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From a personal interview by Joleen Meredith with a General Authority’s parents and children.

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    “Dad’s extremely neat.”

    “You mean tidy?”

    “Yes, very meticulous. His drawers have to be just so—black socks in one row, brown ones in another. His shirts have to be starched just right, and you should see his car. It is so shiny and clean that the slightest smudge would be conspicuous.”

    “When Dad was a mission president,” said another child, “he used to tell the elders that the Spirit could not visit them if their rooms and belongings were in disarray. He always encouraged his elders to be organized.”

    “Dad’s an expert on pens and loves to collect them. I’ll bet he’s got the right pen for any occasion!”

    An older daughter ventured, “Dad is so easy to talk to, and he can have fun in any situation. He relates to young people and puts them at their ease. He enjoys learning from others.

    “My father’s spiritual qualities are many. Whenever he conducts a meeting, it is done with dignity. He has a sincere love for President Kimball. When he served as a mission president in Arizona, he became acquainted with many people there who knew President Kimball.

    Missionary work is Dad’s whole life. He is living his ultimate dream now, I believe—to be called as a General Authority and to serve on the Missionary Committee of the Church.”

    I greatly appreciated the fact that this man’s parents were both present during this interview. Here are some of their observations:

    “As a young boy, he would not let a hair on his head be out of place. One day he cried because his tricycle was out in the rain getting wet. He couldn’t bear to see its shiny paint spattered. He was careful about everything.

    “He always wanted to succeed in whatever he did. Once during a savings bond contest a newspaper publishing company was conducting, he sold the most bonds of all the newsboys who participated. He’s a hard worker and always has been.”

    “His car was the love of his life when he was a teenager. Some boys have difficulty leaving a special girl friend when they go on a mission, but our son really hated to leave his car!”

    “Dad believes in physical fitness and likes to ski. In fact, he loves anything athletic. He likes to be a part of it whenever he can.”

    “His handwriting is beautiful.”

    “He has quick responses.”

    “He’s usually happy, but when he’s especially happy, he yodels.”

    “He might squirt you down with the hose when you’re not looking.”

    “His favorite treat is cake batter. Once after a family home evening, we gave Dad an uncooked cake. He just loved eating the batter.”

    “Dad makes the most of each day. He claims there is never enough time. He has a marvelous built-in alarm. He decides what time he wants to wake up and he is awake at that time. He doesn’t seem to require as much sleep as most people.”

    “Talents? He has a nice singing voice, but I believe his real talent is leadership. He can motivate people to action. He has one other talent that I appreciate. He can laugh at his mistakes.”

    “When my father disciplines me, he sits down and talks with me about the problem. He lets me know that it is a serious matter, but he always gives me hope that I can do better. In fact, he inspires me to do better.”

    “My father has always heeded the counsel: ‘I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded. …’ (1 Ne. 3:7.) He’s a strong, faithful man, and we’re very proud of him.”

    Illustrated by Scott Greer

    Show References

    • Elder Jack H. Goaslind

      This General Authority is Elder Jack H. Goaslind, of the First Quorum of the Seventy.