Friend to Friend


Elder David B. Haight

“My grandfather was asked to move his family from Farmington, Utah, to Oakley, Idaho, and to be the first bishop there. Brigham Young felt that if grass and water and the opportunity to grow food were there, people would move in. I was born in that little town of a few hundred people. It was good to me.

“Later my father also served as the Oakley First Ward bishop. Even though he died when I was eight years old, I remember him quite well. He was the local banker. I used to like to go to town and walk into the bank and see my father talking with someone at his desk. I grew up with the image of my father helping people. He understood that service is an inherent part of the gospel.

“I was very proud when my father became a state senator. He was the only Mormon bishop serving in the Idaho legislature. When someone asked me what relation I was to Bishop Haight or Senator Haight, I would proudly say, ‘I’m his son!’

“My mother taught me the day-to-day essentials of living a good life. She always had a cow for us children to take care of. A cow brought some discipline into my young life because it needed to be milked early each morning and again each night. Mother would prepare pails of milk that we didn’t need for me to deliver to several neighbors.

“As children, we made our own fun. We played simple games that didn’t require any expensive equipment.

“The most important building in our town in addition to the schoolhouse was our ward meetinghouse. The members had to take care of the building because we had no janitor. We had to clean and sweep the meetinghouse as well as care for the grounds. We also had to fill coal buckets and put them by the furnace. We took great pride in taking care of the Lord’s house.

“In my home Sunday was always special. The chairs were turned backward around the table so that the first thing we did when we came into the dining room to eat was kneel down and have family prayer.

“I remember going to the mountains to get our Christmas tree. We decorated it with little candles that fastened to the tree in little tin holders. A fire committee was appointed in the family to make sure the tree didn’t catch fire. We children each had a Christmas gift stocking and received one present. Of course, there was the special Christmas dinner and the singing while my sister played the piano and I played the violin.

“I have a strong feeling not only about our responsibility in the Church to proclaim the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, but also about our responsibility to perfect the Saints. To perfect the Saints means to teach them to keep the commandments and to live by the holy ordinances that lead to their exaltation and eternal life.

“Every child can begin to lay a sound, solid foundation for what he wants to become and can begin to fulfill his life’s mission. When you are baptized, you covenant to take upon yourself the name of Christ, with a determination to serve Him.

“Young people, now is the best time to become acquainted with the scriptures. I remember the Bible stories I read in my youth out of my mother’s little blue book. She also taught me how to pray. My mother was concerned that we learn to talk to our Heavenly Father.

“Learn to love the Lord and to develop a love for people. The Savior truly understood the meaning of love. When He talked to the Pharisees who were arguing about all the laws, a lawyer, hoping to trap Jesus said, ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law?’

“‘Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

“‘This is the first and great commandment.

“‘And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

“‘On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36–40.)

“Now I believe that the Savior’s answer to the lawyer means that of all the commandments, those two are the most important for us to understand and to live.

“Remember to pray, to read the scriptures, and to develop a relationship with our Heavenly Father, and then to love all people and keep the commandments.”