I received a different but interesting and appropriate gift for Mother’s Day. One of my daughters gifted me with a subscription to “StoryWorth.” The idea behind the subscription is for me to write the stories of my life. Each week my daughter will select a question, and the company will email it to me. I am supposed to write the answer to the question and send it back. The company will send the answer to my daughter as well as combining the answers into a book at the end of the year. I have not posted my story for a few weeks, so I thought I would share a little more of my life.
Here is the question for Week 10: Who is the wisest person you’ve known? What have you learned from them? Wow! What a question! It is a good question, but it is one that I would have never considered. In fact, I had to give it a great deal of thought. There are many wise people in my life, people that I know personally. They include my parents and siblings, my children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews. They also include friends, teachers, and associates.
I suppose that the wisest person in my life is my father. I chose him because his teachings seem to ring louder in my ears than any other. My father was a good man who lived the commandments of God to the best of his abilities. He would be the first person to say that he had many weaknesses, but he worked diligently to overcome them.
My father was a man who lived the law of repentance. I know this because I saw the effects of the law in his life. He did not use a lot of cuss words, and he never took the Lord’s name in vain. However, I heard some words occasionally on the farm that were not appropriate. I do not remember him using that type of language after leaving the farm. I never heard my father use rough language around my mother.
My father loved my mother dearly. He made it clear with his words and actions that she was the most important mortal in his life. There was never any doubt in my mind – or the minds of my siblings – about his feelings for her. There was also no doubt that we would be in serious trouble with him if we showed disrespect to his sweetheart – and he heard about it. I think that I saw him cry for the first time when she died in 1979. I felt much security in my childhood because I knew that my father and mother loved each other dearly.
My father had some sayings that he used over and over again. Each saying had a specific meaning. When he said, “Little picture have big ears,” I knew that I needed to be careful with the words I was using because there were small children in the room who would pick up on the words and probably share them. Another saying was, “Don’t tell anyone everything that you know because they will know what they know plus everything that you know.” My father did not play cards, but he would have held them close to his body if he had.
My father taught me by word and example to work. He labored hard on the farm to make it successful, and he also worked an eight-hour graveyard shift at a Sinclair service station. He did not take much time for rest or recreation – except on Sundays and holidays. Because my father taught me to work, I am able to walk into a situation and see what needs to be done – and I am not afraid to roll up my sleeves and go to work.
My father taught me by his words and actions that family is important. He would make any sacrifice of time, effort, or money for the good of the family. He did lots of family history and temple work to connect us with our ancestors and attended annual family reunions. He watched over and took care of his family, no matter their relationship with him.
My father is a very wise man, and I look forward to being with him again in the next life. I am sure that there is much more than he can teach me.