“As He Is Now,” Ensign, Jan. 1984, 58
My father was an educated man and had many talents. He also had positive feelings about our Lord Jesus Christ. But from the time of my childhood, my father drank so much it seemed to me he was never sober. I remember that he had lost his regular job and would only work at temporary jobs a few days at a time, just enough to earn money for his liquor. His drinking affected me deeply, and I often prayed he would find the strength to quit.
And one day, four months before his death, he did. He stopped drinking completely and tried to start a new life. He was even going to get his job back. One night, several months after his death, I dreamed that my father was sitting on some kind of platform. He looked at me and smiled; his countenance shone, and he seemed to be very happy. With him were several others dressed in white whom I did not recognize. The dream impressed me, and I asked myself how my father could be in a state of peace and happiness when he had lived so irresponsibly on earth. He had left my mother with six small children and had done nothing to provide for us. When people would ask me about him, I would reply that he had been a bad father.
Then one night I had another dream in which I saw myself on the doorstep of our home talking to my father. He was drunk, seemed very pale, and was dressed in filthy clothes. I was screaming at him, asking him why he drank so much. I yelled at him to go away and leave us alone. All of a sudden I saw another man coming toward me. This man was also my father, but this time he was neatly dressed, his face was shining, and the look in his eyes was one of peace. Pointing to the other man he said, “That’s the man I once was; this is the way I am now.”
My joy at that moment was indescribable, for I knew this dream was the answer to my first dream—my father really had changed his ways before he died. He had won the battle he had been fighting with alcohol. He had repented.
Since then, I have often rejoiced in the knowledge that my father is at peace and that he is progressing. I have also rejoiced in the knowledge that the way to true happiness for each of us is through faith and repentance. No matter how mired in sin and unhappiness, we truly can change our lives. The Savior’s atonement made that possible.