Friend to Friend


An enthusiastic introduction to the life of this great General Authority of the Church was given by his son.

“My father lives a disciplined life. He’s an early riser and exercises or takes a walk most mornings. He goes early to the office, usually carrying a sack lunch with him. Dad’s a happy man!”

“Grandfather is not showy about his religion—he just lives it. He’s not preachy, either, but teaches by example.”

“He has studied the scriptures all of his life. He goes to work 1/2 hour early to read the scriptures at the beginning of each day. At the age of forty-three he was called as a General Authority and has always carried a heavy load.”

“What do you think about when you think of your grandfather?” I asked several of the grandchildren who were gathered together.

“Kindness. He wants to help.”

“Generosity. Grandfather always gives us something special on holidays.”

“No matter how busy he is, he finds time for us.”

“He has jobs for us to do to earn money.”

“He keeps track of me.”

“Grandfather comes to watch me play soccer and football.”

At the mention of athletics, a son commented, “Dad was captain of the football and basketball teams when he was at Ricks College. He has a competitive spirit when it comes to sports. Keeping his body fit is very important to him. He laughs now and says that when he was younger and used to play volleyball, the boys would often say, ‘Here comes Marion, we’ll take him!’ And now it’s ‘Here comes Marion, you can have him!’”

“Dad loves the Book of Mormon and uses a lot of scriptures in his talks. When I ask him for help in making a decision, he always tells me to study it out, make the decision, and then ask for confirmation from the Lord. He has wisely said, ‘Use the principles—apply them.”

I asked a daughter-in-law about her relationship with her father-in-law. “Dad has never been critical, never found fault, never interfered, even though I’m sure he’s probably shaken his head over me many times. He’s a wonderful person.”

“While Dad was attending Ricks College, he was home ill one day when a lovely girl came to their house to see his father about a job. Dad remarked at the time that ‘Ida was the one—I saw her come through the door that day and knew she was the one for me.’”

When the subject of grandmother came up, the responses from grandchildren were eager and quick:

“She always told us good stories.”

“She was very organized.”

“She was a strong person.”

“She always loved us!”

“What good times do you remember?” I pursued.

“We used to have jumping contests to see how far we could jump.”

“On New Year’s Day we would go to Grandpa’s house and have a fishpond. We’d pick strings and pull on them, and there was a prize at the end of the string.”

“Grandpa puts cotton on his face and pretends he’s Santa at Christmastime. On Christmas morning we’d all stay upstairs until Grandma and Grandpa came to our house; then we’d all go in to see the tree together.”

A son living in California shared these comments: “When I think of my father’s strengths, I think of his strong testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. He loves all people of all religions. He has the ability to dedicate himself to any task with hard work and study. A good example of his self-discipline is when he taught himself the Spanish language. One of my favorite things to do is visit with my father.”

“How about favorite foods?”

“He loves nuts—pecans, walnuts, and peanut butter. He always liked Mom’s soups.”

“How did your father discipline you?”

“With love.”

“My father’s family was driven from Mexico when he was fourteen years old. The men sent their women and children ahead by train, and they came later by horseback. On the way out of Mexico, Dad was nearly shot. He says he will never know why the man pointing the gun at him didn’t pull the trigger.

“When they arrived in Oakley, Idaho, the family had few material possessions; they didn’t have shoes or coats. A family meeting was held to see whether they should pay their tithing. They decided to do so. His family was always faithful to the Lord and my father has always been faithful too.”

This General Authority is Elder Marion G. Romney, Second Counselor in the First Presidency.