Friend to Friend


“When I think of my dad, I think of a hard worker,” declared eleven-year-old John, Jr. “He works outside when he can—pulling weeds, digging holes, and he is now making me a three-level playhouse. It’s great!”

As I visited with this General Authority’s family, I was impressed with the sweet spirit in the room.

Thomas, age eight, suddenly interjected, “My dad uses me as his assistant. We fix things together.”

Then his twenty-year-old sister Nancy responded, “My father is my best friend. We can talk about anything. When I am away attending Brigham Young University and he goes to a conference, he often writes to tell me of his experiences. These letters are not just notes, but advice and thoughts he has for me that I have saved and been able to use later in talks. He’s also my favorite tennis player.”

“My father gives us little tablets for writing in things to do today. We all make our lists, and then Dad goes over them at night to see how we’ve done. He’s a great list maker.”

“He brings you things, and you can’t remember asking for them.”

“He’s firm in a gentle way.”

“He doesn’t want anyone to miss family prayers.”

I noticed in the home that special attention is given to art. There are several art objects tastefully displayed and a number of paintings on the walls of the living room. When I inquired about the art pieces, I was told that art is deeply appreciated by everyone in their family. There is a love of music also. Many of the children play a variety of instruments, and nearly all of them play the piano.

“Dad has a great ability for accepting new ideas. If they are good and usable, he’ll incorporate them into his own life until they become a habit. I hope I am able to do this as I get older.”

“He loves strawberry ice cream and fresh fruits.”

“I like to sit on Daddy’s lap—it’s nice there.”

“One of my favorite family home evenings was a time when we all collected our favorite jokes and riddles and took turns telling them to each other. That was a super evening!”

“Our dad is very busy, yet he provides for a special time with each one of us—once a week if possible. We might see a movie, go shopping, play tennis, go bowling, or he may help us with a project. He does whatever we want to do for a couple of hours. That’s when I especially like being with my dad, because he really takes time to talk with me.”

“Dad wants us all to be able to pass the president’s physical fitness test and encourages us to exercise every day.”

“Two years ago our whole family went to Hawaii, where we rented an old limousine that had eight doors. We drove around the island—twelve of us (Emily wasn’t born yet)—and we’ll never forget that trip. We called the old car our BOT, which stood for Big Old Thing.”

I was impressed with a comment from the mother of the family: “One of the loveliest things I’ve been able to observe and follow through the years is my husband’s growing love and respect for his own father. And they truly respect each other.”

[illustrations] Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh

Elder John H. Groberg

This General Authority is Elder John H. Groberg of the First Quorum of the Seventy.