpected things. He understands the hurts people have.”
“When he was a boy, Grandpa had a red coaster wagon that his father had a blacksmith make. At first it was short, with room for only three people; but eventually it was extended so that more could ride. The front person steered and the back one used the brake. The riders would start between Ninth and Tenth avenues on “C” Street in Salt Lake and coast all the way down to South Temple Street, then push the wagon back up the hill and go down again.”
“A favorite story of Grandpa’s is about a time when the family met together in Parley’s Canyon at their summer home for a holiday dinner. Suddenly a flash flood came and the house slowly began to float down the swollen creek. Some of the family stood up on a table until the house came to a stopping place.”
“Dad enjoys writing poetry, and when he was older he began to paint. He paints when he travels by car, and has done many covered bridge scenes, landscapes, and pictures of people’s homes that he’s given to them.”
“His faith and works are remarkable. He served a three-year mission in Missouri. During the last year his father couldn’t support him, so he milked cows and did all kinds of odd jobs to support himself so he could stay one more year on his mission.”
“Grandpa says that the closer he gets to meeting the Lord, the more serious he becomes. This might be true, but his sense of humor is still priceless.”
“He sings funny songs such as ‘The Silver Moon Is a Winkin’,’ ‘Froggie Would a Wooin’ Go,’ and ‘The Horses Run Around.’ Some of these are Boy Scout camp songs.”
“The first thing that comes to my mind when thinking about Grandpa,” stated a twenty-four-year-old granddaughter, “is his consideration for others. He often helps with the dishes, and counsels young people to work together around the house so they can talk to one another as they work.”
“Grandpa taught me that we shouldn’t be afraid of our feelings because the Spirit works through these feelings. I’ve always remembered that.”
“I have come to understand Grandpa better through reading his poetry than I ever had before,” wrote a granddaughter from Japan. “He’s gentle, sensitive, warm, appreciative, and has a tender heart.”
His own words indicate this man’s fortitude:
We must stand true
Stand true as Joseph stood;
Be good as he was good;
And faithful be, as he